The swiss-cheese state board of education (and other news)

  • One needs a score card to keep track of the rapid changes in the state school board’s membership. On the heels of the recent departures of Angela Thi Bennett (off to work for a charter school) and Bryan Williams (booted due to ethics issues), Jeffrey Mims—the elected board member from the Dayton area—has resigned to take the position of Dayton city commissioner. Just today, the governor’s office announced that Rebecca Vazquez-Skillings has been appointed to fill the Bennett’s seat. One down, three to go.
  • In a strongly worded editorial, the Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register (in Eastern Ohio) urges the state board of education to enforce the state’s new Third Grade Reading Guarantee law, even under pressure to weaken its provisions. Governor Kasich, the editorial board argues, should appoint members to the state board who will ensure that the Guarantee is carried out. In short, we couldn’t agree more.
  • Cross-cultural education comes to Akron: LeBron James’s alma mater, St. Vincent–St. Mary High School near Akron, offers Chinese students the opportunity to participate in an extended exchange program. According to the Akron Beacon-Journal, the exchange students live with host families for a year and enroll in the school. Hu Jin, a junior exchange student, expressed her taste for American education over Chinese education, remarking, “I don’t like Chinese education. There is so much homework and no time for activities. Here, I can try some new things.”
  • The black-white achievement gap is the topic of discussion in the second-annual Changing Minds, Changing Lives forum at the University of Toledo. David J. Johns, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, will give the keynote speech. We applaud this effort to create a candid, constructive dialogue about race and education, and we hold out hope that Toledo Public Schools’s new superintendent, Romules Durant, can transform broad ideas into district-level reforms that improve the outcomes of the black students in Toledo.

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