Wednesday, June 1, 2016

ECOT Preens about Graduating Less Than 40% of its Kids Next Week

I came across this amazing news brief in Gongwer (paid service) today:

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) announced that it anticipates graduating more than 2,300 students on Sunday, June 5 at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of Ohio State University. This will make it the second largest graduating class in ECOT history.
As the 16th commencement, ECOT notes it is repeating a trend for the last four years by including a graduate from each of the 88 counties in the state.
Graduates will also be able to apply for jobs right from their phones. Through an ECOT app, students and parents can apply for various job openings for Ohio businesses across the state.
ECOT noted that, "Coupled with the new career technical education (CTE) program, which began in the fall, high school students will be even more prepared for the future ahead. CTE courses are designed to engage students for relevant, real worldlearning experiences. Upon graduation from the CTE program, students will have had the opportunity to earn college credit, certification for various industries and on-the-job training."
"With graduation right around the corner, college or the workforce awaits our ECOT graduates," said ECOT Superintendent Rick Teeters in a statement.
With over 18,000 students having graduated from ECOT, and with an enrollment now of over 17,000, ECOT says it is one of the largest online K-12 schools in the United States."
Of course, ECOT ignores the fact that the class that won't graduate dwarfs the graduating class. In fact, the New York Times found that more kids fail to graduate from ECOT than any other high school ... in the United States!

But the real amazing thing is their discussion of Career-Tech education. In Ohio, there are five categories of Career Tech Education, which are as follows:
  • Category 1: WFD in Agriculture and Environmental Systems, Construction Technologies, Engineering and Science Technologies, Finance, Health Science, Information Technology and Manufacturing Technologies
  • Category 2: WFD in Business Administration, Hospitality and Tourism, Human Services, Law and Public Safety, Transportation Systems and Arts and Communications
  • Category 3: Career Based Intervention Programs
  • Category 4: WFD in Education and Training, marketing, WFD in Academics, Public Administration and Career Development
  • Category 5: Family and Consumer Science Programs
Why do I mention this minutiae? Because it's important to see just what this "real world learning experiences" ECOT declares actually are. Looking through ECOT's state funding report, you can see which categories their students are being funded by the state to take. ECOT has 2 kids taking Category 1 courses -- what most of us think of Career Tech training (plumbing, carpentry, welding, etc.). ECOT has 6 kids taking Category 3 courses. And they have 303 students taking Category 5 -- what I grew up knowing as Home Economics.

I'm not knocking Family and Consumer Sciences, which is a legitimate endeavor, complete with a national association. But let's stop pretending that ECOT is teaching kids how to bead a weld or plumb a house or make sure support beams are appropriately plumb.

They're teaching Home Ec.

Oh, and thanks to new changes in state funding laws, they're getting $380,847 to do it.

So ECOT is bragging about graduating a bunch of kids while ignoring that more won't graduate than any other school in the nation, and they're bragging about all this great Career Tech programming they are offering, which is basically Home Economics taught over a computer.

You'll forgive me if I'm not really excited about ECOT's dizzying proclamation.


  1. You don't even know what or who you're yelling at anymore. Are you yelling at a school that has innovated in a decades stale broke-down and antiquated system. Are you yelling at them for launching a brand NEW CTE program for online students (further innovation) to support their students. Or are you yelling at all the 2400 ECOT students, their families and the school staff on their graduation day. BTW - 79 of which are NHS, 300 of which are graduating early and over 500 with disabilities.... C'mon man.

  2. I'm not yelling at the graduates. I'm yelling at the profiteers at ECOT who ignore their failing to graduate more kids than any other school in the nation. Don't you think that's something worth yelling about? Or are you cool with $100 million of our tax dollars going to a school that doesn't graduate more kids than any other school in the nation? As you said, C'mon, Man.

    1. But Stephen... If you're going to make an effort to fairly represent ECOTs performance with singular statistics, it's most important that you present your data points accurately and with appropriate clarifications for your readers. You write- "more kids fail to graduate from ECOT than any other school in the nation" and "So ECOT is bragging about graduating a bunch of kids while ignoring that more wont graduate than any other school in the nation..." Convenient choice of words but, you broke the first rule of lying. Don't repeat the lie over and over again. It exposes you. Here's the honest way to present your stat- “ECOT fails to graduate more students "on time" compared to other schools because many of ECOTs grads are already behind when they enroll there.” I hope your slick twist of a misapplied data point to a headline hollow stat was just an oversight but I doubt it. I'd chalk this one up to a "sin of omission" Here’s what you conveniently left out -Many of this year's and any year's ECOT grads had already “dropped out” of another school before enrolling at ECOT. In fact, 65% of ECOT high schoolers enroll there already a year behind. - Do you think this impacts your calculation enough for you to clarify what you wrote. I think it's time you do the tough math and not only to understand what the numbers mean and where they came from but also to know what these half-stats actually represent in more human terms.

      Now, to answer your questions: I didn't read you yelling at profiteers - I read you challenging the necessity and effectiveness of this school based upon hollow data points. I read you trashing a new CTE program that aims to further help kids that don't quite in to the old school system anymore. But maybe I read something else.... and Yes I am cool with my tax dollars going to support ECOT as 88% of ECOTs funding is spent IN THE CLASSROOM. Totally cool with that.

  3. It is incredibly sad that anyone could celebrate the level of futility exhibited by the educational entity ECOT. Clearly from the blessing of the Governor in 2011 to the 40% grad rate of today after 15+ years of implementation this is a tragedy. The only persons celebrating are the Lager's who have milked this for over a billion dollars and the politicians who have been well paid to protect this sacred cow of mis-education.

  4. One MUST Remember....Online Charter Corporations are simply that. Corporations. To call these Corporations "educational institutions". is total and complete blasphemy to the "Real" institutions of education. Schools they are not! Corporations they are. Once you get that basic premise straight, then you can begin to untangle the corruption that prevails in these corporations. The worst part of all? These Corporate execs laugh in the face of the legislature as they gather up all the dollar bills with their gritty, grimy, greasy little hands.

  5. Well! I want to say that statement of purpose for phd is so nice of you by providing us answers because like me many students entirely depend on such papers during exams.

  6. Thanks for describing five categories of Career Tech Education. Very useful. Here is an article that might be interesting fro you -
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    Regards, Rick

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