THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
By: Catherine Candisky
ProgressOhio asked Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien to open a grand jury investigation into the state’s manipulation of charter-school evaluations on Tuesday.
“I received the letter and a phone call and am reviewing the letter and responding soon,” O’Brien said.
The Ohio Department of Education’s former school-choice chief David Hansen resigned in July after admitting he excluded poor-performing online and dropout recovery charter schools. The scrubbing boosted state ratings for some sponsors of the tax-funded, privately operated schools and apparently violated state law.
ProgressOhio executive director Sandy Theis said Hansen may have violated several state laws including tampering with records, obstructing officials business, falsification and dereliction of duty.
She also compared Hansen’s misdeeds to the recent data-scrubbing scandal at Columbus City Schools
“Columbus employees falsified student records to improve their schools’ standing on state report cards. Hansen doctored state ratings to improve the standing of traditionally low-performing charter schools,” Theis wrote in a letter to O’Brien.
Before retiring Dec. 31, former schools superintendent Richard A. Ross scrapped the faulty evaluations and put a new review system in place. The new evaluations will be completed later this year.
The Ohio Board of Education previously declined calls by some on the 19-member panel to seek an outside investigation into the matter.