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Friday, January 12, 2018

If ECOT Closes, the Jury's out on School District Impact


Several of the follow up news stories about the potential closing of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow are focusing on the potential impact on local school districts. What happens if 12,000 students suddenly show up for school next week who weren't there before?

But this assumes there are actually 12,000 students at ECOT -- a dubious proposition given the school's history of playing enrollment games. My guess is many of those 12,000 students will migrate to one of the other half dozen or so statewide online schools -- some of which actually perform worse than ECOT, if you can believe that.

Another group will probably become home schoolers.

Another group will look for vouchers or brick and mortar charter schools.

Which leaves a much smaller group of potential additions to school district enrollment rolls next week. Ever since ECOT warned they may shut down this year, I know many districts have made preparations to handle the potential influx. And while some districts have more than 1,000 students going to ECOT, because 95 percent of Ohio's 613 school districts lost money and students to ECOT, the numbers for each district are actually pretty low -- about 20 students is the average if you divide the students by the number of districts.

So while some may fret about the huge influx of kids, I'm not so sure that will be the case. Which is why I love reading what Mark Williamson at Akron Public Schools said in response to a reporter's question about what Akron will do if the 200 kids it lost to ECOT this year return:
"We saved them all seats."
Normally, I'd say that's just one guy's opinion, but this is the attitude I've heard for years from school districts around the state: We don't care how many kids there are or whether we get all the money we need to educate them. Just let us take and rescue these kids from ECOT. And for good reason. The graph on the left shows you just how poorly ECOT educates kids.

I heard it 10 years ago when I served in the Ohio House. And I'm glad I still hear it today. Ohio's school districts and teachers are remarkably resilient. But more important, they're simply remarkable. They teach kids because they want to see them learn. And when those kids are in a place that doesn't value learning, Ohio's great teachers and education leaders simply want the kids in a place where they can learn, which is most assuredly NOT at ECOT.

In several days, 12,000 Ohio school children may finally be rescued from the academic disaster that is ECOT. And that, I'm proud to say, is a great thing.

5 comments:

  1. Get your info straight or do more research!! There are many success stories from ECOT which are not reported. Let me tell you about a young man that started in kindergarten and graduated in 2014 from ECOT. At the age of 17 he became a jr. firefighter, 18 a firefighter, 19 and EMT and 20 entered the police academy to become an officer at 21. He has transferred from Owens Community College to the University of Toledo to obtain his Bachelors (Major Criminal Justice, Minor Paralegal). This is not the end of the road for him. He plans to further his education to become an attorney. Now let me tell you about my sixteen year old. He will graduate in June at 16 and will turn 17 shortly after. He has already started to further his education (planning to become a networking architect) by finishing his first course towards his networking certification/degree while still at ECOT. Not too shabby huh? There are so many kids like my sons at ECOT but you do not realize it. President Trump has a saying for articles like you wrote about ECOT, it is called "Fake News". I challenge you to write some of the good things about ECOT. A great reporter can see both sides and is not bias. Let me help you a little. ECOT can only provide an education for kids, they cannot force them do the work. There are kids from brick and mortar that were unable to comply with the rules and regulations so they get thrown out and sent to schools like ECOT. There are brick and mortars that cannot and will turn a blind eye to the bullying, claiming they don't see it or there is too many kids to see everything. This is just to name a few of the excuses. You fail to mention the numerous field trips, parent conferences, fairs, and the every year prom that ECOT provides. How many teachers in a brick and mortar give their phone number for you to call for homework help or any help that you may need without hesitation? How many actually call and talk to a parent at least once a week at brick and mortar? So you see there is more to ECOT than what you are reporting. Many students spend way beyond the five hours which is required by ODE per day to get their work done. Of course, there are the kids which just like the ones thrown our of brick and mortar will not comply. So, will you accept this challenge and write another article showing the positive or is it just good old "fake News"?

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  2. Get your info straight or do more research!! There are many success stories from ECOT which are not reported. Let me tell you about a young man that started in kindergarten and graduated in 2014 from ECOT. At the age of 17 he became a jr. firefighter, 18 a firefighter, 19 and EMT and 20 entered the police academy to become an officer at 21. He has transferred from Owens Community College to the University of Toledo to obtain his Bachelors (Major Criminal Justice, Minor Paralegal). This is not the end of the road for him. He plans to further his education to become an attorney. Now let me tell you about my sixteen year old. He will graduate in June at 16 and will turn 17 shortly after. He has already started to further his education (planning to become a networking architect) by finishing his first course towards his networking certification/degree while still at ECOT. Not too shabby huh? There are so many kids like my sons at ECOT but you do not realize it. President Trump has a saying for articles like you wrote about ECOT, it is called "Fake News". I challenge you to write some of the good things about ECOT. A great reporter can see both sides and is not bias. Let me help you a little. ECOT can only provide an education for kids, they cannot force them do the work. There are kids from brick and mortar that were unable to comply with the rules and regulations so they get thrown out and sent to schools like ECOT. There are brick and mortars that cannot and will turn a blind eye to the bullying, claiming they don't see it or there is too many kids to see everything. This is just to name a few of the excuses. You fail to mention the numerous field trips, parent conferences, fairs, and the every year prom that ECOT provides. How many teachers in a brick and mortar give their phone number for you to call for homework help or any help that you may need without hesitation? How many actually call and talk to a parent at least once a week at brick and mortar? So you see there is more to ECOT than what you are reporting. Many students spend way beyond the five hours which is required by ODE per day to get their work done. Of course, there are the kids which just like the ones thrown our of brick and mortar will not comply. So, will you accept this challenge and write another article showing the positive or is it just good old "fake News"?

    ReplyDelete
  3. A Long-time ECOT teacherJanuary 12, 2018 at 6:56 PM

    Yes, there really are 12,ooo+ students at ECOT. The enrollment discrepancies aren't an issue of imaginary students or students simultaneously enrolled elsewhere, but a question of whom among those enrolled with the school were participating enough to be counted as being educated.
    The poor state report card is impacted by selection bias: ECOT serves a disproportionate number of students who arrive far below grade level or have other severe challenges . Districts may be making a show of welcoming back students, but ECOT embraced thousands who were not wanted by their local schools. We took everyone--- especially those thrown out and cast aside.
    You can't possibly know that all of Ohio's teachers are "remarkable" and "resilient" and value learning, though we can hope you're right. ECOT's teachers are Ohio educators too, and should not be assumed to embody opposite or lesser values than our brick and mortar colleagues.
    No question, ECOT is not a good fit for everyone. But for many it WAS, and they thrived and felt safe here.
    Sadly, you are probably right that twelve thousand ECOT students will not pour back into school buildings week after next; there are many, many I fear will drop out altogether---those overage, with children of their own, with jobs etc.--- because regular schools can't or won't accommodate their needs.

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  4. Of the 3794 students who graduated ECOT in 2010, only 109 have graduated college. I’m sorry, but that’s dreadful. I don’t doubt ECOT May have helped a few kids. But this school’s received more than $1 billion of our tax dollars since 2005. For that kind of investment, I’d like more than 2 out of 100 graduates earning a college degree within 6 years of graduation.

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    Replies
    1. If you watch videos of our graduates there's more than one or two people

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