Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ohio charters leading in the race to the bottom with a little help from their friends

David Brennan, White Hat Charters
As I posted here three years ago, to get a charter in Ohio, all you need it seems, is lots of money for local Republican campaigns and a white hat.

When it comes to crappy, low-performing, and mismanaged charter schools, Ohio certainly leads the race to the bottom. Columbus alone, had 17 charter school failures in the past year. Nearly 30% of all Ohio charters have closed since 1997. The median life of an Ohio charter school is four years.
According to the Raw Story:
A handful of large corporate charter school operators appear to be responsible for wide swaths of the problem. For example, The Talented Tenth Leadership Academy for Boys and the Talented Tenth Leadership Academy for Girls closed in October after inspectors at the schools discovered that students faced unsanitary conditions and poor management. Both schools were operated by the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center. 
 The North Central Ohio Educational Service Center also sponsored 21 other community schools in Ohio. In 2013, the firm attempted to open 16 community schools, including six schools that failed to open or closed within a few weeks of opening. 
Among the largest charter school authorizers in the state is the Fordham Foundation (connected to the Fordham Institute), currently headed by Michael Petrilli. They oversee 11 Ohio charters and have been among the loudest advocates for the expansion of privately-operated charters, vouchers, and so-called "choice".

Here's a list of the others.

Now that so many Ohio charters are closing, Fordham and several other operators have turned on each other, pointing their fingers and calling each other "weak authorizers." But it's hard for any of them to cast the first stone.

For example,  it was Petrilli's mentor at Fordham, Chester Finn who wrote a  letter to the Columbus Dispatch explaining why Ohio children should be grateful to Finn's pal and White Hat Management founder David Brennan for “rebutting those who would keep them trapped in crummy district school.”

Brennan and White Hat Management are known as being the most corrupt of the charter operators. He has been accused of bribing public officials and corrupt financial practices. In May 2010, the boards of ten White Hat-managed charter schools in Ohio filed suit against their parent company.
"Brennan was helped along by the intellectuals of the Buckeye Institute and Fordham Institute. They provided valuable cover for free-market "education" plans, and eventually these institutions proliferated in Ohio more than in any other state in the union." -- Progress Ohio 
According to former White Hat teacher Amy Rankin:
It's no secret that Brennan's schools are failing -- at rates far worse than the abysmal public schools they're meant to replace. White Hat's 20 Ohio Life Skills Centers, for example, are all on either academic watch or emergency. Not one meets the federal standard for yearly progress.
Sorry Chester, the state's children aren't grateful.

No comments:

Post a Comment