- How it started. Vlad Kogan and Stéphane Lavertu’s dire recent report on how pandemic education has been going in Ohio—in terms of decreased student achievement between fall 2019 and fall 2020—continues to ring alarm bells. (The 74, 2/8/21)
- How it’s going. Week 2 of hybrid learning in Columbus got off to a rocky start as three elementary buildings—all serving predominantly nonwhite students, a fact which is noted in the final paragraph of the piece but seems worth highlighting a bit more prominently—were forced back to all-remote learning on Monday due to staff shortages. “We have a whole bunch of legal reasons why people are going to be out on leave right now,” said the local teacher’s union president by way of explanation. (Columbus Dispatch, 2/8/21) Meanwhile, the elected school board of Cincinnati City Schools voted once again to whipsaw on Walnut Hills High School, leaving it fully remote for now instead of transitioning to a hybrid learning model, as per the rest of the district, in light of parent pushback. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 2/9/21) Looks like perhaps that March 1 in-person learning promise signed by all but one school district in the state may not be quite as ironclad as some folks might have hoped. Cleveland Metropolitan School District seems to be looking toward April 5 at the earliest for any sort of hybrid learning model to start, and honestly bossman seems pretty wishy-washy about that. (Cleveland.com, 2/9/21) In Toledo, a local daycare has branched out to help kids as old as eighth grade do their remote school work. To wit: “We had a mother show up and say 'Hey, my kid is missing 50 assignments.' That child was new to us, we got that kid caught up, the grades came up as a consequence.” That’s some pretty strong investment in the school district for a daycare if you ask me. (WTOL-TV, Toledo, 2/9/21)
- How it’s going to go in the future. School districts in Warren County have big plans for the millions of dollars in second-round CARES Act funding coming their way. These plans include some pandemic stuff, obvs, like “more tech support” and “creating plans to close learning gaps”. But the plans as reported here also include some headscratchers like one district hiring more teachers to create smaller classrooms, subsidizing the red ink in the cafeteria fund of another district, and backfilling the maintenance budget for another whose levy didn’t pass in November. A windfall is a windfall, I guess. (Tribune Chronicle, 2/8/21)
- How we’d actually like it to go. Governor DeWine announced yesterday that he wants all school districts in the state to give him their plan to address Covid learning loss by April 1. (Cleveland.com, 2/9/21) “We need to be bold in our ideas,” DeWine said, and even gave some suggestions about how they could beat the obvious learning losses occurring. (See item 1, above.) Think extended school time and tutoring, not shoring up the lunch lady’s budget. (WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, 2/9/21) And there’s even more money coming down the pike to help, to the tune of $2 billion. “We simply cannot fail these children,” said the governor. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 2/9/21)
- Meanwhile, in what sounds like an entirely different world down along the Ohio River, five years’ worth of aviation instruction provided by Steubenville City Schools has led at least one student to the brink of earning her pilot’s license before she even graduates from high school. With more likely to follow. (Wheeling Intelligencer, 2/8/21)
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