Posts by: William Phillis

Jason Crye, in a December 2, 2016 Fordham publication, described Betsy DeVos as “a wily and battle-tested reformer, someone with clear goals who knows how to fight and make reform happen.” His conclusion seems to be: reformers should support DeVos because she is one of us.

DeVos has a record of intense interest in education but all of her advocacy has been directed to replace the public common school with charters and vouchers. Reform to the “reformers”, including DeVos, means to destroy the public common schools.

“Reformers” have bastardized the word reform. Reform means to improve by alteration, correction […]

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“We are not unmindful of the difficulties facing the state, but those difficulties do not trump the Constitution.” DeRolph v. State 97 Ohio St. 3d, December 11, 2002

House Bill (HB) 628, introduced December 13, 2016 by State Rep. Andrew Brenner, would take school funding in a radical different direction. It is not the solution to the court decisions in the DeRolph school funding case. Before legislators, school district officials and the general public become engrossed in the pieces and parts of this 779-page bill, they should:

Contemplate the significance, implications and the binding requirements of Article VI, §2 of […]

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Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Jenifer French issued a final appealable order that allows the Ohio Department of Education to proceed with the student participation audit of ECOT. This ruling paves the way for ECOT to appeal. The ECOT spokesman is confident that ECOT will win on appeal.

ECOT will most likely, at taxpayers’ expense, pursue every legal and legislative recourse to stay in business without being held accountable for student participation.

There is a strong possibility that ECOT will survive and thrive at the end of the process. This charter behemoth spends enormous sums of money on marketing, […]

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A December 12 New York Times research article indicates the positive relationship between higher funding levels and outcomes.

During the DeRolph school funding litigation era, the state defendants often attempted to convince the court that money doesn’t make a difference in educational outcomes and opportunities. For the record, the Court didn’t buy that argument.In the real world, whether in public education or any other enterprise, of course money makes a difference. But, state defendants in school funding cases across the nation hired school finance “experts” to support the myth that the level of funding is not […]

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The OAPCS will be out of business at the end of this year. This organization has been an influential advocacy agent for Ohio’s publicly-funded, privately-operated charter industry. Some of the reasons for its demise are identified in a December 14 Columbus Dispatch article.

The dismal reputation of Ohio’s charter industry may be the reason funders have withdrawn their support of OAPCS. It is ironic the federal government has awarded a $71 million grant to expand the failed charter industry in Ohio.

The newly anticipated federal emphasis on expanding the failed charter industry will no doubt generate another […]

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When traditional public schools are low performing, federal and state officials demand alternatives-when charter schools are low performing and laced with corruption, they demand charter expansion

What is it about charter schools that gain the favor of public officials regardless of their performance, proneness to fraud and corruption and lack of inclusiveness?

Why do some parents transfer their children from a high-performing public school to a low-performing charter?

Are some public officials so enamored with the notion of choice and/or privatization that it blinds them to the failure of chartering?

Low performance and fiscal fraud in the charter industry is […]

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Youngstown and now Lorain are in the clutches of the state’s privatization of public education machine. Representative Dan Ramos said in regard to the Lorain takeover in the December 4 Chronicle-Telegram: “A takeover just doesn’t feel right here. It comes off like someone needing to come in and teach us poor folk how to get an education. It’s the mentality that only rich people can come in and teach and learn.” Further Representative Ramos said, “This plan is much worse than people think it is. The CEO has to come in and have a plan for […]

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The December 13 PD editorial tosses roses to the legislature for not giving a pass to ECOT and other online charters regarding the funds they owe for not being able to document the participation of tens of thousands of their “students.” That is good news for taxpayers but that could change in a legislative heartbeat when the 132nd General Assembly convenes in January 2017. Granted the glass may be half full; but some pertinent questions remain: Will the 132nd General Assembly intervene in favor of online charters? Will the Ohio Department of Education audit the online charters […]

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Fairborn Councilwoman Donna Wilson wrote her state Senator (see below) to express opposition to giving ECOT a pass on collecting millions without documentation that students are engaged in learning. The ECOT-friendly response from the Senator’s office precipitated a second letter.

The public education community should be flooding the offices of state officials with letters demanding the ECOT scandal be resolved in favor of taxpayers and students immediately.

If there is no opposition expressed by concerned citizens, the ECOT gravy train will keep on rolling.

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Dear Senator Hackett,

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) has been failing our students for […]

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Documentation of school attendance dates back to the beginning of the Ohio common schools in 1822. Throughout the decades, some students have been honored with perfect attendance award; hence schools have always emphasized the importance of attendance. Truant officers have typically been a part of the common school system since the beginning. Bona fide educators have always stressed the importance of regular attendance. All of this is in contrast to the ECOT mindset.

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William L. Phillis, Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding

ohioeanda@sbcglobal.net

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The Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools (OAPCS) 10th annual conference is being held on December 6-8 in Columbus Ohio.

Organizations typically honor special friends in high places. State Auditor Dave Yost and Senator Cliff Hite are special OAPCS honorees this year.

Representative Andrew Brenner is also being featured during some special events at the conference.

All three men have received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the ECOT founder Bill Lager.

Ron Packard, the former K-12, Inc. online charter company (Ohio Virtual Academy) and now owner of several Ohio charters is prominent on the program. […]

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