Pardon the brief interruption of service on Monday. Back with you with lots of good clips!
- In case you missed it yesterday, Fordham released a new report looking at the identification of, the services given to, and the future trajectory of high achieving young students in Ohio. Clearly an important topic, given the breadth and depth of the media coverage. For a start, you can check out The 74… (The 74, 9/28/21) …the Columbus Dispatch and affiliated outlets… (Columbus Dispatch, 9/28/21) …and Gongwer. Thanks, everyone. Much appreciated! (Gongwer Ohio, 9/28/21)
- Speaking of Gongwer, now-retired state superintendent Paolo DeMaria talked Academic Distress Commissions, among other things, in his final report to the state board of education last week. Specifically, things the new interim supe will need to weigh as she reviews the new ADC exit plans allowed for by HB 110. “On one hand,” he said, “if the superintendent approves a plan where the metrics are really too easy to meet, then there will be criticism for not really having aggressive expectations in the district. On the other hand if the superintendent approves a plan and the metrics are too hard to meet, we'll be criticized by the people who really want to see the districts resume control.” He ultimately surmised that a “successful” improvement plan may be one that angers individuals on both sides of that debate. Sorry, retired boss: there’s only one hand that matters – the hand that represents student academic outcomes – and unfortunately, as with nearly every step of this long and painful saga, that hand is once again being ignored in the name of…what exactly? (Gongwer Ohio, 9/27/21) Speaking of districts operating under the aegis of an Academic Distress Commission for quite a distance into the foreseeable future, there is at least one good thing going on for families in East Cleveland City Schools: free WiFi hotspots and internet service will be provided to nearly 400 families thanks to AT&T and a national campaign working to (permanently?) bridge the digital divide. (WKYC-TV, Cleveland, 9/27/21)
- And sticking with that digital discussion for a moment: I thought the ship had sailed on this, but it seems that school districts are still able to create a virtual learning option for families even this far into the school year. The elected school board of Tipp City Exempted Village Schools voted to do so this week, giving parents an option “to have in their back pocket” if they need it. (You know what they mean.) I’m not complainin’, you know. Seems to me like an eminently sensible thing to do. I just hope they can actually do it well. Unfortunately, I am not optimistic because the report includes the following quote from the leader of the local Education Service Center, who will be running the electronic show: “We [the ESC] do not exist to take learning opportunities away from teachers or teaching opportunities. We are here to make sure we fill a need that districts can’t supply or need a better option to supply to families.” She is obviously responding to a criticism of the plan of which she has been made aware, but one which is not enumerated within in the piece. I’ll bet you guys are savvy enough to deduce what she’s talking about just as well as I did without having it spelled out for you. (WDTN-TV, Dayton, 9/28/21)
- And going back to Paolo, I guess I was aiming a little low on his behalf when I suggested the other day that his next gig would be a cooking show. (Although, I’m just saying that the next Guy Fieri has got to be out there…) Turns out, dude is sticking to what he’s familiar with – no, it’s K-12 education management and conglomortization, you guys; be nice! – and will become the next president and CEO of the National Association of State Boards of Education starting in January. See? It all makes sense. (Now, if the Food Network would like to consider another Ohio native of Italian heritage to talk about food from greasy spoons, I am ready to begin negotiations...) (Gongwer Ohio, 9/28/21)
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