COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ State school board members accused the Ohio Department of Education on Tuesday of breaking the law by throwing online schools’ failing grades out of a charter school evaluation this year.
The Plain Dealer in Cleveland (http://bit.ly/1DgBCvq ) reported that the board and state Sen. Peggy Lehner said School Choice Director David Hansen was bound by law to include online school and dropout recovery schools in evaluations of charter school oversight agencies. But the board confirmed Tuesday after questioning Hansen that he left failing grades for those schools out of the evaluations.
The omission boosted the rating of two oversight agencies, which could make them eligible for new state perks.
In his appearance before the board, Hansen said he wanted to look at other schools because online struggles “mask” successes elsewhere. He said he left online schools out because they started receiving low grades after the state altered the grading rules in recent years.
But board President Tom Gunlock said Hansen’s reasons don’t matter and he must obey the law.
“If you don’t like the law, change it,” Gunlock said. “Until such time, you have to obey it.”
State Superintendent Richard Ross said in a statement that online school and dropout recovery school grades would be included in the future.
“We will include academic performance data of e-schools and dropout prevention and recovery schools in our evaluation process as soon as we get the data we need from the 2014-15 school report cards,” he said. “This evaluation process is still new, but we will work to get it right.”
Gunlock said he and Ross would discuss how to handle the completed evaluations that would be affected by the exclusion.