Posts by: William Phillis

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 […]

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Wayne Wlodarski, a labor relations consultant for OEA, is asking teachers and all other citizens to make a New Year’s resolution in support of public education.

He, with permission, turned a Network for Public Education (NPE) statement into the attached resolution:

I BELIEVE that public education is the pillar of our democracy. I believe in the common school envisioned by Horace Mann. A common school is a public institution, which nurtures and teaches all who live within its boundaries, regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, sexual orientation or learning ability. All may enroll – regardless of when they seek to enter the school or where they were […]

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Try to envision the lifestyle and culture of America without the benefit of the public common school.

Would the U.S. have been the leader of the free world had the various states not adopted constitutional provisions for free, universal common school education? An all-private education arrangement would have left multitudes of unserved or underserved students, and divided the nation into tribal communities.

Some in our nation do not comprehend or value the symbiotic relationship between the common school and democracy. The common good is just not a priority for them.

Thomas Ultican provides a more in depth look in a […]

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According to a Sept. 3 Columbus Dispatch article, ECOT has spent $33 million on TV ads, lobbyists, lawsuits and William Lager’s for-profit companies since January 2016, all in pursuit of gaining state approval to continue to count students that are not participating.

Over 400 school buses could have been purchased with the $33 million ECOT has spent recklessly. While Ohio students ride on worn-out buses, the ECOT Man spent money extracted from school districts to rev-up his tax-consuming machine.

It is amazing that public officials have tolerated payments to ECOT’s for students not participating […]

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Steve Dyer’s August 23 10th Period post drills down into dropout recovery regulations and concludes ECOT will have to manipulate enrollment to transition to a dropout recovery school.

Steve writes:

I wondered when this was coming. But apparently, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow — the most scandal-ridden charter school in the state that owes taxpayers $60 million in overpayments from just one year of instruction — now wants to be classified as a dropout recovery school.

The problem is, they can’t do it unless they once again manipulate student counts. They either have to suddenly drop about 1,200 students […]

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ECOT received $60 million in 2015-2016 with no documentation that students were being served. Had the state audited student enrollment compared to participation in all other years of ECOT’s existence, the total over-payment could be hundreds of millions.

The state is facing a defining moment in charter transparency, accountability and QUALITY. If the state approves this maneuver it will send a signal that high quality in the charter business industry in not important to state officials. It would also signal that the interests of taxpayers are of little or no concern.

It appears the chairman of the House Education and […]

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What will happen to the “government of the people, by the people and for the people” when privatization is fully accomplished?

Historically, governmental services and institutions have been governed by democratic rule. This strategy is messy at times but it is the best kind of government ever devised.

The craze to privatize government functions is accelerating at the behest of the corporate world. Of course, profit is the motive.

Some manifestations of privatization:

Private prisons Charter schools Voucher schools Privatization of parking at OSU Privatization of airports, municipal power Privatization of transportation infrastructure

When privatization of government functions is […]

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William Lager, founder of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), is spending a lot of taxpayer money on litigation. He has two cases in the Ohio Supreme Court and one in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. The most recent appeal is before the Ohio Supreme Court. This new one challenges the decision of the Franklin County Court of Appeals that would force ECOT to repay $60 million that it collected for students who rarely, if ever, log on for classes. One of ECOT’s arguments, as reported by a July 7 article in The Columbus Dispatch is telling. ECOT argues that the effect of the Ohio Department […]

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The choice advocates have opened a can of worms that may erupt into warring factions within the choice movement. The floodgates of draining public funds from public common schools into private unaccountable and non-transparent hands have been opened. The current federal administration intends to flood choice programs with public funds. The same is true in Ohio and many other states.

The choice factions are each lobbying for a market share that fits their agenda. The corporate charter school moguls have a bevy of lobbyists that ply substantial influence on the flow of public dollars to private education entities.

Parochial education leaders are ramping up […]

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The June 6 Washington Post article, “What we just learned from Betsy DeVos’s painful appearance before Congress,” validates that the new U.S. education secretary really does not support public education.

According to the article:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Tuesday on Capitol Hill that she won’t offer protections to ensure that public money is not used by for-profit education companies to make their owners rich.

She also said that private schools accepting federal funds in a voucher program would have to follow federal laws but would not promise to protect LGBTQ or other students from discrimination if the law […]

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The Buckeye Institute, an ultra-conservative think tank of sorts, has a long history of opposition to adequate funding for public schools, and support for tax-funded, privately-operated alternatives to public education.

David Hansen, the former Ohio Department of Education (ODE) charter school office head had been a Buckeye Institute official. Hansen resigned from his short stint at ODE when it was revealed that he was guilty of data rigging.

In a May 31, 2017 report, Buckeye Institute recommends an atrocious public policy proposal-Education Savings Accounts. The report quotes a Matthew Ladner who states, “American schools suffer under a […]

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