There has been significant media coverage of the Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE) assessments and ratings of the performance of several charter school sponsors, and exclusion of e-school and dropout recovery school data.
Questioned by members of the State Board of Education at its meeting last week, ODE Director of Quality School Choice David Hansen has since resigned his position. Critics are calling for State Superintendent Dr. Dick Ross to resign, as well.
As you know, Buckeye Community Hope Foundation (BCHF) is one of the few sponsors to complete the ODE Sponsor Performance Review (SPR) and was rated “exemplary.” Due to the omission of online schools’ data in calculating the academic component of the SPR as required in current law, all ratings, including BCHF’s, have since been retracted. ODE has announced that it will recalculate those ratings – which were based on report card data from the 2013-2014 school year -- but no specific details have yet been provided. It’s important to note that the academic performance component is only one of three components that make up the SPR. The Compliance and Quality Practices of Authorizing components are significant in the overall ratings for sponsors. BCHF received high marks in both of these areas.
BCHF’s portfolio of sponsored schools includes just one e-school, which is held to the same high standards as all other schools it sponsors. It was appropriately excluded in the rating calculations because at the time of the calculation it had been in operation for less than two years.
Dropout recovery schools were also excluded from the calculation, however the law specifically provides that the academic performance of students enrolled in a dropout prevention and recovery program shall not be included in the evaluation prior to the 2014-2015 school year. Report cards for the 2014-2015 school year will likely not be available until January 2016.
BCHF has eight dropout recovery schools in its portfolio of sponsored schools. Performance data for six dropout recovery schools may be included when BCHF’s rating is re-calculated; two others will not be included because they have been in operation for less than two years. The six schools – which represent less than 10 percent of total students enrolled in schools sponsored by BCHF -- generally perform well on the state’s new alternative report card measures. It is unlikely that inclusion of these six schools in the academic performance component of the assessment would negatively impact BCHF’s overall rating.BCHF was unaware that some of its sponsored schools may have been inappropriately excluded from the calculation of its scores and overall rating, and did not receive detailed information or the formula used for calculating scores for the school academic performance portion of the SPR.
Peggy Young, Director
Jennifer Robison, Associated Director
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