This weekend we posted about Ohio’s largest charter school, ECOT, being recommended to receive a “bonus” check of $2.9 million that would be quickly rerouted into ECOT owner William Lager’s other private businesses. This is not the first raise that ECOT has received this year. Through the Kasich budget passed this summer, ECOT received the largest increase in state funding for any charter school in Ohio at $4.8 million. This far surpassed the second largest increase of $1.35 million given to Ohio Virtual Academy.
It’s good to buy friends in high places…
Since 2004, Lager, the [...]Full Story... →
The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) is the largest charter school in the state of Ohio. The online school is larger than the vast majority of Ohio’s traditional school districts and received over $88 million in state funding last school year. This year that amount is expected to jump to over $92 million.
On the latest report cards released by the Ohio Department of Education, ECOT continues to rank below all of the 8 large urban schools that are often-criticized by legislators and in the media for their “sub-par” performance.
ECOT’s Performance Index Score of 68.1 earned them an F grade [...]Full Story... →
Back to School Specials from Ohio’s Statehouse
by Maureen Reedy
Just in case you’ve missed this as you’ve been scouring the stores for school supplies, “Back to School Specials” are being delivered to the children and teachers in Ohio’s schools, straight from our Statehouse chambers.
As the sweltering heat wave subsides, our kids will barely have time to rush into their new classrooms, meet their teachers, make new friends and high five old ones, before the “Statehouse Back to School Specials” begin.
Statehouse Back to School Special # 1: Third grade could last forever with the “One Size Fits [...]Full Story... →
The headline for the Columbus Dispatch article reads ‘Enough is enough,’ Coleman says on abysmal report card. The word “abysmal” was some editorializing on the part of the journalist, of course, as no official was quoted using that particular adjective.
The new Columbus report card isn’t exactly stellar, but I do expect news reports to be a little more objective when reporting the news. Officials quoted in the article described the new grades as follows:
“We as a community have failed the children of this school and we have failed the children of this district,” – Mayor Michael B. Coleman
[...]Full Story... →
From the “not news” file comes the continuing sad saga of ECOT, the largest charter e-school in Ohio. We’ve reported about ECOT many times in the past and this post is a continuing update of the damage that ECOT continues to cause statewide.
ECOT’s 40% graduation rate doesn’t stop them from siphoning students and funding away from over 300 of the top-rated school districts in the state. A whopping 327 of the 353 districts rated Excellent or Excellent w/Distinction (“A” or “A+”) are losing students and the associated funding to ECOT this year, totaling over $33 million dollars pulled from [...]Full Story... →
ECOT, the Ohio online charter school, is recruiting students to enroll in the school in time to take the Ohio Graduation Tests with the opportunity to get paid up to $100 (maximum $20 per test). How is this “public” charter school using taxpayer dollars as an incentive to students through a check “made out in the student’s name”?
Furthermore, the stated requirement that a student must complete the test and answer all questions appropriately implies that someone at ECOT will be looking at student test booklets and answers — isn’t that a clear violation of test administration rules from the [...]Full Story... →
Yesterday we predicted Kasich’s introduction of a pro-charter school funding plan this week. We thought you’d like to know why.
In the past two decades Ohio’s Republicans have moved billions of dollars out of public education and into the pockets of for-profit charter school operators even though many consistently fail Ohio’s children and offer Ohioans lower graduation rates, millions in unpaid fees, corruption and financial scandals.
We expect the trend to continue as long as large, for-profit charter school operators like Whitehat’s David Brennen continue to give hundreds of [...]Full Story... →
- By Maureen Reedy
As a veteran 29-year elementary school teacher, I am giving the name of “Opposite Day” to what occurred last Wednesday morning in Room 313 at the Ohio Statehouse. Teachers and parents both know that young children look forward to a special school day when they can do the opposite of what they are supposed to do; wear their shirt inside out, pants backwards, chew gum… some grown ups today may remember their Opposite Day tradition in school long ago.
On November 5th, in the name of “Education Reform,” Michelle Rhee’s “dream team” of Students First spent [...]Full Story... →
State Auditor Dave Yost’s objectivity and integrity surrounding a statewide investigation into school attendance reporting can officially be called into question (if his biased recruiting video hadn’t already knocked you off of the fence).
The Auditor is scheduled to appear as a featured guest at the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s October 10 lunch alongside Columbus Dispatch editor Ben Marrison, he of the unabashedly slanted opinions about the Columbus School District’s attendance investigation — a probe that is ongoing and in which no official, illegal findings have been confirmed by anyone, including the State Auditor. In [...]Full Story... →
The Ohio Inspector General’s Office, under the direction of IG Randy Meyer, must be pretty busy these days. The Office exists to “investigate alleged wrongful acts or omissions committed by state officers or employees, as well as those doing or seeking to do business with the State of Ohio.” And as casual or recent readers of Plunderbund should be fully aware, that there are is a lot of ethically funky stuff going on within Ohio state government worth investigating.
In May, we reported that the interim Schools Superintendent, Stan W. Heffner, used his [...]Full Story... →
Online or “Cyber” charter schools have been in the national news recently as Pennsylvania’s largest online charter school offices have been raided by the FBI, IRS & U.S. Department of Education, and a second cyber-school from Philadelphia has surrendered it’s charter after the state filed a lawsuit against it “citing an astonishingly long list of academic and financial problems.” Renowned education researcher Diane Ravitch even gave Ohio a shoutout for our own horrendous cyber charters. (Thanks, Diane!)
And because she mentioned our favorite ineffective cyber-charter, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), and because [...]Full Story... →