Just yesterday, Ohio eSchool Coalition Board President Sara Donlon wrote a letter to the editor that was published on the Cleveland Plain Dealer's website. This letter was a response to a recent article that was featured on the same site. The LTE and links can be found below:
I'm writing in response to the June 14 article, "Ohio ignores online school F's as it evaluates charter school overseers."
We've heard charter operations in Ohio referred to as the Wild Wild West – in fact this article mentions the reference. If charter schools are the Wild West, then the thousands of parents who have chosen them must be pioneers. It's unfair to the parents and successful students to characterize the whole community as unruly. And not every town in the Wild West was Deadwood. There were a lot of peaceful thriving towns in the West as well.
While we agree not counting online schools authorizers' evaluation is a surprise, we disagree that ODE is making a misstep by taking the time to ensure this new process is done correctly. Especially when it comes to value-added results for e-schools where there is plenty of concern with the data.
These evaluations are an extremely complicated process – you practically need an advanced degree just to read the article. We don't think there's anything wrong with taking the time to explore the intricate issues involved with giving an appropriate evaluation to charter sponsors.
Donlon is president of the Ohio eSchool Families & Friends Coalition