1. There is a new player looking to influence education outcomes in Toledo City Schools and he’s got a lot of green stuff to blaze his trail, he says. Pete Kadens is a graduate of a suburban high school near Toledo who is, apparently, a filthy rich retired entrepreneur currently living in Chicago and looking at a prescription for positive change. To me, if I may put it bluntly, his five-point plan features only two points that directly impact K-12 classrooms, and one of those is peripheral at best. Kadens is providing seed money to a nascent non-profit called HOPE Toledo that looks to grow more capital from other donors and seems to have 420 percent support from the new Toledo mayor. (Toledo Blade, 1/8/19)
  2. Seniors in Lakota Local Schools were excluded from the “universal” distribution of laptops to high schoolers, which occurred on Monday, due to the fact that they only have one semester left of school. Proof positive that none of this was very well thought out if I do say so myself. Everyone else seems pretty excited to have reached the 20th Century. (Middletown Journal-News, 1/8/19)
  3. The headline of this piece looking at the first 2019 meeting of Lorain City Schools’ elected board, says that the district “feels the pressure of academic distress”. It was probably too complicated for the paper to say that that the adults with an entrenched interest in status quo are feeling the pressure of the efforts to change that status quo. Which is what’s happening. But maybe that actually means those efforts are working. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 1/7/19)
  4. Back in the real world, tiny Newbury Township Local Schools will be seeking a merger with another neighboring district, having determined that 340 kids is too small a student body to be efficiently served going forward. Some very interesting numbers are provided in this piece explaining the decision. Other small districts across the state should take notice. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 1/8/19)

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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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