1. It’s budget season around here, which I think is kind of like allergy season: Endless, persistent, and annoying, but with slightly less snot. Possible school funding changes remain top of mind for lots of folks, as Gongwer’s coverage of Monday’s House Finance Committee will attest. Fordham’s Chad Aldis, whose testimony is briefly summarized here, has some deeper issues on his mind. (Gongwer Ohio, 5/6/19) One specific issue near and dear to Chad’s heart – strong accountability via school report cards – is the focus of this piece from yesterday’s Dispatch. New budget provisions have him concerned for the future effectiveness of several aspects of accountability. (Columbus Dispatch, 5/7/19)
  2. Columbus Urban League President Stephanie Hightower has a thought on school accountability, as expressed in a Q&A which was published in last Sunday’s Dispatch. The question was about the desirability of state intervention in Columbus City Schools, should its long line of F report cards warrant a declaration of academic distress. Hightower is realistic, I think, about both the problem and the existing solution. While she’s got an interesting thought for amending the solution, it seems interesting to me that she does not initially name report cards as a “problem” to be fixed or changed. The Q&A is only one part of a much longer profile published late in April. All of which is worth a read. (Columbus CEO, 4/29/19) Ohio Excels President Lisa Gray has a thought on the importance of graduating students who are prepared to join the workforce. She lays out her case in this commentary piece from the D. (Columbus Dispatch, 5/7/19)
  3. The Strive Partnership in Cincinnati gets some national recognition in this piece looking at the evidence in support of wraparound services. Strive is praised for using data and analytics to help find the highest quality services for students. Unfortunately, there is little evidence in Cincinnati that even the best service provision will actually help boost student achievement. Just like nearly everywhere else it’s been studied. I’m not sure how long until we get to the consensus that “academic problems require academic solutions”, but since I’m already here I’ll just leave the light on for the rest of you. Link (Education Next, 5/6/19)

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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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