Ohio closes bad schools — if they're charters

Ohio is closing two chronically low-performing charter schools. That’s good. But the perform-or-else rule applies only to charters. Fourteen district-run schools would be closed if the same standards were applied. All will remain in business.

In an editorial, the Dayton Daily News comes out against closure for Dayton’s two low performers and points out that reconstitution — replacing the principal and most teachers — has been tried and failed.

Scott Elliott, who’s just moved from education reporter to editorial writer and columnist (my old job in San Jose!) asks readers how they’d improve failing schools.

Should they just be allowed to continue with bad performance indefinitely?

Most of Dayton’s charter schools are improving on the state test while most of the city’s district-run schools are doing worse, Elliott reported just before he made the switch to the opinion pages.

Overall, charter schools dominated a list of top-scoring schools in the city, and those district schools that did score well were mostly “charter like” schools with special themes or unique programs.

The 20 top-scoring schools included 12 charters, six specialty schools and two traditional schools.

About Joanne

Comments

  1. Once again, all together now, repeat: Money follows the child to whereever the child goes to school, public, private, or otherwise. Any school–public, private, or otherwise– that does not have enough students because it isn’t very good? Close the doors. Good riddance.

  2. A charter school is easy to close — the kids simply enroll in their local public school. A public school cannot be closed unless other backup options exist.

  3. Andy Freeman says:

    > A public school cannot be closed unless other backup options exist.

    Do you really want to bet that there aren’t other public schools in the area, that there aren’t charter schools in the area?

    Even if there aren’t, one can close one school and open another at the same time. Perhaps even using the same buildings. You know – get rid of all of the staff and start over….

    However, thanks for demonstrating that the goal of public education funding is preserving public schools. The rubes paying for it keep thinking that it’s to educate students.

  4. Think of a school like a police or fire station or, perhaps even better, like a post office. Everybody wants (and pays taxes for) a local branch. If the local branch is closed, then it hurts the community unless some other option is present. If the local post office is bad, it doesn’t mean that there should be no local post office; it means that the local post office needs to be improved. Nobody wants to have to drive to the next town over (or, in the case of cities, over to the next neighborhood), they want one that’s convenient for them to use.

    In the case of schools, even if other schools are around they may be in different districts or may not have enough capacity to absorb all of the displaced students from the local traditional public school.

    Also, closing and reopening a school (or post office) would be acceptable for the community. But that’s fundamentally different from simply closing a school.

  5. Andy Freeman says:

    > If the local post office is bad, it doesn’t mean that there should be no local post office; it means that the local post office needs to be improved.

    And when it isn’t….

    > Nobody wants to have to drive to the next town over (or, in the case of cities, over to the next neighborhood), they want one that’s convenient for them to use.

    No one wants a crappy school either….

    And, it’s not necessarily the case that bad public schools are the only schools in town, let alone the only public school, even if your position depends on that assumption.

    > Also, closing and reopening a school (or post office) would be acceptable for the community.

    And yet, Corey thinks that closing a school is unacceptable.

    On the other hand, maybe he’s right to assume that the public school folks would bungle this, that they’d forget to open a new school.

  6. You’re missing the point. “Closing” a school and “closing and reopening” a school are two fundamentally different things (the latter is often referred to as as “reconstituting). In most circumstances, it’s unacceptable not to have a local school — leaving reconstitution as a viable option, but eliminating simply closing the school as a realistic choice.

  7. Andy Freeman says:

    I’m not missing the point at all.

    Corey insists on keeping failing public schools open even if there are other alternatives.

    Corey insists on keeping failing public schools open even though he admits that they could be closed and a new school opened without any gap in education.

  8. As long as your going to continuously misstate my point to serve your ideological beliefs, there’s no point in continuing this conversation. Please re-read my previous comment.

  9. Andy Freeman says:

    Corey’s “point” is that he opposes closing public schools in any circumstances because closing a school in certain circumstances has bad effects if one doesn’t take the obvious counter-measures.

    Yes, reread what Corey has written. He admits that one can close and reopen a public school without leaving an “education gap”. And we know that there are failing public schools surrounded by somewhat better public schools with sufficient spare capacity.

    Note that the “close/reopen” plan even maintains the number of public schools, yet Corey still won’t close a failing public school.

  10. “A public school cannot be closed unless other backup options exist.”

    Seems as though Corey has been quite clear.