1. This national hit job on Ohio’s academic distress paradigm contains no mention of years of failure, kids, grades, learning, or families. (Forbes, 2/28/19) Editors in Toledo also apparently do not care about children’s academic achievement. Especially when it comes to school report cards and, by extension, Ohio’s academic distress paradigm. (Toledo Blade, 3/1/19) Clearly the folks in Lima City Schools have not gotten the widely-circulated memo that they are not supposed to care about such things. This piece indicates that district leaders are “working on making progress in improving their grades on the state report card” (love that layer of verbal insulation in that sentence) in order to avoid a declaration of academic distress…and all that goes along with it. (Lima News, 2/27/19)
  2. Speaking of verbal insulation – from actual actions, actual success, and actual consequences – there was a lot of it on display earlier this week in Dayton. State Supe Paolo DeMaria came for a visit, telling the assembled educators that change is scary, risky, and hard (with an exclamation point!). Such kitty-poster platitudes are also a form of insulation, becoming so much meritless hot air when you realize that the “change” which is “scary and risky” is actually improving measurable academic outcomes for kids. Hang in there, kitty! (Dayton Daily News, 2/27/19) And speaking of the Ohio Department of Education, meet the new nerd on the block. Here’s the dude who will be in charge of rolling out the state’s new strategic plan for education. The soon-to-be-former district supe starts on April 1, probably without a trace of irony. (Geauga Maple Leaf, 2/27/19)
  3. But seriously, Dr. Stewart. Can they? (Columbus Dispatch, 2/28/19)
  4. While not as well-capitalized as LeBron James, the GAR Foundation in Akron does OK for itself. The foundation announced this week it will donate $1.2 million to provide out-of-school experiences for PreK to fifth grade students in Akron City Schools. Some examples are provided. Later in the piece, academic testing literally gets in the way of some of those activities. (Akron Beacon Journal, 2/28/19) In suburban Akron, there’s a big technology upgrade is underway in Coventry Local Schools (because of the demands of state testing, of course). But more riveting here, I think, is the coverage of the elementary school play. The off-again, on-again drama is worthy of the stage all by itself if you ask me. (South Side Leader, Akron, 2/28/19)
  5. Finally this week: St. Mary Catholic School in Elyria, after a last-minute enrollment boost, got a reprieve from closure. (Elyria Chronicle, 3/1/19) Massillon Digital Academy, after losing its cash cow status for the district sponsoring it, did not. Ironically, district officials assured the e-school students that its doors were open for MDA students. (IndieOnline, Massillon, 2/27/19)

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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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