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Friday, October 24, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 5/11/2014

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Charter schools give parents an option

In response to your April 14 editorial “Charter members”: There are many misconceptions about charter schools. They are held accountable under Ohio’s automatic closure laws, which are the toughest in the nation.

They also are subject to public records laws. Much of the information that was sought by the Akron Beacon Journal is readily available on schools’ Web sites or can be obtained and provided through a public records request. A phone call alone to a school — charter or noncharter — is not an official public records request.

The Blade argues that too many Ohio charter schools have stayed open “less on the strength of their academic programs than on the size of their operators’ campaign contributions.” Charter schools remain open because so many parents continue to see them as the best educational option for their children.

More than 120,000 students attend charter schools in Ohio. The parents of those students have a right to make that choice.

The Ohio Department of Education is responsible for sponsor oversight. As a result of a state law passed in 2013, the department will assess sponsor performance in three key areas: academics, school and sponsor legal compliance, and sponsor quality practices. This new assessment system, to take effect Jan. 1, 2015, will rate sponsors as ineffective, effective, or exemplary, and will penalize underperformers.

ERIC FANKHAUSER

President

Ohio Distance and

Electronic Learning Academy

Adams Street



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