Cashing In on Education

StateImpactOhio has a great piece today, Charters Schools Part III: Cashing In on Education. It discusses at length to for-profit nature of Ohio's "non profit charters". It starts with the tale of one charter teacher experiencing her own kind of "Corporate innovation" - not getting paid.

Nagorsky says the it took her by surprise, but in hindsight, she says there were definitely some tell-tale signs: “I remember obviously the pay checks bouncing, which was huge. I remember the phone call telling me I was $900 in the hole in my account because everything I had sent out had bounced.”

Of course an article on profiteering charters would be incomplete without mention of White Hat Management and David Brennan

White Hat has been sued by some of its own schools, and critics keep pointing to the poor grades most of the schools get on annual report cards.
Minson says that would not have bothered him, if he felt like students in his schools were getting a good education.

He did not.

“We saw a lot of strategies put in play that tried to lessen the cost of educational delivery on a couple of different points, and that really gave us the vision that the number one priority of prosit was in direct competition at times with educational delivery.”

That's from the board chair of two of White Hat's own schools!

But lawyer April Hart says White Hat’s problem isn’t tough students. She argues it’s a teaching method that relies on computer instruction – a model she says is good for profits but not students.

“If you don’t care at the end of the day what’s going on in the school as long as your enrollment numbers are up, you’re going to have a problem in a for-profit situation,” says Hart.

So charters prefer not to hire too many teachers, and when they do, some even prefer not to pay them. Left holding the bag are thousands of students getting low quality, high profit educations from Ohio's accountability free charter school system.