Charter schools accountability

Published 11:14 am Thursday, July 24, 2014

On Tuesday, members of the State Board of Education witnessed something extraordinary.

A group of former teachers testified in public session about their disturbing experience at a charter school in Dayton. They pointed, among other things, to cheating on state tests, manipulating attendance records and allowing inappropriate personal behavior. …

For its part, the state Department of Education did report contacting the local children services agency and law enforcement authorities about the allegations stemming from the testimony. Yet there was an aspect of the department’s response that was dismaying, to say the least.

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According to the Gongwer News Service, the department spokesman cited the possibility that the teachers who testified may face sanctions for failing to come forward sooner. He said that the agency hoped the teachers “were not withholding information for this political event that they pulled at the board meeting.”

“Pulled”? As in a stunt?

Actually, his words were most revealing. They highlight the insufficient oversight and accountability for charter schools. They suggest that what has been a problem for years has deepened under the leadership of Richard Ross, the state school superintendent.

The department appears to have a blind spot when it comes to charter schools. It is an attitude that troubles many who operate effective charter schools and want to see a tougher posture toward poor performers.


The Akron Beacon Journal