Last week, the state’s largest charter school, ECOT, filed a request for a temporary restraining order to prevent the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) from conducting an (already-delayed-by-request) review of ECOT documents.  The claims by ECOT are unfounded and hold no basis in law, and the ODE response filed today calls the school out.

You can read ECOT’s full request for a temporary restraining order here.

The response filed today (get pdf copy here) by ODE is below:

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What is ECOT trying to hide?


  • Susan Riley

    What is ECOT trying to hide? . . . . . . Everything!
    I’ll tell you what happens. The majority (but of course, not all) students log on in the morning, then turn around and watch TV until it’s time to log off.
    First-hand experience (and a VERY direct conversation with an ECOT teacher) tells me that most of the students (and again, not all) are enrolled in ECOT because they have had some sort of trouble in public school. It may be behavioral issues, they may have been bullied, they may have an undiagnosed learning disability, etc. To expect these kids to have the degree of self-motivation it takes to succeed in an online learning environment is ludicrous. In general, they are one to two years behind other students when they return to public schools (according to conversations I’ve had with more than one public school teacher).
    Couple the above with the scheming setup the ‘owner’ of ECOT has with his other businesses (e.g., his ‘curriculum’ company, etc.), ECOT is a 100% rip-off of the taxpayers.
    Until charters and online schools came into existence, I’ve always voted for school levies. Since they came into being, I have always voted a resounding “NO.” And I will again and again until they no longer exist. PLUS: ‘Back in the day,’ if you wanted your child to attend a parochial/religious school, you paid tuition. It is my understanding this is no longer the case. Apparently, now MY tax dollars are paying the tuition for kids to attend religious schools – something I most definitely do NOT support.
    I hope the State Dept. of Education puts the screws to ECOT big time – enough so they close them down completely. (And then move on to other charters and religious schools.)

  • goofproof

    We’ll have to ask the 30,000 Ohio kids and families enrolled in online schools where they will go. ECOT takes students that could not succeed in traditional public schools. They enter ECOT years behind their peers. Community colleges, universities, and professionals use online classes all the time and do not judge based on log in time. There are students that find success at ECOT they did not find elsewhere. Should we deny them that option?

  • Former ECOT Teacher

    They will return to their school districts, who now more than ever are making use of online education. Or online schools will be held to a proper standard for the students they educate and remain open, albeit at far reduced roll numbers. Students who are years behind their peers find success in traditional schools everyday. However, the majority of students at ECOT are not successful; they barely login and when they do it is for negligible amounts of time or to rush through a course at the end of term.

    I’m sure that online professors at community colleges, universities and in professional development contexts are disappointed with low engagement times in similar ways. The difference is, many of the students enrolled in those contexts are much more highly motivated than your average online high school student and lack the same obstacles to their success.

    I do not begrudge students who found and continue to find success at online schools. For a small percentage of students it is absolutely the best thing for them. The problem is that the school continues to make money from students who are in no way properly suited for online education and it is in the schools financial interest to continue to allow that to happen.

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