Real estate agents to the rescue?

Gone, apparently, are the days when everyone “just knew” which schools were good and which were to be avoided. A new piece from Education Dive documents the ways in which traditional districts are attempting to combat the expansion of choice—charters, private schools, interdistrict open enrollment, and the like—by enlisting realtors as direct conduits between their schools and potential home buyers. The Akron suburb of Barberton is put forward as an exemplar of these hard-sell practices. Wonder what you sell if you’re not as good a district as Barberton?

Charter funding in the budget…and under the bright lights of television

Statewide news channel Spectrum News 1 covered the topic of the proposed funding increase for charter schools being debated in the state budget. Chad Aldis’ on-camera interview attempted to make the rather complex nature of charter school funding understandable and communicate the need to provide more support for charters. It wasn’t an easy task.

 Dropout recovery success story in Middletown

Brooklynn Herald’s young life was in shambles. In and out of school, addicted to drugs, living alone, and pregnant as a teenager. Even after getting help for her addiction and safely delivering her baby, she knew her lack of education would hold her back. When she found Marshall High School—a charter school in Middletown—that fear was gone. She found a place where she felt supported and able to succeed in school. Brooklynn recently earned her high school diploma and has a steady job with advancement now in her sights. “A weight has been lifted…” she told The Journal-News. “All of those people who said I couldn’t do anything with my life. We can put that to rest.”

Mini Edisons

The Mohan sisters may be rising sixth graders, but they seem to have a future as talented inventors already in their sights. The Menlo Park Academy students recently displayed their prototypes—one an app-driven water conservation technology and the other an LED traffic safety system—at the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo in Dearborn, Michigan.

Constructing a hands-on education

Some confusing information here from a reporter who could use a bit of education on charter schools, but there’s no denying the important alternative illustrated in this story about the Ohio Construction Academy. The charter high school in Columbus, which also includes students up to age 22, currently provides carpentry and electrical training along with its more traditional school curriculum, but its leaders want to expand to include masonry, plumbing, and HVAC as its student body also expands. Kudos, too, to the positive example shown by principal Jennifer Johnston, making personal visits to prospective students to sell her program. No realtor intervention required!

Legislative update

Ohio’s next biennial budget has reached its penultimate phase. Conference committee is in full swing as we publish this and education advocates are eagerly awaiting word on their priority policies. Here is a brief summary of the biggest issues we still would like to see resolved before the bill is completed.

Policy Priority:

Chad Aldis is the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy. In this role, Chad plans and leads Fordham’s Ohio policy, advocacy, and research agenda . He represents the Institute in its work with the media, state and local policy makers, other education reform groups, and the public.

Chad has a strong background in Ohio education policy work having previously served as the…

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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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