1. Editors in Columbus opined yesterday on at least part of the findings in the latest CREDO study of charter school performance in Ohio. (Columbus Dispatch, 2/21/19)
  2. While no less august a body than the CDC has put the “early to bed, early to rise…” aphorism on blast (and who am I to question either the CDC?), the practical reality of bending the complex education universe to the will of the start school later movement is turning out to be a bit harder than crapping on Ben Franklin. Cincinnati’s school transportation infrastructure is just one case in point. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 2/20/19)
  3. The reaction as reported here seems pretty mild, I must say, to the revelation that the state of Ohio has yet to reimburse Youngstown City Schools for the salary of its ADC-mandated CEO. For the last two years. Wonder why the muted response from members of the district’s notoriously outspoken elected board? (Youngstown Vindicator, 2/21/19) Oy vey. Maybe THIS is why it took two years for anyone to notice the mistake. Good work in sleuthing that out, Vindy. I wonder if there’s there such a thing as a Memo of Misunderstanding? (Youngstown Vindicator, 2/22/19)
  4. Speaking of districts operating inefficiently under the aegis of an Academic Distress Commission, Lorain City Schools’ CEO this week presented as a new idea what sounds kind of like the sort of plan he was supposed to have put in place more than a year ago. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 2/21/19) Leave it to the Elyria Chronicle and the Lorain teachers union to put their finger on just what is “new” about this next phase of the CEO’s efforts: teachers having to reapply for their jobs. (Elyria Chronicle, 2/21/19) This announcement of this exciting new phase of the Academic Distress process for Lorain City Schools comes less than two days after the Lorain City Council passed a resolution calling for the CEO and the elected school board to stop bickering and work together on behalf of kids and families. Call me a pessimist, but I fear that may not work out. (Elyria Chronicle, 2/19/19)
  5. If all of the foregoing folderol gives you the impression that Ohio’s academic distress turnaround paradigm is in a somewhat shambolic state, you are not alone. Senate Education Committee Chair Peggy Lehner along with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria appear to agree that changes must be made. In this piece, Senator Lehner did say firmly that the “takeover system” (to borrow an inaccurate but eminently helpful phrase) will be changed, and concurrently that failing school performance cannot be ignored. Dayton City Schools, as we have noted in this clips, is facing the possibility of an academic distress designation at the end of this school year…using the current paradigm. Lehner indicates that many options are currently on the table. These include possibly changing the criteria for academic distress designation, possibly changing the academic distress commission paradigm to favor “local control” more, possibly scrapping the academic distress paradigm entirely, and possibly instituting a safe harbor timeline for districts facing whatever the new paradigm may turn out to be. Some or all of these things could be seen favorably by districts whose “situation” puts them on the brink of an academic distress designation. You know the “situation” I mean: the one where a district’s academic performance has sucked for several years. There is no indication in this piece what the senator or the state supe are thinking of doing to remedy that “situation” beyond redefining it. (Dayton Daily News, 2/22/19)

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Jeff Murray is a lifelong resident of central Ohio. He previously worked at School Choice Ohio and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. He has two degrees from the Ohio State University. He lives in the Clintonville neighborhood with his wife and twin daughters. He is proud every day to support the Fordham mission to help make excellent education options more numerous and more readily available for families and…

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