Why are Ohio's charter schools so poor?

In a previous post we took a look at the difference in performance between Ohio's traditional public schools and their charter school counterparts, and discovered a wide and growing gap. Why does this gap exist?

One of the clear reasons is in the quality of the workforce. Ohio's traditional public schools have invested a lot of time and money developing an experienced, highly qualified teacher workforce, an investment that Ohio's charter schools have resisted or failed to developing.

Steve Dyer at Innovation Ohio took a look at the latest teacher data made available by ODE and discovered that the typical (i.e. the mode) charter school teacher has 0 years of experience, while their traditional school counterpart had 14 years of experience. We took a look at this too, and came to the same conclusion.

Our analysis also showed that the average level of experience of a charter school teacher is only 4.9 years, while in traditional schools that figure is over 14 years.

Dyer also discovered, what he called "two equally stunning statistics"

1) The average Traditional Public School building has about 2/3 of its teachers with a masters degree. The average Charter School building has about 1/3 of its teachers with a masters degree.
2) About 1 out of 3 Charter Schools in Ohio have at least some core courses taught by someone with a temporary teaching certificate. Of the more than 3,200 Traditional Public School buildings in the report card data, not a single one has core courses taught by teachers with temporary certificates.

Furthermore, over 10% of Ohio's charter schools have class sizes greater than 25 students per teacher, 20 of them more than 30 students per teacher!

The major innovation attempted by Ohio's charter school community has not been to find ways to deliver higher quality education, but instead to find ways to minimize teacher costs in order to maximize profits. This is made very clear when once looks at this experience and qualification differences, education outcome quality differences and the subsequent difference in average salaries where the charter school average is $33,993 and traditional schools $57,303.