- We talked last week about the recent meetings of the elected school boards in Youngstown and Lorain. At both, there was bitter disappointment that the Academic Distress Commissions overseeing them were not eliminated via the state budget. These laments were followed very quickly by dithering over whether or not to put a levy on the upcoming ballot, because they could be voting to give money to the ADC and to the CEO who might very well continue to be in charge of the district, rather than giving the money to themselves to control. To which the Vindy editorial board argues thusly: a) The money is for the students, b) so we would support a levy whoever was in charge, and c) don’t forget that the previous levy came about when the district was under state-controlled fiscal oversight, so there’s not much difference now. (Youngstown Vindicator, 7/28/19) Editors in Lorain opined on a ton of education related issues in one piece this weekend, including a new levy. Their levy logic was far more convoluted and it goes like this: a) No one we talk to knows whether Lorain needs more money from a levy, b) and we won't ask the treasurer or CEO because…well, you know why not. c) We know the school board won't put a levy on the ballot as long as there is a CEO in charge, and we are cool with that. d) We hope the ADC will go away soon enough to put a levy on the ballot - whether we need one or not, e) but if the ADC doesn't go away in time, the state should just give the district a ton of money to make up for that, f) but only if the board gets the money and not the ADC. Got it? (The Morning Journal, 7/27/19)
- Speaking of timing, the topic of Ohio’s academic distress paradigm is, apparently, on the Senate’s summer agenda. (Gongwer Ohio, 7/26/19)
- And speaking of summer agenda, here’s a great look at Columbus City Schools’ only year round school on the occasion of the start of its new year last week. A couple of interesting points here. Just like the AIM Academy story from Canton last week, there is a strange obsession with cost. Who cares how much it costs if it works? And here we get some pretty good academic achievement data that seems to indicate that it does reasonably well in that regard. Obsession with this school’s lone wolf status is evident as well (but if you’ve got a waiting list…). On a related note, we also learn the fates of the two previous attempts at year round schools in Columbus. RIP. Additionally, the reporter goes out of her way to get some research data on year round schools nationally, which is good but a little confusing. (Columbus Dispatch, 7/29/19) Speaking of AIM Academy, editors in Canton this weekend enthused about that news story and about their high hopes for AIM and its students. (Canton Repository, 7/28/19)
- Leaders of Butler County school districts seem unanimous in their vexation that graduation requirements in the state have changed again, despite the fact that they are generally OK with the new ones (4 out of 5 supes recommend…). The main mantra: our four current high school classes have three different sets of requirements that we have to keep track of. Which of course means that if some legislator came up with a new set next year that took away all test-based pathways, they would oppose it vigorously on the grounds of stability. Um, right? (The Journal-News, 7/27/19) I assume that this consensus around vexation came as part of the acclaimed video series “Supers in Sedans”, which stars a rotating cast of Butler County district leaders. I also assume that charter and private school leaders are on the waiting list for future rides. (The Journal-News, 7/27/19)
- Back in the real world, here’s a nice look at St. Edward High School in Lakewood, extolling the virtues of its rigorous and popular International Baccalaureate program. Why yes, they do take students on the Cleveland Scholarship, and EdChoice, and all the other voucher programs in Ohio. Why do you ask? (Cleveland.com, 7/29/19)
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