1. We start the week with good news—Dayton’s bus drivers appear to have overwhelmingly agreed to a new contract with the district. Barring anything unforeseen, that is. (Dayton Daily News, 4/8/18) The state supe was in Dayton last week too (no, just a coincidence) talking up his department’s draft strategic plan. Like Patrick O’Donnell before him, Jeremy Kelley homes right in on the possibility of “less emphasis on testing” which is, apparently, in that plan somewhere.  (Dayton Daily News, 4/7/18)
  2. How’s this for a trifecta of authors—the vice chair of the Ohio Senate’s Education Committee, a member of the Ohio House’s Education and Career Readiness Committee, and Jeb Bush? Well, these three joined forces on an op-ed in support of the bills which would, among other things, make substantive changes in Ohio’s private school voucher programs. (Lima News, 4/7/18) Speaking of op-eds, the president of Ashland University opined this weekend in favor of strong K-12 accountability in Ohio. (Columbus Dispatch, 4/8/18)
  3. Can you stand some more good news? Brookfield Schools in Trumbull County will be officially released from fiscal emergency status this week after nearly five years. How’d they do it? Staff reductions, cost cutting, an increase in property values in the area…and a favorable levy vote. Wonder which of those put them over the top? (Youngstown Vindicator, 4/9/18)
  4. The city’s new-ish mayor headlined a breakfast event called Good Morning, Youngstown last week. He was positive and enthusiastic and full of ideas to help improve his city. Youngstown Schools CEO Krish Mohip spoke as well—somewhat down the roster—and was, by comparison, Debbie Downer. (Youngstown Vindicator, 4/7/18)
  5. Speaking of school districts operating under the aegis of an Academic Distresss Commission, here’s a bit more on the proposed Turnaround Principal positions in Lorain. This piece rehashes the list of internal finalist candidates and the FOIA request shenanigans of the elected school board as noted in last week’s Morning Journal piece, but it also gives us something of an idea of how the job of turnaround principal differs from that of traditional principal (hint: “instructional learning”) and details of the public input process underway. (Elyria Chronicle, 4/7/18)
  6. Toledo City Schools was apparently smarting under its ranking as the Ohio district with the most out-of-school suspensions last year. This year, the district implemented an alternative suspension program in 10 high-suspension elementary schools. It’s designed to keep kids in school as much as possible and to provide access to counselors and mentors. How’s it going? Well, there’s no numbers yet apparently. Just some anecdotes. I’ll let you read and decide whether all this is good news or bad news. Or maybe just “news”. (Toledo Blade, 4/6/18)

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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