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Ohio Department of Education abruptly halts charter-sponsor evaluations
The state also is retracting evaluations already completed
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


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Mark Urycki
 
Although some of the worst performing schools in Ohio are online schools, they've been getting good evaluations by the Ohio Department of Education.
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The Ohio Department of Education today announced it’s retracting its evaluations of charter-school sponsors. The move comes after a department official admitted he had failed to include the grades of some very low-performing sponsors. StateImpact Ohio’s Mark Urycki has details.
LISTEN: Ohio stops charter evaluations after controversy erupts

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Some of the worst performing charter schools in Ohio are online schools. But their sponsors have been getting good evaluations by the Ohio Department of Education. 

The Northeast Ohio Media Group reported last month that the Ohio Distance and Electronic Learning Academy and the Ohio Virtual Academy had received F grades but were not included in the schools’ evaluations.

The head of ODE’s Office of School Choice, David Hansen, admitted to state board of education members this week he had omitted some of those failing grades. Republican State Sen. Peggy Lehner, who oversees the Senate Education Committee called that a violation of Ohio law. 

Thursday, the ranking Democrat on the House Education Committee, Theresa Fedor of Toledo, called for the resignation of state school Superintendent Richard Ross.  

Today, the head of the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools weighed in saying, “If there was any law that was not followed, ODE should revisit the evaluations.”

And this afternoon, the department released a short statement saying it would retract all sponsor evaluations and seek independent experts to make sure the methodology is credible.

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