ECOT’s owner, William Lager, donates over $210,000 to Ohio GOP

Below is a screen capture of a spreadsheet from the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.   (I typed in “Lager” into the search field and changed the dates to 01/01/2015 to 12/31/2015.)  I removed the columns that had irrelevant info, like addresses and such, so you could better view the important information.  And it fits on the screen better.

In 2016, ECOT’s owner gave away $210,085 in political donations.

MUST.  BE.  NICE.

ECOT lager political contributions

Actually he didn’t give it away.  I’m sure he’s expecting something in return, like maybe stalling SB 298, to prevent him from being held accountable?

There has got to be an ethics violation in here somewhere.  William Lager gave $210,000 this year in donations, is given millions in tax dollars, and runs the school with the lowest graduation rate in the country, and the politicians he supports celebrate his successes?

A post on the Facebook page of the chairman of the House Education Committee, Andrew Brenner

“I attended the ECOT graduation today. Cliff Rosenberger was the keynote speaker. It was impressive.”

Bill Lager, the ECOT man, certainly knows how to gain the favor of state officials. The June 5 ECOT graduation speaker was Cliff Rosenberger, the Speaker of the House. Senator Coley introduced the speaker. Senator Coley is on the Senate Finance Committee where SB 298 was blocked from passage this spring. This bill requires online charters to verify they are serving the students for which they receive funding.

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Ohio Outrage: GOP Leader Celebrates Wor$t School in State

Education expert Diane Ravitch picks up on the corrupt ethics of Ohio’s legislative leaders and ECOT’s owner.

The online charter school has an on-time graduation rate of 20%. Students get credit for “participation” if they log in for only one minute.

Despite ECOT having the worst graduation rate in the country, Ohio’s devious leaders celebrate the school and the low percentage of students who do graduate.

Why is this?  Follow the money…

From 2000-2013, William Lager, ECOT’s owner, has donated $1.4 million to Republican politicians in Ohio. Of course, he has given more since then.

What screams UNETHICAL more than this?

ECOT unethical 1

“No excuses” charter schools now making excuses, but shouldn’t be.

NOPE.  Cyber charter schools, like ECOT, can’t claim their failures are because of poverty anymore.  Even though they try.

Lobbyist Neil Clark, spokesman for the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, is throwing to the wind the mantras of “all kids can learn” and “stop making excuses for failure” that prevailed during the birth of Ohio’s charter schools.

A recent CREDO report on e-schools shows that e-schools have the same poverty problems as common public schools, but ECOT’s graduation rate is still the lowest in the country.

From the CREDO study:

credo povery chart

ECOT’s advertising campaign has obviously kicked in, starting in 2008, and has been drawing in students from all over Ohio.  So now that the poverty level is similar between ECOT and Public Schools, what is their excuse for 62% of their students not graduating?

So much for “every student can learn,” and how about that whole accountability thing.

ECOT poverty credo

ECOT Preens about Graduating Less Than 40% of its Kids Next Week

10th Period blogger Stephen Dyer did a little digging into ECOT once again bragging about the size of their graduating class.  He not only reiterates the fact that that dropout rate is the worst in the country, but also found that their career tech numbers are a tad bizarre.

it’s important to see just what this “real world learning experiences” ECOT declares actually are. Looking through ECOT’s state funding report, you can see which categories their students are being funded by the state to take. ECOT has 2 kids taking Category 1 courses — what most of us think of Career Tech training (plumbing, carpentry, welding, etc.). ECOT has 6 kids taking Category 3 courses. And they have 303 students taking Category 5 — what I grew up knowing as Home Economics.

I’m not knocking Family and Consumer Sciences, which is a legitimate endeavor, complete with a national association. But let’s stop pretending that ECOT is teaching kids how to bead a weld or plumb a house or make sure support beams are appropriately plumb.

They’re teaching Home Ec.

Oh, and thanks to new changes in state funding laws, they’re getting $380,847 to do it.

You can read the entire post here.  http://www.10thperiod.com/2016/06/ecot-preens-about-graduating-less-than.html

Ohio electronic schools get a pass with the help of a checkbook

WOW!  This commentary by Toledo Blade Colomnist Marilou Johanek covers just about everything that’s wrong with ECOT and their “political powerhouse” owner, William Lager.  The political payoffs, the David Hansen grade card scandal, the watered-down accountability, the students getting left behind; it’s all here…

http://www.toledoblade.com/MarilouJohanek/2016/05/28/Ohio-electronic-schools-get-a-pass-with-the-help-of-a-checkbook.html

It doesn’t matter how egregiously ECOT has been failing K-12 students who take classes from home on a computer. It doesn’t matter if ECOT students are even logged in let alone learning. It doesn’t matter if the online charter giant gets F grades in most state assessment categories.

The political will to right what’s wrong with electronic schools is nonexistent. When Ohio Republicans boarded Mr. Lager’s gravy train they left the educational welfare of thousands of students behind.

The plan to enrich for-profit businesses — if not students — can be summed up in two words: dilute and delay. Mr. Lager and friends got a legislative delay until after the November election to twist arms and derail charter school quality efforts — again.

ECOT Fails to Graduate More Students Than All Ohio School Districts … COMBINED

AN UNBELIEVABLE STATISTIC!  ECOT, which likes to brag about how many students they enroll, don’t like to talk about qualityIn this post, blogger Stephen Dyer, points out that ECOT failed more students than all other Ohio school districts COMBINED.

No wonder ECOT (and Ohio) is the laughing stock of the charter school movement.

From Mr. Dyer’s 10th Period post:

While ECOT may account for 5% of Ohio’s high school graduates, it accounts for more students who don’t graduate than (drumroll please) all Ohio school districts combined! If ECOT were the 610th Ohio school district (under Ohio law, charters are treated as districts), it would account for more than 1/2 of all non-graduating seniors in this state.

There were 2,918 ECOT kids who didn’t graduate in four years, according to the latest state report card, and 1,852 who did. Statewide, school districts failed to graduate 2,626 and graduated 27,748.

This is just more evidence that ECOT is, in fact, America’s Dropout Factory.

An ECOT Student Speaks Out

The following is a excerpt from the New York Times article published 5/18/2016 and tells the story of one ECOT student who had problems beginning her classes and then when she could finally begin felt like the classes were way too simple.

Alliyah Graham, 19, said she had sought out the Electronic Classroom during her junior year because she felt isolated as one of a few African-American girls at a mostly white public school in a Cincinnati suburb.

It took three weeks for the Electronic Classroom to enter her in its system, she said. Then it assigned her to classes she had already passed at her previous school. When she ran into technical problems, she said, “I really just had to wing it.”

Ms. Graham, who hopes to pursue a career in medicine, has also been disappointed by the quality of assignments. She showed a reporter a digital work sheet for a senior English class, in which students were asked to read a passage and then fill in boxes, circles and trapezoids, noting the “main idea,” a “picture/drawing,” or “questions you have.”

“I feel like I did this kind of work in middle school,” Ms. Graham said.

When she turns in assignments, she said, feedback from teachers is minimal. “Good job!” they write. “Keep going!”