When the FCI Academy abruptly closed this week, nearly 300 students and their parents were left in a lurch. Many showed up for the first day of school on Wednesday to find a notice simply posted on the front door, with no one answering the door or the many repeated phone calls of parents looking for answers. Some have even sought answers and assistance from the school’s sponsor, Education Service Center of Lake Erie West, located two hours north in Toledo, to no avail.
A parent we spoke with today expressed her frustration as she is now […]Full Story... →
John Kasich is a master of making jokes at other people’s expense. His reputation of delivering snide, snarky comments, after nearly 40 years as a performance politician, is legend.
One joke making news Monday is the expectation that Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will endorse Gov. Kasich for president. This is funny only if backward Alabama, where Republicans dominate state politics even more than in Ohio, is deemed a state whose policies should be bellwethers for the nation. The pending endorsement is framed as an example of Gov. Kasich’s strength stretching “beyond his home state and New Hampshire, and beyond […]Full Story... →
“Oh it’s a long, long while from May to December,” Maxwell Anderson’s great lyric tells us, “But the days go short when you reach September.” And with the Ohio legislature’s inaction on anticipated charter school reform, the classic tune also reminds us that “One hasn’t got time for the waiting game.”
We already knew that while its citizens waited, the Ohio legislature left town as one festering charter school scandal after another went unaddressed. In particular, a long-awaited piece of “reform” legislation, HB 2, proposed to address “governance, sponsorship, and management of community schools,” languishes in the wind […]Full Story... →
With Gov. Kasich beginning to levitate in the stretch before the “debate”, the national media are finally taking a closer look at his dark side back in Columbus. Until now they have offered the short course of the governor’s overwhelming reelection without mentioning his phantom opponent. .
But the Huff Post Blog, as well as the Washington Post, riddled his image with a piece exposing to the rest of the nation what we have been talking about for a long time – his deference to major Republican contributors in Ohio’s messy billion-dollar charter school industry.
Kasich’s total lack of honesty […]Full Story... →
“What’s in a name?” Juliet Capulet famously mused to her paramour Romeo some years ago. “That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet,” she opined for the ages.
But if Juliet thought that names like Montague and Capulet weren’t important in the end, are the names we place on schools and other buildings in the public square perhaps revealing about the civic values such names transmit?
A discussion about the names for public schools is timely in light of a debate going on in reaction to the recent mass murders of African-Americans in a church […]Full Story... →
Where’s the outrage?
After all of the teasing talk by Gov.Kasich and state lawmakers that reforms for charter schools are on the way for the $1 billion tax-funded industry, the Ohio legislative class merely kicked the idea down the road until September at the earliest and left town for summer fun. Meantime Kasich scheduled more out-of-state visits for his presidential candidacy that he will officially announce on July 21, thus giving convenient reason to return to his home state.
As Innovation Ohio reported: “After months of bipartisan momentum to improve Ohio’s nationally ridiculed charter school laws, the Ohio House […]Full Story... →
“Welcome to the dark side,” was the strange greeting conveyed to me at a conference by a well-connected person eight years ago. After delivering that unforgettable remark, the operative (a word chosen carefully) laughed and extended his hand in greeting.
“Thanks,” I replied with a nervous laugh, perplexed about what was behind that curious choice of words.
No, the greeting wasn’t delivered at a meeting of CIA types in a mysterious, remote setting. After all, I was in downtown Columbus, The Heart of It All, but it spooked me just the same. (Is there a pun here?)
Sure, famed spook […]Full Story... →
After the Ohio House removed language from the original version of the Ohio budget bill (HB64), Senate Bill 148 was created, proposing many of the long-overdue reforms to the charter school system that the House dropped. SB148 received strong support from a diverse group of backers, including the Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial board, StudentsFirst Ohio, The Fordham Institute, and the Ohio Education Association. Even Darlene Chambers, president of the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools, expressed support for most of the components of the bill in a May 7 Columbus Dispatch article:
“It is […]Full Story... →
In the Senate’s version of the State Budget Bill (House Bill 64), the author’s decided to include bonus money for charter schools and school districts based on two specific items: four-year graduation rates and third grade reading proficiency (based on whatever third grade reading test the state will be using).
For graduation rate, the formulas are fairly simple: “The school/district’s four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate on its most recent report card x 0.05 x the formula amount x the number of the district’s graduates reported to the department … for the same school year for which the most recent report card was issued”.
The “formula amount” is also being increased […]Full Story... →
Columbus Dispatch readers were shocked, shocked to learn last week that members of Imagine Columbus Primary School’s charter board, protesting that they had no say in negotiating the terms of an operational contract, resigned “en masse” over a lease imposed by the management company that had the school paying $58,000 per month in rent for space to house 150 students, as well as other issues related to the viability of the school.
The board’s action, which did get some attention from the usually somnolent “Ohio’s Greatest Home Newspaper,” was so dramatic that the Casablanca Prefect of Police might have […]Full Story... →
It’s a bad week to be David Hansen, who heads Ohio’s charter school accountability office.
The Columbus Dispatch tells us that the Imagine Columbus Primary Academy, a chronically failing charter, might be forced to close its doors amid concerns over an exorbitant, conflict-laden lease that leaves little money for classroom instruction.
WDTN in Dayton reports that three people were convicted of bribery and taking kickbacks at a Dayton charter.
And today the ODE sent letters to three charter schools (Imagine Cleveland, Villaview and Cleveland Community School) threatening to shut the schools down because their “performance has generally been […]Full Story... →