1. If, many months ago when we were discussing the interdistrict open enrollment situation in Liberty Local Schools, you were asking yourself how it was possible for a district to enact a policy barring white students from utilizing open enrollment to leave Liberty and go to Girard Local Schools, whatever the justification, you were not alone. In fact, the Ohio Department of Education was “nervous” about that policy and told Liberty officials so. This week, the school board changed it. You can decide whether they’ve made things any better for themselves with the change. This piece from public media in Cleveland takes a broad and interesting look at open enrollment in light of the situation in Liberty (hey Geno!), but the fundamental questions (to me, that is) remain unanswered: How many kids does Liberty get via incoming open enrollees? Who are they? And where do they come from? (WCPN-FM, Cleveland, 7/19/18)
  2. Speaking of school choice, here’s an awesome look at the landscape in Dayton comparing district schools with charters and voucher-accepting private schools by their performance index scores. (Dayton Daily News, 7/18/18) The headline of this next piece is, “5 questions answered about the future of Dayton Public Schools”. At the risk of being perceived as “edgy” for doing so, I might suggest that four of those (admittedly awesome) questions are actually about the past and present of the district. The last one (also awesome of course) is most definitely asking about the district’s future and has an answer worth reading. (Dayton Daily News, 7/18/18) This piece is actually related to that last question and answer. Specifically, the awesome breadth of staff and board member changes in the district in the last year or so. (Dayton Daily News, 7/19/18) If you haven’t gathered it from Gadfly Bites’ coverage this week, the Path Forward effort is awesomely important to the Dayton Daily News. So much so that staffers are monitoring responses to it very closely indeed. To wit: here is an article made up of a selection of reader reactions to the series delivered “by phone, email, social media and on the street”. Awesome. (Dayton Daily News, 7/19/18)
  3. Meanwhile, a coalition of 30 mayors from around the state got together this week to deliver their wish list to the media the next governor of Ohio. Why is this of interest to you, dear readers? Because tucked in amongst their requests for more money, more respect, and more money (yes, that’s in there twice) is a demand for a moratorium on Academic Distress Commissions. Nope, I don’t get it either. (Columbus Dispatch, 7/19/18)
  4. Finally today, here’s a look at Bulldog Flash Academic Institute. It is a partnership between Kent State University and McKinley High School in Canton, designed to support a group of young people through every year of high school and into college. The inaugural class of McKinley students are rising juniors today. The program not only includes a summer component held on KSU’s Stark Campus – which is the focus of this piece – but it also includes school year supports to keep kids on track academically. Soon, many of the students will begin earning college credit while still in high school, on their way to automatic admission to Kent State at Stark if they choose, along with full tuition scholarships. (Canton Repository, 7/19/18)

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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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