Recently, the Ohio Education Association (the largest teacher organization/union in the state) and Innovation Ohio (a left leaning non-profit organization) joined together to form a website. The joint venture was created as a supposed one-stop-shop for information. According to the founding groups, its purpose is to give the public easy access to information on public charter schools in Ohio and compare them to any school district across the state.
It all seems great on the surface until you start to look closer at what data is provided and used for that comparison. General statistics from any charter school in the state is there: information found on the school state report card, the state funding per student, the percentage of funding spent in the classroom, etc. And we will say this; it is easily accessible.
But as you dig deeper, parents can be left with many unanswered questions. Lofty price tags of money transferred from districts to public charters are given very little explanation as to when the transfers occurred…yearly, or over 15 years?
The site does little to hide its negativity toward public charter schools with the way information is presented and the way other information is left out.
The site really should have a disclaimer that they compare an individual charter school to an entire school district. But unless you’re paying really close attention it’s easy to not see that fact. Districts can often be made up of ten or more schools. How can one school be compared to a group of schools made up of entirely different populations, and performance records? It’s not a valid comparison.
So, while the site does provide accurate individual statistics, it only provides just enough information to bend it to support the political point of view of the site founders. We encourage parents truly looking for school choice to get all the facts - proceed with caution and do your own research.