1. Quantity vs. quality is the theme for our first set of clips, I think. While our own Chad Aldis testified on Monday with quality insight on the state’s proposed school funding changes, the education establishment is going instead for quantity. They are promising (for some reason I can’t fathom) a deluge of public comments (all the same, I imagine) to legislators (all generated by a single button click, I suspect) in support of money (more more more!). (Gongwer Ohio, 4/8/19) Fordham’s Aaron Churchill is also quoted on the topic of that funding bill via an outfit called Watchdog.org. He has some questions about cost and choice-friendliness, although the article presents his concerns as conclusions with the help of other commentators. Weird. (Watchdog.org, 4/8/19) Meanwhile, Phillis and Fleeter fly in the face of funding fears. Fab! (Columbus Dispatch, 4/9/19)
  2. The state budget bill is just one of many vehicles by which the legislature is attempting to wrestle with the manufactured “crisis” around Ohio’s academic distress paradigm. Chad testified multiple times on the topic in multiple committee hearings yesterday. Most, if not all, of those testimonies are covered here in Gongwer. (Gongwer Ohio, 4/9/19) Interesting to see less dispassionate coverage of a couple of those hearings than Gongwer typically provides, including some quotes from Chad, via the local press from the Lorain area. Glad to see the Chronicle’s reporter make the trek, for sure. (Elyria Chronicle, 4/10/19)
  3. Meanwhile in the big world outside of the Statehouse, Toledo City Schools’ elected board took time out of this week’s meeting—doing the people’s business of course—to trash Ohio’s academic distress paradigm and to vow to fight it so they won’t be subject to it. Ooh! Ooh! I know a way you guys can do that! Ooh! Ooh! It’s real easy. Just call on me! Call on me!! (Toledo Blade, 4/8/19) In Youngstown City Schools, a district experiencing some incremental but distinct academic improvements and a vastly improved public perception in the 2+ years since being the first to come under the new, CEO-style academic distress paradigm, received nearly 150 applications for its soon-to-be-vacant CEO position. Those applications have been non-chaotically reviewed and the finalists narrowed down to six potential leaders with varied experience from across the country. (Youngstown Vindicator, 4/8/19) Meanwhile in Canton City Schools, the elected school board has apparently decided to settle for the last person standing in their self-directed supe search process. That name is familiar, though. Where do I know him from? (Canton Repository, 4/9/19)
  4. Two stories now from the sorry haters department (or is that sorry, haters?). First up, here is the story of a successful graduate of an online charter school in Ohio: a young woman who needed the flexibility provided to pursue her dreams of a theater career while finishing high school. She’s off to college now, having successfully navigated an unplanned disruption caused by the abrupt closure of her school in the middle of the year. (You know what I mean.) Thank goodness she found another online charter school so she could keep going. (Richland Source, 4/6/19) Second, a cool-sounding project-based learning effort seeded by the state’s late, lamented Straight A Grant Fund Program is still doing great work boosting student success in Mentor. (The News-Herald, 4/8/19)
  5. Finally today, we’re back in the realm of money. (When aren’t we, really?) It cannot be overstated just how colossally much money Dayton City Schools has at the moment, as any number of recent reports have detailed. Is it a shedload? A crap ton? An obscene amount? I’ll leave it to you math majors to quantify. But what I want to know, given this gargantuan pile, is why mere weeks after the elected school board was anguishing over how to spend millions of surplus dollars, are board members now reluctant to approve a paltry $3 mill to get started on a central office move they’ve been touting as necessary and beneficial and inevitable for more than year? Perhaps we’re all missing something. (Dayton Daily News, 4/10/19) 

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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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