Posts by: Denis Smith

“The Ohio Department of Education should have taken steps to avoid a mid-year closing of the school. The department created an environment that caused the school to close mid-year.”

If Ronald Reagan could have heard Rep. Andrew Brenner’s comments about ECOT’s closing, he might have offered up his classic line one more time.

“There you go again,” the Gipper might have admonished the Chair of the House Education Committee as he attempted to lay blame anywhere for the online school’s colossal slow-motion train wreck –  except where the responsibility really lies in this disaster.

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It looks like the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow is in fact yesterday’s school.

A long nightmare lasting nearly two decades appears to be over. ECOT, the notorious online charter school, has been suspended by its sponsor and is shutting down, although the appointment of a special master will delay the liquidation of its assets in the short term.

When the official last rites for ECOT are concluded, the online school’s remnants will be piled on top of the rest of the other charter school rubble, a junkyard contained in a swamp filled with the […]

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The woman’s voice distracted me from viewing the coming attractions on the big screen in the darkened movie theater. She spoke while sitting down in the soft, red leather recliner, the last seat to be filled in the next-to-last row of the crowded film venue.

“I wonder what the average age of the audience is here?” she asked, while looking closely at the group eagerly awaiting the start of the feature. “At least sixty,” I replied. “You’ve been reading my mind.” We both enjoyed a good laugh as we settled in to see this long-anticipated and very timely film, knowing […]

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In journalist Michael Wolff’s scathing new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Donald Trump is portrayed by many of his closest aides in the most derisive of terms. Prior to this book’s appearance, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s use of the word moron had received the most coverage of non-flattering words used to describe the nation’s chief executive. This book takes 45 POTUS invective to a new level.

In a way, the moron term might prove to be one the kindest descriptors for Trump. Then there is this:

A number of the president’s key staff […]

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What is it about a small Ohio town that can provide both an uplifting story about kindness for this holiday season as well as a real bummer of a tale that is sure to bring you down from an otherwise festive spirit?

We can find the answers to that question by looking at two people who both have roots in Urbana, a small town that could serve as a model for understanding the often contradictory nature of America.

The uplifting part of the story about Urbana is provided by Traci Bild, who grew up in the Champaign County community and […]

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The signs are everywhere. We’re experiencing an “epidemic of incivility,” and one Ohio congressman is working overtime to spread a toxic tone of discord in the land.

Last week, the nation witnessed the shameless duo of Congressmen Louie Gohmert of Texas and Jim Jordan of Ohio continually mispronounce the name of an American political party during a congressional hearing while they aggressively tried to besmirch the image and integrity of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. To these miscreants, their enemy is the “Democrat” Party and the “Democrat” National Committee.

As the hyperbolic partisan non-dynamic duo flopped in their […]

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“President Donald Trump and GOP leaders offered thoughts and prayers to the victims of a Texas church shooting Sunday, setting off inevitable complaints about their dodging of gun control talk after yet another deadly mass shooting.” – Newsweek

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families…

That tired, predictable, and canned refrain is uttered ritualistically by politicians in response to the latest American mass shooting.

Count on it.

We heard that hackneyed phrase yet again on Sunday, as we listened to reports on the most recent example of people losing […]

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Ode To A Dotard

On October 26, 2017 By

 

 

From Merriam-Webster: “The word as used today commonly means “a person in his or her dotage” (dotage is “a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness”). Dotard, which comes from the Middle English word doten (meaning “to dote”), initially had the meaning of “imbecile” when it began being used in the 14th century.”

 

Rot in thy grave, thou dotard, I defie thee.
Curst be our […]

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In the present thoroughly undiplomatic era, a toxic time marked by personal insults and escalating rhetoric exchanged between two petulant leaders of countries equipped with nuclear weapons, how secure can we feel as a nation?

That question was in the minds of an audience gathered at Otterbein University in Westerville to hear two experts discuss the implications of the explosive epithets traveling between Washington and Pyongyang and the heightened tensions that accompany the current war of words engulfing both capitals.

National Security in the Age of Trump was the title of the panel discussion on October 15 sponsored by Indivisible: […]

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The week of October 15-21 has been proclaimed National Character Counts Week, and in celebration of this important annual event and its significance in the formation of young people, the President of the United States issued a Proclamation on Friday, Oct. 13 about the importance of character.

“I call upon public officials, educators, parents, students, and all Americans to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs,” the president said.

The date of the issuance of Trump’s Proclamation was appropriate enough, and for those who are superstitious and believe that calamities can occur […]

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First I learned about a strange and mysterious place called Area 51. Two weeks ago I learned about yet another place identified by a number.

There are some things that you just can’t make up. Here’s one for the books, a happenstance that Mel Brooks or Woody Allen couldn’t imagine.

At the very time I finished reading a Cleveland Plain Dealer article on the latest machinations of the charter school industry, where a charter school organization is splitting off from its parent body so that it can continue doing Full Story...

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