Does Ohio Have the Worst Charter Schools in the Nation?

Diane Ravitch's blog

A recent article in the Akron Beacon Journal raises the question of whether Ohio has the worst charter sector in the nation.

Reporter Doug Livingston delves into the charterindustry and what he finds is a nearly unbroken record of failure. Does anyone in the state government care?

He summarizes:

Ohio’s charter schools …

Drawing state dollars from local school districts, charter schools presented a cheaper, market-driven alternative to government-run schools.

■ Ohio law allowed for the first charter schools in 1998.

■ Nearly 40 percent of the 595 charter schools that ever opened in Ohio have closed. Financial difficulty is cited three times as often as academic failure. More than half the time, closure is voluntary, according to a state directory of shuttered charter schools.

■ Ohio’s charter schools rank among the lowest in the nation in advancing student learning.

He describes the intricate financing deals that enables charter operators…

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