Report Of Questionable Lease Deal Prompts Performance Review Of For-Profit Charter
COLUMBUS— October 15, 2014 — Prompted by reports of questionable leasing practices, a new analysis shows that the Imagine Schools have a below-average performance index score for charter schools, and a significantly lower average score than traditional public schools. The analysis was conducted by the Ohio Charter School Accountability Project which recently launched KnowYourCharter.com, a new website that provides important comparative performance data for parents, educators and taxpayers.
The 3rd largest for-profit charter school operator in Ohio, Imagine Schools, was the subject of a recent Columbus Dispatch report showing that millions of dollars in public money are being diverted from the classroom to pay for questionable leasing arrangements. The overall performance of the Imagine Schools is near the bottom of the struggling Ohio charter school sector, and nearly 70 percent of the grades for all Imagine Schools are D or F on the 2013-2014 state report card. Read the full analysis here: http://knowyourcharter.com/news/.
“The lagging performance of the Imagine Schools is a disservice to the students and calls into question the capacity of the schools’ operators to provide a quality education,” said Ohio Education Association President Becky Higgins. “The priority should be to make sure that adequate resources are devoted to the classrooms, not into the pockets of those collecting exorbitant rent for the buildings in which these schools operate.”
“Policymakers on both sides of this debate should be outraged that these questionable leases are diverting public money away from classrooms while student performance suffers,” said Innovation Ohio President Keary McCarthy. “This should be a wake-up call for lawmakers to get serious about imposing greater accountability and oversight of Ohio’s for-profit charter school operators.”
The Ohio Charter School Accountability Project is a joint venture of the Ohio Education Association and Innovation Ohio. The Ohio Education Association represents more than 121,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals in Ohio’s public schools, colleges and universities. Innovation Ohio is a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus.
Contacts: Keary McCarthy (Innovation Ohio), 614-425-9163
Michele Prater (Ohio Education Association), 614-378-0469