Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Why Do Charter School Advocates Make False Claims Easily Checked?

They're at it again. In a story contained in Gongwer (a paid site), Darlene Chambers, CEO and President of the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools claimed that a fact on the new website http://KnowYourCharter.com (whose data I compiled) was wrong.
The charter advocacy group said, for example, the website says Stambaugh Charter Academy in Youngstown had "100% of students at school less than 3 years." The school's sponsor says the figure is not accurate.
"Stambaugh is a high quality school with a high student retention rate," Ms. Chambers said.
As a former reporter, I got that sinking feeling reporters always get when we find out something we print could be wrong. Then I checked it. Here's the actual data from the actual Ohio Department of Education spreadsheet:

As you can see, all children at Stambaugh were in the Charter less than 3 years, as reported to ODE -- the exact thing Know Your Charter reports. So the only specific criticism of the website offered by OAPCS is actually dead wrong.

I would hope that the OAPCS would be willing to issue a retraction of their statement to Gongwer. We need OAPCS to be forceful advocates for Charter School transparency and accountability, not complicit bystanders in their struggles.

Our kids deserve nothing less.