- In case you missed it, Fordham released a new report last week that aimed to provide practical recommendations for restarting—and reshaping—educational accountability in Ohio over the next two school years. Editors in Columbus seem to be all on board with those recommendations per yesterday’s editorial, although your humble clips compiler has a sneaking suspicion they may have some specific favorites among the lot. (Columbus Dispatch, 6/18/20)
- Dispatch editors are specifically focused on the double play of “accountability and choice” as a great plan for improving education. Wonder how that stuff is going around Ohio these days? The expansion of Partnership Schools into Cleveland seems like a big boost for choice to me. This piece looks at how that endeavor came to be. “They are high performing schools academically. These schools are the beacon of education,” says Rich Clark, one of the Cleveland-based stalwarts of the endeavor, of the two schools new to the Partnership. “They are supported by public money,” he adds, meaning Ohio’s voucher programs. So…choice good. (Partnership NYC, 6/17/20) Meanwhile, following our notice on Wednesday regarding Canton City Schools, public media in Cleveland tell us of “a growing number of school districts” joining the putative legal suit against the EdChoice voucher program. So…choice bad. (IdeaStream, 6/18/20)
- On the accountability front, editors at Vindy.com opined this week in support of the “truce agreement” hammered out by the elected board of Youngstown City Schools and the city’s mayor. You know what I mean. (Your humble clips compiler is even less of a legal scholar than the sages of Youngstown, but I’m reasonably certain this circumvents the intent of HB 70. Since this isn’t the first time such a thing has happened during the sad saga of Ohio’s Academic Distress Commission—you know what I mean here too—it probably shouldn’t bother me at all.) But even more than that, the editors are dead certain that “social and educational experts should agree that this system created under HB 70 is not working.” (Anyone know what a “social expert” is? I sure don’t.) I realize that this is a different Vindy than the one whose editors stood by former CEO Krish Mohip against the most egregious of obstruction, undermining, and attack, but the public turn against this form of educational accountability seems pretty complete to me. I suppose it makes sense then that their reasoning here is: “local elections must be honored”. I think I might term it “You get what you vote for” but that type of thing probably won’t rally the faithful very well. (Vindy.com, 6/17/20)
- School districts are apparently reeling with understandable confusion over a new state law requiring them file a “remote learning plan” with the state for next school year. State Senator Peggy Lehner says, despite the bill making “perfect sense”, the point of confusion for district supes is obvious. While she says that the state doesn’t need to “hold the hands of…districts,” she does say that the Ohio Department of Education will need to clarify the situation. (Cleveland.com, 6/17/20)
- I’m not sure the analogy works here, but just to provide an example of the complexity of thought going into the shape of K-12 education for the next school year, I give you Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools’ various plans and contingencies. (Cleveland.com, 6/18/20) One of the issues raised in Chagrin Falls is that of kids possibly moving into or out of online learning during the year, rather than choosing one option at the start and sticking to it. Chardon Local Schools expresses the same worry here, and more besides. “There is some question in some circles about whether or not a full 100-percent virtual program can be delivered by a public school district, or if you need to have some face-to-face component with that,” the district supe told his board this week. Online school hard! “So we’re still waiting for some clarification, but I don’t think the hurdles will be terrible.” Online school not so hard! I can’t keep up. (Geauga Maple Leaf, 6/18/20)
- Finally this week, we have a non-rona story courtesy of The 74, which is trying to clear its decks of pieces written before the pandemic. This look at Heartland High School in Columbus hails from October, 2019. Heartland is one of the first recovery high schools in the country, designed solely to support students overcoming addiction—to stay clean, to complete their education, to build a support system, and to move forward. It is a complicated endeavor, from the sound of it, but one that seems to hold great promise for its students. Take a look. (The 74, 6/16/20)
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