ODE has finally released the full school report card, though only in spreadsheet format, and it comes with a warning
ODE will not publish PDFs of the Local Report Cards until the investigation by the Auditor of State is concluded.
We thought it would be useful to compare how effective traditional public schools were versus their charter school counterparts. The results are staggeringly bad for charter schools
|Report Card Rating
|Excellent with Distinction
61.6% of all charter schools in Ohio are less than effective, while that can only be said of 18.4% of traditional schools. If the purpose of charter schools was to be incubators of excellence, they are doing a very poor job, with only 8.5% of them hitting the excellent or better rating. Indeed, if you truly want to see excellence, you have to look at traditional public schools, where over 55% are rated excellent or better.
If "school choice" organizations in Ohio had any integrity, the choice they would be urging in almost all cases, would be for parents to choose traditional public schools. In the vast majority of cases, their advocacy of charter schools are an advocacy of miserable failure, at huge tax payer expense.
Diane Ravitch spoke to this issue in Columbus yesterday
Proficiency testing and charter schools were billed in the late 1990s as solutions to a broken public-education system. Now, they are part of a failed status quo, said Ravitch, 74, an author and U.S. assistant secretary of education under President George H.W. Bush.
Proficiency tests have changed — from something that assesses students to something used to punish teachers and schools, said Ravitch. And after a decade of poor results from charter schools, she said, the charter movement and high-stakes testing have proved to be failed national experiments.
Also at the same event, Greg Harris, the Ohio director of the 65,000-member charter-school advocacy group StudentsFirst
...charters were supposed to provide an experiment in innovation, and though many have failed, many others are working.
“The parents are making these choices” to go to charters, Harris said. “These are parents from high-poverty backgrounds who are making major sacrifices to get their kids out of failing schools.
“We agree with her that bad charter schools should be closed, but why close good ones?”
Parents are often steered into these choices by corporate education reformers and their boosters, like StudentsFirst, the most ironically named group of all. And when parents aren't being steered into wrong choices, it's because they are using factors other than quality to make their decisions, as we noted in this article.