Home > Uncategorized > Knowyourcharter.com Profile Illustrates Everything Wrong with Ohio’s De-regulated for Profit Charters

Knowyourcharter.com Profile Illustrates Everything Wrong with Ohio’s De-regulated for Profit Charters

On of Diane Ravitch’s blog posts yesterday profiled a recent study conducted by KnowYourCharter.com that illustrated everything that can go wrong when government’s fail to regulate for-profit public education effectively. Titled “Belly-Up: A Review of Federal Charter School Program Grants“, the knowyourcharter.com research team provides a detailed accounting of which Ohio charter schools received federal funds, how well those schools performed relative to other Ohio public schools, and how well the recipients of the federal grants did compared to other federal grant recipients in other arenas. It is precisely the kind of report one would expect a State Department of Education to conduct… but Ohio’s Department of Education, like many across the country, is overseen by an appointee of the Governor who reports to a Board that has eight of 19 members appointed by the Governor. The State Department of Education, like most across the country, is under-funded and the charter schools in Ohio, like in many states, is lightly regulated at best. The result is predictable: lightly regulated for-profit enterprises pocket State and federal funds designed to help students attending low performing schools to get a leg up and nothing happens. Worse, in Ohio, like in many other states, these lightly regulated for profit schools siphon money from the funds formerly earmarked for public schools.

But something more insidious results from shortchanging of State Departments, lack of government regulation, and politicization of state governance and leadership: divisiveness. Because no one in the State Department of education knows or cares about this profiteering— or is perhaps legally incapable to do anything about it— an independent research team needs to pore through public records to find out the kind of information knowyourcharter.com provides to parents and taxpayers. But some profiteers would look at the underwriters of knowyourcharter.com— the Ohio Education Association and Innovation Ohio— and claim that they are anything BUT independent!

When government is incapable of conducting impartial research the public is compelled to resort to research conducted by advocacy groups which reinforces their political positions. Teachers and “liberals” will wave the research done by knowyourcharter.com and taxpayers and tea party conservatives will say “What do you expect? I funded by unions”.

When government aggressively opposes the regulation of private enterprise because “the market is self-regulating”, views “education” as a commodity instead of a public good, and views parents as “consumers” who can make a choice about what “product” they wish to buy without offering any quality assurance, the Ohio story will repeat itself across the country.

Politicization of state governance + privatization of public education + deregulation = profiteering at the expense of the children raised in poverty.

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