1. A TV news outlet in Cincinnati this week produced a short but admirably wide-ranging piece exploring the new graduation requirements proposal put forward by a coalition of groups that includes Fordham. Our own Chad Aldis is interviewed here, as are a local homeschooling parent and a local college graduate. The responses of the latter two folks are interesting and a little surprising and should hopefully broaden the discussion. (Local 12, Cincinnati, 5/15/19) I’m not sure there is such a thing as “competitive pondering”, but Gongwer posits that there is. And that such a thing is happening at least in a Senate committee over that aforementioned new graduation requirements proposal and the previous one put forward by the state board of education. At least the testimony was interesting even if some of the rhetoric leaves me scratching my head. (Gongwer Ohio, 5/16/19)
  2. Speaking of that self-same committee, Lorain City Schools CEO David Hardy and several district administrators and teachers testified yesterday on the topic of Academic Distress Commissions a topic which they know very very well. At bloody last. Finally, the most important side of this ongoing story got a public forum in which to be heard. Devastatingly, the hearing went very late and there was no media coverage at all. Therefore, a huge debt is owed to Carissa Woytach of the Chronicle who pulled together pieces of their written testimony into a great article. While only a handful of (admittedly important) senators caught the live show, this is vital information which all of Ohio’s legislators need to read. Before deciding anything. (Elyria Chronicle, 5/16/19)
  3. Can you stand a little more good news? I hope so, because I actually have some. First up, here is more detail on the previously-reported team up between Middletown City Schools and Miami University of Ohio to help facilitate licensure for special education teachers in the district. Great on-the-ground perspective. (Spectrum News 1, 5/15/19) Second: The Lieutenant Governor will be in Dayton today, along with a cadre of other folks who could stand to hear about the City Connects program at Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School. This is a wide-ranging student support system patterned after the highly successful Boston Connects program of which I personally am a fan (in the spirit of full disclosure). Hopefully everyone hears loud and clear that one of the best aspects of Boston Connects is how often and how thoroughly it is subjected to rigorous study to evaluate its effectiveness and efficiency. Just sayin’. (Dayton Daily News, 5/16/19) Finally, here is a generally very positive story about the Move to PROSPER program. My dedicated Gadfly Bites subscribers (love to all six of you!) will know that as a dude with a city planning degree and a career in education policy, your humble clips compiler is a fan of Move to PROSPER – in which families are supported to move from underresourced neighborhoods to those with more and better resources. And for the purposes of these clips, one of the most important resources on their list is a quality school. Now of course it opens up a can of worms when you ask the community (Columbus citizens and taxpayers) to contribute resources (donated personal money) to a program which somewhat pointedly calls out that the local schools (taxpayer-funded Columbus City Schools) are an inferior resource (worse than) compared to some other districts (suburban schools) nearby. You would probably be right if you believed that some influential local folks have figured out this pointed and negative-seeming comparison and are not super pleased about it. I give you all this preamble so as to explain why I note that the family profiled here was a) living in Reynoldsburg (not Columbus) and was b) supported to move elsewhere in Reynoldsburg (still not Columbus). And somehow that precious young child still appears to have gotten a better school in the process. Wow. We must tread so carefully around our good news sometimes. (Columbus Alive, 5/15/19)
  4. And finally this week, here is a brief notice of a new charter school opening in Toledo next fall as it works to complete the purchase of its new building. It is said to provide “a strong language arts-based curriculum” with a focus on old-school subjects like penmanship, phonics, and history. Students will also be expected to obtain fluency in Latin. I wonder how it will be until Toledo City Schools suddenly remembers that they have “always wanted” to start a school based on Latin and the Classics? (Toledo Blade, 5/16/19)

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Policy Priority:

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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