Monday, July 20, 2015

Ohio Charter School Sheriff Resigns. Now What?

Lost amid the noise this weekend about David Hansen resigning his post as chief overseer of Ohio charter schools is this fact: Ohio no longer has a chief official looking over its troubled charter schools.

Not only that, but the charter school sponsor ratings -- which Hansen had rigged to benefit big campaign donors -- have been rescinded by the state, with no apparently quick time table to replace them.

That means we have no charter school sponsor ratings, nor do we have anyone with the authority to go after poor performers, even the weak ones Hansen had selectively chosen to hammer.

So at the end of the day, Ohio's nationally mocked charter schools are, for the moment, enjoying less oversight than they've been receiving from the Ohio Department of Education, all while the public knows less about their primary overseers' performance.

This can't stand.

We need a new charter school sheriff that won't bend to political interests. And we need the sponsor evaluations of all sponsors re-done.

And we need them both before the new school year begins.

Otherwise, it's yet another set back for quality and another mile marker on our state's seemingly inevitable trek down the path of more failing charter schools.