Ohio House Avoids — So Far — Serious Attempt to Regulate Charter Schools

Last week Dave Yost, Ohio’s state auditor, a Republican in an all-Republican state government, wrote a fascinating op-ed piece in the Columbus Dispatch, a commentary that explores the kind of accountability his office is supposed to monitor.  He reflects on accountability for public and private agencies: “There’s a messy place where the public and private […]

Is Oversight and Regulation of Charter Schools Even Possible in Ohio?

I agree with David Hornbeck, longtime superintendent of public instruction in Maryland and superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia from 1994 to 2000. Hornbeck authorized charter schools in Philadelphia when he was superintendent because he believed at the time that they would expand opportunity for the students, but the evidence from the past 20 […]

Ohio’s Term-Limited House Speaker Becomes Lobbyist for Notorious Charter Operator

Ohio’s top education reporter, Doug Livingston at the Akron Beacon Journal, recently reported that Bill Batchelder—longtime legislator and recent Ohio House Speaker who just left the House due to term limits—has revolved directly into lobbying.  Batchelder has already taken on a prominent client, William Lager—one of Ohio’s most notorious contributors of campaign cash, founder of […]

Charter Titans’ Political Contributions Keep Ohio Charters Unregulated

In Policy vs. Politics: Which Will Prevail in the Looming Ohio Charter School Reform Fight? researchers from the Ohio Charter School Accountability Project examine the connection between political contributions made by David Brennan and William Lager—Ohio’s two largest charter profiteers—to prominent Republican state legislators and the passage of Ohio laws that keep Ohio’s charter schools […]

The Rev. John Thomas Decries Attack on Democracy in America’s Big City School Districts

The Rev. John Thomas, the retired President and General Minister of the United Church of Christ and now a professor and administrator at Chicago Theological Seminary, writes a blog on that institution’s website about issues of the day.  His prophetic post this week considers Democracy Under Attack in urban public education: “In 1785, John Adams […]

Outcry Grows Over Charter School Waste, Fraud, and Mismanagement

Once you have a burgeoning, unregulated private sector in a democracy,  how do you build sufficient political will to get some regulation in place, especially when the unregulated sector is using its profits in savvy ways to contribute to the campaigns of the politicians who are responsible for imposing the regulation? There are a lot […]

Ohio’s “Dropout Recovery” Charters Increase State’s Dropout Rate, Swallow Tax Dollars

Doug Livingston, the education writer for the Akron Beacon Journal and Ohio’s top education journalist, recently reported on the financial scam at Ohio’s so-called “dropout recovery” charter schools. These are the on-line charters that say they are serving Ohio’s most vulnerable adolescents while in reality they are, according to Livingston, making enormous profits while driving […]

Scandal of Ohio Charter School Governance Finally Gets Some Attention

Nearly a billion dollars flowing out of the state’s public education budget every year.  Scandals brought to light years after a charter school closes, money not recoverable because it’s been so long, no news coverage in time to make a difference.  Blog postings here and there about outrageous profits for Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow czar, […]

70 People Brave Frigid Weather to Raise Concerns about School Choice

Wednesday was so cold in greater Cleveland that schools were closed across the region, but by 7:00 PM, 70 people had arrived at our high school cafeteria whose doors had been opened for the second week of our community conversation about Diane Ravitch’s Reign of Error.  (You can read about our first session here.) A retired, […]

Special Interests Threaten Future of Public Education as Money Drives Politics

In Winner-Take-All Politics, political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson describe the impact of organized money on our national politics:  “The foremost obstacle to sustainable reform is the enormous imbalance in organizational resources between the chief economic beneficiaries of the status quo and those who seek to strengthen middle-class democracy.  Powerful groups defending the winner-take-all […]