The Ohio Department of Education today released its first rankings of schools and school districts according to Performance Index (PI) scores — an increasingly important measure of school performance. While the Columbus Dispatch was quick to report that the top 3 spots among all districts were held by charter schools, they seem to have failed to scroll down. If they had, they’d have noticed that of 936 districts and charter schools ranked by the Department, the 113 lowest-ranked were charter schools.
Once again, as IO has pointed out before, the disparity between successful and unsuccessful charter schools in Ohio is profound and troubling. The disparity between the best and worst charter schools is significantly greater than that between the best and worst public schools. What policymakers in Ohio should address is this gross disparity between charters so that the great ones can flourish and the worst are do not continue to receive taxpayer funds.
And as a reminder, under Gov. John Kasich’s budget bill (HB 153), the performance index rankings are important, because new charters will be authorized to open in school districts that rank in the bottom five percent. Furthermore, even though 113 charters rank worse than the lowest-ranked public school districts, most of those charters are operating in districts that vastly outperform them.