After we posted yesterday about the significant enrollment anomalies at ECOT when compared to comparable-sized districts serving economically-disadvantaged students (plus one other large, wealthy district for comparison), one astute reader (see bottom of yesterday’s post) questioned why we were singling out the online charter school and questioned whether or not the use of one single tested grade (10th Grade OGT) was fair.
Good point, ecotPALS, and thank you for prompting us to give it all another look. To be fair to ECOT, we’ve decided to post the number of tested students for the other state standardized tests for the past three years as compared to ECOT’s reported enrollment. For comparison purposes, we’ve pulled all of the numbers for Cleveland City, too, the “worst district” in the state according to state legislators.
Take a look at the full list of numbers for the 2014-15 School Year:
Oh, we also included ECOT’s primary competitor, another statewide online school with an enrollment of over 10,000 (ECOT claims over 15,000), that enrolls students from across the state – just like ECOT.
Here’s where this data gets kind of fun – and interesting. Note the weird numbers for Cleveland in the earlier grades where they tested over 100% of their stated enrollment. How is that possible you ask? Ask any teacher in a large urban district in those grades and the answer is easy — students enrolling into Cleveland after the enrollment count is finalized by the state. The typical scenario is that students leave the charters where they started the year and return to the Cleveland schools. In Cleveland, where charters are opening and closing at a rapid pace, it is understandable that Cleveland’s enrollment is so volatile.
Now take a look at how ECOT compares to Ohio Virtual Academy – a school that is probably an even better comparison than the large urbans (according to our astute reader). With the exception of the 8th grade tests, ECOT’s percentage of tested students is at least 11.6 points lower than OHVA’s for every single grade and every single test (in 8th grade, the percentages are lower by 6.3, 8.1, and 8.9). Also notable is that fact that OHVA’s 10th Grade OGT numbers are right in line with Cleveland’s numbers — how are they able to do that when ECOT is not given they operate under the same statewide & online conditions?
Here are the numbers from the 2013-2014 school year:
The edge in 2013-14 again goes to statewide online school Ohio Virtual Academy, but by even wider margins.
And finally, just because we can’t apparently post enough numbers to drive home the point, the data from the 2012-2013 school year:
Once again, ECOT put up impressively low and questionable numbers, testing students in grades 3-8 at a rate of under 60%.
Side note: The figures published for Ohio Virtual Academy would be even better if we pulled their monthly enrollment numbers as we did for ECOT, but they didn’t seem to need the extra help to look better.
In closing, we apologize for the simple graphics we’re using to bring this information to you. Next time we’ll try and have ECOT’s abysmal ratings and information integrated with rainbows, unicorns, and dancing ponies (animated, of course).
Eh, on second thought, we’ll just let the numbers do the talking.