It turns out that Ohio's grand plan to stop the national ridicule of its charter school system is giving overseers of many of the lowest-performing schools a pass from taking heat for some of their worst problems.
Gov. John Kasich and both houses of the state legislature are banking on a roundabout plan to improve a $1 billion charter school industry that, on average, fails to teach kids across the state as much as the traditional schools right in their own neighborhoods.
But The Plain Dealer has learned that this plan of making charters better by rating their oversight agencies, known as sponsors or authorizers, is pulling its punches and letting sponsors off the hook for years of not holding some schools to high standards.
The state this year has slammed two sponsors/authorizers with "ineffective" ratings so far. But it has given three others the top rating of "exemplary" by overlooking significant drawbacks for two of them and mixed results for the third.
The state's not penalizing sponsors, we found, for poor graduation rates at dropout recovery schools, portfolios of charter schools that have more bad grades than good ones and, most surprising, failing grades for online schools.
Online school F grades aren't counted
We found that the state isn't counting the performance of online charter schools -- one of the most-controversial and lowest-performing charter sectors -- in the calculations in this first year of ratings.
(Readm ore at Cleveland.com)