Charter Schools

More Online Charter Schools Struggle To Keep Track Of Student Learning Hours

Aug 30, 2016
The Ohio Departmente. of Education is pushing for updated safety plans for schools around the state
Ohio Department of Education

A look at several online charter school attendance reviews reveal that more e-schools might be either unable or unwilling to meet the standards the state has set to prove students are learning. 

For weeks, the state has been battling with its largest online charter school, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow or ECOT, over how it records the number of hours its more than 15,000 students spend learning. Those hours are critical to the funding of ECOT and all charter schools.

ECOT

The Ohio Department of Education wants to know how much learning is actually going on among the more than 17,000 students at the state’s largest online charter school, ECOT. Some of the school's students are taking a stand. 

18 year old Gabriel Young is featured in one of ECOT’s latest commercials, in which he states, “I was adopted for seven years and then put back.”

Young lives on his own, and says ECOT’s flexible system fits his schedule. And he adds that the work students do can’t always be tracked through log-in information.

ECOT's Attempt To Halt Attendance Audit Fails In Court

Jul 12, 2016
ECOT Ohio
ecotohio.org

The largest online charter school in the state took the Ohio Department of Education to court today, and lost, as a judge ruled the state’s audit of attendance records can go forward.

School Districts Protest Charter School Funding System

Jan 27, 2016
Andy Chow

Several school districts in Ohio have recently passed resolutions asking the state to directly fund charter schools.  Now, many of those districts have also sent the state department of education invoices to show that millions of dollars are being pulled from their funding to follow students when they leave for a charter school. 

Chad Aldis, with the pro-charter school organization the Fordham Institute, says sending invoices is a bit theatrical.

Superintendent Richard Ross and others at Tuesday's school board meeting.
Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

A three-member panel appointed by the outgoing state school superintendent has come up with 22 ideas on how to reform Ohio’s troubled charter schools and improve public perception of the schools.

The panel recommended charter schools be evaluated on similar criteria as public schools, and that grades for online and dropout recovery charter schools be included in reviews. The state’s charter school chief resigned this summer after coming under fire for not including failing grades for some schools in evaluations.  

$71 Million In Federal Charter Funds On Hold For Ohio

Nov 5, 2015
tncountryfan / Flickr/Creative Commons

The U.S. Department of Education awarded $71 million to expand charter schools in Ohio last month, but the department has announced those funds are being temporarily withheld.

 

In a letter to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), the federal education department explained that it has concerns about Ohio’s oversight and accountability of its charter schools.

Researchers Highlight Bleak Performance At Online Charter Schools

Oct 28, 2015
Mathematica Policy Research

A coalition of researchers says students at online charter schools are drastically lagging behind students at traditional public schools. 

The study says when it comes to math, a student enrolled in an online charter school is a full school year behind a student at a traditional public school. The numbers aren’t much better for reading either.

Ohio Delegation Crafting Charter Reform At Federal Level

Oct 23, 2015
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

Ohio lawmakers at the federal level are working on their own charter school reform proposal. The state passed a measure earlier this month meant to crack down on bad charters.

 

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown says this renewed push for reform comes after the U.S. Department of Education gave Ohio $71 million for its charter school system. He says the Charter School Accountability Act would ensure that money would go to schools with a proven track record of success.

 

More Questions About Ohio Education Department's Charter School Application

Oct 21, 2015

The federal government is giving Ohio $71 million for its charter school program. But state school board members fear Ohio got that money using bogus information on its application. 

The state submitted the application just two days after its director of school choice admitted to scrubbing data on charter school sponsor evaluations and resigned.

This bothers several state board of education members, including Stephanie Dodd.

The Ohio Departmente. of Education is pushing for updated safety plans for schools around the state
Ohio Department of Education

A divided state school board has voted against releasing additional documents sought by Auditor Dave Yost in his probe of the Ohio Department of Education's troubled charter-school oversight office.
 
A resolution offered Tuesday by board member Stephanie Dodd would have required the department to release all documents sought by Yost, including anything protected by attorney-client privilege. Backers of the effort say they're eager to know more about events leading up to the July resignation of School Choice Director David Hansen.
 

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