1. Happy Monday! We start today with the topic of charter school funding. Specifically, the state budget proposal to increase funding for high-performing charters. Our own Chad Aldis tried valiantly to explain the sitch here, but we still ended up with a piece rife with misinformation (“…money would be pulled from traditional public schools…”), unsubstantiated comments from unnamed individuals (“Some who oppose the increase believe…”) and some unfortunate stalker-y looking shots of two Columbus charter school buildings shimmering in last week’s heat haze. Is it too late for me to take back that happy Monday greeting? (Spectrum News 1, 6/24/19)
  2. Speaking of the budget, the topic of graduation requirements came up in certain quarters over the weekend. Quelle surprise. Fordham, as a contributor to the set of requirements currently in the Senate version of the state budget, is namechecked in the Blade’s coverage from Sunday. (Toledo Blade, 6/23/19)
  3. Super interesting story here regarding a record number of Clark County students simultaneously earning their associate degrees along with their high school diplomas this year. Credit for this is given to the state’s College Credit Plus program, but a couple of things are worth noting. First up, a huge number of those dual enrollment students come from the Global Impact STEM Academy. Their access would be a baked-in part of their work at the independent STEM school (be still my heart) and nothing to do with CCP. And also, who let that online charter school student in there to say nice things? (Springfield News-Sun, 6/22/19)
  4. I have often noted here that references to the Life Skills High School in the Elyria Chronicle usually omit the term “charter school”. This latest piece, looking at the school’s recent graduation, is no different. However, the piece does very casually announce that this is the last graduating class the dropout recovery charter school will ever produce because, it appears, this charter school will become a program of a local school district starting next year. (Another one of those unheard-of-before-this-year charter school “absorptions”, you reckon?) Perhaps the good folks at the Chronicle knew something we didn’t all those times they omitted the term “charter school”. (Elyria Chronicle, 6/22/19)
  5. Speaking of graduates, some districts in far southern Ohio are exploring the idea of adopting what is called “Portrait of a Graduate”. That is, guidelines for “fundamental characteristics” they want their students possess by the time they graduate. Sounds good in theory, but upon closer inspection, I came away with questions. The idea is for districts to select “four to six” of these fundamental characteristics, but there is a list of 30 for them to choose from. What, exactly, are the expendable items and why? Aren’t they all important? And how do they connect with, you know, learning stuff? Luckily, the spokesdude from Battelle for Kids (the folks pushing this idea) says, “This is not intended to be a shift away from what the districts have been doing, the deep, rigorous academic content will still ensure that standards are met.” Thank goodness no one is asking schools to pick and choose those things, amiright? (Marietta Times, 6/22/19)
  6. Also speaking of graduates, the president of Ohio Excels had a commentary piece in Crain’s Cleveland Business over the weekend about how best to equip students for their place in the future workforce of Ohio. (Crain’s Cleveland Business, 6/23/19)
  7. Editors in Akron opined this weekend on their preferred method of state intervention in chronically underperforming school districts. That preferred method rhymes with the word “honey”. And lots of it. (Youngstown Vindicator, 6/23/19)
  8. Finally today: the view from Dayton. It is probably good that I can’t quite tell where the DDN stands on the issue of Academic Distress Commissions based on this piece. On the one hand, they quote recent legislative testimony from the elected board president of Dayton City Schools: “We are strategically acting to improve our schools. We know what has to be done, and as the policy-making body for the Dayton schools, the school board is acting to implement the right programs and interventions for our students.” And on the other hand, they reference recent legislative testimony from the outgoing CEO of Youngstown City Schools where he explains that he has implemented such “programs and interventions” already and is seeing clear and steady progress. Choices choices. (Dayton Daily News, 6/24/19)

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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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