The following is a news release from We Are Ohio, the progressive coalition originally established to oppose Senate Bill 5. This coalition has remained in place because the attacks on collective bargaining rights, public employees, and public education have shown no signs of abating.
The Know Your Charter site is a remarkable resource because it measures the performance of the charter schools by the very standards put in place by the ideologues who have relentlessly railed against the failure of public education and have championed charter schools as a necessary alternative.
But I have gotten a little ahead of myself. Here is the news release:
For-profit, failing charter schools have been criticized in the news lately for scandals related to corruption, low standards and millions in wasted tax dollars.
There is a new website that uses the Know Your Charter tool from the Ohio Charter School Accountability Project so you can see how charter schools stack up against their public school peers.
Charters schools were sold to the Ohio public as a way to improve our education system, but our state is considered among the worst in holding charter schools and their for-profit companies accountable.
You can review and compare report card data for public and charter school and decide yourself whether this is a good way to spend precious tax dollars earmarked for children, teachers and education.
Our children deserve the best education we can provide. It’s been more than 15 years since charter schools in Ohio were sold as an experiment to improve all education. After all that time, it will only take you a minute or so to get the facts about Ohio charter schools.
Here is a link to the page that lists the charter schools in the Cleveland Municipal School District, which would be assumed to be one the most problem-plagued public school districts in the state: http://knowyourcharter.com/?view=searchDistrict&term=Cleveland%20Municipal%20City
Clearly, charter schools are not doing any better than the public schools; indeed, in many cases, they seem to be doing worse.
All that has really been accomplished by this huge transfer of resources from the public schools is that a large cut of the money that previously was used to pay public school teachers has gone into the pockets of the management and stockholders of the corporations that operate the vast majority of the charter schools in Ohio.
Most of the teachers in the charter schools have very little teaching experience because most are “graduates” of Teach for America, which has provided them with 60-90 days of training largely funded by the Walton Foundation. So, it turns out that poorly trained, underpaid, and short-term teachers—most do not continue to teach beyond three years–are not the way to improve K-12 education.
Anyone who expresses shock at this fact, or finds it a revelation, is either an ideologue or an idiot.
For decades, the Far Right railed against the failures of “liberal experiments in social engineering.” Well, we have now had several decades of Far Right experiments in social engineering, and as the longer-term results start to become more and more evident, I don’t see how the Great Swindle has been even as unevenly successful as the Great Society was.