Gadfly Bites is back from the holiday stuffed and happy. Hope you are too! We are covering clips from 11/18 – 11/28.
- In case you missed it, the state board of education voted 18-1 to recommend that the legislature permanently remove the automatic retention provision (for students who fail to meet the language arts assessment benchmark) for third graders. As we previously noted, Fordham’s Chad Aldis testified against the recommendation prior to the vote and portions of his cogent arguments are cited in this coverage of the outcome. (Gongwer Ohio, 11/18/22)
- Meanwhile, Fordhan’s Jessica Poiner published an op-ed in the Blade last weekend laying out ways in which the state can—and making the case that it should—better support its teachers. Nice. (Toledo Blade, 11/19/22)
- Back to the topic of Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee, Fordham’s Aaron Churchill penned an op-ed for the Enquirer that echoes Chad’s testimony and explains what happens if “social promotion” returns to the state’s third grade classrooms. Cincinnati Enquirer, 11/24/22)
- Returning to the Blade’s opinion pages for a moment, the editorial board opined in favor of a proposed overhaul of the state board of education, concluding succinctly: “Ohio’s education system should have only one boss, and it should be the governor, who is accountable to the voter. Ohio needs leadership in education that can act decisively in this critical area.” (Toledo Blade, 11/21/22)
- Signal Cleveland tells us that the parent engagement infrastructure in Cleveland Metropolitan School District is simultaneously awesome (and have been for a long time) and in need of a revamp. A revamp is underway, we learn, providing evidence for the latter point, while the evidence in favor of the former point is a little bit thin in my opinion. Certainly the mayor’s recent listening tour is not emblematic of a huge turnout of parent/community participants based on my reading of everyone else’s coverage of it prior to Signal’s birth. (Signal Cleveland, 11/21/22)
- Out in one of Forest City’s (look it up kids) actually more leafy suburbs, officials at Fairview Park City Schools are trying to talk up their district’s “true accountability” system. The only thing coming up for me when reading this is bile. Yucky. (Cleveland.com, 11/23/22)
- Back in the real world, Cincinnati City Schools’ superintendent has apparently thrown in the towel on trying to fix her district’s rampant transportation problems for now. She told a pre-Thanksgiving roundtable meeting (which included reporters, busing contractors, and school leaders, but no parents or students) that she has “exhausted all options” for a fix this school year. Her current plan: hosting town hall meetings in January and February to gather more information on the problem (so as to “try to start next school year on better footing”). Yowza. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 11/18/22)
- In the previous story, the district supe lists six bullet points as to why transportation is busted there—five of those relate to families utilizing school choice, including private school vouchers. In case you were interested in the status of the lawsuit Cincy schools and other voucher grouchers filed against the state’s EdChoice program, look no further than Cleveland.com. There’s not much new here (despite the nearly 2,000-word length of the piece) except to note that the judge in the case (go Unicorns!) heard arguments last week on the state’s motion to dismiss and should render her ruling on that part of the legal wrangling “soon”. (Cleveland.com, 11/25/22)
- Vouchers are fairly prominent in this discussion of the status of Catholic school enrollment in the Diocese of Toledo. Can’t imagine why. (The numbers are steady/up on recent years, in case you were wondering.) Less prominent in the discussion: extended school closures among district and charter schools during the pandemic. Can’t imagine why. (Toledo Blade 11/24/22)
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