- The Dayton Daily News, among other news outlets, has been profiling high school graduates as the school year comes to an end. In this headline, looking at a graduate of the Dayton Regional STEM School, the young man is called the “ideal graduate”. And while that terminology has an explanation, what I see in this story is a kid who was being let down by the education system until he found his “ideal school”. Take a look at his story and see if you agree with me. (Dayton Daily News, 6/3/20)
- And what about next school year? Berea City Schools is sure it will achieve its goal of issuing Chromebooks to 100 percent of their students by the start of next year. The district will also be issuing a bill for a technology fee to 100 percent of its students next year as well. Insurance on the machines will cost extra. Really, guys? (Cleveland.com, 6/5/20) A new charter high school is scheduled to open in Mansfield next school year if everything goes well. The main thrust of this quick profile calls it “non-traditional”, but the details matter. Cypress High School will have a focus on core academics and a goal to make sure all its graduates are job ready when they leave. Personally, I think the top bullet point defining the school, as stated in its website, is far more important than any of that sales BS: “a safe school environment without all the drama”. Sounds like just the ticket to me! (Mansfield News Journal, 6/3/20) Of course there are currently any number of possible dramatic happenings that could cause the best laid plans of any school or district to go astray next year. In Stark County, there seems to be some disconnect between parents’ appetite for fully in-person education and teachers’ comfort level in throwing open their classroom doors in August. (I am available to help districts discover names for whatever putative online schools they might think of creating—in the spirit of competition, dontcha know—but I will give out Canton Computer Collegium for free right here and now.) However, there’s an interesting note tucked at the bottom of the piece that might render all this fretting moot before August. Canton City Schools’ year-round school Accelerating Innovative Minds (or AIM) Academy is already planning to bring all its students back in person on July 21. (Canton Repository, 6/3/20)
- Never fear, y’all, because the General Assembly is working to address all the foregoing school restart issues and more. The latest vehicle (legal term; look it up) is Senate Bill 319, introduced this week. It tackles issues related to transportation, teacher evaluation, testing, charter sponsor ratings, and much much more. Ummm….thanks? (Cleveland.com, 6/4/20) And who can forget about the funding issue? Not Ohio’s school districts, that’s for sure! Reference is made to charter school cuts in this piece, but no details were provided. Surprise. (Cleveland.com, 6/4/20)
- As all my dedicated Gadfly Bites subscribers will remember, no one has been a bigger champion of the creation of the Say Yes to Education program in Cleveland than Patrick O’Donnell. And just because he’s writing for someone else based outside of the CLE right now, don’t you even suggest that his enthusiasm has dimmed one bit. New data show that the program has had at least one immediate and obvious benefit – increased FAFSA completion rates for Cleveland Metropolitan School District students at the exact same time that the ‘rona has shrunk FAFSA completion literally everywhere else. Here’s hoping this continues and translates into more college-going among Cleveland’s high school grads…including some charter school students who will be eligible for Say Yes support starting next year. (The 74, 6/3/20)
- The Richland Source today republished a Hechinger piece looking at the abysmal graduation statistics for black students at Kent State University at Ashtabula. Zero percent of the school’s black students earned a degree in the last five years. While the university system has some (sorta lame if you ask me) rejoinder, the Hechinger reporters dig deeply to try and find answers. It takes a little while before they land on the idea that the local high schools might not be properly preparing their graduates for college work. They actually quote Lakeside High School’s Prepared for Success report card measure (F) like they really mean it. And the piece includes some important input from a former Lakeside student discussing her time there in order back up that assertion—almost as if Ohio’s state report cards are actually true. It is truly a day for miracles. Can someone please tell the General Assembly. (Richland Source, 6/5/20)
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