ECOT, the Ohio online charter school, is recruiting students to enroll in the school in time to take the Ohio Graduation Tests with the opportunity to get paid up to $100 (maximum $20 per test).  How is this “public” charter school using taxpayer dollars as an incentive to students through a check “made out in the student’s name”?

Furthermore, the stated requirement that a student must complete the test and answer all questions appropriately implies that someone at ECOT will be looking at student test booklets and answers — isn’t that a clear violation of test administration rules from the Ohio Department of Education?

What will it take for an investigation of ECOT’s practices to be investigated by the State?

Spring 2013 OGT Incentive

*Image recreated based on original ECOT document.

  • Can’t you imagine a public school doing this with the same taxpayer dollars? Oh, silly me! Also, unlike charters, the public schools didn’t donate campaign $$ to Kasich’s campaign because they were forbidden by law to do so! Somehow the playing field just doesn’t seem to be level, does it?

  • I hope the Ohio AG will get on this…there has to be several potential illegal issues here…maybe even bribery?

  • This $100 bribe is definitely much more scandalous than Sunday’s Dispatch story reporting the “pizza parties, pajama day, and the like” that school districts offer to make sure kids come to school. Where are the hard-hitting investigative stories from the Dispatch about ECOT’s illegal payoff to test-takers?

  • dmoore2222

    Might this not be a good example of “the money following the student”? Ha!

  • anastasiap

    More like “money following the Republican who does the bidding of ECOT.”

  • John W.

    This is absolutely disgusting. I cannot believe that a school would actually pay students to take a test and then check the answers.

  • John W.

    You are absolutely right. That these newspapers jump on everything a normal school does and then excuse these cases of obvious misuse of taxpayer money is terrible.

  • dmoore2222

    Well when you have a State Board of Education that knowingly hired an interim superintendent who clearly committed eithics violations (Heffner) and the current one who was reprimanded by his school district for playing fast and loose with the district credit card, and a Board president who thinks it’s appropriate to compare the POTUS with Hitler, then its no wonder charter schools think this is OK. The State Board is charged with policing school districsts’ and their employees’ behavior, but they long ago lost any credibility.

  • Clecinosu

    The AG is Mike DeWine. I seriously doubt anything will be done.

  • buttrfli60

    The State Board of Education is an example of how important it is for people who actually care about quality public education to be involved in our political/democratic process.

  • dmoore2222

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at. The State BOE is to be involved in the implementation of education policy as determined by the legislature, using The Ohio Department of Education to achieve this. It’s presumed that Board members care about the quality of public education. Why else would you even consider serving? To suggest that the State BOE should be politically active is just plain wrong. The Board serves the interests of ALL Ohioans regardless of anyone’s political afiliation. This Board president obviously did not have sufficient respect for the position (of which there are only about 50 in the entire country) to refrain from making a derogatory post about the President of the United States. This is the kind of political activism that MUST be avoided by any Board member.

  • greg soper

    This is clearly a bribe which should attract a federal investigation for corruption. Jimmy Dimora took money in exchange for county projects. ECOT is paying money to get students to take a state mandated test. They are unable to fulfill their obligations to the taxpayers for educating children, so they are paying the kids to help them?

    Maybe these kids could should just fail the test and become professional test takers.

  • Dustin

    I am a current Ecot student and I see this as a way to get students to take the required Ogt’s seeing as how alot of Ecots students are troubled teens, It’d probably be harder to get them to take the ” Required tests” if they weren’t getting rewarded for it. I honestly think that it is a GREAT idea. As you people sit here and complain about our great school system that is keeping kids out of trouble and helping them through High School, I’ll be $100 Richer (;

  • Barb Nied

    A letter from David Sirkowski V.P of operations and Facilities bring your computer back on graduation and the student gets 75.00 dollar’s. If you have any questions call Jim Calabreses at 888 326 8395 ,ext 2134

  • Linda h

    ecot is better than public schools that take,take school fees,more,more school fees,make it hard on families.Ecott is full of caring teachers,kids do not have to worry about bullys ,so forth.or school shootings its alot safer,teachers have smaller classes so kids learn more.My older son graduated from Ecot,my younger one attends Ecot now,computer school is good because most jobs have computers these days.nothing wrong with rewarding kids when they do well.They try harder when there is A reward for them.I wish I had Ecot when growing up.

  • mariah

    Excuse Me! I am an ECOT student and to tell you so called “Adult’s” I took the OGT whether I had money in my pocket or not. for all you know ECOT is not just a place of bribery its showing us kids that if you do something good in life you may earn respect or maybe a little money also it was helping us get motivated for OGT’s. ECOT is not a bad place. they might of given out checks but you know what? us ecot students did NOT do it for the money. we did it to TAKE ARE TESTS. I know half maybe more than half of ECOT students appreciate the good grades and not even 100 bucks to take a test changes who they are. we are set on are studies not just the money that someone helps motivate us with. grow up and stop trying to make ecot look bad. ECOT has more counselors who are supportive unlike the ones at public school’s, ecots teachers take you in as family and make sure you do things correctly, unlike some public schools, ecot motivates you with free sessions, one on one conversations over the ecot line. honestly, im 15 and ecot has made me understand the things I couldn’t understand back in public school. a school that I saw and spoke to teachers face to face? still did not understand the work? but I go to an online school and feel as if I could write a book of equations that I never understood? yeah, give ecot a break. they actually do what they need to do. money or not they are my first choice of school. and I will leave it at that. GO ECOT!!

  • Rebekah

    I want to say that this is actually reimbursement for gas to drive there. As they can’t take the bus (which is fueled with taxpayer’s dollars) to school nearby take the tests…

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