Not that long ago, I wrote about a report that showed the dire need for change in Ohio charter school policy. The report found, among other things, that charter school students in Ohio, on average, receive 43 fewer days of learning in math and 14 fewer days of learning in reading than their traditional school counterparts.
I’m pleased to see that since the report’s release in December, policymakers in Ohio have been hard at work. House Bill 2, introduced by Representatives Mike Dovilla and Kristina Roegner (both Republicans) includes a number of measures intended to improve transparency, quality and accountability in the charter sector.
Included in this bill are requirements for authorizers to report annual expenses, a requirement for the Ohio Department of Education to track the performance of charter school operators, and measures to prevent conflicts of interest. All of these provisions are steps toward ensuring Ohio’s charter schools (and those who run them) keep an eye on quality.
Notably, this bill is receiving good reviews from folks on either side of the education debate in Ohio: both StudentsFirst Ohio and Know Your Charter have spoken out in favor of the bill’s provisions.
Michigan, Take Note
It’s great to see groups in Ohio coming together on this issue, something that Ohio’s neighbor to the north, Michigan, would do well to emulate, given its lackluster charter sector.
With a report out from Education Trust-Midwest that focuses on accountability and transparency, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that policymakers in Lansing (the ones I personally voted to put in office) will take a hint from their Columbus counterparts.