17-year cicadas elusive in the Heights area

An adult Magicicada septendecim photographed in Bedford.  Trace evidents points to pockets of this species surviving in the Heights area.
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Though present in swarms only a few miles away, 17-year cicadas have proven scarce in the Heights area. “We haven’t seen them in any quantity,” says Sarah Cech, Natural Resources Manager for the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. The few cicadas that call the Heights home have mostly revealed themselves by trace evidence: a wing […]

Section 8 and Source of Income Discrimination: is there something in this for us?

Housing Choice Voucher Program
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Coming up with smart and effective social policy is “Mission Impossible”. And evaluating social policy is not much easier. One way to evaluate a social policy is to ask, “does it do more harm than good?” Insert social policies into that phrase and ask yourself, “Does Obamacare do more harm than good?”; “Does Social Security […]

Ohio’s School District Letter Grades Tell Us Little about Real Opportunity

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Ohio’s release last Friday of school district report cards that rate schools and school districts and assign letter grades for a range of calculations that remain incomprehensible to the general public has set me to thinking about opportunity.  The grades, after all, purport to rank and rate our state’s school districts according to their success […]

Ohio Punishes Poor School Districts with Low Rankings without Providing Needed Funds

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Last week the Ohio Education Policy Institute, in research funded by the Ohio School Boards Association, the Buckeye Association of School Administrators and the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, once again documented that school districts serving a large number and high concentration of children in poverty scored lowest on the state’s standardized achievement tests […]

Economy Grows But State Funding for Public Schools Continues to Shrink

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Grover Norquist:  “Grover Glenn Norquist…  is an American political advocate who is founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, an organization that opposes all tax increases…. A Republican, he is the primary promoter of the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” a pledge signed by lawmakers who agree to oppose increases […]

Plunderbund Releases More E-mails Confirming Kasich-Ross Role in Youngstown Plan

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Ohio’s Plunderbund blog continues to investigate the active involvement of Governor John Kasich and his staff along with the direct involvement of State Superintendent Richard Ross in the nine month negotiations for the state takeover of the Youngstown schools and in the future any district with three years’ of “F”ratings from the state. Plunderbund is […]

Ohio Researcher Proves–Yet Again–That Test Scores Measure Primarily Family Income

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Like the rest the country, Ohio is trapped in a test-and-punish education accountability system that castigates public schools when students’ test scores are persistently low. It is a system that punishes already vulnerable institutions—closing and charterizing schools in the places where scores are low, giving vouchers to help children “escape” so-called “failing” schools, and rating […]

Cleveland Hts v. Solon: Comparing cost and understanding value

Photo Nov 30, 3 03 43 PM
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Now that we’re safely past the election season, maybe we can have a reasonable discussion about taxes. If you say taxes are high in the Heights, heads nod. But what does “taxes are high” mean? To find out, let’s compare some real estate listings from Cleveland Heights, a “taxes are high” place and Solon, a […]

Happy hyperlocal holidays

Courtesy of In the 216 on Coventree
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When did holiday shopping become a contact sport? There is an entire class of websites dedicated to Black Friday deals. If I’m to believe what I see in the media, people map out chain-store floor plans weeks in advance. And before the Thanksgiving gravy has congealed, they motor from doorbusters to blockbusters in a wild […]

Educational Redlining: How Zillow’s School Ratings Help Segregate Communities

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Heights Community Congress has just released Educational Redlining: How Zillow and GreatSchools Profit from Suspect School Ratings and Harm Communities,  a report on the practice by Zillow, the real estate website, and GreatSchools to guide home buyers to choose communities according to color-coded school ratings posted online. Heights Community Congress (HCC), founded in 1972, is […]