Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Columbus has 17 charter school failures in one year

Columbus has 17 charter school failures in one year

How is this possible?  All the money and time wasted sickens me.  The broken promises to the families and disruption to the students' education are inexcusable.

Who is profiting from these halfhearted attempts?  What regulations determine the opening of a charter school?

Educational Service Centers are in place to provide support to the districts.  They are not intended to become districts in their own right.

From their website:  The Mission of the North Central Ohio ESC is to meet the needs of our educational partners through excellent service."

A couple years ago NCOESC opened a beautiful new facility in Tiffin, Ohio.  The space was about 1,000x larger than the old space.  My mother worked for years at the NCOESC.  She was shocked at the new space and baffled.  Why did they need that much space?  Why did they have a marketing department?

Traditionally, the ESC provides support to the local school districts.  This support is usually centered around special education, testing and service.  In our area, the special education supervisor and school psychologist are contracted to us through the ESC.  The physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists are also arranged through the ESC.  Other types of services are the special education preschool teachers and aides, the vision specialist and braille tutor.

Instead of overstepping their mission statement, the NCOESC needs to focus on their partner schools and ensuring that the students' IEPs are all being followed and the teachers are prepared for the incoming students.  They should also ensure that state regulations that require scheduling team meeting when parents can attend are followed, parent requests for information are fulfilled and parent requests for team planning meetings are not ignored.

I can tell you from personal experience that all is not perfect in their partner districts.  If it were I would not have files filled with emails and legal information.  My husband and I would not have been excluded from a very important evaluation meeting.  Being excluded from that meeting severely and negatively impacted my child's education and emotional well being the following year.

The ESC needs to focus on the realities of their partner districts and work to fix what ails them.  Often those fixes are simple and cheap.  Open and honest communication between the teachers and the parents is essential.  The ESC should be working as a facilitator in that. regard.  The ESC should also be working to improve teacher preparedness and effectiveness in the various learning styles.  They should work in the classroom with the teacher to improve teaching.  All teachers need improvement including me.

Until their own house is in order, the NCOESC should restrain from sponsoring charter schools.