The results of Dr. Howard Fleeter’s recent comparison of the graduation rates of charters and real public schools should disturb all Ohioans, especially those who have the responsibility to protect students and taxpayers.

In a recent study, Fleeter found that, excluding dropout recovery charters, the charter graduation rate is about 45 percent compared to the graduation rate of 73 percent for Ohio’s six largest urban districts.

The charter promise in the 1990s was that charters would show the way to improvement in school districts. Of course, the idea that public education could be deregulated and deprofessionalized as a means of improving achievement, graduation rates and productivity has been shown to be dead wrong. Yet federal and state officials are throwing more money at this colossal failure.

The charter experiment in Ohio has left tens of thousands of young men and women without high school diplomas. Additionally, it has left hundreds of thousands with inferior education experiences.

State officials should drop the charter experiment and focus on making the public common school system constitutional. School district officials should work with charter parents to rescue their children from the charter pit.

 

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