Monday, January 13, 2014

More Problems for Kasich & GOP

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has promoted the charter schools in the state. As more money is taken from traditional public schools, charter schools and their corporate owners have been hauling in big money. Unfortunately, charter schools in Ohio are failing at an alarming rate, and with that goes our tax money.

Raw Story:

The charter school movement in Ohio has to contend with a rash of failing schools in Columbus. Of the 17 that failed last year — an unprecedented number, according to the Columbus Dispatch — nine only managed to remain open for a few months before failing, leaving students scrambling to find a new school. 

Since 1997, 29 percent of Ohio’s charter schools have closed, the Dispatch reported. The median life of an Ohio charter school is four years. 

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.....

Why do you think that traditional public schools do better? The money spent in traditional public school is reviewed in public by school board members, parents, voters who approve/disapprove of school levies, and public results of student achievement. The charter schools, on the other hand, operate under a corporate umbrella, with little financial information flowing to parents and district taxpayers. Charters in Ohio are exempt from many laws that are required in regular public schools.

There are many reasons that charter schools fail. Charter schools are operated by corporations to make profits. How do they make profits from running a school?

-  Teachers are underpaid and often have a long work day in the classroom with before and after child care.

-  Classroom desks and chairs are often large folding tables and over-sized metal folding chairs.

-  Classrooms are often in church basements, in office buildings, or empty storefronts.

-  Computer access is limited.  Physical education goes lacking because facilities and equipment are not available.

-  Classroom teaching materials are usually provided by the corporate entity in the form of reproducible teaching materials. Textbooks, maps, and other materials are rarely used in charters because they are deemed too expensive because they cut into corporate profits.

- Principals and supervisory staff at charters often hold temporary supervisory certificates or are unqualified for their positions with little experience.

- Etc. Etc. Etc.

There are plenty of more reasons why charters are failing in Ohio, but they will continue to be protected by Kasich and the GOP. As long as Kasich and the Ohio GOP benefit from the large campaign contributions made by the corporate owners of the charters, the charters in Ohio will remain free to operate with little supervision.

We cannot forget the fact that Gov. Kasich cut funding to school districts across the state, while some charters appear to be getting even more money.