From the “not news” file comes the continuing sad saga of ECOT, the largest charter e-school in Ohio.  We’ve reported about ECOT many times in the past and this post is a continuing update of the damage that ECOT continues to cause statewide.

ECOT’s 40% graduation rate doesn’t stop them from siphoning students and funding away from over 300 of the top-rated school districts in the state.  A whopping 327 of the 353 districts rated Excellent or Excellent w/Distinction (“A” or “A+”) are losing students and the associated funding to ECOT this year, totaling over $33 million dollars pulled from districts such as A+ rated Strongsville (embroiled in a contentious negotiations and a prolonged teacher’s strike).

And for what?  A “C” grade for ECOT (otherwise known as “Continuous Improvement”).

While charters in Ohio often claim that their comparable school districts are low-performing, especially the large urban schools, the numbers for ECOT tell a different story.  According to Ohio Department of Education data, ECOT enrolls over 5,100 students from A or A+ school districts.  So despite the fact that this means that ECOT enrolls nearly 40% of their students from these top-rated school districts, the massive online charter school does not come close to matching the performance of these students’ home districts as it continues to earn a grade of “C” along with its dismal graduation numbers.

With charters like ECOT now poised to get even more money for their piss-poor performance, we felt like you needed a brief reminder of why the legislature’s decision to continue to pump money into the failed charter school structure in Ohio is something we oppose.  Charters like ECOT (Ohio’s largest by a mile) are not the saving grace of education in Ohio — they are siphoning students and money away from the best school districts in the state, causing unnecessary strife and lowering statewide student achievement.

  • Ohioans should also be reminded that their legislators’ decision to pump more money into the failed charter school structure has NOTHING to do with educational reform. The directive comes from their accomplices at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to further weaken our public schools and to benefit the for-profit companies on the ALEC Educational Task Force. Follow the money…

  • Jor Dough

    All of this education furor that is the Republicans drumbeat only serves their one purpose. That purpose is to deny access to the path of economic and social mobility to those outside of the their 1% ranks. Education and advancement in the Republican view must never be as available as it has been; because Republicans realized the result of an Ivy-League educated black man winning the presidential election – by a significant margin, and now occupying the White House. It ain’t gonna happen anymore if the Republicans can crush public education.

    Destroying public education is the cornerstone of keeping the “got mine” tea-partiers and GOP rightwing zealots in wealth and power in this country. The Republicans see the rise of the middle class and newcomers to the upper class as wrong, especially if those rising and coming up are not Lilly-white. As much as how public education enabled rewarding achievers in the classroom, destroying it, in the Republican view, keeps the interlopers they fear from attaining anything other than meager existence while the 1% ensure their limited access to advantages in this society.

    Ripping off tax payers to fund shoddy schools whose owners fund Republican politics is a perfectly natural activity for Republicans and it serves their purposes.

    Competition has new meaning in the GOP calculus of educational opportunity insofar as eliminating all others but the GOP 1% tilts the competitive balance to favor them. Kepp the riff-raff out of the ivy-covered campuses and they’ll never (again) compete for a seat in the boardroom.

  • Retrofuturistic

    That’s it in a nutshell….

  • Retrofuturistic

    Privatization was a Nazi policy before it was a Kasich/ ALEC policy. It’s very beneficial to those who are running it— no transparency, no regulation, and they get to keep most of the money, while providing fewer and lower quality services.

  • Public schools, by law and rightfully so, can’t donate to the political campaigns of our Republican dominated legislature who so generously writes the laws that enrich the owners of charter schools who so generously grease the palms of these same politicians. This is a mutual back scratching admiration society and the public be damned!

  • Natasha

    There is a sad irony being delivered to thousands of homes across Ohio as kids and parents open the denial letters for colleges and universities. The Republican slaughter of public education in Ohio, statewide student testing, state school evaluations, Ohio auditor/Chief Truant Officer witch-hunt attendance scandals don’t mean jack-shit in colleges admissions and providing opportunity through education to Ohio’s children.

    The sadness is for the kids who get denied by their dream school and have to trundle off to a safety school. The irony is that this happens all too often in the tony ‘burbs where the Republicans cluster. These parents find out that the highly selective schools really do accept very few applicants and unless their kid was recruited by the school for athletics or something else and has superior academic credentials that kid isn’t getting in.

    Even local favorites, Miami, OSU, etc. are rejecting good students from local schools in favor of higher paying out of state students who will get the loans and grants to jack up the institution’s revenue. Welcome to the “branch campus” or Columbus state.

    The Republican slashing of public education causes cuts in academic programs and extra-curriculars that matter in the college admission universe. It all fits in with the GOP passion to deny access to opportunity for those of us outside the hallowed 1% the Republicans worship.

    The humor is that all those Republicans are finding out that they really aren’t in the 1%. They may not be in the 47% Romney described but their children too are cut out of the herd of privilege at the world’s most select colleges and universities.

  • The sad part is that those Republicans won’t even make the obvious connection between their children’s denial letters and their party’s initiatives against public education.

  • dmoore2222

    If this wasn’t so pathetic it would be hilarious. Isn’t it the republican mantra that schools should be run like businesses? And by that logic would they tolerate such subpar performance in their businesses? Oh, I forgot. They like to have it both ways. That is, when they make bad business decicions and loose money, they run to the government for bailouts and handouts. Kasich, the Leman Bros. stooge, knows all about that.

  • Paul DeThroe

    Why would kids from A+ school districts go to online school in the first place? Perhaps the public schools are ran like communist governments where bullying and sexual harassment are tolerated, if not encouraged, as long as its for the team. Maybe the kids are getting harassed for religious beliefs that differ from christians that run the A+ districts and can’t understand the tenet of separation of church and state. Quit trying to tell us that the government’s way is the best, when we all now that anything the government touches is crap.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!