- Patrick O’Donnell informs us that, despite some “startling” drops in student achievement in the wake of pandemic school closures, Cleveland Metropolitan School District is not currently making any changes to its academic recovery plans. We are told that “Cleveland officials are banking on support programs”—like the afterschool sessions he profiles which were already in place prior to 2020—and a summer school program to try and fix the big problems. Sadly, that summer program hasn’t even been rolled out yet, more than two years after the damage was, and it doesn’t even seem that great as explained. It is hinted that the new leadership coming to CMSD might be interested in rethinking that “stay the course” strategy. (The 74, 11/29/22)
- Meanwhile, tiny little Marlington Local Schools is simultaneously said to be changing their literacy instruction model but also to be “continu[ing] the work that we’ve begun”. What was the problem? Unacceptable reading test scores. Why? “Resources was the issue,” said the district’s new-ish curriculum guru. “Teachers would be pulling stuff from so many different places and not knowing whether it was evidence-based or not knowing if it was high quality. They are charged with so much planning that they don’t have time to vet every single resource that they are pulling. If we do move to a core curriculum, that vetting has been done for us.” Sounds to me like it’s the problem that is still very much underway while the solution is a longer way off. (Canton Repository, 11/25/22)
- In this piece, we learn that both Ohio and Kentucky policymakers want schools to teach students things “beyond math and reading”. Specifically, the piece focuses on the topic of “life skills”, which apparently includes changing car tires and the like. I have created a deliberate irony by placing this clip here, following two stories that show that some Ohio schools are having trouble getting to effective math and reading instruction, let alone worrying about “beyond” it. But I would suggest that The Enquirer creates its own irony by focusing the entire piece on a single private school’s life skills courses. I doubt it is deliberate either. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 11/28/22)
- Finally today: Ever heard of the Troops to Teachers program? Me neither. But it’s a national program, been around for decades, whereby former active duty military personnel get an expedited pathway to classroom teaching. We are told here that the program waives licensing fees for veterans, gives them higher starting salaries, provides in-state tuition for those who relocate, and offers an alternative license program to those with a bachelors degree. Two current Ohio residents who came to teaching that way—one science/math and the other history—are interviewed and both seem to echo the program’s stance that once you’ve had a taste of military discipline and faced down unexploded ordnance, high schoolers are a piece of cake. Nice. (Columbus Dispatch, 11/29/22)
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