- Some surprisingly . The experts interviewed for the piece, including our own Chad Aldis, got tons of room to explain the history, the state of play, and ongoing efforts to improve the governance of the sector. And the description of what led to ECOT’s closure iss as calm and neutral as I’ve ever read. But more importantly than all that, I ask you, when was the last time a story about online charter schools writ large talked to a student? Let alone a student who had a great experience? Let alone as the opening to the piece? Nice. (Toledo Blade, 9/16/19)
- This , but the final linkages are just not made. Instead, we get well-spoken and detailed variations of “report cards don’t show everything” and “report card outcomes correlate to poverty levels”. The result is something akin to “you can’t teach poor kids the same way you teach wealthy kids”. Yep. Connection definitely missed there. (Marion Star, 9/15/19)
- Harping on the “report cards don’t show everything” mantra becomes a problem, however, when those report cards show positive trends you might like to tout. In Lorain, the MJ did a school-by-school analysis of the report cards. School leaders interviewed for the piece touted the obvious, measurable improvements and what they did to get there. They also generally owned their low grades and talked about how they were already on the road to further improvement this year. That is not, I think, what the MJ was expecting to hear. (The Morning Journal, 9/13/19) Five years ago, Chase STEMM Academy in Toledo City Schools received an “F” on its state report card. Since that time, relentless work to improve student academic outcomes—including the adoption of a STEM curriculum—has led to improvements. This year, Chase received a “B”. The principal and his team cite report card data as vital to their work and as validation of their efforts. (WTOL-TV, Toledo, 9/13/19) . Getting to an overall D was basically the only thing the district cared about last year (besides spending money, that is), and they pulled out all of the stops including overhauls to staffing, curriculum, and teaching. You know: improving their work. Those concrete efforts have led to demonstrated and unmistakable improvements as evidenced by the report card. But it’s hard to crow about them too loudly a week after you were complaining that “report cards are a flawed snapshot” without some questions being raised. At least by me anyway. (Dayton Daily News, 9/15/19)
- Sadly, editors at the Morning Journal do not seem to be impressed by the boost in Lorain City Schools’ overall report card. But do take a look at their depiction of Lorain’s “D” vs. Elyria City Schools’ “D”. Sounds a little different, doesn’t it? (The Morning Journal, 9/14/19)
- Springfield City Schools’ drop to an overall grade of F this year was somewhat unexpected. Although the comments from district parents recorded in the News Sun indicate that some folks were not surprised. The supe vows to not let that F “define his schools”, even though it kind of does. (Springfield News-Sun, 9/15/19)
- In keeping with our lead story today, here is another nicely done piece looking at charter schools. Specifically, the Lima News took time to visit a number of brick-and-mortar schools in the area and provide short profiles of each. The piece could probably use a bit of higher level background in there about what charters are and how they operate generally in Ohio, but honestly having on the ground visits described without caveats is more than most charter schools usually get around here. Viva la nuance! (Lima News, 9/16/19)
- In Water is Wet news, the Cincinnati teachers union doesn’t like Teach for America or anyone associated with it. I’m still not sure why such “no duh” information required a vote and a giant proclamation. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 9/16/19)
Did you know you can have every edition of Gadfly Bites sent directly to your Inbox (in case you want to wallow in nuance—occasionally—by signing up for such a newsletter)? Subscribe by clicking.