Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 3:33 PM
Web Exclusive - If you'd like to better understand how your school is doing - whether it's a traditional public school or a charter - find out more information here.
Since charter schools began opening in the late 1990s in Ohio, controversy has swirled around them. Critics say they divert funding from cash-strapped public school districts that serve most students to experimental schools serving far fewer. They also charge that charter schools are not properly monitored, or held accountable.
Last month's release by the state Department of Education's of the most recent school report cards has given new energy to charter school critics, who point out that they are performing far worse than traditional public schools across the state. State Senator CJ Prentiss, among others, has renewed a call for a moratorium on Ohio charters.
Despite this, Ohio parents continue to send their kids to charter schools. And thousands of them are choosing the newest and least-tested of all the charters - cyberschools.
Most of Ohio's 41 online schools have been operating for such a short time that they haven't yet been assessed by the state. (Charter schools have a two-year grace period before being tested by the DOE.) Of the six cyberschools that were rated this year - four are in Academic Watch, one is in Academic Emergency, and one is in Continuous Improvement. That's four Ds, one F, and one C.
You can search by building (i.e., individual school) or district. Charter schools, which in Ohio are called community schools, are listed separately.
The state legislature has directed its non-partisan Office of Educational Oversight to do extensive research on school funding and accountability. The LOEO is at www.loeo.state.oh.us