Ohio Gadfly Daily News 7-28-14

  1. There’s a lot to unpack here in this Q&A with the five current members of the Stark County ESC governing board. Why now? Why those 3 specific questions? Why not ask about career tech or internet connectivity or inner-city vs. suburban vs. rural? Why not ask about the powerful effect of demographic changes in Stark County since these long-timers first took office? Two of these folks have been on the governing board since the George H.W. Bush administration. I’m all for “institutional memory” but are the voters of Stark County really sure that this group is truly representative of their interests? I think even a quick read reveals an antiquated mindset mired in the status quo of the late 20th Century unsuited to the real-world needs of today’s families and students. But that’s just me. (Canton Repository)
  2. There’s not much new here, but at least the Dayton Daily News investigation of the allegations against Horizon/Concept schools 1) sticks to facts and 2) keeps in mind the hometown connection to the Dayton-area schools specifically in question in most of the allegations. (Dayton Daily News)
  3. We have featured the SPARK program in these clips before, but this is a really nice feature on how it actually works – in-home pre-K prep for kids in Columbus, funded mainly by philanthropy. This story is especially interesting and timely given the high-profile bipartisan state/city push for more institutional-type pre-K seats in the city. This mom tried but couldn’t get her daughter in to a district program because it was full. This one-on-one in-home program sought her out because of this and now Kaylin will enter Kindergarten in the fall already knowing how to read…and her mom knows better how to support her education going forward. A cost-comparison is the only thing missing from this piece. (Columbus Dispatch)
  4. The same topic is in the news in Cleveland, where 280 open seats in a recently-expanded pre-K program are still unclaimed. Some are in the district, some are provided by private entities, many are free to parents, and the remainder are heavily-subsidized. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  5. Back to Columbus for a moment, where editors opined on the topic of KidsOhio’s recent report showing some notable achievement gains in district high schools and asked politely for more, please. (Columbus Dispatch)
  6. Finally, for all you parents out there, the wit and wisdom of Krista Ramsey’s latest parenting essay. Some gems: “It is better to find the charm in squawky sixth-grade orchestra concerts, unidentifiable clay art projects and toys that shoot Nerf missiles across the breakfast table than to simmer silently for 12 years… Be careful what you pay children for… Parenting should be viewed as a zero-sum game. If you take no credit when your daughter aces the third-grade reading exam, you need accept no blame when she blows her lines in the third-grade musical.” Funny. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,