1. In case you missed it, Fordham is part of a coalition of groups proposing new, rigorous graduation requirements for Ohio. Rather than explain them to you, which I would do in very positive terms I imagine, I’ll let some of the news coverage from yesterday’s rollout do that for you. First out of the gate was the Statehouse News Bureau. While this piece is brief, it does note that this proposal includes requirements more indicative of “competency and readiness” than are currently in the offing elsewhere. (Statehouse news Bureau, 5/14/19) The Dispatch’s coverage played up the “competition” between offered plans – that from our coalition and that from the Ohio Department of Education. (Columbus Dispatch, 5/14/19) Testimony on both proposals was heard in a Senate committee late yesterday. Gongwer’s coverage also takes time to draw out the distinctions between the two. Specifically: who includes GPA and culminating student experiences and who doesn’t. You know who I’m talking about. (Gongwer Ohio, 5/14/19)
  2. The state board of education met this week and two agenda items merited news coverage. First up: The elected board of Lorain City Schools somehow found time in its busy schedule (you know what I mean) to not only craft some kind of “turnaround plan” for the district (what took you so long, gang?) but also to show up to the state board meeting to present that plan. Assuming, of course, that they get to be in charge of such a thing again. (The Morning Journal, 5/14/19) Second: The state board approved a boost to the passing score for the third grade reading test, as they are required to. But the whiplashy discussion around that vote was revelatory in a couple of ways. While there are a couple of board members, it seems, who would like to have the passing score boosted up to “proficient” (it is still more than 15 points short of that mark), there are other folks—our state supe included—who seem none too pleased with the whole third grade reading test lark and would love to send the legislature a “credible recommendation” to adjust the policy “in the interest of reducing our frustration”. Oh really? (Gongwer Ohio, 5/13/19)
  3. Speaking of folks who are probably looking to reduce their own frustration, the president of the Ohio Education Association opined this week against “test distress”. Whatever that is. (Columbus Dispatch, 5/14/19)

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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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