Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ohio Charter Schools Weren't Reporting Failing Grades | The Progressive

Ohio Charter Schools Weren't Reporting Failing Grades | The Progressive:

Ohio Charter Schools Weren't Reporting Failing Grades 

The Ohio 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 at online charters were quietly omitted.
The act is a violation of state law, as Republican chair of the state senate’s education committee, Peggy Lehner, and Republican state auditor, Dave Yost, have both confirmed.  
When underlings of David Hansen, the department's director of school choice, could not adequately answer the questions of Senator Peggy Lehner, who had come to the meeting of the State Board to ask questions, she demanded their boss come downstairs to the meeting room to address her concerns.
On Saturday, Hansen resigned from his post overseeing charter schools for the Ohio Department of Education.
This is all a huge embarrassment for Governor John Kasich.  David Hansen’s wife, Beth, has served as Kasich’s chief of staff for some time, but she recently left the position to chair Kasich's campaign staff, as he plans to soon announce his candidacy for president.
Before coming to the Ohio Department of Education in 2013, David Hansen led the extremely conservative Buckeye Policy Institute, which is part of the far-right State Policy Network.  
The Plain Dealer noted in a recent editorial: “A 2012 state law on evaluating charter schools clearly mandated ODE (Ohio Department of Education) to include the grades of all online charter schools when grading their sponsors—agencies with oversight over the charter schools.  Lawmakers hoped the pressure on sponsors would force them to provide better oversight of their schools… However, Plain Dealer education reporter Patrick O’Donnell recently revealed that ODE quietly ignored that law, a revelation that shocked the state Board of Education among others.”  Because Hansen excluded the performance of online schools from his rating of sponsors, one sponsor, “the Ohio Council of Community Schools… earned the highest grade—exemplary—even though its online schools including OHDELA, which is run by the politically connected White Hat Management, earned the lowest–Fs.”
Patrick O’Donnell, an education reporter in Cleveland, reported: “The evaluations of charter school sponsors, also called authorizers—the agencies that help create and oversee charter
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