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Insanity in Ohio

January 17, 2017

The Ohio Department of Education is refusing to answer questions from The Plain Dealer about why its review last year of the district’s charter school oversight work penalizes the district for technical violations of rules that do not even apply to the district—penalties which lead to the to the district’s oversight being judged “ineffective.”

According to paper the department penalized the district: for not meeting terms of its probation—even though the district wasn’t on probation; for not following rules for overseeing online schools—even though the district doesn’t oversee any online schools; and for its handling of decisions on whether to extend operations of charter schools or whether to close them—even though all of the charters overseen by the district were in the middle of multi-year contracts and the district made no such decisions in the review period.

“Those items did not apply to us as a sponsor last year,” the district said in a letter to the ODE, adding: “If we receive credit for these items…that would bump our overall score from ‘ineffective’ to ‘effective’.”

To top it all off, the district is not entitled to a full appeal hearing, which is only allowed for sponsors rated as “poor,” the lowest rating, nor is the state allowing sponsors to re-submit documentation to correct errors.