Dann Lowers the Boom on Failing Charter Schools
Attorney General Marc Dann (D-Liberty Township) took a tough step against failing charter schools today, and bully for him. This afternoon he filed lawsuits against two schools in Montgomery County, home turf of Ohio House Speaker and charter school champion State Rep. Jon Husted (R-Kettering), alleging that they are failed charitable trusts and should be closed. The schools in question are Colin Powell Leadership Academy in Dayton and the New Choices Community School in Englewood.
There are many struggling charter schools, but these two are among the worst. According to the Columbus Dispatch blog The Daily Briefing, Dann said:
There are lots of charter schools in this state that serve great purposes and do what charter schools were designed to do…we don't want to interfere with that. But certainly there are 30 or more that scream out for this kind of attention. Whether I can get to all of those I don't know.Ohio Senate Minority Leader Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) was quick to praise the action, saying in a press release today:
I am very pleased that Attorney General Dann is taking decisive action to send a message that persistent failure by charter schools will no longer be tolerated. It is important for charter schools to know that failure is no longer a choice for our children.In addition, according to the Dispatch, Dann's action "prompted Ohio's largest teachers union to drop a lawsuit against the state that alleged education officials were failing to monitor the privately operated, tax-funded schools."
This type of strong action has been sorely missing the past several years despite my persistent calls for stronger academic and financial accountability for charter schools. I am glad that we have a new sheriff in town who will no longer turn a blind eye when charter schools betray the public’s trust.
Although charter schools have as many passionate defenders as opponents, it is apparent to all that many of them are failing to deliver adequate education. This decisive stroke by Dann is timely and merited, and yet another example of his pro-active approach to the myriad problems plaguing the state.