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Friday, October 05, 2007

Jill Miller Zimon: Did She Just Ask The Question Ohio's Journalists Ignored?

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- JMZ at Writes Like She Talks is wondering if the news media was fed a suspicious research study by a group that has a lot at stake in Ohio's charter schools.

"From the Plain Dealer (and from the Columbus Dispatch blog for when the PD piece archives out), we learn that a study finds Ohio proficiencies to be too easy. Now, what’s really interesting is that it’s the Thomas B. Fordham Institute that’s finding this conclusion. They’re big on charters (one of their statements in their mission statement says, “We advance the reform of American education by:…sponsoring charter schools in Ohio and building their academic excellence:…”. What I don’t get is…if the proficiencies are so easy, why are so many students in Ohio’s charters doing poorly on the tests? "

A good question, Jill. Turns out that researchers at Miami University looked into that question two years ago. They checked scores in 609 Ohio school districts and 131 charters. They said the charters were indeed faring poorly when compared to the public schools.

"It is generally concluded that a large majority of community school buildings are performing at a level that is unequivocally below the level of performance of the traditional public school buildings."


  1. Thanks, Bill. I can't figure out if Fordham's info/study is just scattershot or what. There's no question - the Ohio tests have been criticized before concerning their expectations (being too low, or not being high enough for...whatever they're supposed to be high enough).

    But anything coming from Fordham, unless it explicitly says, we thought we'd find and we hoped we'd find x, but instead! we found y and that's not what we usually support, then I won't trust it without corroboration and more info.

  2. Fordham also gave six-figure donations to at least one (and I think both) of the underperforming Dayton charters that Dann filed suit against.

  3. Westender - any idea of one of them was the Colin Powell one, from which the founder and former college teammate of Jon Husted, William Peterson, just resigned? Talk about a tiny circle.