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Be sure to check out this week's Ohio Gadfly for a Q&A with Rick Hess, who divulges his thoughts on Race to the Top, educational entrepreneurship, Ohio's budget constraints, and why the notion of ???best practices??? in education makes him ???nauseous.??? But don't worry, Rick isn't sick-- he just recognizes the flaws of trying to import good practices, impose them on other organizations, and then assume the same level of effectiveness (*cough??? Ohio's evidence-based model, anyone?).

Also check out a detailed breakdown of Ohio's Race to the Top application and its areas of weakness. Lots of states did poorly on ???Great Teachers & Leaders,??? but Ohio performed second to worst in this area and will have to improve this first and foremost if the state hopes to be competitive.

Definitely don't miss Fordham Ohio's first of several videos in our ???Needles in a Haystack??? series, which features one of Cleveland's top charter schools,?? Citizens' Academy. You'll learn more about Ohio's ???Needles schools??? (e.g., high-performing, high-needs schools that are very hard to find) in May when our report comes out, but stay tuned for video previews by Fordham's Eric Ulas.

On tap for Capital Matters are several pieces worth checking out. Jamie asks why the creator of the evidence-based model (Ohio's new school funding model) himself can't vouch for why it hasn't worked in other states. Emmy discusses a recent report presented to the Columbus school board that argues the cost of school choice on district transportation is just too high; district leaders respond (thankfully) that choice programs shouldn't be evaluated based on their busing costs. And Terry raises a fascinating point when asking whether it's appropriate for federal turnaround dollars to be used on low-performing charter schools? Ohio charters ??? as LEAs- quality for school improvement grants, but isn't this antithetical to the idea that bad charters should be closed?

Finally, don't miss great reviews covering state teacher policies, the impact of NCLB, boy-girl achievement gaps, and Editor's Extras, a slate of sometimes random but always interesting suggestions for reading.


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