Charters in the News

“Ohio’s for-profit charter schools drag state into group of nation’s worst performers”
By David Livingston, Akron Beacon Journal, November 9, 2014

In a first-time analysis of Ohio charter-school performance by management companies, the Beacon Journal compared financial and academic records for each of the 417 charter schools open last year, linking each school’s performance, enrollment and funding to the company hired to manage it. The analysis totals state aid for each network of charter schools and determines the effectiveness of individual management organizations by combining their network’s academic ratings for performance — how students performed on tests — and student growth — how much students, regardless of their ability, learned in a year . . .

The paper found that:

  • Charter schools that hired no company, as a group, performed the best academically; those managed by nonprofits showed the best student academic growth; and those managed by for-profits scored lowest in both categories.
  • Of the 16 lowest performing networks, 14 were managed by for-profit companies.
  • The online charter schools Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow and Ohio Virtual Academy, which account for a quarter of all charter enrollment, averaged the lowest student growth in the state.
  • Of the 12 highest-performing charter school networks, eight hired nonprofit management organizations.
  • $503 million of $920 million in public funding went to charter schools managed by for-profit companies. A little over half of the $920 million went to out-of-state companies.
  • Out-of-state and for-profit companies enrolled 74,458 of the 119,271 Ohio charter school students.
  • The 10 highest performing companies managed schools with above-average revenue, many propped up by private philanthropists who invest in successful academic models. Others got a boost from Cleveland voters, who approved additional local aid (about $1,000 more per pupil) for high-performing charter schools. A similar local levy failed in Columbus. The state offers no financial incentive for top-performers.”

‘Ohio’s charter schools ridiculed at national conference, even by national charter supporters” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, March 2, 2015

DENVER, Colorado – “Ohio, the charter school world is making fun of you.

Ohio’s $1 Billion charter school system was the butt of jokes at a conference for reporters on school choice in Denver late last week, as well as the target of sharp criticism of charter school failures across the state.

The shots came from expected critics like teachers unions, but also from pro-charter voices, as the state considers ways to improve how it handles charters.

Ohio has about 123,000  kids attending nearly 400 charter schools – public schools that receive state tax money, but which are privately run.

One after another, panelists at the conference organized by the national Education Writers Association targeted Ohio’s poor charter school performance statewide, Ohio’s for-profit charter operators and how many organizations we hand over charter oversight keys to as the sponsors, or authorizers, of schools.

“Be very glad that you have Nevada, so you are not the worst,” Stanford University researcher Margaret “Macke” Raymond said of Ohio. Places like Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., she told reporters from across the country, have high standards for charter school performance. . . Then you have folks at the low end, of which Ohio is a strong case,” said Raymond, who released a report on Ohio’s charter performance in December. . . Stanford’s Center for Research of Educational Outcomes (CREDO), found that students learn less in Ohio’s charter schools than in traditional districts – the equivalent of 36 days of learning in math and 14 days in reading.” 


“Study: Ohio has most failed charter schools, which close less often”
By Doug Livingston, The Akron Beacon Journal, August 24, 2017

“Ohio leads the nation in letting the low-performing public schools fail.

But a report published Thursday shows that the controversial practice of shuttering public schools, which disproportionately affects minority and poor students, leaves families with about as good a chance of finding a better education as the flip of a coin. In fact, less than half of students displaced by school closings found themselves at better performing schools three years later. . . At 165 closures, Ohio led the group — which included California, Texas and New York. Of particular note were the 53 failed charter schools in Ohio, or one in every six that closed in the study. Despite shedding the most academically failing charter schools, 97.8 percent of Ohio’s low-performing charter schools stayed open.”

“Sponsors of 10 Ohio charter schools receive ‘poor’ ratings from state”
By Randy Ludlow, The Columbus Dispatch, November 15, 2017

“Eight sponsors of 10 charter schools — none in the Columbus area — flunked the latest round of ratings released Wednesday by the Ohio Department of Education.

The charter-school sponsors that received “poor” overall ratings for 2016-17 will lose their state authorization unless they successfully appeal their ratings to an independent hearing officer.

Another 13 sponsors of charter schools, which are publicly financed but privately operated, were rated “ineffective” and are forbidden from sponsoring additional schools and must develop an improvement plan. Newark City Schools, which sponsors two charters, was the only local sponsor among them.

Overall, nearly half of Ohio’s charter-school sponsors received “poor” or “ineffective” ratings.

Three sponsors were rated “exemplary” while the remaining 21 were rated as “effective” despite poor academic achievement ratings for some or many of their schools . . .”

“New Study Shows Graduation Rate

“New study shows graduation rates at Ohio’s charter schools are much worse public schools by Jo Ingles The Statehouse News Bureau Dec 26, 2017 “ A new study shows the graduation rates of Ohio’s traditional public schools are much better than those of charter schools. The study shows even when excluding dropout-recovery schools, the four-year graduation rate of charter schools in Ohio is just under 45%, faring worse than public schools in Ohio’s six largest cities. Schools in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Akron and Toledo graduated 73% of their students. . . .” – stream/0

For an overview of the charter industry read this presentation . . .

“Survival of the Common Public School System”   November, 2015
y William L. Phillis, Executive Director, Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding

“I have come to the conclusion that the charter industry in Ohio is not compatible with the public common school system. In fact, it is antithetical to the common system. The Washington State Supreme Court recently ruled the state’s charter school law unconstitutional because the charters are not common schools.

School vouchers, tuition tax credits, education savings plans and other money-follows-the-child schemes are also a significant threat to the existence of a viable common school system . . .The charter choice argument is a hoax.”