1. It was announced last week that Dayton City Schools will be initiating a new online school starting in the 2017-18 school year. It is meant to compete for students with online charter schools like ECOT, which, despite an endless barrage of bad press and legal actions has managed to attract more than 50 kids from Dayton schools so far this year, a district data wonk reported. But we’ll give board member Adil Baguirov the final word on this great new development. As he puts it, it is “long overdue to bring back these dollars.” Dollars. (Dayton Daily News, 2/26/17)
  2. If I’m reading this correctly, officials in Toledo City Schools seem very pessimistic regarding the ability of quite a large number of their high schools to pass upcoming tests related to their graduation. So much so that the district is revamping the school day schedules for an entire week and is planning to schlep more than 3,200 Chromebooks from elementary schools to high schools across the city and back again just to make sure high schoolers can retake the tests as many times as they need to in order to get high enough scores. Or am I misreading it? (Toledo Blade, 2/26/17)
  3. If I thought that anyone in Youngstown City Schools read or even knew this little news clip summary existed, I would need to offer them a huge apology for my flippancy last week regarding district CIO John LaPlante and his Illuminator of the Year award. Despite the uninspiring acronym, LaPlante’s new BAG reporting system (behavior, attendance, grades) is clearly already having a huge positive impact in the district. To wit: pre-BAG, 145 of the students in Williamson Elementary (nearly 39 percent of the school) “hovered at the high-risk mark for missing school days.” Post-BAG, that number is down to 7. And they are celebrating with a dance party. Nice! (Youngstown Vindicator, 2/26/17)
  4. State school board member Tom Gunlock resigned from the board last week after six years’ service. His replacement, a data analyst and adjunct professor, was named immediately. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 2/24/17)

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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