Home > Uncategorized > Canary in a Coal Mine? Ohio Charters’ College Graduation Rates Embarrassingly Low

Canary in a Coal Mine? Ohio Charters’ College Graduation Rates Embarrassingly Low

October 19, 2017

Ohio has had one the most aggressive charter plans at that State level for several years and, as a result, has been able to collect data on the college graduation rates of charter school alumni… and the results are not pretty. As blogger Stephen Dyer reported in his post on October 16,

Ohio school districts have 5 times the rate of students with college degrees that charters have. And Big 8 urban districts (Akron, Canton, Cincinnati. Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown) have twice the rate.

Meanwhile, of the 31 Ohio charter schools that have graduates counted for this metric, 7 (23 percent) had zero graduates with college degrees within six years of graduation.

And the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow? That’s right.

Only 109 of 3,794 ECOT graduates from 2010 have a college degree today. That’s an amazing 2.9 percent. Cleveland — which had about 100 fewer 2010 graduates as ECOT (not to mention far greater rates of poverty, special education, and minority students) — had about 3.5 times as many graduates with college degrees as ECOT.

With these data sets, how and why can legislators in Ohio claim that charters and choice are the solution to so-called “failing schools”? And given the performance of ECOT, how can anyone claim that on-line learning is the wave of the future? At the conclusion of his post, Mr. Dyer writes:

According to this data from the state report card, Ohio charter schools, overall, hurt their students’ ability to achieve the million dollar promise of a college education and instead contribute to their students’ ability to access the social safety net over their lifetimes.

Here’s my hunch: in the coming weeks I expect to read that Ohio is revising its report card to de-emphasize this data and placing a greater emphasis on some data set that shows charters in a more favorable light. TO do otherwise would require the elected officials in Ohio to speak against their donors.

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