Gadfly Bites will be taking a little break on Friday. (Stop cheering back there, you ingrates!) We’ll be back on Monday to catch up with whatever exhausting shenanigans have happened in the interim.
- The elected school board in Elida is going to keep a very close eye on HB 290 through their district treasurer, according to this piece. Unfortunately for them, dude seems very suspicious of it for no properly-explained reason and indeed seems unsure of how it will actually work. Honestly, he seems suspicious of the new school funding plan, too (about which we know a lot), but apparently ‘tis the season for questionable briefings to elected school boards on stuff so it’s probably just par for the course. (Hometown Stations, Lima, 11/15/21)
- As I read this piece about a new career pipeline plan for students in Cleveland Metropolitan School District—and you will have to forgive my cynicism here as you so often must do—I am unfortunately reminded of the similar program implemented in Akron City Schools over the last few years. The topline message, as conveyed succinctly in this headline, is that CMSD’s plan “will connect students to career paths [and] living-wage jobs”. Sounds like a done deal, right, and pretty great? As we read further down, however, things get a little squishier, especially at the youngest grade levels: “We’re not looking to push kids in sixth grade to decide what they want,” the district’s career education guru explained. “Some will, and they’ll have a fire lit under them and that will be awesome.” That sounds like far less of a lock than the headline implies, doesn’t it? “But really it’s understanding just the world that is at your fingertips,” he continues, “and trying to unpack that.” (Can you imagine a headline that read “New Cleveland schools program will help students try to unpack the world of work”?) And then things get even more passive—and third-party-ish: “Over the course of their adolescence, students can use an online tool to help actively map a career plan.” (Because online learning has worked out super well for CMSD the last couple of years) “As students reflect and answer questions over time,” the guru finished, “they’ll be able to access information based on their preferences and interests.” Now refer back to that headline and see if you can detect the origin of my cynicism here. You will recall that it was five years, several million dollars, and the elimination of general education high schools in Akron before the former superintendent was quoted as saying that his career academies were “not about guaranteeing someone a job right out of high school”. Yeesh. Maybe it won’t be the same in Cleveland. But it sure sounds the same to me right out of the gate. (Cleveland.com, 11/15/21) At least the Cleveland.com story took time to fill in a large amount of details, questionable though they were. This TV news version of the story is just sketchy fist pumping that sounds even more “promise-y”. And also: kids love robots. (News5, Cleveland, 11/15/21)
- Speaking of robots, Youngstown’s Rich Center, which serves students with autism, is getting a phalanx of robots to help implement a new social-emotional learning curriculum and to allow for “high-level research to be conducted, supporting the center’s mission of defining and implementing best practices in the education of children with autism.” Guess these ARE the droids they were looking for, then. (WKBN-TV, Youngstown, 11/15/21)
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