Friday, August 08, 2008

Picking up my Slack

Things I might normally blog, that you might normally be looking for, that are notably not here.

When I wrote about ballot length and voting lines earlier this week, I had not yet read the report commissioned by the Franklin County BOE on how to allocate voting machines. It is one of the more impressive pieces of consultant work I've seen. It has problems, but it is light years ahead of what anyone else is doing. Read it Here. Comment at the BOE meeting on Thursday 8/14 at 6:30pm. I've asked the authors for the tables they used in the report, but have heard nothing back. Next week I'll discuss where the potential problems are.

The Garland campaign office is up and running in Bexley. After I followed up on a PolitickerOH piece by commenting on the lack of campaigning by Garland's opponent, the Dispatch article that mirrored the content and format of the Politicker piece included a reference to the lack of respect McGregor's campaign intensity engenders. Following up on that, PolitickerOH interviewed McGregor, who declared his continued desire to hold the office. Garland's response is well documented at Ohio Daily Blog.

Ohio Daily Blog also has a mention of the upcoming fundraiser for David Robinson in New Albany featuring Chris Redfern, head of the ODP. This is hopefully the first of many helping hands the bigger names in the party will lend to help put this race more in the spotlight.

Robinson's opponent, Pat Tiberi, got knocked around a bit by another blogger last week, as Kelley Bell went off on PT's franking abuse.

Bexley Schools got another Excellent report card. The media has seen it but ODE doesn't have it up on the website, so no data/link here yet. By the way, Bexley hit all but one of the sub-group NCLB standards. Dublin didn't fare so well and lost its Excellent rating. Larry Wolpert (R-Hilliard), whose home district befell the same fate last year, is trying to get the report card system changed as a result. The Dispatch supports him. I strongly disagree with both of them. The CD asks: meaningful is a ranking system that assigns the same verdict to Dublin City Schools, which met all 30 criteria, as that earned the year before by the Cleveland City Schools, which met four?
I'd say it's quite meaningful. If Cleveland's students were 90% White/Asian and 10% economically disadvantaged, and if Dublin's student body were 17% White/Asian and 100% (!!) economically disadvantaged, that 30 vs. 4 would be remarkable. As it stands, all I know is that the students who do well in every district do well in Dublin, and I know nothing about the quality of Dublin Schools per se. So spare me.

Speaking of Education, Bexley resident/Education Foundation Head/Former school board member Linda Kass was named by Ted Strickland to The Ohio OSU Board of Regents Trustees. Interesting thing about Linda Kass? She and her husband contributed at least $26,500 between 1990 and this year to Pat Tiberi, Deborah Pryce, John Kasich, George W. Bush, Bob Ney, Bernadine Healy, and the RNC. This spring, she made her first ever contribution to a Dem in a federal campaign, maxing out at $2.3k for Obama. I wonder what happened.


Paul said...


Hilliard got zapped again this year: 30/30 and 100+ index, but still not all subgroups up to speed. So once again the ranking is "Continuous Improvement."

I wonder how Bexley would do if 1,000+ immigrant kids appeared in the district. That's the situation we're facing. The race/culture classifications don't help in doing the analysis - a Bantu kid from east Africa with no English skills has to pick "African-American." Does that kid have the same needs as one who is a descendent of American slaves? Does 'Asian' mean the kid whose parents are both PhDs on the OSU faculty, or the kid whose family just escaped from Myanmar?

Who is the beneficiary of this report card system anyway? I'd argue that it exists primarily to help parents looking for a new home decide in which district to buy (few of the hard-to-educate kids will be able to afford Bexley or UA), and to give an indication to the taxpayers in a school district whether their tax dollars are being well spent.

In the latter role, this system brings more harm than good, at least here in Hilliard. We're in the midst of a very tough levy battle, and our "CI" rating is just giving more people an excuse to say the school district is squandering their money.

The truth is that our education team is doing a fantastic job, and making progress in every area with every subgroup.

So while it is appropriate to note when some subgroups are performing below others, Rep Wolpert's idea is to apply a "Conditional" modifier to the rating. Hilliard and Dublin would be "Excellent (Conditional)" if his bill goes through.

The real answer is to chuck this whole highly-discriminatory community school district system we have in Ohio and go to a Friedman-style voucher system where any kid can attend any school and take their funding with them.

Let a boatload of our newest Americans show up at Bexley HS and see how you do...

bonobo said...


I'm still not on board with a full voucher system, but the community-based system is as bad as you say. Bring 1000 non-native English speakers into the district, and Bexley would likely drop. I know I came across as a rabid booster, but Bexley is as lucky as it is good.

Paul said...

Not lucky - intentionally segregated, just like UA.

And not segregated by race, but by wealth, which may be even more nefarious.

That's because Americans like to be rewarded for success - that's what capitalism is all about. But one of those rewards is an escape from poor neighbors to a enclave of other rich folks. Sounds good, but the outcome is substantially the same as if the civil rights movement had never happened.

(see "Getting Around Brown" by Gregory Jacobs)