1. “Deterioration”? “Goosebumps”? Seriously, you guys? These ridiculous and meaningless scare words were used by actual legislators in discussing Ohio’s academic distress paradigm in an open forum. They were discussing a new bill to put a moratorium on the existing practice of sanctioning perpetually underperforming school districts yesterday. (Gongwer Ohio, 3/19/19) The sponsors of that new bill were also on the radio yesterday morning pleading their case to an extremely sympathetic audience of one: the host. I shouldn’t even have started listening when I saw that the name of the show—All Sides—was a giant honking misnomer for this segment (again), but I did. I finally stopped when the legislators showed their true colors and swept all accountability—including the testing and school report cards which underpin the academic distress paradigm—into one heap destined for the trash can marked “Threats to the Status Quo”. (WOSU-FM, Columbus, 3/19/19) In case you want to see the “deterioration” they were talking about, you can get a decent taste of it from this summary of yesterday’s meeting of the Lorain Academic Distress Commission. The only deterioration I am detecting is the descent of so-called adults into behavior that would embarrass even the most truculent toddler. Such actions of willful chaos should not be rewarded. (The Morning Journal, 3/19/19) 
  2. We learned last week that Dayton City Schools has a lot of money. That includes a multi-million dollar surplus for this school year—over and above hundreds of millions in already-budgeted expenses—that the school board is still looking for ways to spend down. And the options are, apparently, limitless. Perhaps with that fact fresh in my mind, I regrettably did not register a great amount of enthusiasm for this latest news: Learn to Earn Dayton just got a $1 million grant (seems small in comparison) over three years (divide that by 3) to help schools in Dayton and Huber Heights (divide each of those 3 by 2 = drop in the bucket) to “expand academic support for students, community partnerships and parent involvement” (couldn’t the district use a fraction of their surplus for this?). But who am I to argue with Learn to Earn or Mark Zuckerberg? Congrats to everyone. (Dayton Daily News, 3/19/19)
  3. I believe this is what is known as a “turn up for the books” (look it up): Well-known supporter of interdistrict open enrollment Ron Iarussi (look that up too), has a problem on his hands. The new-ish supe of Marion City Schools has an influx of local residents with Kindergarten-age children as well as a steady stream of Kindergartners arriving via open enrollment from other districts. I guess it’s a good problem to have, but it sounds like something may have to give. (Marion Star, 3/19/19)
  4. Finally today, from the Mixed Bag Department, a bill proposing a slate of changes to career and technical education in Ohio received its first hearing yesterday in the Senate Education Committee. Let’s see how it goes, shall we? (Gongwer Ohio, 3/19/19)

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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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