A scandal a day keeps good policy at bay

Jennifer Leischer

A three-day series in the Cleveland Plain Dealer argues that charter schools across Ohio, "despite notable exceptions," are sinking fast.

We'll admit that there are more than a few rotten apples among the Ohio charter crop, but the regulatory "fixes" the article celebrates as effective in Massachusetts will do little to rectify the situation. Thankfully, Ohio legislators are ahead of the curve and have already taken constructive action, as indicated by last year's House Bill 66 which sets new standards and makes it much more likely that bad schools will be shuttered. Also, the charter school community held a November summit on Excellence in Charter Schools that produced more good ideas, such as giving incentives for great charter schools to replicate.

The Plain Dealer failed to mention any of these healthy moves, save for two measly paragraphs at the end of the very last story (though its editorial board mostly got it right). Alas, scandals sell newspapers, and policy wonkery puts most readers to sleep--Gadfly enthusiasts excluded.

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