1. Fordham’s latest annual analysis of Ohio school and district report cards—Checking Ohio’s educational vital signs—was released on Tuesday and garnered a bit of media interest. First up, somehow the report’s findings got subsumed into Dayton Daily News’ Path Forward series. Specifically, Aaron’s suggestion to “drive more resources to the handful of Big Eight schools that are getting the job done” in order to improve academic outcomes for students. That’s one thing to focus on, sure. (Dayton Daily News, 11/13/18) While the Dayton Daily News was focused on a solutions-oriented (and Dayton-centric) view, statewide public media focused on the problems highlighted by the state’s report cards. To wit: “About 60 percent of students are leaving their high school experience without the knowledge and skills really necessary to do well in college and also in technical careers”. Oh yeah. That. (WKSU-FM, Kent, 11/13/18) As befits its position as a news outlet of record for state government, Gongwer focused on Aaron’s recommendation to the new governor and General Assembly of how to fix the readily-apparent problems. (Gongwer Ohio, 11/13/18)
  2. Beacon Journal reporter Holly Christensen has a fascinating piece this week regarding a new initiative called LIFE Project, a pilot program launched by Community Legal Aid which aims to teach parents across Akron what educational services are available and how to ask for them. Especially in regard to students with special needs. Fantastic. If Christensen sounds a little overenthusiastic about the program in her piece, it is with good reason. She tells the story of her own journey to find the right fit and the right services for her own son nearly 20 years ago. Complete with happy ending. She could have used help just like this to make a difficult journey easier. I myself am hopeful that the information and assistance provided by LIFE Project will be as wide-ranging as Christensen’s own personal efforts back then and will not be stuck in “district-only” mode. While Christensen gives props to Akron City Schools both then and now for services offered, she ultimately found what she needed elsewhere. Everyone else should have the same options as she did 20 years ago, and more besides. (Akron Beacon Journal, 11/13/18)
  3. Finally today, on a similar topic, here is a nice profile on Albert Einstein Academy, a first-year charter school in Lakewood opened to serve mostly LGBTQ high school students in an inclusive and supportive environment. Also fantastic. (RedefineED blog, 11/13/18)

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Jeff Murray is a lifelong resident of central Ohio. He previously worked at School Choice Ohio and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. He has two degrees from the Ohio State University. He lives in the Clintonville neighborhood with his wife and twin daughters. He is proud every day to support the Fordham mission to help make excellent education options more numerous and more readily available for families and…

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