Ohio Education Gadfly
Volume 3, Number 7
March 24, 2009
A commonsense approach to accountability for the EdChoice Scholarship program
By Ohio Education Gadfly
Ohio Education Gadfly / March 24, 2009
Private schools that enroll students through the Ohio EdChoice Program (the state's school voucher program) should be held accountable for their academic results on a sliding scale, according to a report issued today by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.
The more voucher-bearing students a private school enrolls, the more accountability it should face from the state, according to the report, When Private Schools Take Public Dollars: What's the Place of Accountability in School Voucher Programs? (see here).
The report comes as the Ohio General Assembly considers changes to the accountability requirements for private schools participating in Ohio's Educational Choice Scholarship Program. The program currently serves about 10,000 students statewide.
The question policymakers face is, "What does smart accountability look like in practice?"
"It makes no sense, and is in fact costly for the school and the state, to require every student in a private school to take the state achievement tests if just a handful of voucher students are enrolled in the school. But that's what language in the current budget bill calls for," said Chad Aldis, executive director for School Choice Ohio, and one of the experts contributing to the report.
"If enacted, the current language would not give the state or parents any information about how well the EdChoice scholarship is working because it will not measure the academic gains of students utilizing the scholarship," he said.
School voucher opponents have long held that it is a double standard to hold public schools