This morning’s Wheeling Intelligencer editorial* tells us “Charters Fewer in Number, But Better” and it’s about charter schools in Ohio. It’s obviously part of Ogden’s ongoing campaign for charter schools in West Virginia. (See previous post.) Given Ohio’s major problems with charter schools, especially online ones, you would think that the locals would find a better state to hold up as an example. (On the other hand, maybe it’s the best one they can find.) The editorial tells us:
Tighter regulations and oversight have driven some charters out. There are now 14% fewer than in the 2013-14 school year.
“Tighter regulations and oversight”? Maybe. (See this analysis from the Columbus Dispatch which is probably where the 14% figure came from. The article suggests a number of other reasons.) More importantly, the editorial asserts:
Those that stayed are better, however.
Does the editorial supply any evidence for this statement? Of course, not -- and a quick search suggests just the opposite: that Ohio is making it easier for failing charter schools to stay in business regardless of how little students learn. From a different Columbus Dispatch article six weeks ago:
The legislature eliminated a rule that forces a charter school with an overall “F” grade on its state report card for two of the prior three years to shut down. Now, schools must perform poorly for three consecutive years before being closed.
The change gives a reprieve to as many as 52 charter schools that were at risk of closing unless they improved on 2019 state report cards due out in a few weeks, according to the Ohio Department of Education. Now, none of Ohio’s more than 300 charter schools will be forced to close for failing academic performance and they will have at least another year to get their grades up.
So now you can keep your Ohio charter open by scoring an F, an F, and a D-. Those are some standards! (This must be a part of what the Intelligencer considers Ohio’s “tighter oversight and regulation.”)
*Editorial is not online.
By the way, the other editorial in today’s Wheeling Intelligencer is most likely from the Steubenville Herald-Star, another Ogden newspaper, and it’s about a recreation field in Steubenville. That city is 26 miles from Wheeling, and I would think that the editorial is totally irrelevant to most Wheeling area residents but hey, that apparently is not a reason why it shouldn’t be posted – it does take up space.