Additional Topics

  1. During the divisive teachers strike in Louisville, Ohio, we learned that there were also serious divisions between Louisville and other nearby towns. Getting “outsiders” to staff classrooms during the strike was not only problematic because of the whole “crossing the picket line” thing but also because folks in Louisville held some deep animosity toward folks from other districts nearby. As you may recall, this has to do with sports. And while the teachers strike is over now and the internal wounds are starting to heal, sports-related beefs are much harder to fix. You will recall that the seven other member districts of the Northeastern Buckeye Conference voted to dissolve and reform said conference (for no explained reason) without Louisville. As a result, the Leopards are facing life as a member of no athletic conference at all and they are having a difficult time finding opponents to fill their 2018-19 football season…except for “private school football powerhouses” apparently looking for some easy pickings. It all sounds pretty desperate to me – to the point of Louisville leaders being urged to rejoin the league they left nearly 30 years ago. And even those wounds may not have healed yet. (Canton Repository,
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  1. Despite what was discussed – and however heatedly that discussion was had by board members this week – I am reasonably certain that neither the number of school buses actually available to be driven (HOW MANY do they want?!) nor the ages of those vehicles are part of the ongoing problems Dayton City Schools is having with student transportation. But please carry on with your plans. (Dayton Daily News, 3/21/17)
     
  2. The Enquirer this week confirmed one half of what was rumored in a WCPO-TV piece we clipped on Monday – the Cincinnati school board voted to invoke the take-back clause of their lease agreement with the Clifton Community Arts Center. Shortly, a 365-day clock will begin to tick for the CCAC to vacate so the magnet school across the street can expand. No formal word from the board yet on whether the much-smaller and likely-in-need-of-some-work mansion next door will be offered for rent to CCAC. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 3/20/17)
     
  3. Youngstown schools’ CEO launched a new series of community input sessions this week to find out what district parents want from their schools. Unfortunately, only 1 parent showed up for the first meeting on Monday, although there
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  1. Interesting rhetorical pivot from the state supe this week. After announcing that Ohio was going to delay submitting its ESSA accountability plan due to “public outcry” over a lack of changes in the state’s standardized testing regimen (i.e. – lack of reduction in same) early in the week, Paolo DeMaria was at the end of the week turning the lens back on local districts. He notes that districts may very well have been “layering on” tests themselves over the years and might perhaps want to look at their own regimens for places to cut should they maintain the belief that their students are being tested too much. "It's not a stone we should leave unturned," he said. Is it just me who predicts that that particular stone will remain unturned? (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 3/17/17)
     
  2. As you may have heard, Governor Kasich in his new biennial budget proposed an externship at a local business as a requirement for teachers to renew their licenses. Democrats in the General Assembly – all on their own, probably, with no prompting from anyone – quickly introduced a response bill that would require Governor Kasich to “intern” at a school or two instead. Perhaps
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  1. We mentioned earlier this week that Ohio has decided to postpone submission of its ESSA accountability plan until September due to “outcry” from folks who said they hadn’t been heard during the input process. Perhaps not all devotees of the Patron Saint of Ink-Stained Wretches and Anguished Press Stoppers are as pleased with this outcome as earlier press coverage might have otherwise indicated. Case in point, this editorial from today’s Dispatch in which editors urge caution in adopting any ESSA changes that might water down accountability in Ohio. (Columbus Dispatch, 3/17/17)
     
  2. Speaking of things that certain folks might want watered down for various reasons, some players in the charter school realm (and their opposites) testified this week in regard to the state’s sponsor evaluation system. (Gongwer Ohio, 3/16/17)
     
  3. The proposed state budget includes cuts in support for school transportation, a change which of course some folks don’t care for. Those folks’ concerns were aired in legislative testimony this week. (Gongwer Ohio, 3/16/17) Meanwhile, the powers that be in ex-urban Groveport Madison schools have come up with what your humble clip compiler thinks is an ingenious – and cost-effective solution to one of their biggest transportation
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Research into non-cognitive aspects of human development is all the rage, and this study marries it with our fascination with birth order. It examines how birth order impacts non-cognitive skills, personality traits, and career paths. Analysts use a trove of longitudinal data to address these questions in Sweden, starting with population registry data that include every person born in that country since 1932, specifically data on their birth year, biological or adoptive parents, and biological or adoptive siblings. These data are combined with military enlistment data (until 2010, all Swedish men had to enlist), which include information on non-cognitive as well as cognitive abilities gleaned from a battery of physical, psychological, and intellectual evaluations. They also have data on employment and occupation from 1996 to 2009 for individuals between the ages of 16 and 74 in the labor market and they employ data from the Occupational Information Network (ONET) to generate measures of personality traits (such as conscientiousness, emotional stability, and extraversion) based on their importance to particular jobs. Finally, they include data from a survey of children at age 13 to examine how parental behavior affects kids’ study habits. The final sample includes children whose mothers were...

  1. In case you missed it, those previously-mentioned supplications to St. Plimpton – Patron Saint of Ink-Stained Wretches and Soother of Caffeine-Induced Ulcers – appear to have worked. It was announced this week that the Ohio Department of Education would delay submitting the state’s proposed ESSA accountability plan from April to September. This is in order to get yet more feedback on it, even though it appears that tons of feedback was gotten during its original development timeline. Perhaps there is a disconnect between the terms “being heard” and “getting our way”. I had toddlers like that once. Anywho, here is coverage of said delay announcement, with our own Chad Aldis quoted in both pieces. Apparently he’s the only person the followers of St. Plimpton could find who thought the delay a bad idea and was willing to go the record. Weird about that.  First out of the gate was Gongwer (Gongwer Ohio, 3/13/17), followed closely by the Dispatch. (Columbus Dispatch, 3/14/17)
     
  2. If like many in the Ohio education arena you prefer your news without the addition of Chad “wet blanket” Aldis, you can read about the delay of Ohio’s ESSA plan submission from the Blade (Toledo
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  1. We start today’s Bites with a bit of coverage of our latest report – A Formula That Works – and of last week’s release event. I get the impression that the reporter doesn’t buy in to the title of said report. Thanks for coming anyway. (Gongwer Ohio, 3/10/17)
     
  2. Editors in Youngstown appear to be no fans of Ohio’s voucher programs, taking a moment to inartfully cite our 2016 report on EdChoice as they opined against voucher expansion in the Buckeye State. (Youngstown Vindicator, 3/11/17) Not to worry, though, Vindy editors are in good company on their inartfulness. Speaking of folks who appear to be no fans of vouchers, here is a no-duh story from the PD noting that religiously-affiliated private schools take the bulk of students with vouchers in Ohio. While the loaded terms and gotcha phrasing are somewhat annoying, if you’ve got a high tolerance for that sort of thing, the actual numbers cited are kind of interesting. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 3/12/17)
     
  3. Editors in Toledo opined this weekend against Ohio’s proposed ESSA plan as it stands and offered prayers to the Patron Saint of Ink-Stained Wretches that its submission would be delayed from
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  1. So there’s some reportage on the topic of school funding to report today. Just not the particular part of the topic I thought might get some coverage. First up, school districts and their associated associations testified this week on what they don’t like about Governor Kasich’s proposed education budget. Kudos to Jim Siegel on the empty piñata reference. Spot on. (Columbus Dispatch, 3/8/17) Anti-kudos the Enquirer for allowing reporters to grind axes in an opinion piece about the state education dollars that go to fund students and services at private schools masquerading as journalism. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 3/8/17) If only someone had this week released a rigorous research report that eschewed personal opinion and venom on the topic of school funding and instead hewed to a comprehensive, student-centric vision the ways that Ohio’s system could improve upon its already-pretty-good structure. If only…
     
  2. An interesting set of three stories on the ongoing tussle between Ohio’s largest online school and the state of Ohio. No, not a court case. This time, it’s an audit conducted by the State Auditor’s office (seems like forever since we mentioned that guy!). It’s a kind of timey-wimey thing in that the results of
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  1. The Middletown newspaper today caught up with local-boy-made-good: J.D. Vance. (Middletown Journal-News, 3/8/17)
     
  2. State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria visited a number of rural northwest Ohio school districts this week. He had some important things to say about the state’s current school funding scheme while doing so. Those comments may be even more important to some folks after 12:01 a.m. tomorrow morning. Just sayin’. (Lima News, 3/7/17)
     
  3. On the complete opposite side of the state, the only candidate on the ballot for Lancaster mayor right now is a local high school student. Given the current mayoral turmoil in the little town I used to call home, dude’s got to be looking pretty good to a number of voters. (Lancaster Eagle Gazette, 3/8/17)
     
  4. Sticking with our semi-rural theme of the day, tiny Denison University in bucolic Granville, Ohio, has awarded full-tuition scholarships to 18 high-performing, low-income Columbus City Schools graduates. These are the first such scholarships awarded through a new partnership between Denison, the Columbus district, and the I Know I Can college-access organization. Its funding was seeded by two Denison alums with the hope that others will follow suit. Nice! P.S. – ANY dinner at
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  1. Interesting coverage of a convening in Dayton last week in which education stakeholders got together to discuss ways to close the racial achievement gap and to end implicit racial and cultural bias in area schools. (Dayton Daily News, 3/3/17)
     
  2. In the first of two pieces on the end of the old-style Academic Distress Commission in Lorain, several stakeholders – including commission members – talk about what went right and what didn’t during the ADC term. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 3/4/17). The second part, published today, takes a similar sad tone, but pay attention to the comments of Dr. Zelei, former commission member AND former supe. Kind of sounds like he’s secretly OK with a CEO-style distress commission. Or maybe it’s just me. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 3/5/17)

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