Buckeye blues

Newly elected Ohio Governor Ted Strickland is set to strangle charter
schools in his state. Calling charters "a dismal failure," he would
impose a moratorium on new schools. (Hence, no KIPP Academy for
Columbus, as is currently planned.) Worse, he would bind charters to
"all other state laws and rules pertaining to public schools, school
districts, and boards of education," thereby forcing charters to adhere
to union contracts, teacher licensure, etc. This would leave charters
with two choices: abandon their very essence and follow the law (i.e.,
become more like traditional public schools), or shutter their doors
(see here).
Of course, the Ohio charter movement isn't without fault here. It has
consistently failed to police itself, as with the Harte Crossroads fiasco.
But don't throw the baby out with the bath water, Mr. Governor. Ohio
public schools are hardly a model of efficiency and high academic
achievement. And Ohioans like the idea of educational choice,
and charters in particular (some of which are doing very
well--Citizen's Academy in Cleveland, ISUS and Mound Street Academies in
Dayton, and the Graham School in Columbus, for example). So force
authorizers to do their jobs (i.e., close bad schools), but don't
tighten the noose on good schools that tens of thousands of children and
their families have chosen, and then force students back into the
state's failed public system.

"Job One in Ohio," Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2007

"Strickland targets charter schools, vouchers," by William Hershey and Laura A. Bischoff, Dayton Daily News, March 14, 2007

 

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