There were warning signs about the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) from the very start. Some examples:
“Based on its review of the first-year annual reports, LOEO (Legislative Office of Education Oversight) found that community schools did not provide the information necessary for accountability purposes. Although schools claimed that they met their educational goals, few schools provided supporting evidence or even described how they evaluated student and school performance.’’
“The biggest threat to the state’s experiment with charter schools is not the teachers’ unions, school boards and related special- interest groups that have launched a lawsuit to kill the program in its infancy,’’ according to the Columbus Dispatch editorial page. “A far worse threat is that the charter- school concept will be discredited because of mismanagement and poor oversight by the state officials in charge of it.’’
“… generally, when things go wrong with charter schools, they go enormously wrong,” said Ohio Auditor and GOP gubernatorial candidate Betty Montgomery, calling for greater fiscal oversight of charter schools and a separate commission to review new charter schools’ contracts before they’re allowed to open.
“We think a lot of them (charters) need to be closed, because they’re not doing a good job…. We think charters have a role in the education base, but we also think most of the charters in Ohio stink,’’ Greg Harris, director of pro-charter group StudentsFirst Ohio, told the Dispatch.
“Ohio has a real quality control problem. Ohio’s more broken than the Wild West,” said Alex Medler of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers.
‘’… more students drop out of the Electronic Classroom or fail to finish high school within four years than at any other school in the country,’’ according to The New York Times.