In December, we were treated to two very interesting but seemingly unconnected events. One happening created large headlines and continued a nearly two-year long controversy. The other generated a few stories but was otherwise unnoticed on evening news programs.
Upon closer examination, the two events are very much related, and when you examine them together, they provide us a lesson to apply in the current political upheaval in this country.
But wait: the warning signal these two disparate stories generate is more important than what might be visible on the surface.
The first event was the waves made by Michigan Attorney […]Full Story... →
The OAPCS will be out of business at the end of this year. This organization has been an influential advocacy agent for Ohio’s publicly-funded, privately-operated charter industry. Some of the reasons for its demise are identified in a December 14 Columbus Dispatch article.
The dismal reputation of Ohio’s charter industry may be the reason funders have withdrawn their support of OAPCS. It is ironic the federal government has awarded a $71 million grant to expand the failed charter industry in Ohio.
The newly anticipated federal emphasis on expanding the failed charter industry will no doubt generate another […]Full Story... →
When traditional public schools are low performing, federal and state officials demand alternatives-when charter schools are low performing and laced with corruption, they demand charter expansion
What is it about charter schools that gain the favor of public officials regardless of their performance, proneness to fraud and corruption and lack of inclusiveness?
Why do some parents transfer their children from a high-performing public school to a low-performing charter?
Are some public officials so enamored with the notion of choice and/or privatization that it blinds them to the failure of chartering?
Low performance and fiscal fraud in the charter industry is […]Full Story... →
The Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools (OAPCS) 10th annual conference is being held on December 6-8 in Columbus Ohio.
Organizations typically honor special friends in high places. State Auditor Dave Yost and Senator Cliff Hite are special OAPCS honorees this year.
Representative Andrew Brenner is also being featured during some special events at the conference.
All three men have received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the ECOT founder Bill Lager.
Ron Packard, the former K-12, Inc. online charter company (Ohio Virtual Academy) and now owner of several Ohio charters is prominent on the program. […]Full Story... →
What does it take to get an elected official’s attention about investigating potential wrongdoing and conflicts-of-interest in the Ohio charter school industry? If it’s Ohio Auditor Dave Yost, it might take an earthquake or a coup in a foreign country to wake him up from his self-induced coma and avoidance of responsibility in protecting public funds.
On October 11, the policy group, Progress Ohio, hosted a press conference which featured Robert Amsterdam, a Washington-based attorney who discussed a complaint sent to Yost that was based on an investigation of Concept Schools, a charter management organization that operates 17 publicly […]Full Story... →
On a conference call with reporters Wednesday, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown voiced his strong support for special accountability and transparency conditions placed on a $71 million charter school grant awarded to Ohio by the U.S. Department of Education.
Senator Brown, in his second term representing Ohio in Washington but looking ahead two years to another reelection cycle, offered ample reasons why Ohio’s expensive system of for-profit “pubic” schools rightfully qualifies for scandal status. He said it’s a disgrace that has defrauded taxpayers so much that its national reputation earned it the ignominious title, “the wild west” of charter school systems […]Full Story... →
If “open secret” is one of the top-listed oxymorons used in everyday conversation, chances are we won’t see –or better yet, hear much longer– another contradictory term: “public charter school.”
That’s because a ruling on August 24 by the National Labor Relations Board might help to eventually put the term “public charter school” in the oxymoron trash bin.
In a New York case involving the efforts of a union to organize the staff at the Hyde Leadership charter school, the NLRB concluded that the school should be subject to its jurisdiction, rather than the Public Employee Relations Board, since Full Story... →
Drip, drip, drip.
The steady stream of critical stories about the charter school Goliath named ECOT now is approaching a critical level, ready to create a flood in the GOP Statehouse and in the offices of the mega-giant’s lobbyists well before this year’s elections. If a Richard Nixon-type was somehow in command at this stage of the game and dealing with the proliferating ECOT mess, he would have called in the Plumbers and the renowned Haldeman and Erlichman firm to deal with the debacle.
No, the ECOT flood is not attributable to global warming, which Republicans don’t believe in, but […]Full Story... →
Ohio’s online charter schools have come under scrutiny lately for questions about their attendance. Multiple smaller online schools have been found to have significantly overstated their enrollment numbers, resulting in a significant amount of state tax dollars being over-billed by the schools’ operators.
State Senator Joe Schiavoni introduced legislation in March of this year that would seek to hold online schools more accountable for accurate attendance records.
“We need to make sure that online schools are accurately reporting attendance and not collecting tax dollars for students who never log in to take classes,” said Senator Schiavoni. “Online schools must be […]Full Story... →
In downtown Columbus Thursday, a new study based on years worth of work shows millions of federal tax dollars intended for high-performing charter schools have actually gone to some of Ohio’s worst. More problematic was the news that many millions went to other charter schools that never even opened.
The federal government has sent more money to Ohio to expand “high-performing” charter schools than all but two other states, but Ohio spent millions on some of the lowest-performing schools. And nearly $4 million went to schools that never opened, according to a new analysis, a media release announcing “Belly Up” […]Full Story... →
After months of waiting for the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to release public records related to last summer’s charter school scandal, Plunderbund Media LLC has filed a lawsuit to force Governor John Kasich’s representatives at the ODE to turn over emails from David Hansen, Kasich’s hand-picked and now-disgraced Charter School Czar.
Hansen, husband of trusted Kasich adviser Beth Hansen, resigned from his state job back in July 2015 after it was discovered he illegally withheld damaging rating data from charter sponsor evaluations. Seven weeks later, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) finally released some public records related to that charter school data scandal. […]Full Story... →