Thursday, July 17, 2014

Beyond the Horizon

There's been significant attention paid to the really outrageous allegations from the Gulen schools. Between covered up sexual misconduct and test score fixing, there's plenty of outrage to go around. And now that we know the presumptive future Ohio House Speaker has gone on junkets with those who run the Horizon and Noble academies, there are real questions about this legislature's willingness to do anything about it.

But I want us to look beyond these outrageous actions. Because this stuff could never go on at a traditional public school. Why? Transparency. And in Ohio Charter School Land, there simply isn't any. Don't get me wrong, there are a scant few charters that are open and transparent, but in Ohio they don't HAVE to be. Sponsors are responsible for holding Charters to account. But if they don't want to, they really don't have to. That needs to change. Now. How many stories of middle schoolers having sex and schools covering it up to parents do we have to hear before this legislature does anything? How many clear calls of test manipulation? Or misappropriation of state funds?

When will this state wake up? It's public money. Charters are supposed to be public schools. Let's make sure the public can find out what the heck is going on at these things. It shouldn't take whistleblowers. It should take a simple public inspection.  Period.