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Earlier this year, Ohio’s infamous Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) went into bankruptcy rather than pay the state money owed for “ghost” students. ECOT has collected over $1 billion since its opening nearly 20 years ago. It had the lowest graduation rate of any high school in the nation. Its owner regularly gave campaign contributions to state officials, which shielded him from accountability until a state court ordered ECOT to pay back state money for students who never showed up.
ECOT is gone, so here comes a new virtual K12 Inc. charter school.
K12 is a for-profit management corporation listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It has high attrition, low test scores, poor educational quality, but it is profitable.
Charter schools in Ohio are called “community schools,” which is a joke, since they suck money away from public schools, which are real community schools. Even corporate charter chains, like the 40 owned by entrepreneur Ron Packard (ex-Goldman Sachs), are called “community schools.” Ha-ha.
The Ohio Digital Learning School (ODLS), authorized by the Ohio Council of Community Schools, will serve students ages 16 to 21 in grades 9-12. It is tuition-free.
Behind the scenes, K12 Inc. is serving as an online management provider, supplying curriculum and the online platform that the school will use, along with other services. The company already is involved in two other virtual high school charters in the state, Ohio Virtual Academy (K-12) and Destinations Career Academy at OHVA (9-12).
Is there any scam too odious for Ohio?