1. The Dayton Daily News has, it seems, decided to spearhead an all-out effort to help Dayton City Schools. It is part of their “The Path Forward” initiative which highlights different problem areas in the city. Not sure how extensive this series of articles will ultimately be, but it begins with three pieces published yesterday. First up, a manifesto that asserts Dayton City Schools are not as bad as the perception of them would suggest. Yet there is a lot to do to improve them – complete with data. (Dayton Daily News, 7/15/18) Second, brief profiles of five young people who “represent the best” of Dayton City Schools. I won’t quibble about the awesomeness of the kids – they seem great – but it seems fairly clear to me that the best of what goes on related to those kids has very little to do with Dayton City Schools, unless it’s extracurricular, the responsibility of the state (“Dunbar’s college credit plus program” indeed!), or something that rhymes with the word “strivers”. (Dayton Daily News, 7/15/18) Finally in this first salvo, many families supposedly love Dayton City Schools, yet even some of those who supposedly do are tepid in their professions of that love and are joining lots of others in looking to list their homes to find better schools elsewhere. And don’t think everyone doesn’t know which “better ones” we’re talking about. (Dayton Daily News, 7/15/18)
  2. The headline of this piece on Lorain City Schools, operating under the aegis of an Academic Distress Commission as you well know, insinuates that instructional improvements are on the agenda in the district this year. I count one reference to instruction here (one which translates, I think, to “better worksheets”), at about word number 465. What’s in the previous set of words? Washing machines, counseling, and a food bank. At least that’s better than the first Dayton piece, above, which doesn’t mention instruction (under the term “classroom basics”) until word number 850. And then hardly at all after that. (Elyria Chronicle, 7/13/18)
  3. In case you were wondering, it seems there are still too darn many online schools in Ohio for Patrick O’Donnell’s liking. He includes a handy chart of all of them in their pesky numbers as he discusses management changes in the sector. Appropriately for its Friday the 13th publication, the piece drags the ECOT Boogeyman™ into the light again as well. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7/13/18)
  4. Back in the real world, editors in Youngstown this week opined in support of several small local districts sharing services with each other to save some dough. (Youngstown Vindicator, 7/14/18)
  5. Tell it to the judge! Rossford Schools in far suburban Toledo is in a dispute with the City of Rossford over the applicability of city zoning rules regarding sidewalks around a new school building currently under construction. Specifically, who should build and pay for them. (Toledo Blade, 7/15/18)

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Jeff Murray comes to the Thomas B. Fordham Institute from a five-year stint at School Choice Ohio. At SCO, Jeff was involved with getting the word out to parents around the state about school voucher availability - directing postcard campaigns, call centers, and advertising campaigns over the last few years. Tens of thousands of parents across Ohio received the news…

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