Last week, the state’s largest charter school, ECOT, filed a request for a temporary restraining order to prevent the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) from conducting an (already-delayed-by-request) review of ECOT documents. The claims by ECOT are unfounded and hold no basis in law, and the ODE response filed today calls the school out.
You can read ECOT’s full request for a temporary restraining order here.
The response filed today (get pdf copy here) by ODE is below:
For devotees of social media, Facebook is a great place to view thousands of cat videos, faded high school prom photos and snapshots from someone’s last vacation. And everything else imaginable.
But one recent post had nothing to do with cats. Or proms. Or for that matter, someone’s recent trip to Myrtle Beach. Instead, three short sentences written on Facebook in early June by GOP Rep. Andrew Brenner of Delaware County speak volumes about what is wrong with public education policy in Ohio.
“I attended the ECOT graduation today. Cliff Rosenberger was the keynote speaker. It was impressive.”
Never mind […]Full Story... →
Plunderbund recently broke the news that ECOT, Ohio’s largest online charter school, “appears to have overcharged the state of Ohio for nearly 35 million dollars in the 2014-15 school year, one third of the school’s total funding for the year” by overstating its enrollment numbers.
A few days later we found out that House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger spoke at ECOT’s graduation ceremony this year, following a long list of prominent Republicans to fill that roll.
For example, John Kasich spoke at the 2011 ECOT graduation. Republican Supreme Court Justice Terrence O’Donnell spoke in 2013. In 2014, House Speaker Bill Batchelder spoke at the ECOT […]Full Story... →
After we posted yesterday about the significant enrollment anomalies at ECOT when compared to comparable-sized districts serving economically-disadvantaged students (plus one other large, wealthy district for comparison), one astute reader (see bottom of yesterday’s post) questioned why we were singling out the online charter school and questioned whether or not the use of one single tested grade (10th Grade OGT) was fair.
Good point, ecotPALS, and thank you for prompting us to give it all another look. To be fair to ECOT, we’ve decided to post the number of tested students for the other state standardized tests […]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... →
After the Ohio Department of Education’s David Hansen was found to have intentionally excluded poor-performing charter schools from the evaluations of authorizers, leading to his resignation, and after Ohio’s $71 million federal grant application was found to be “questionable” in its calculation of high-performing and poor-performing charter schools, specifically excluding online charter schools, new interim state superintendent Lonny Rivera was forced to submit a revised list of schools to try and appease federal grant reviewers and obtain the money.
Rivera’s new letter, with the now-much-longer list of poor-performing charters, once again opted to – for reasons that he […]Full Story... →
The Kasich Administration and GOP-controlled Ohio General Assembly has been all about “education reform” over the last 5 years, with an alleged focus on improving student achievement — especially decreasing the dropout rate. Recent legislation has focused on getting Ohio’s students to graduate from high school with not only a high school diploma, but for those not interested in college, some sort of industry credential.
The Third Grade Reading Guarantee, for example, has been continually touted as a step toward decreasing Ohio’s dropout rate (we strongly disagree with this assertion) and the legislature has held firm on this law even […]Full Story... →
In the past couple of years, we’ve seen Ohio’s legislators take an ever greater interest in holding the large urban school districts “more accountable” to taxpayers. Laws passed under the Kasich Administration have created “The Cleveland Plan” and “The Columbus Plan” in recent years because those holding seats in Ohio’s Statehouse believe the districts are under-performing and needed new laws to ensure that Ohio’s tax dollars are being spent appropriately.
Now, as 2015 has dawned, we have to wonder if Ohio’s sort-of-new General Assembly will finally take an interest in holding charter schools accountable, most notably the state’s largest charter and online school, […]Full Story... →
The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) is the largest charter school in the state of Ohio. The online school is easily the largest charter school in Ohio, is larger than the vast majority of Ohio’s traditional school districts, and received nearly $100 million in state taxpayer dollars last school year.
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.
That hasn’t stopped ECOT’s founder, William Lager, from […]Full Story... →
Charter school advocates attending a luncheon at the Ohio Statehouse last Thursday received some unexpected information from some uninvited guests when volunteers from the Ohio Friends of Public Education (OFPE) and Moving Ohio Forward (MOF) arrived to distribute handouts to the group. One of the attendees and scheduled speakers was millionaire ECOT founder Willliam Lager.
According to MOF, the volunteers “provided luncheon guests with a ‘fact sheet’ that highlights both ECOT’s record of failure in educating Ohio students —and its record of success in obtaining millions of dollars in funding from Ohio taxpayers. The fact sheet also summarizes the campaign contributions ECOT […]Full Story... →
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been exposing the astounding misuse of taxpayer dollars by Ohio’s largest charter school, Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT). The original founder of ECOT, William Lager, created private companies to provide various services to ECOT from it’s inception; companies that have now been paid over $100,000,000 since the school first began operations. While we knew that Lager has had the expendable income to be able to donate over $200,000 annually to political campaigns, we did not have specific details about how much Lager himself was receiving in compensation and just […]Full Story... →