Ohio Gadfly Daily News 7-2-14

  1. It took a little while, but the Enquirer finally noticed the Southwest Ohio winners of Straight A grants from the state. Quite a mixed bag among the winners: Common Core, reading proficiency, arts assessments, and technology access are all in there. Also of note: the journalist includes the number of students projected to be affected by each project, and there’s a district/online charter school collaboration in there that probably raised some eyebrows. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  2. Speaking of technology, Mansfield City Schools recently underwent a tech assessment which revealed a number of deficiencies (old equipment, lack of backup, lack of disaster recovery plan, etc.), many of which the Supe says are being addressed over the summer. But buried in this story appears to be the news that both the firm paid to do the assessment and the contractor being paid to fix some of the problems seem to be owned/run by the same person. Not sure if I’m reading it right or not, but if so I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this one soon. (Mansfield News-Sun)
  3. In somewhat happier (and clearer) technology news, a team from Newark Digital Academy was in Portland, Oregon last week, presenting at the NWEA conference on the ways that they use testing data to help their at-risk e-school students improve. Very nice. (Newark Advocate)
  4. Some nice insight here from the superintendent of Hilliard City Schools. A straightforward question about alternate pathways to third grade promotion opens up a discussion on his philosophy of education and how data fits in at various levels: “As we look at raw data, we are looking at individual learners.” Not bad. (ThisWeek News/Hilliard Northwest News)
  5. Finally, we return to beleaguered West Geauga Schools. The open enrollment flap that we chronicled to its end last week (parents and kids get a possibly-dubious win) was apparently part of a deeper rift between administration and board that has left some empty chairs on both sides to fill during upcoming board meetings. I’m sure they’ll get back to business before long, but the idea that someone would make an effort to ostracize an adult professional by moving his chair and forcing him to sit by himself just to prove a point or make a power play is embarrassingly juvenile and seems to me to be indicative of everything that should change in any vaunted “public common school” where it appears. And there are lots of those in Ohio. (Willoughby News Herald)