Saturday, November 03, 2007

More Ida Wells Woes

Ida Wells Academy, Akron's troubled-but-still-not-closed-but- really-really-close-to-turning-it-all-around-we-mean-it charter school, is in more trouble. Again, the focus is on financial difficulties -- and the Lighthouse Academy -- sponsored by the same organization and worse on state tests -- remains status quo. As it has always been.

When Attorney General Marc Dann filed lawsuits, the school privateers howled in protest. How did they justify opposing efforts to shut down failing charters? They noted that Ohio has a new law that will shut down chronically failing charter schools starting after July, 2008.

Well, maybe. The statute says a school that has been in academic emergency "shall be permanently closed." The new law doesn't specify how that will happen, but appears to put much of the onus on sponsors. The Ida Wells experience doesn't give much

Which is why the AG's lawsuit is important. For one thing, there's no reason not to start closing chronically failing charters now. For another, Dann has signaled that he is taking charter oversight seriously -- something that hasn't historically been true of elected executive officers. When the time comes to apply the new closure law, we won't be relying on sponsors who historically haven't lived up to expectations.


derek said...

Bout damn time!

We need to close schools that are merely a front for money grabs...I just hope that some White Hat schools are on the list.