- Editors in Akron opined this week on the subtle and importance difference between “quick” and “hurried”. Not familiar with this one? Me neither. They were talking about changes to Ohio’s academic distress paradigm if that helps. (Akron Beacon Journal, 7/29/19)
- Speaking of districts operating under the aegis of an Academic Distress Commission, parents and guardians attended this week’s ADC meeting in such numbers that a public comment period was opened up even though it was not on the agenda. Topics included late report cards, the possible departure of the district’s treasurer, and more drama around the district’s super glitchy-sounding swipe card attendance/access system. (Elyria Chronicle, 7/30/19) As an aside, check out this edition of the Bites from June 2016 in which a district flack describes the impending introduction of the extensive swipe card/video camera system: “It’s like Las Vegas.” Indeed.
- Perhaps a new day is dawning in Lorain and such drama may be on the wane. An emergency school board meeting has been set for Thursday, with the main order of business discussion of putting a renewal levy on the November ballot. We discussed on Monday the board’s reasoning against doing so but indications in this piece are that their stance may have softened. Why? The board prez said that there were two conditions the district needed to meet for the board to put the renewal on the ballot: removing the then-current ADC chair and either a change in the district’s administration (you know what he means) or more open lines of communication and collaboration with the CEO. First one occurred back in January. The second one? Prez says the CEO contacted him Monday evening about the levy. Hallelujah. I might suggest a couple of other things occurred that were not part of hizzoner’s list (but probably part of other people’s lists), but let’s not pick nits at this important juncture. I will only say “amen”. (Elyria Chronicle, 7/30/19)
- The virtues of wraparound student support funding are extolled in this piece looking at a Boys and Girls Club program in the Hilltop neighborhood of Columbus. Some lip service is given to the ways in which this support—to be boosted by a ton of additional money in the new state budget—can improve academic outcomes but, wisely, no detail is provided. The connection between wraparound services and academic achievement is pretty weak, but supporting the health and well-being of kids is a fantastic thing to do all by itself. Why, then, does this piece go out of its way to note how much of that new support funding not-traditional-district schools (charters and vocational schools included) will have access to? This is about students, not systems. That’s old thinking, and it needs to change. (Columbus Dispatch, 7/30/19)
- But perhaps what is old can be new again in some circumstances. This piece is about the historic (just ask them!) merger of Hamilton High School with Butler Tech – the county-wide vocational education center that has served every district in the county, except Hamilton, for decades. No reason is given why the lone wolf Hamilton district chose after all these years to give up its own tech programs, but folks sure seem happy about it. I’m going to say it has to do with money because I’m cynical. Things certainly are weird in Butler County, as we have seen recently. But if I’m wrong and it’s just about the new wonderfulness, I can’t help but ask why it wasn’t wonderful enough to do sooner. (The Journal-News, 7/30/19)
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