An absolutely amazing story from the Cleveland Plain Dealer came out yesterday the demonstrated emphatically why all this charter reform talk focusing on sponsors (authorizers in every other state) is so flawed.
In it, the PD explained that the worst-performing general education schools in the state -- E-Schools -- are not being counted by the state when they calculate the performance of sponsors. SO, for example, even though the Ohio Council of Community Schools sponsors two of the worst-performing schools in the state -- the Ohio Virtual Academy and David Brennan's OHDELA, the astounding number of Fs those schools get on the state report doesn't count for OCCS's rating. So the state says they're academically perfect, even though OCCS gets $1.5 million in taxpayer money to oversee these schools.
The other schools not counted? Dropout Recovery schools. So the schools David Brennan earns his money on aren't counted on sponsor ratings? So that means that no sponsor should fear oversight of a horrible White Hat school, especially now that they'll only be online schools or dropout recovery schools, because they won't count.
Amazing what $4 million will buy you these days, isn't it?
I've said from the beginning that one of the biggest flaws in the current charter reform effort is the almost singular focus on sponsors, whose effectiveness in this state has been feckless, rather than the schools themselves. I would much rather figure out how to close the schools in which children are being "educated", not the sponsors, who don't actually have the kids.
This amazing PD story demonstrates the point clearly to me.