Stephen Dyer, education policy fellow at Innovation Ohio, noted a precipitous decline in the state’s ranking on Education Week’s annual “Quality Counts.”

Ohio was rated #5 a few years ago. Now it is #18.

When Ohio schools were #5, good things were happening:

“In 2010, Ohio, for once, could crow about its education achievements. The state had just passed a landmark education reform plan that won the Frank Newman Award from the Education Commission of the States, denoting the country’s most “bold, courageous, non-partisan” education reform of the year. That package included a new school funding system that the folks who sued the state over its old funding system said put us on the path to constitutionality.”

Why the decline?

“Fast forward to this year. The state ditched that award-winning finance system and reforms. In its place, the current governor tried to replace it with one that was so panned in 2013 that the legislature essentially dropped it and adopted a funding scheme from 2005. The state’s charter school system has become a national embarrassment. And then today, EdWeek released its Quality Counts report. And now, Ohio’s education system ranks 18th in the country.”

Dyer says that charter schools are not the whole story:

“While much of Ohio’s education policy air has been sucked up by the debate over charter schools, their efficacy and what to do about them, I hope legislators and leaders take note of our precipitous drop in these rankings. Many of Ohio’s education policy struggles stem from our state’s charter school disaster. But these rankings indicate that perhaps there’s more going on.

“Remember that 90 percent of our state’s children do not attend charter schools. Let’s not, I pray, forget their needs. For we do at our peril.”