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Stephen Dyer of Innovation Ohio has been a thoughtful critic of charter schools in Ohio. He has written about, documented, and publicized their low performance and lack of transparency and accountability. He helped to create the informative website, KnowYourCharter.com, which allows citizens to compare charter performance to that of public schools.
In this post, he describes how he worked collaboratively with charter advocates to shape a bill to regulate charters.
“On Wednesday, everybody’s hard work paid off with the most sweeping, comprehensive and meaningful reform of Ohio’s charter school system since the program began in the late 1990s. It will keep track of Ohio’s operators, letting the public know where they operate and how they perform. It will force sponsors to do their job and hold schools to account, or else they won’t be able to sponsor schools. It will open up the mostly opaque world of charter schools so the public can better track the now $1 billion a year in state money that goes to charter schools.
“It is not perfect. It doesn’t directly close poor performing charters, choosing instead to force sponsors to do that. It doesn’t address the funding issues that force districts to have to backfill the lost state money with local money. And it relies on an Ohio Department of Education in disarray.
“But man, it does a lot. As a first step, this one is a Lulu (apologies to B. Bunny).”