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Were Ohio Education Officials On The Up-and-Up With Charter-School Grant Bid?

In applying for a federal grant, the Ohio Department of Education said it would close “ poor-performing” charter schools, touted an automatic-closure law that shuts them down, and promised that only the best-rated charter sponsors would create new schools.

But it also said that, in the 2012-13 school year, Ohio had no “poor-performing” charters, even though about a third of charters didn’t meet a single standard on their state report cards that year and 60 percent of them got D or F grades on the Performance Index, a measure of how students perform on state tests.

The grant application also failed to mention that the automatic-closure law is currently suspended and won’t return until at least the 2017-18 school year.

Troubling facts like these continue to place a cloud over Ohio’s successful bid for the $71 million, five-year federal grant. The Ohio Department of Education wants an aggressive expansion of charter schools across the state.