1. We’re back! And there’s a lot to cover. So let’s get to it: There are apparently some “relentless attacks” going on out there somewhere. They are, apparently, an effort to “pin” some current statewide office candidates with “blame” for something related to the demise of ECOT. Fordham’s Chad Aldis is in here as well, trying to inject some reality to the discussion, but I fear it is too late. (Columbus Dispatch, 9/1/18)
  2. Chad also features in this piece covering the ongoing discussion of Ohio’s graduation requirements. Chad is on record as supporting academically-rigorous requirements. This story is about pretty much the opposite if you ask me. (Dayton Daily News, 9/4/18)
  3. Editors in Columbus opined late last week on the topic of the state’s newly unveiled education master plan, calling for balance. (Columbus Dispatch, 8/30/18)
  4. Speaking of the state’s newly unveiled education master plan, the brains behind that plan—State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria—was visiting schools in far northern Fremont, Ohio, yesterday. There are a number of interesting points in here – including praise for a new “learning lab” that “mimics online schools like ECOT” and how important “enrollment numbers” are to rural districts. (Fremont News Messenger, 9/4/18)
  5. According to the internet, it was at least 95 degrees in Fremont yesterday. School was in session and Paolo looked cool as a cucumber in his suit and tie in the pictures. Which is great. Here in central Ohio, Columbus City Schools called off classes early yesterday due to that heat—the fourth school day in a row for that—and today classes are simply cancelled entirely. (Columbus Dispatch, 9/4/18) When Columbus City Schools calls off for the full day, that usually means cancellation of busing for charter and private school students across the area as well. As a result, a bunch of those schools are also closed today. I don’t know how bad this really is, though, since this piece from late last week makes it seem like charter school students were already being pretty ill-served by the district’s transportation system this school year. What’s one more day? (Columbus Dispatch, 8/31/18) Meanwhile, the elected school board in Columbus is chewing over the recommendations made by their school closure committee. Decision-making is on a “fast track”, board members suggest, but the outcome is still unclear. Whatever happens, I doubt it will improve transportation. (Columbus Dispatch, 9/4/18)
  6. Schools were closed in the Cincinnati suburb of Finneytown due to the heat also. It has attracted the attention of a state representative who wants action. Well, information first. Then action. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 9/5/18) Not to worry, though: high school sportsball practices and games are not stopping for the heat. (Elyria Chronicle, 9/5/18) But you know what is stopping? The practice of competitive balance in Ohio. That is the reorganization of high school athletic conferences in an effort to—among other things—account for students in charter and STEM schools as well as homeschoolers who are eligible to play varsity sports at the high school in their district of residence. The Ohio Supreme Court issued a stay pending their review of the litigation being pursued by a group of Cincinnati-area Catholic schools. Here is an opinion piece on the topic written with patented sports-columnist sass. (Marion Star, 9/1/18)
  7. I have made the prediction that the forthcoming documentary on LeBron James’ new I Promise School in Akron will be called “We Are Family”. But right or wrong, it is time for me to think about the inevitable sequels and a clutch of recent clips from the ABJ can help. First up, “I Promise – Where the Money Comes From”. Boring, but important. (Akron Beacon Journal, 8/3/18) Next will be “We are a Bigger Family”, in which we see the I Promise school model expanding nationwide, as many folks hope. (Akron Beacon Journal, 9/3/18). Finally, how about “I Promise – The Potential for Return on Investment”? That is the topic of the editorial board’s opinion piece on just what I Promise might achieve. (Akron Beacon Journal, 9/4/18)
  8. Finally today, as long as you all keep subscribing and reading and loving Gadfly Bites—which I see as nothing less than a vital service doing hella good in the community—your humble clips compiler can get a BOGO tuition deal at Capital University in Bexley! The Murray twins are going to be Crusaders! Wooohooo!!! Wait, what do you mean? I’m sure they had me in mind when they created this plan. (Columbus Dispatch, 9/5/18)

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Jeff Murray is a lifelong resident of central Ohio. He previously worked at School Choice Ohio and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. He has two degrees from the Ohio State University. He lives in the Clintonville neighborhood with his wife and twin daughters. He is proud every day to support the Fordham mission to help make excellent education options more numerous and more readily available for families and…

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