Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The Marietta Times, July 13
Imagine reading that during a two-year period, 14 schools in Ohio were closed because they were not doing a good enough job for students. Shocking, right?
…Did we forget to mention these were and are charter schools, not public schools? Puts a whole new light on it, doesn’t it? Perhaps even makes it no big deal?
It should be viewed as important. For years, some operators of Ohio charter schools got away with running shoddy, even dishonest, operations because the state was not holding them to firm standards…
That seems to have changed. Charter schools are being monitored both financially and academically. Those that do not measure up are told to do better – or close.
Privately-run charter schools are a good idea as both alternatives to failing public schools in their areas and as laboratories showing what educators can do when the handcuffs of over-regulation are removed. They are a good enough idea to merit the taxpayer funding they can receive. Throughout the state, 374 charters are in operation.
Simply sending them checks because they operate as charter schools is not a good idea, however, as we have been pointing out for years. They should be held to the same academic standards under which public schools operate…
The Lima News, July 16
The hugs, handshakes and energizing sound bites that have become the hallmarks of national political conventions won’t be enough.
The Republican Party faces a crisis of perception and direction. Tens of thousands of party faithful and on-the-bubble voters will be hungry to find clarity during this week’s national convention.
Americans are desperate for unified leadership and vision.
This cannot be the Donald Trump National Convention. Although the flamboyance and showmanship is to be expected from the party’s presumptive candidate, it should not be allowed to overshadow the larger concerns for which voters of all parties expect — and deserve — ideas…
No longer can the GOP hope to glide into the White House simply on animosity for Democrats.
The GOP must instead expend its energy addressing growing generational gaps that have eroded the base of its conservative platform. Those who consider themselves Republicans have shifted their personal viewpoints dramatically in the past few decades, and that movement has become seismic in recent years. The values of the Ronald Reagan era can still exist, but not without adapting to the realities of 2016…
Continuing down the unchanging path of ideological purity will not strengthen the Republican Party and will not serve those who still hold fast to its core principles. This week will provide an opportunity to show there’s a willingness to reach a unified goal, even if traveling divergent paths.
The Columbus Dispatch, July 17
The entrenched members of Columbus City Council angling to defeat an August ballot issue on ward representation — which could boot them from office and upend their nice grip on City Hall — need to start paying greater attention to the community groups that once served as the de facto system of wards and council watchdogs.
These groups’ leaders, who once were intensely courted and consulted by the council, have a reduced presence at City Hall; many say they feel marginalized…
Until the early 2000s, the city council and mayor’s office wished to hear from these “thorns. ” They had, in fact, cultivated an army of residential representatives who wielded great clout at City Hall and whose input inspired or nixed legislation.
By 1992, there were 246 neighborhood associations and 14 city-sanctioned area commissions. Many still exist with exceptional leadership. But the groups, as a whole, have all but disappeared from Monday night council meetings…
Today, an overwhelmingly young city council still works with these groups. But they never saw the old system in place…
To ease the frustration, it would behoove the city council to bring these neighborhood representatives back into City Hall and officially support their role.
The (Toledo) Blade, June 16
Another attack in France — the third in 19 months. And this time, 84 dead; hundreds wounded and maimed.
And the expressions of outrage and regret begin: From the Pope, who correctly called it “blind violence,” to the American president and presidential candidates.
But it all seems like so much hand-wringing. We have been here before, and we are not getting smarter or tougher. The bad guys have assassins, guns, and bombs. The West has regret and pious outrage.
This tragedy might have been averted. The evidence is that the French government did very little after the November and January attacks that claimed 147 lives…
So this tragedy was a matter not only of brutal terror and mass murder but inaction. It was a matter of malfeasance, or at the very least incompetence and lethargy, on the part of the French government. We are face to face with the inability of the French government to do the most basic job of any government: Protect the lives and security of its people…
If the tragedy in Nice was indeed predictable and preventable, the French government should fall over it. In the light of 147 previous deaths, it did virtually nothing. There is blood on its hands