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The World of Ohio Charter Schools

Background

Charter schools, known in Ohio as community schools, are publicly funded primary and secondary schools. They are considered public schools, so tuition is free. However, they have more flexibility in how they operate than traditional public schools. In Ohio, a charter school is operated under a contract with a sponsoring entity.

Approximately 95,000 of Ohio’s 1.8 million students were enrolled in charter schools in the 2010-11 school year.

Charter schools have been a source of conflict among Ohio’s educators and policymakers. Some champion charter schools as alternatives to struggling urban districts around the state and as an option for parents seeking schools that best suit their children. Others say charter schools siphon funding from local public school districts and do not offer students a better education.

In the 2010-11 school year, Ohio had 326 operating charter schools. Some were part of larger networks of schools run by a single operator. That operator can be for-profit or non-profit. White Hat Management, for example, is a for-profit company that runs about 50 schools around the state. Others schools are operated by their local school districts or groups focused on a single charter school.

Latest Posts

Most Ohio Charter Schools Would Get F’s Under New School Report Card System

New state report cards are coming to Ohio schools. The new report cards move from a system of ratings such as “Excellent with Distinction” and “Academic Emergency” to an A-F grading system. It’s going to be harder for schools to get top grades under the new system. The Ohio Department of Education estimates that about [...]

Ohio Department of Education Investigating Out-Of-State Diploma Deals

Graduation speaker

Deval Patrick / Flickr For years some Ohio charter schools have funneled students who are unable to pass the Ohio Graduation Tests onto an easier track to graduation, one that allows them to earn a diploma from a private correspondence school based in Illinois and avoid Ohio graduation requirements. Earlier this year, the state auditor [...]

Ohio Charter Schools Let Students Who Fail Graduation Tests Earn Out-Of-State Diplomas

purple graduation ceremony

Adam Schwegler / Flickr Can’t pass the Ohio Graduation Tests? No problem, some charter schools say. You can still graduate. At some Ohio charter schools, if a student can’t pass Ohio’s five graduation exams — in reading, writing, math, science and social studies — the schools enroll them in a series of correspondence courses through an [...]

Reuters: Charter Schools Screen Out the Students They Don’t Want

child at gate

_Bunn_ / Flickr Charter schools use a range of practices to ensure only the “right” kind of students get in, Reuters reports. Those practices can include mandatory family interviews, long application processes and demands for Social Security cards and birth certificates. And they sometimes put charter schools in violation of state and federal law, Reuters reports. In Ohio, federal [...]

Report Says Ohio Charter Schools Skirting Closure Laws

A new report from Policy Matter Ohio, a liberal think tank, found that some charter schools that have been ordered to close for poor performance have managed to stay open with largely the same staff, and often in the same location, just under a different name. Ohio’s charter school closure laws were tightened a couple [...]

Education Advocacy Group “Students First” Gives Ohio a C-

Students First, a group looking to improve education through increased accountability for teachers and principals, more financial transparency in schools, and enhanced power for parents, is grading states on their education initiatives. Ohio received an average grade, but fared well compared to other states. StateImpact Ohio sat down with Greg Harris, the group’s Ohio director, [...]

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