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.