In an exclusive video interview Tuesday at Ohio Democratic Headquarters in downtown Columbus, David Pepper confronts incumbent first-term Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine for failing to act on the many scandals that became public last week, when four teachers who taught at Horizon charters schools in the Dayton-area brought their first-hand testimony to the Ohio Board of Education.
Pepper provided this exclusive comment following the regularly scheduled press conference at which he lambasted Ohio’s current attorney general, elected in 2010 along with other Republicans who won office with the help from Tea Party activists, for what he said called “revelations [...]Full Story... →
With a former student and teacher from the Horizon Science Academy flanking him Monday, Ohio Rep. John Patrick Carney charged Republican Auditor of State David Yost with not launching an investigation contemporaneous with the violations that the Ohio Board of Education heard last week from four teachers who worked for the charter school.
But the whistleblower teachers might soon find themselves under the microscope. The agency headed by Dr. Richard Ross, an appointee of Gov. John R. Kasich, whose future aspirations to jump into presidential politics in 2016 or sooner rests wholly on winning a second term this [...]Full Story... →
At the State Board of Education meeting this week, four former teachers from the Horizon Science Academy Dayton High School testified about years of questionable practices and behavior, some of which had been previously reported and ignored by the Ohio Department of Education.
The things the teachers observed while teaching at the school are nothing short of appalling and the teachers were told by school administrators to avoid contacting the Ohio Department of Education and they feared losing their jobs and jeopardizing their careers if they reported the incidents.
Former teachers Kellie Kochensparger and Richard Storrick, reported [...]Full Story... →
Matthew Blair, a Dayton-area teacher who said he personally witnessed grade tampering at a charter school affiliated with the Turkish Gulen movement, is asking for an investigation after he learned that the scandal was apparently covered up by the state agency that is supposed to police charter schools.
In an email sent Monday to members of State Board of Education of Ohio, Mr. Blair said he witnessed exposed wiring, mold in the school building and school administrators tampering with standardized tests.
Rather than look in the matter, Ohio’s top education officials launched a phony investigation, complete with instructions to those [...]Full Story... →
Bruce Nottke, an Athens City School Board member, sent the following letter to nearly every public school superintendent in Ohio. We thought it was worth sharing!
My name is Bruce Nottke and I am a board member for the Athens City Schools. I am writing to you in regards to my growing concerns about charter schools. My concerns rest not only with the loss of dollars to public schools, but more importantly with the poor quality of education our students receive from many of the charter schools currently operating in Ohio. The businesses that operate most of [...]Full Story... →
In the interest of discussing what is “thorough and efficient” about Ohio’s charter schools, concerned community members are invited to join Ohio Senate Minority Leader, Senator Joe Schiavoni and other expert panelists at Central Ohio’s first Community Forum on Charter School Accountability (May 7th, 6 – 7:30 p.m., at the Upper Arlington Public Library, 2800 Tremont Rd., Cols, Ohio 43221).
Joining Senator Schiavoni are Southwestern City Schools Treasurer, Hugh Garside and School Board member, Lee Schreiner. Southwestern City Schools has lost 108 million dollars to charter schools since the year 2000. Also on the panel are the former Head of [...]Full Story... →
House Bill 487 contains all of the education related components of John Kasich’s recent budget bill and was adopted by the Ohio House this week after being amended by the House Education Committee. One of the amendments added by the committee that has not received any press is a proposed change in the way value-added results would be calculated and graded on school and district report cards.
The exact text of the bill is included below. The underlined text is what has been added and the text that has been crossed out is what is proposed to be [...]Full Story... →
Like Captain Renault, the fabled Prefect of Police in Casablanca, Ohio citizens were shocked, shocked to learn that several charter school sponsors gambled recently when they opened a parade of new schools that quickly failed. But unlike the character played in the classic film by Claude Rains, these sponsors have few winnings to collect. Instead, they can anticipate increased scrutiny from the Ohio Auditor as well as new skepticism from the state’s taxpayers.
For those who are all too familiar, there is no shock that comes with the latest revelations of failure in the charter school industry. Instead, here’s what those [...]Full Story... →
In the 2012-13 school year, charter schools received over $829 million in state taxpayer dollars to educate just over 116,000 children – an average of $7,144.86 per child. By comparison, after this money was deducted from payments to Ohio’s local public school districts, those districts received just shy of $5.5 billion to educate the remaining 1.7 million children. While that may sound like a high dollar figure, it averages out to only $3,125.30 per student.
What this means is that last year, charter schools in Ohio received, on average, over twice as much (2.29 times, to be exact) per student [...]Full Story... →
In Cleveland, the Menlo Park Academy charter school serves children in grades K-8 and has very strict admission requirements. Menlo Park restricts their enrollment to only the best and brightest — those students identified as being gifted. Not surprisingly, these students consistently highly on Ohio’s standardized tests year after year, making it appear as though the school is performing at a consistently high level. The most recent changes to Ohio’s school report cards, especially the new grade given to a school’s impact on gifted students, gives us a reason to look more closely at Menlo’s program.
Wild, Wild West of Charter School Land
by Maureen Reedy
Welcome to the wild, wild, west of “charter school land” in Columbus, Ohio. Finally, it looks as though the sheriff is riding into town, thanks to the thorough investigative journalism of Greg Mild (Plunderbund ECOT series) and Dispatch reporters, Bill Bush and Jennifer Smith Richards (Dispatch, Charter Failure, January 12th).
Our schoolchildren have been victimized long enough by callous charter school operators who treat students as if they are commodities to be traded in the market place. Consider the quote regarding the record 17 charter school closings this year, [...]Full Story... →