Tuesday, May 24, 2016

ECOT Fails to Graduate More Students Than All Ohio School Districts ... COMBINED. CORRECTED!!!

I'm not much for anonymous comments to blogs and newspapers. Anyone can pop off and hide beyond anonymity. So I probably won't ever know the anonymous poster here who mocked my ignorance of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) in 2009 and suggested that ECOT -- the nationally ridiculed Ohio virtual school -- actually does a good job because they graduate 5% of all Ohio high school graduates.

Here's the posting from my Courageous Tormentor:

"How pathetic that you state that you didn't know much about ECOT at the time, even though ECOT had been in existence since 2000. 9 years of being blissfully ignorant of the largest online school in the state. Really? It seems to me that you took an interest in Ecot only when it became politically expedient. There is a reason that 5% of the entire state's graduates come from Ecot, and it's not because they were getting the quality education from their home schools."
In 2009, I was still relatively fresh to the charter school thing, having been involved primarily in the David Brennan saga because I was a reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal -- Brennan's hometown newspaper. I had heard of ECOT, but until I took to the road in 2009, I didn't know it in detail.

My focus that year was on fixing the funding system for the 1.7 million kids who aren't in Ohio's charters -- a legislative mandate that had been failed to be addressed for about 30 years. When the bill was done, the work won national awards from non-partisan education policy observers. The hearings I held, though, were dominated by charter talk. So I learned a lot more about charters during those hearings.

However, it isn't my actual "pathetic" admission of learning something that troubles me the most about my Courageous Tormentor. It's this idea that because ECOT graduates a bunch of kids it's doing a good job. While ECOT may account for 5% of Ohio's high school graduates, it accounts for about 1/4 of the total number of students who didn't graduate from all of Ohio's school districts combined. more students who don't graduate than (drumroll please) all Ohio school districts combined! If ECOT were the 610th Ohio school district (under Ohio law, charters are treated as districts), it would account for about more than 1/2 1/5 of all non-graduating seniors in this state.

There were 2,918 ECOT kids who didn't graduate in four years, according to the latest state report card, and 1,852 who did. Statewide, school districts failed to graduate 2,626 and graduated 27,748.

That's simply astounding.

So while my Courageous Tormentor may believe that because ECOT has a lot of graduates ECOT works, perhaps the reason there are more ECOT students who fail to graduate so many students than all Ohio school districts put together is because it is ECOT, not my Courageous Tormentor's reviled home schools, that have utterly failed them.


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