Ohio Charters Fail in Comparison to Big 8

With the release of school performance data, comparisons between traditional public schools and charter schools can be performed. The Dispatch has been first out the gate comparing charter schools to the Ohio Urban schools (or the big 8 as they are often referred).

Ohio’s charter schools are struggling to make gains in student performance, making the large urban districts they were meant to reform look good by comparison, state report-card information released last month shows.

More than 80 percent of charter high schools got an F on the latest state report cards or their ability to graduate students on time in four years. Those failing schools listed enrollment that totaled more than 42,000 students; more than 30,000 of them attended three Internet-based charter schools, including the state’s largest, ECOT.
Of the 19 charter and urban high schools rated A in graduating students on time, two were charters. No charters were in the top 10 schools. The Dispatch did not include the state’s “dropout recovery” charters that target high-school dropouts; their numbers are even worse.

Imagine the comparisons if the dropout recovery schools were included! As usual the Charter school boosters have the excuses ready for yet another year of terrible performance

The Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools said in a statement two weeks ago that the release of the latest state numbers should be “viewed within the context of the student demographics of public brick-and-mortar charter schools and the grades they serve,” and that Internet charters such as ECOT should be excluded.

Chambers is arguing that if only the ratings were calculated illegally, her charter schools performance would look better! If you recall, excluding e-schools is what got ODE and David Hansen (the husband of Gov. Kasich campaign manager) in hot water and eventually fired.

However, we agree that ECOT and the other eschools are a major problem. But, rather than simply excluding their performance os it can be hidden from public view, the state should simply close them all down. Tolerating this annual failure is past the sell by date.