- Fordham’s Chad Aldis was extensively quoted in Crain’s this week—along with other commentators—discussing legislative changes recently wrought upon school funding, school choice programs, and state report cards. Decent piece if you ask me, relatively well-balanced and dispassionate. But does anyone know what that headline even means? (Crain’s Cleveland, 9/19/21)
- Here is another look at the recently-released spring test score data for Ohio schools, this time focusing on those in the Miami Valley. The numbers are, for the most part, way down on 2019, and the headline bluntly says so. While the theme of the article appears to me to be “We knew this was coming—you know, pandemic and all—so there’s no need to get too bothered”, I might suggest that the key to the piece is actually this: “On the other hand, tiny Newton schools in Miami County actually saw its proficiency rate increase from 2019 to 2021 on eight of the 20 grade-level tests. And Greeneview schools’ proficiency rate increased on seven of 20 tests.” I’m sure we’ll get in-depth profiles of these districts with detailed descriptions of how they bucked the inevitable trend of suckitude any day now. Won’t we? (Dayton Daily News, 9/20/21)
- Speaking of which, here’s the list of Ohio’s Blue Ribbon School award winners for 2020, released earlier this week. There are some predictable
suburbanwinners on there—schools in Bay Village, Mariemont, Dublin, Kettering—but I personally will reserve my extra special kudos for the exurban and rural winners such as schools in Logan, Steubenville, Minster, and Whitehouse. (The population of those latter two add up to less than 7,000 residents. Just sayin’.) Great work! (Spectrum News 1, 9/21/21)
- Here’s a look at the inaugural class of high schoolers participating in a really fancy-sounding and promising pre-apprenticeship program run through a partnership of the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, the Builders Association of Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, and the Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio. To be generous, I will assume that the larger urban schools in the area (*cough*Youngstown City Schools*cough*) either didn’t want to or didn’t feel the need to participate. But that list of every suburban district whose students are participating seemed pretty
exclusiveexhaustive to little old me. (Youngstown Business Journal 9/19/21) Meanwhile, in Youngstown City Schools, the district is trying to contract its way out of its transportation dilemma in the short term. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. No way to tell from this piece, where the former supetransportation coordinator spends way more of his time apologizing to/groveling before transportation system employees rather than explaining the benefits of the plan for students and families. As I am being increasingly required to say these days: never woulda happened under Krish Mohip (nor indeed under Colleen “I bleed yellow” Murphy-Penk, either). (WFMJ-TV, Youngstown, 9/21/21) Meanwhile meanwhile, the editorial board at Vindy.com opines today on the proposed new district improvement plan with the headline “Youngstown students need a higher bar”. I, for one, would argue that the adults need one even more urgently. (Vindy.com, 9/22/21)
- Back here in the real world, Akron City Schools’ virtual learning program at the elementary level has been experiencing some interesting hiccups. Seems that the district wanted to make sure their third party vendor created Akron-only live classes (to “mimic more of a traditional classroom and class schedule, like the students had last year with Akron teachers”). They even had to pay extra to make that happen (as the third party vendor “doesn’t usually recommend assigning one teacher to one class only”). But due to a “miscommunication”, Akron kids have been “lumped in” with larger numbers of other students from around the country for the last three weeks. This will be rectified ASAP, everyone says, with the third party vendor conjuring up 16 additional Akron-only teachers out of the ether. (“That's how they wanted it and that's what we're doing for them… They see that as what’s best for their kids and that's how we're going to do it.”) The district’s ongoing bill will be prorated to adjust for the non-provision of the paid-for services for those early weeks. Phew. (Akron Beacon Journal, 9/22/21)
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