Ohio Gadfly Daily News 7-15-14

  1. As we told you yesterday, the state board accountability committee was to decide whether to recommend a year’s “safe harbor” from grading for schools and districts on results of the new PARCC exams. The committee recommended to do so. The full board will likely vote on this at its September meeting. (Gongwer Ohio)
  2. Today, the board is going to hear testimony about some allegations made nearly 10 years ago against Concept/Horizon/Noble charter schools. We’ve mentioned these to you – as well as the less-than-substantial claims being made over those allegations (and likely unrelated FBI investigations) by charter foes in Ohio. Here is a nice, calm, factual report on the issues at play from the Dispatch’s ace education reporter Jennifer Smith Richards. (Columbus Dispatch)
  3. While the Horizon issues are namechecked in this Vindy story, it seems that State Auditor David Yost is more interested in processes and oversight in the charter school sector. So much so that he’s conducting a special audit of those processes. Not sure how far he’s gotten, but he told the Vindy editorial board, “The whole system as far as oversight is in need of reform.” Sounds good.
  4. (Youngstown Vindicator)
  5. Remember back in May when ODE took an unprecedented step and warned three charter school sponsors that they were not to open their proposed new schools for the 14-15 school year…or else? Well, one of those “new schools” was actually the decade-old VLT Academy looking for a new sponsor when its original one declined to renew their sponsorship agreement. Well, VLT’s founders sued, saying that ODE “bullied” its potential new sponsor into bailing, and a judge agreed. VLT stays open and its new sponsor is…ODE. Judge’s orders. Yikes. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  6. Sticking with the theme of state government, the state controlling board met yesterday and approved three ODE requests. One was a waiver of competitive bid selection relating to the two appropriation requests to “put the finishing touches on an electronic student records exchange, e-transcript and student cross-reference systems as well as a program that is expected to make it easier to report aggregate data to the federal government.” Whew. (Gongwer Ohio)
  7. Best wishes to new Columbus City Schools treasurer Stanley Bahorek. (Columbus Dispatch)
  8. This story is categorized as news, but it is clearly an editorial response to the public records issues raised during reporting on Younstown’s superintendent’s performance evaluation. Hint: the editors are plenty cheesed off. (Younstown Vindicator)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,