1. Well well well. Perhaps not everyone in Ohio has lost their minds. The Youngstown branch of the NAACP seems pretty darn supportive of the new(ish) academic distress paradigm and pleased with the changes wrought by it in Youngstown City Schools over the last 2+ years. “Our students are making a year’s worth of growth in a year’s worth of time,” said a district rep at a gathering this week, among other accomplishments unthinkable prior to ADC. That is huge and important news that should be shouted from the rooftops if you ask me. (Youngstown Vindicator, 3/14/19) Well well well well. Editors at the Vindy opine forcefully with the same message, and more besides. Today’s Bites headline comes from their collective pen. (Youngstown Vindicator, 3/14/19)
  2. Those political games reviled by the folks in Youngstown are summarized pretty handily by this piece from the Chronicle. The legislation proposed to end a state intervention that’s actually working to correct manifold sins of the past, the fake “chaos” decried by folks responsible for ginning it up in the first place, and the self-serving concern for “the system” are abundantly clear. Concern for long-underserved students? Not so much. (Elyria Chronicle, 3/13/19) There is at least a half-hearted mention of underserved students in this piece from the Dayton Daily News, but the same overheated, manufactured talking points about ADCs are rehashed without challenge: “Disaster.” “No data.” “Chaos.” “Lack of local support.” There is a reason why Lorain City Schools is now front and center in Columbus’ circus sideshow and not Youngstown. Read Item 1 to find out. (Dayton Daily News, 3/15/19) According to the Vindy today—and despite what you might read in Lorain, Dayton, and Cleveland—Governor DeWine has not yet decided the final fate of the Academic Distress Commission paradigm. How do they know this? They asked him outright and printed his response. Rather than wallowing in braggadocio, wishful thinking, and innuendo like many other news outlets I clip here on a regular basis could name. (Youngstown Vindicator, 3/15/19)
  3. On a not-unrelated note, here is a piece looking into how Dayton City Schools spends more than a quarter-billion dollars a year, including a lot of talk about how the current sizeable surplus might be spent in addition to all the regular spending. This is a really long piece (over 2,300 words). It is not until after 1,046 of them have been expended that the phrase “low student test scores” appears. Exactly zero dollars appear to be on the fantasy-allocation wish lists—anyone’s list—to address this actual problem. P.S. – Aside from transportation (admittedly a perennial problem for the district to handle properly), there should be no discussion at all of what charter/STEM/voucher kids “cost” Dayton City Schools. But there is. (Dayton Daily News, 3/13/19)
  4. Speaking of Ohio’s independent STEM schools, here is some praise for the Tri-State STEM&M School (the extra “M” stands for medicine) from across the border in West Virginia. Why? Because enrollment is so open in the independent STEM school paradigm that kids from other states can actually attend in Ohio if they are willing to travel to it. Talk about selection effects! (The Herald-Dispatch, Huntington, WV, 3/10/19)
  5. The members of the General Assembly’s Joint Education Oversight Committee seem to agree that the state’s school report cards are too complicated for reg’lar folks: “John Q. Public doesn't really know what the report card's measuring.” They have therefore generously offer the JEOC team’s research chops to dig into the matter. I’m not laughing in mirthful irony; you are. (Gongwer Ohio, 3/14/19)
  6. Finally today, we stick with the theme of irony. With apologies, I’m sure, to Kurt Vonnegut and to Wheaties, Fairborn’s Baker Middle School has won a 2019 Champion of Breakfast Award for its excellence and innovation in breakfast service to students. Their award will be presented over lunch. (Fairborn Daily Herald, 3/14/19)

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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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