News stories featured in Gadfly Bites may require a paid subscription to read in full. Just sayin’.
- Now that it has been at least partially unshackled from legal wranglings, it is probably not much of a surprise to learn that the new Department of Education and Workforce (DEW) is functioning better than it was while still enjoined. To wit: DEW staffers are here said to be working quickly through the enormous backlog of EdChoice voucher applications that stacked up in the wake of expansion to near-universal eligibility. Fordham’s Chad Aldis is quoted here, giving the staff kudos for tackling that mountain of paperwork on behalf of families across the state. (Gongwer Ohio, 11/24/23)
- The anecdotes provided here on the topic of cellphone bans in school are overwhelming. Why would you need any actual data after this? (EdWeek,11/21/23) Meanwhile, in the leafy suburbs, the relationship of students to technology seems….different somehow. (Cleveland.com, 11/22/23)
- Literally everything about North College Hill City Schools’ four-day school week experiment is awesome so far. The best thing: The superintendent only needs the merest of anecdotal evidence to get to that conclusion. But there will be data to factor in at some point, obviously. In fact, supe is planning for it now. Q: Any chance you’d go back to five days? A: “If kids’ test scores are alarming or show regression,” he would consider it. But he said the district will at least give this experiment a two-year test before they make major adjustments. On the upside, the district’s most recent report card was pretty poor to start with, so academic “regression” will only take them so far. I mean, you can’t get zero stars now, can you? But hopefully NCH families are hearing the real message loud and clear here: At least two years of sucky test scores for every child may be in your future before the S.S. Feel Good would even consider getting out the buckets to start bailing. And they won’t even start bailing until Tuesday...because they're closed on Mondays. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 11/23/23)
- Remember many years ago when former governor John Kasich dared to suggest that Ohio’s teachers needed more experience in the employment sector to better assist their students in connecting classroom learning with real world outcomes? What a mess, right! The backlash was swift and vociferous. Looks like the current governor is saying the same thing today, and is planning on spending $500K to try and help change the situation. Wonder if he’ll find any takers? (Center Square, 11/22/23)
- We end today where we began: In the realm of private schools. I was just thinking about The Greater Dayton School and wondering how the promising new model for educating low income children there was working. Sadly, I don’t get an answer to the question because all anyone cares about is their big new fancy building. The building, which has taken extra time to complete due to entirely-predictable construction delays, should be fully occupied in February. But hopefully we will see some actual data on how the kids have been faring over the last year sooner than that. (Dayton Daily News, 11/26/23)
Did you know you can have every edition of Gadfly Bites sent directly to your Inbox? Subscribe by clicking here.