Report: Ohio’s online charter schools producing poor results


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A new report from a national charter school advocacy group says Ohio residents should feel “outraged” by the low performance of several of the state’s internet charters.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools report contends the population would be rightly concerned if traditional public schools were producing the same poor results as online charters.

“The well-documented, disturbingly-low performance by too many full-time virtual charter public schools should serve as a call to action to state leaders and authorizers across the country,” the report stated.

The report, titled “A Call to Action,” listed Ohio, Pennsylvania and California as the “big three” of online charter schools. Those states collectively enroll more than half of the country’s e-students.

Authors of the report say too many full-time virtual charter public schools in Ohio are failing.

The Columbus Dispatch reported nearly 23,000 students attended the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow last year, many just for weeks or a few months.

ECOT, the state’s largest internet charter, met four of Ohio’s 33 state performance indicators, which track the percentage of students who are considered proficient in various subjects.

A spokesman for ECOT said the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ research was unreliable and flawed.

“Most disturbing is that this report is an attack on school choice and limiting parent options of enrolling their children in the public school that the parent chooses,” Neil Clark told The Plain Dealer in Cleveland.

The Alliance has recommended limiting the size and funding of online charters, allowing only students that are the right fit to enroll in e-schools and removing the financial interest that sponsors have in keeping them open.

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