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Tim Hoffine
  • Columbus City middle school principals’ views about how well their schools operate diverge quite a bit from what state report cards say. That’s the word from a study commissioned by the district to look at “what principals, teachers and parents think of its 23 middle schools and what must be done to turn them around,” according a Columbus Dispatch article. Only six of the 45 principals and assistant principals said their schools were performing poorly, even though most of the schools got Ds or Fs on their state report cards.
  • A bad economy and rising health care costs are pushing states and school districts past the brink of what they can afford.  Cuts in course offerings, staffing, and teacher benefits all loom large for students, administrators, teachers, and unions.  In one opinion piece, a Milwaukee School Board member points to ways of increasing participation and interest in the school board as a way of countering economic interest groups that he sees as needlessly burdening the schools.  Another article by the American Spectator underlines how New Jersey Democrats, New York City officials, and value-added assessments are loosening the grips of unions on school budgets.  
  • Ohio should reduce by one-third the number of school districts in the state by consolidating them and making more efficient use of administrative salaries, according to a joint report by the Greater Ohio Policy Center and the Brookings Institution.  The report made 39 recommendations for spurring economic renewal in Ohio.  The full report can be found here
  • Rick Hess offers “straight up” analysis and commentary on his new Education Week blog.  Hess, Fordham friend and director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, started his blog earlier this month and posts daily.  Check out the blog here, and you can follow him and AEI on Twitter here
  • Forbes magazine takes another swing at Cleveland in a one-two punch combo that first declared Cleveland the city with the worst winter weather, and now calls it the “most miserable city” in America.  We just hope Forbes pays attention long enough to witness LeBron and the Cavs going for that championship!  Also—the Cuyahoga River hasn’t caught on fire in over 40 years, a remarkable achievement compared to the 10 times it caught on fire between 1868 and 1969. (Check out the second photo on this Cleveland Plain Dealer article about Cuyahoga pollution—yuck.)   Show some pride.
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