Charter Schools

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's public school superintendent has named a three-member panel to advise the department on evaluating charter school sponsors.

Superintendent Richard Ross says the state is committed to creating a system that evaluates charter school sponsors fairly while adhering to complex legal requirements. He says the independent panel will help do that.

Superintendent Richard Ross during the July meeting of the Ohio Board of Education.
Mark Urycki / State Impact Ohio

Seven members of the Ohio Board of Education have sent a letter to the state’s superintendent asking for an outside investigator to find out if he was involved in hiding poor charter school assessments.

Ohio Board Of Education Lacks Political Clout

Jul 30, 2015
Superintendent Richard Ross during the July meeting of the Ohio Board of Education.
Mark Urycki / State Impact Ohio

Members of the State Board of Education were upset at their meeting this month when they found out that some charter school sponsors may have been getting special treatment in their evaluations. Some state legislators are calling for the resignation of Ohio’s School Superintendent Richard Ross. The power to fire him lies in the hands of the school board. But as some board members found, that’s just about all the power they have.

Arise Academy in Dayton is now closed, and former leaders of the school have been convicted of federal crimes.
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The state of Ohio has new guidelines for how it handles failing public school districts. Part of that law paves the way for an increase in charter schools.

The new rules would allow the state to recruit charter sponsors to come to a city with a troubled district. And right now, Youngstown City Schools is the only affected district. Senate Education Committee Chair Peggy Lehner says this push means the state is walking a fine line between improving its traditional public schools and relying on charters to educate students.

Dayton school officials want feedback and ideas from parents about ways to improve the district.
facebook.com/DaytonPublicSchools

The Dayton Public Schools Board of Education is drawing attention to the differences between the state’s traditional public and charter schools. The board wants charters on a more level playing field.

Charter Controversy Could Renew Efforts To Close Failing Schools

Jul 21, 2015
Lawmakers scrapped Gov. Kasich's proposal that would have given schools less money.
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The head of the Office of School Choice in Ohio resigned over the weekend, after he admitted he had left some failing grades out of several charter school evaluations. Critics question whether David Hansen was purposely “scrubbing” the grades to make charter sponsors look good.

Officials Say State DOE Threw F Grades Out Of Evaluation

Jul 15, 2015
The Ohio Department of Education is pushing for updated safety plans for schools around the state.
Ohio Department of Education

State school board members have accused the Ohio Department of Education of breaking the law by throwing failing grades for online schools out of a charter school evaluation.

The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reports that officials confirmed Tuesday that School Choice Director David Hansen left failing grades for those schools out of the evaluations of charter school oversight agencies. The omission boosted the rating of two oversight agencies.

State Auditor Dave Yost says charter school padded attendance.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

  A special audit has found that a now-closed Ohio charter school padded its rolls by nearly half, and that may have brought it $1.1 million in tax dollars it shouldn’t have received. State Auditor David Yost says that General Chappie James Leadership Academy near Dayton reported having 459 students in attendance, but only 239 students could be documented.

Arise Academy in Dayton is now closed, and former leaders of the school have been convicted of federal crimes.
User: Paradox 56 / Flickr/Creative Commons

 COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio charter school superintendent, a school board chairman and an education consultant suspected of bribing them in exchange for a contract have been convicted of federal charges.

Ohio Senate Takes Up Charter Reform

Apr 6, 2015
State Senator Peggy Lehner heads the Senate Education Committee.
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 Now that the Ohio House has passed a bill aimed at reforming charter schools, the Senate will take up the issue. The head of the Senate Education committee says she is deeply concerned about the number of poorly performing charters.

The House bill would stop charter sponsors from selling services to the schools they oversee; the Senate is expected to go further and lay out the duties and limits of both sponsors and the operating companies who manage the schools.  

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