ODE Contracting Out It's Charter Oversight Responsibilities - Thinks it Will Only Take 600 Man-hours

ODE is preparing to outsource its Charter School Oversight to a private company and thinks it will only take 600 man-hours.

A weekend Gongwer report on the catastrophic failure of Ohio's charter school sponsors, provided some additional details on the expected process

On the new evaluations, 21 sponsors were rated poor, which means they are facing losing their authority to sponsor schools. Unless they file and win appeals of the ratings, their nearly 30 schools will likely be turned over to ODE's Office of School Sponsorship.

The office, along with 38 other sponsors, was rated ineffective. While that rating equates to those sponsors being prohibited from taking on new schools, ODE is exempt from the sanctions.


The sponsors who were rated poor will lose their licenses 30 days after the release of the evaluations unless they appeal to Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria. He must appoint an independent officer to hear the appeal within 30 days of it being submitted.

The hearing officer's report will be reviewed by the State Board of Education, which will have 45 days to determine whether the revocation of sponsorship authority should stand, according to state law.

Because the school year is underway, any schools run by sponsors whose authorities are revoked will turn over to ODE. Those schools then have this school year and two additional to find different sponsors.

But buried in this report is the shocking news that ODE is not actually capable of performing its statutory duties, despite having months to prepare. Back to the Gongwer report

Following the release of the ratings, ODE's Director of School Sponsorship Mark Michael wrote in a Friday email to stakeholders that the agency is looking to beef up its staff in anticipation of taking on any schools that lose their sponsors.

"With the release of the sponsor evaluations, we are anticipating a substantial increase in the number of schools under our sponsorship," he wrote.

A bid posting says ODE would like proposals from contractors who can provide specified oversight, monitoring and technical assistance services for community schools.

The bid posting was only created a week ago, on October 6th. How could ODE be so asleep at the wheel as to wait that long? ODE has known since the passage of HB2 that it would require a far greater effort overseeing charter schools (as its ineffective rating more than demonstrates).

Why Does ODE need to privatize it's oversight function with this RFP? Why can't ODE simply hire experts in the field and perform the important function in house? Here is what ODE is looking for

On behalf of the Department, the contractor will:
• Implement Department policies, procedures and guidelines for monitoring and evaluating assigned sponsored community schools;
• Implement Department policies, procedures, and guidelines for the analysis and use of assigned sponsored community school academic and/or compliance data.
• Provide specialized program assistance to assigned sponsored community schools;
• Monitor assigned sponsored community schools for compliance with ORC, OAC and requirements of the community school contract (e.g., accountability and school performance/turnaround);
• Serve as point of contact for assigned sponsored community schools;
• Analyze data to determine technical assistance deficits;
• Provide technical assistance verbally and in writing to assigned sponsored community schools;
• Perform analysis and writes reports (e.g., evaluation reports for annual community school evaluations; recommendations for contract agreement changes, probation or termination);
• Perform analysis and writes reports regarding assigned sponsored community school’s academic performance regarding legal and contract requirements.
• Recommend training on various aspects of community school operations, which may include state reporting systems (e.g., EMIS, CSADM, CCIP, EMAD, FLICS);
• Attend board meetings in person or via phone per Department guidelines.
• Conduct opening assurances, fall and spring site visits using Department forms, processes and procedures;
• Work with the Department to verify and monitor each assigned community school’s implementation of and compliance with documentary submissions.
• Monitor the overall financial health of sponsored community schools;
• Perform monthly reviews of financials;
• Conduct monthly meetings with the school’s fiscal officer in person or via phone
• Prepare monthly reports regarding the fiscal operations of community schools identifying any areas of concern;
• Recommend intervention where appropriate

In order to successfully perform the Work, the contract must demonstrate some or all of the following competencies:
• Educational leadership;
• Curriculum;
• Instruction;
• Assessment;
• Special Education;
• English Learners;
• Other special education needs;
• Performance Management
• Accountability;
• Community School Finance and Fiscal monitoring/review;
• Facilities;
• Non-profit, public office governance and management;
• Governing Authority Relations;
• Technical Assistance-Identification/Response.
The contractor must be able to devote sufficient resources to fulfill these responsibilities on behalf of the Department; structure funding to avoid conflict of interests and keep the students’ interests in mind in the performance of the Work.

Even we think that's asking a lot at this late stage, but ODE's RFP gets even more ridiculous in its expectations. All of that, according to the RFP should not exceed 600 hours of total work.

Here's ODE's RFP

NAACP Call for Charter School Expansion Moritorium

Here's their blockbuster statement

October 15, 2016

CINCINNATI – Members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Board of Directors ratified a resolution Saturday adopted by delegates at its 2016 107th National Convention calling for a moratorium on charter school expansion and for the strengthening of oversight in governance and practice.

“The NAACP has been in the forefront of the struggle for and a staunch advocate of free, high-quality, fully and equitably-funded public education for all children,” said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the National NAACP Board of Directors. “We are dedicated to eliminating the severe racial inequities that continue to plague the education system.”

The National Board’s decision to ratify this resolution reaffirms prior resolutions regarding charter schools and the importance of public education, and is one of 47 resolutions adopted today by the Board of Directors. The National Board’s decision to ratify supports its 2014 Resolution, ‘School Privatization Threat to Public Education’, in which the NAACP opposes privatization of public schools and public subsidizing or funding of for-profit or charter schools. Additionally, in 1998 the Association adopted a resolution which unequivocally opposed the establishment and granting of charter schools which are not subject to the same accountability and standardization of qualifications/certification of teachers as public schools and divert already-limited funds from public schools.

We are calling for a moratorium on the expansion of the charter schools at least until such time as:
(1) Charter schools are subject to the same transparency and accountability standards as public schools
(2) Public funds are not diverted to charter schools at the expense of the public school system
(3) Charter schools cease expelling students that public schools have a duty to educate and
(4) Cease to perpetuate de facto segregation of the highest performing children from those whose aspirations may be high but whose talents are not yet as obvious.

Historically the NAACP has been in strong support of public education and has denounced movements toward privatization that divert public funds to support non-public school choices.

“We are moving forward to require that charter schools receive the same level of oversight, civil rights protections and provide the same level of transparency, and we require the same of traditional public schools,” Chairman Brock said. “Our decision today is driven by a long held principle and policy of the NAACP that high quality, free, public education should be afforded to all children.”

While we have reservations about charter schools, we recognize that many children attend traditional public schools that are inadequately and inequitably equipped to prepare them for the innovative and competitive environment they will face as adults. Underfunded and under-supported, these traditional public schools have much work to do to transform curriculum, prepare teachers, and give students the resources they need to have thriving careers in a technologically advanced society that is changing every year. There is no time to wait. Our children immediately deserve the best education we can provide.

“Our ultimate goal is that all children receive a quality public education that prepares them to be a contributing and productive citizen,” said Adora Obi Nweze, Chair of the National NAACP Education Committee, President of the Florida State Conference of the NAACP and a former educator whose committee guides educational policy for the Association.

“The NAACP’s resolution is not inspired by ideological opposition to charter schools but by our historical support of public schools – as well as today’s data and the present experience of NAACP branches in nearly every school district in the nation,” said Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO of the NAACP. “Our NAACP members, who as citizen advocates, not professional lobbyists, are those who attend school board meetings, engage with state legislatures and support both parents and teachers.”

“The vote taken by the NAACP is a declaratory statement by this Association that the proliferation of charter schools should be halted as we address the concerns raised in our resolution,” said Chairman Brock.

New Ohio Charter School Sponsor Ratings Cause Crisis

ODE finally released their charter school sponsor ratings, after the initial effort to do so was marred by ODE insiders getting caught fixing the result.

Sponsors are graded using 3 framework components

  • Alignment of academic performance to Ohio’s report card;
  • Compliance with laws and administrative rules; and
  • Adherence to quality sponsor practice measures

Each of these components receive an equal weighting, which result in one of four possible grades: exemplary, effective, ineffective and poor, in descending order of performance - though we're not sure what sounds worse, being ineffective or poor.

Sponsors rated as poor can no longer sponsor schools, while those rated ineffective will not be allowed to sponsor new schools, and will also close if they do not improve over the coming 3 years

Not a single sponsor managed to grade out as exemplary. Here's the breakdown

Ohio Charter School Sponsor Ratings 2015-16

One third of Ohio's charter school sponsors, if they fail on appeal, will close, with another 60% not allowed to sponsor any new schools. That alone should be cause for massive concern, but the crisis only deepens upon further inspection.

Those charters currently being operated under the guidance of these 21 poor sponsors will not close, instead their sponsorship will transfer to ODE. 

ODE itself is already a sponsor. ODE's own grade is ineffective, with the academic performance of the schools they sponsor receiving an F.

Let's pause to contemplate this for just one moment. All but 5 sponsors of Ohio's schools are even marginally proficient, and the fall back to their failure is the state who itself is graded as ineffective. This is a real crisis.

Yet the problem is still not fully exposed. Of the five sponsors who are rated as effective, they do so not because of academic performance, the most important measure, but because they are good at paperwork.

None of the 5 effective sponsors scored higher than a D for academic performance. Instead they relied upon compliance and rule adherence to lift them above poor performance. Steve Dyer highlights this phenomenon in a post titled "Ohio Sponsorship Ratings: It Pays to be a Bureaucrat"

Finally, to round out the absurdity. The sponsors that oversee the charter schools with the highest academic performance are School Districts, but because of the ridiculous weightings,  we get this:

But it should be made clear that the 33 charter school sponsors that receive As, Bs and Cs on academic performance are all public entities.

Equally telling?

All 33 are rated ineffective or poor. Which means the state would say that the 33 highest rated charter school sponsors in academic performance would be banned from opening new charters, or in the case of the poor rated sponsors, would have to immediately shut down.

Meanwhile, regardless of all this charter school "reform" once again confirming how bad the sector is, schools like ECOT continue to provide substandard education to students while draining real schools of needed resources.

Below are the results for each sponsor.

Sponsor Name Overall Rating
Auglaize County ESC Ineffective
Barnesville Exempted Village Ineffective
Bowling Green State University Ineffective
Buckeye Community Hope Foundation Effective
Buckeye Local Ineffective
Cardington-Lincoln Local Ineffective
Cincinnati City Poor
Cleveland Municipal Ineffective
Coshocton City Ineffective
Cuyahoga Falls City Ineffective
Dayton City Ineffective
Educational Resource Consultants of Ohio Ineffective
ESC of Central Ohio Effective
ESC of Lake Erie West Ineffective
Fairborn City Ineffective
Findlay City Ineffective
Franklin Local Ineffective
Groveport Madison Local Poor
Hamilton Local Poor
Jackson City Poor
Jefferson County ESC Effective
Kids Count of Dayton, Inc. Ineffective
Lakewood City Ineffective
Lakewood Local Poor
Lawrence County ESC Poor
Lima City Poor
London City Poor
Lorain City Poor
Mahoning County ESC Poor
Margaretta Local Ineffective
Marion City Ineffective
Massillon City Ineffective
Maysville Local Ineffective
Miamisburg City Ineffective
Mid-Ohio ESC Ineffective
Montgomery County ESC Ineffective
New Philadelphia City Ineffective
Newark City Poor
North Central Ohio ESC Ineffective
Northmont City Ineffective
Norwood City Poor
Office of School Sponsorship Ineffective
Ohio Council of Community Schools Ineffective
Oregon City Poor
Pickerington Local Poor
Pleasant Local Ineffective
Reynoldsburg City Poor
Richland Academy Ineffective
Ridgedale Local Ineffective
Rittman Exempted Village Poor
Rolling Hills Local Poor
Scioto County Career Technical Ineffective
Southwest Licking Local Poor
St Aloysius Orphanage Effective
Summit County ESC Poor
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation Effective
Toledo City Ineffective
Tri-County ESC Ineffective
Tri-Rivers Ineffective
Urbana City Ineffective
Van Wert City Poor
Warren County ESC Ineffective
West Carrollton City Ineffective
Youngstown City Poor
Zanesville City Ineffective

Nobel Prize Winner For Economics Opposes Teacher Merit Pay

Via Larry Ferlazzo.

Bengt Holmstrom, this years' Nobel Prize winner for Economics, has some interesting things to say about merit pay, specifically as it pertains to teachers and education.

"Payments for teachers linked to student test results, for example, risk generating good grades at the expense of any teacher effort in developing harder-to-measure skills in students, such a creativity."

And then there is this:

A teacher rewarded only on the basis of student test scores might spend more time than is optimal on test preparation and too little time teaching equally important (but harder to measure) skills such as creativity and independent thinking. A fixed salary, independent of any performance measures, would lead to a more balanced allocation of effort across tasks"

Ohio's Report Card Fails to Recognize 70% of 2016 Blue Ribbon Winners

The Ohio Department of Education Tweeted this out

Here is how the Federal Department of Education describes this prestigious Blue Ribbon award

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. today announced the 329 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2016. The award is based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

"National Blue Ribbon Schools are proof that we can prepare every child for college and meaningful careers, King said in a video message to honorees. "Your schools are on the cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices—professional learning communities, project-based learning, social and emotional learning, positive behavior systems—making you shining examples for your communities, your state and the nation."

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. The award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school's building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. National Blue Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and a model for schools still striving for excellence.

Now in its 34th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on fewer than 8,500 schools. On Nov. 7 and 8, the Department will formally recognize the 279 public and 50 private schools at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

We decided to take a look at how each of these schools fared on the new report card. Two Schools listed (St Edwards and Worthington Christian are private schools so no data is available).

Building Name Performance Index
Grace L Roxbury Elementary School B
Leighton Elementary School B
Madeira Elementary School A
Samuel Bissell Elementary School B
Scioto Ridge Elementary School A
Summit Road Elementary B
William Mason High School B

Only 2 of 7 managed to score an A on Ohio's new report card system. In 34 years only 8,500 schools nationwide have received this award, making these 7 schools remarkable, yet ODE's report card says 70% of them don't deserve an A.

November 2016 School Levies and Issues

A pretty typical number of levies and issues will appear on voters ballots this November.

Question Type New Renewal Total
Income Tax 3 7 10
Bond 22 22
Combo 16 16
Levy 31 72 103
Total 72 79 151

Here is the complete list of school related issues.

County Subdivision Name Question Type Description
Allen Bath Local Levy Renewal
Allen Lima City Levy Renewal
Allen Perry Local Levy Renewal
Allen Spencerville Local Levy Renewal
Ashland Ashland City Levy Renewal
Ashtabula Jefferson Area Local Levy Renewal
Ashtabula Jefferson Area Local Levy Renewal
Athens Alexander Local Income Tax New
Athens Athens City Levy Renewal
Auglaize Minster Local Levy Renewal
Auglaize Minster Local Income Tax Renewal
Belmont Bellaire Local Levy Renewal
Brown Fayetteville-Perry Local Income Tax New
Butler Monroe Local Levy Renewal
Clark Clark-Shawnee Local Bond New
Clark Southeastern Local Levy Renewal
Clark Tecumseh Local Levy Renewal
Clermont Bethel-Tate Local Levy New
Columbiana Lisbon Exempted Village Income Tax New
Cuyahoga Bay Village City Levy New
Cuyahoga Berea City Bond New
Cuyahoga Cleveland Hts - University Hts City Levy New
Cuyahoga Cleveland Municipal Levy Renewal
Cuyahoga Cuyahoga Valley Career Center Levy Renewal
Cuyahoga Euclid City Bond New
Cuyahoga Fairview Park City Combo New
Cuyahoga Garfield Heights City Levy Renewal
Cuyahoga Independence Local Levy Renewal
Cuyahoga Mayfield City Levy New
Cuyahoga North Royalton City Combo New
Cuyahoga Olmsted Falls City Combo New
Cuyahoga Parma City Levy Renewal
Cuyahoga Polaris Career Center Levy New
Cuyahoga Strongsville City Levy Renewal
Cuyahoga Westlake City Combo New
Darke Mississinawa Valley Local Income Tax Renewal
Defiance Ayersville Local Income Tax Renewal
Defiance Central Local Levy Renewal
Defiance Northeastern Local Levy Renewal
Delaware Big Walnut Local Bond New
Erie Perkins Local Levy New
Erie Sandusky City Combo New
Fairfield Amanda-Clearcreek Local Income Tax Renewal
Fairfield Fairfield Union Local Levy Renewal
Franklin Bexley City Levy New
Franklin Columbus City Combo New
Franklin Hilliard City Combo New
Franklin Westerville City Levy Renewal
Fulton Four County Joint Vocational Levy New
Geauga Cardinal Local Levy New
Geauga West Geauga Local Levy Renewal
Greene Fairborn City Combo New
Greene Greene County Vocational Levy Renewal
Greene Xenia Community City Bond New
Guernsey Cambridge City Levy Renewal
Guernsey Rolling Hills Local Levy Renewal
Hamilton Cincinnati City Levy New
Hamilton Deer Park Community City Bond New
Hamilton Madeira City Levy New
Hamilton Norwood City Combo New
Hamilton St. Bernard-Elmwood Place City Combo New
Hamilton Sycamore Community City Levy New
Hamilton Winton Woods City Bond New
Hancock Riverdale Local Income Tax Renewal
Holmes East Holmes Local Levy Renewal
Huron New London Local Levy Renewal
Huron Norwalk City Levy Renewal
Jefferson Jefferson County Joint Vocational Levy Renewal
Jefferson Steubenville City Levy New
Knox Centerburg Local Bond New
Knox East Knox Local Levy New
Lake Auburn Vocation Levy New
Lake Riverside Local Bond New
Licking Licking Heights Local Levy New
Licking Northridge Local Combo New
Licking Southwest Licking Local Bond New
Logan Bellefontaine City Levy Renewal
Logan Bellefontaine City Levy Renewal
Lorain Amherst Exempted Village Bond New
Lorain Clearview Local Levy Renewal
Lorain Elyria City Bond New
Lorain Lorain County Joint Vocational School Levy Renewal
Lorain North Ridgeville City Levy New
Lucas Anthony Wayne Local Bond New
Lucas Sylvania City Levy New
Mahoning Boardman Local Levy Renewal
Mahoning Sebring Local Income Tax Renewal
Marion Elgin Local Levy Renewal
Marion Pleasant Local Levy Renewal
Marion Ridgedale Local Levy Renewal
Marion Tri-Rivers Joint Vocational Levy Renewal
Medina Buckeye Local Levy Renewal
Miami Milton-Union Exempted Village Levy Renewal
Montgomery Brookville Local Levy Renewal
Montgomery Jefferson Township Local Bond New
Montgomery Oakwood City Levy New
Montgomery Valley View Local Bond New
Montgomery West Carrollton City Levy New
Morrow Mt. Gilead Exempted Village Bond New
Ottawa Benton-Carroll-Salem Local Levy Renewal
Ottawa Genoa Are Local Levy Renewal
Ottawa Put-In-Bay Local Levy Renewal
Paulding Antwerp Local Levy Renewal
Portage Aurora City Levy Renewal
Portage Crestwood Local Levy New
Portage Field Local Levy New
Portage Field Local Levy New
Portage Ravenna City Levy New
Portage Rootstown Local Levy Renewal
Portage Streetsboro City Levy Renewal
Portage Waterloo Local Levy New
Preble Preble Shawnee Local Combo New
Preble Tri-County North Local Levy Renewal
Preble Twin Valley Community Local Income Tax Renewal
Richland Lucas Local Levy Renewal
Richland Ontario Local Levy Renewal
Richland Plymouth-Shiloh Local Levy Renewal
Richland Shelby City Local Levy Renewal
Sandusky Fremont City Bond New
Sandusky Woodmore Local Levy Renewal
Seneca Fostoria City Levy Renewal
Seneca Old Fort Local Levy Renewal
Seneca Tiffin City Levy Renewal
Shelby Sidney City Levy New
Stark Massillon City Bond New
Stark Sandy Valley Local Levy Renewal
Summit Cuyahoga Falls City Levy Renewal
Summit Norton City Levy New
Summit Revere Local Bond New
Summit Stow-Munroe Falls City Levy New
Summit Tallmadge City Bond New
Summit Tallmadge City Bond New
Summit Woodridge Local Levy Renewal
Trumbull Champion Local Levy Renewal
Trumbull Champion Local Levy Renewal
Trumbull Hubbard Exempted Village Levy New
Trumbull Lakeview Local Levy Renewal
Trumbull Mathews Local Combo New
Trumbull McDonald Local Levy Renewal
Trumbull Warren City Levy Renewal
Tuscarawas Dover City Combo New
Tuscarawas Indian Valley Local Levy Renewal
Tuscarawas Strasburg-Franklin Local Levy Renewal
Union Fairbanks Local Bond New
Van Wert Crestview Local Levy Renewal
Warren Kings Local Levy New
Washington Warren Local Combo New
Wayne Green Local Levy Renewal
Wayne Wayne County Joint Vocational Levy New
Wood Perrysburg Exempted Village Levy Renewal
Wood Rossford Exempted Village Combo New