Ohio Gadfly Daily News 7-25-14

  1. It was announced yesterday that term-limited state Representative Bob Hagan filed to run for the state board of education this fall. Today, he explains why: he intends “to make some waves”. I am sad to admit I was wrong in expecting him to have it in for Common Core, but blanket destruction of all charter schools seems a pretty sizeable goal for the guy as well. Good luck, Bob.  (Gongwer Ohio)
  2. Appointed state board member Ron Rudduck filed to run to retain his seat. I am not sure at all why this news was in a California newspaper, but I’d be happy to travel out there to talk to them about Ohio education issues any time.  (Ventura County Star)
  3. How highly-charged is the media reporting around charter schools in Ohio these days? So much so that a story that is ostensibly about a properly-functioning charter marketplace (low performance and availability of preferable choices lead to student exodus; student exodus leads to money woes; and money woes lead to belt-tightening, layoffs, and retrenching) runs with a headline that implies it’s a shame that the school didn’t just roll over and die. The same process is happening in Akron City Schools and elsewhere every year and no reporter would suggest that perhaps a low-rated and half-capacity elementary school should simply not “reopen” next year. In fact, district building closures for these same reasons are strongly resisted with calls to neighborhood and nostalgia, or simply with calls for more money to “save” them. (Columbus Dispatch)
  4. Speaking of the Big D, editors in Columbus utilize their vast historical knowledge of Columbus Public Schools’ foibles and failings while opining on the Concept/Horizon whistleblowers possibly being investigated themselves. These allegations are, sadly, not new territory folks, and our district schools got there first. (Columbus Dispatch)
  5. A couple of former teachers took time out of their summer to come to the Midview Schools board meeting this week and state their opposition to Common Core. Neither of them had much in the way of substance in their arguments as reported, but it’s worth looking a little more closely. This statement is false: “They seem to be moving away from literature and more to informational texts.” But this statement is true: “I think a middle school student would look at that and say, ‘I don’t really feel like reading that.’” And that statement would remain true for most middle schoolers I know unless the reading material was Captain Underpants. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal)
  6. Editors in Toledo opine on the merits of merging school districts, using the Bettsville/Old Fort merger – first in Ohio in decades and which we’ve followed here for a while – as their example. And I couldn’t be prouder of them for getting to the point: “Bettsville and Old Fort were fierce athletic rivals. Community pride is one hurdle to consolidation, but new loyalties quickly replace old allegiances — at least among young people. In any case, what’s most important is the quality of children’s education.” (Toledo Blade)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,