One of the first tangible changes in Ohio's Charter School regime just made an appearance. The first official Ohio Department of Education Charter School Operator database -- required last year under HB 2 -- has been posted.
Now for folks in other states, it may not seem like a big deal that we now track which charter management organizations run which Ohio charter schools. But we haven't done this in the 17 years since charters started running here in Ohio.
Prior to this database, we had to piece together which operators ran which schools through outside sources, industry folks or word of mouth (and we did our best to capture this at http://www.KnowYourCharter.com).
And while this new ODE database doesn't denote which operators are for or non-profit, it does list their address and contact information, bringing much needed transparency.
Considering that last year the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Ohio's charter school operators could sell back the property they purchased for a school to the school, even if the school dropped the operator because it sucked, this is a big step forward for our state (by the way, HB 2 undid that Supreme Court ruling too).
Even though folks in other states will see this as the most common sense of common sense ideas, it's still incredibly important for Ohio to take this baby step toward charter school respectability.