1. Saying that right sizing schools and saving money is a “distraction” from trying to stave off a “state takeover”, the elected board of Columbus City Schools voted this week—from the depths of its enormous, empty, $4 million white elephant of fur-lined Batcave—to ignore all the recommendations of their latest facilities task force. Again. (Columbus Dispatch, 11/7/18) Committee members quoted in this follow up piece seem to concur with this assessment and, inexplicably, say that their time was not wasted. (Columbus Dispatch, 11/8/18)
  2. Speaking of both distractions and wasting of time, the elected board of Lorain City Schools wants to check out all the receipts (and emails thereto) regarding the district CEO’s recent trip to Texas. They are hopping mad that he visited charter schools down there and are imputing any number of motives, while conveniently overlooking the fact that he had to go that far to find some best practices that might work to turn desperately underperforming schools around. (Elyria Chronicle, 11/8/18)
  3. Speaking of public records requests, the ABJ dug deep into the specifics of the contract between Akron City Schools and the company responsible for producing the upcoming documentary on the district’s I Promise School. And you can do the same because they actually linked to the doc on their website. Hard! Hitting! (Akron Beacon Journal, 11/7/18)
  4. Up in Canton, we have some love for Project REBUILD, which is touted as a workforce development program. But what is the first step to workforce development? High school graduation. Five of REBUILD’s clients graduated this week by completing the requirements of an online high school based in Pennsylvania. Who knows what effort that required, where the bar was set, or what kind of school this really is. (Although I bet the reporter could have found out.) What is very clear is that the traditional district schools that these young people attended previously—two of which are described in excruciating detail here—were never going to get them to the finish line. Ever. (Canton Repository, 11/8/18)
  5. Finally today, the magnet school lottery is open in Cincinnati City Schools for the 2019-20 school year. It pays to plan ahead in the Queen City y’all. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 11/7/18)

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Policy Priority:

Jeff Murray comes to the Thomas B. Fordham Institute from a five-year stint at School Choice Ohio. At SCO, Jeff was involved with getting the word out to parents around the state about school voucher availability - directing postcard campaigns, call centers, and advertising campaigns over the last few years. Tens of thousands of parents across Ohio received the news…

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