New criteria for dropout schools proposed

Charter operators have long used a loophole in Ohio's lax charter laws to skirt and avoid accountability. Some of those loopholes are getting smaller. Gongwer

Dropout recovery charter schools have long been shielded from Ohio's closure laws for poor performance but the Department of Education revealed details Monday on how it might fairly grade those schools.

Advocates for the schools that serve students age 17 to 22 who either dropped out of school or who are at risk of doing so have said their institutions should be graded differently from traditional schools because they work with challenging student populations.
ODE staff laid out eight criteria by which they said the state could score the dropout recovery schools in an equitable manner.

The eight criteria are as follows:

  • Academic growth, If this standard were adopted, however, it would only apply to students who are engaged and participating a certain number of days out of the year.
  • The schools' graduation test passage rate as a cumulative rate. It would not be the same indicator as for traditional schools, which is first-time passage of the test in 10th grade.
  • The schools' extended graduation rate. Designed to give schools credit for graduating students in four years, five years, six years, seven years."
  • Credits earned as an indication of progress toward a diploma.
  • College and career readiness with the former including apprenticeships and two-year and four-year degrees.
  • Community collaboration. A measure of working on an individualized education plan for these students and measuring whether those (plans) exist for students.
  • Sustained enrollment and attendance, which addresses that challenge of getting students to participate.
  • Sponsor rating, which would attempt to address the uniqueness of dropout recovery schools in their mission and population.

Only time will tell if these criteria are meaningful enough and vigorously pursued to have any meaningful impact on students academic achievements.