- In case you somehow missed it, state report cards were released yesterday. Before that, though, Cleveland.com gave us a little prelude on Wednesday of what we might expect to see. This includes coverage of Vlad Kogan’s preliminary report on the data, and the Ohio Gadfly blog post in which he discussed those findings. Nice! (Cleveland.com, 9/13/23)
- The biggest news, as I read it, is the re-introduction of an overall rating for schools and districts, absent for last year’s roll out of the new star rating system. Unlike the individual components— which are rated in terms of 1-to-5 stars—the overall rating allows for half-star increments. Thus the topline finding, as per Gongwer: “About nine in 10 districts and eight in 10 public schools were rated three stars or better overall, indicating they met state expectations.” Our own Aaron Churchill is among the voices urging a more nuanced look at the individual components and what they mean to parents: “Through a user-friendly overall rating, this year's report card shines a light on the many excellent public school options available to parents. It also reveals struggling schools that require significant help and intervention to ensure students receive the education they need to succeed.” (Gongwer Ohio, 9/14/23)
- Among the variations of early coverage: A focus on charter schools… (Cleveland.com, 9/14/23) …and leading with those districts doing well (and doing better) before covering those doing as bad or worse than before. You know who I mean. (Dayton Daily News, 9/15/23) I am also noticing an interest by reporters in the district enrollment numbers as listed on report cards. Some eye-openers there.
- Before we return to one more report card clip, let’s take a step back to Wednesday, when WFMJ-TV reporters got hold of some insider documents related to ongoing contract negotiations in Youngstown. The issues involved sound super messy to me and also appear to bear very little relation to actually teaching kids. But maybe that’s just me. (WFMJ-TV, Youngstown, 9/13/23) Perhaps not surprisingly following that unexpended airing of fine linens, negotiations between the two sides scheduled for Thursday did not happen. And there’s talk of finding a mediator to help. (WKBN-TV, Youngstown, 9/14/23)
- Bottom line: the teacher strike continues and Youngstown students will be receiving remote instruction for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, the district received what the Vindy.com editorial board terms “a low overall score of 2.5 stars out of 5” on their report card. They point out that that means the district “needs support to meet state standards” and go on to make an interesting flex re: the help that they feel is and (more importantly) should be available. Feels a little tone deaf to me, but I am not a newspaper editor. So what, seriously, do I know? (Vindy.com. 9/15/23)
- The only thing I have to say in response this story—about the red hot application numbers for EdChoice vouchers this year—is YAY! (Columbus Dispatch, 9/13/23) Luckily for avid newshounds like yourselves, Aaron is more thoughtful and articulate than I am. He tells the DDN that the overwhelming response from families should be temporary because continuing in the program will be much simpler for families than signing up initially. So, if I may summarize: Chill. And also: YAY! (Dayton Daily News, 9/14/23)
- We finish today where we began: Before the release of full report card data. On Monday, the elected board of Akron City Schools and the gathered public finally got the early additional data on the performance of I Promise School students that has been hotly anticipated for a month or so. Growth data is nuanced, but some of it is straight up problematic, especially given the specific school model at IPS which is designed to break such problematic patterns. The early discussion about the possible ways of changing that school model, however, does not seem…well…promising. We shall see. (Akron Beacon Journal, 9/14/23)
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Your humble clips compiler—Jeff Murray ([email protected])