- We’ll start today with some unequivocal good news. That consists of another awesome look at the opening of I Promise Village in Akron this week. Be sure to look at all the pictures and watch the video too. (Akron Beacon-Journal, 7/22/20) And it also consists of kudos to the Franklin County Commissioners for funding and to COSI Columbus for creating and distributing hands-on science learning kits to kids in the county. “We believe that education is the great equalizer,” said a science museum spokesman. “Especially in the middle of a pandemic, we don’t want our youth to get left behind. These kits will provide them with critical distance learning, fun STEM content that they’ll have for the entire week through these learning lunch boxes. So together we are feeding lives, feeding hungry lives and feeding hungry minds.” Nice. (Columbus Dispatch, 7/22/20)
- Then we move on to what can be termed YMMV good news. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was in DeBuckeye State yesterday—live and in person at Tree of Life School in suburban Columbus. We have four pieces of coverage that, eventually, tell the whole story for you. This preview story lays out the purpose of the event—talking about private school choice—amid a bunch of other stuff that the event was not supposed to be about but ended up being about anyway. This is the only coverage I could find that actually includes full video of the event. So there’s that. (10TV, Columbus, 7/23/20) The Statehouse News Bureau “coverage” of the event merely covered the griping of one person who wasn’t invited but wanted to be (?) so as to have some lead time to loudly and publicly refuse to attend for whatever her stated reason would have been. A great loss indeed. (Statehouse News Bureau, 7/23/20) The local public media “coverage” of the event merely covered griping by someone who wasn’t invited and wouldn’t likely have attended about someone who was invited and did attend. Exhausting. (WCBE-FM, Columbus, 7/23/20) And then there was the local TV news outlet that actually covered the event. You know? Their actual job. (WCMH-TV, Columbus, 7/23/20)
- Even the outlet providing proper coverage of Secretary DeVos’ visit neglected to discuss the actual point of the event—private school choice. They instead focused on the au courant topic of school reopenings amid an ongoing pandemic. “Education is a promise that we make to students and their families and we need that promise actually kept,” DeVos told the gathering in that regard. “We want to make sure that students can continue learning in a full-time, full-on, high expectation environment. We think it’s important that schools look at all of their students and know that for some families, if the right choice and the right situation is five days full-time in-class learning, then that really has to be an option for families.” DeVos also addressed the topic of online learning, saying, “These are formative years and we know that for many students, 100 percent online learning simply isn’t tenable.” But reality is clearly dictating an online option for families in schools and districts across the state. Cleveland Metropolitan School District announced this week that the first nine weeks of the delayed-start school year would be entirely online this fall. (Cleveland.com, 7/23/20) Bowling Green City Schools announced the same, although their timeline may be a bit shorter. (13ABC-TV, Bowling Green, 7/23/20) Down the road, Rossford Exempted Village School District opted for a hybrid model, including a fully online school for families who want it. This last bit was only approved after residents were assured that it wasn’t run by one of those dastardly charter schools. Phew. (Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune, 7/24/20) Tiny, bougie Grandview Heights City Schools have developed not one but two different online models for their 2020–21 plans. The hybrid model will be locally run (in conjunction with a half-day, every day, in-person schedule) while the fully online school will be outsourced to Florida Virtual School to run. Also not a charter school. (ThisWeek News, 7/22/20)
- Finally this week, under the heading of schadenfreude, the rewriting of school history in Lorain begins. What’s the topic? Does it even matter, really? (Elyria Chronicle, 7/24/20)
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