William Lager, Charter Czar, Makes the Drop to Ensure Lack of Regulation of Ohio Charters

It is no longer acceptable to deprecate women as Mike Royko does in his 1978 column “Bucking Hard for the Equal Rights Amendment,” but just for today I am going let Mike Royko’s references to “do gooder ladies” go.  Royko was the very savvy and funny longtime Chicago newspaper columnist. We will focus on his […]

Ohio Regulator Favors Politically Connected Charter School Sponsors, Resigns When Exposed

Things unraveled pretty quickly last week for David Hansen, the director of school choice at the Ohio Department of Education.  On Tuesday, the State Board of Education, dominated by appointees of Republican Governor John Kasich, met and discussed why, as Ohio began to evaluate the sponsor-authorizers of Ohio’s charter schools, the test scores of students […]

Ohio Charter Regulation Goes On Life Support, Will Likely Die

Benjamin Barber is a political philosopher, and his observations are usually pretty abstract, which is why is it so fascinating to observe what his words mean in the real life drama of everyday politics—a drama that turned to tragedy this week in the Ohio legislature as the bill to regulate charter schools and their sponsor-authorizers […]

Ohio Legislature Pulls Teeth from Pending Charter School Oversight

A couple of weeks ago, Doug Livingston, the education reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal declared: “No sector—not local governments, school districts, court systems, public universities or hospitals—misspends tax dollars like charter schools in Ohio.  A Beacon Journal review of 4,263 audits released last year by State Auditor Dave Yost’s office indicates charter schools misspend […]

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 […]