For Immediate Release:
Sept. 8, 2016
After Promise to Rescue Students from ‘Failing Schools’
Trump Schedules Speech at Poor-Performing Ohio Charter School
CLEVELAND – Donald Trump’s presidential campaign announced he will visit a Cleveland charter school today but selected a chronically failing, for-profit one run by a Republican who is more adept at making money than educating kids.
The school he chose, which predominantly services African-American students, surprised charter school reformers who noted that Trump used the Republican National Convention in Cleveland to praise charters and promise to rescue children from “failing schools.”
“It is sad that Mr. Trump would choose to visit a school that’s failing to add value to students’ lives. The Cleveland Municipal School District does a far better job of improving student learning,’’ said Stephen Dyer, Education Fellow for Innovation Ohio, a Columbus-based think tank that helped shape Ohio’s highly acclaimed charter reform law.
Trump could have visited high-performing charter schools in Cleveland because unlike anywhere else in the state Cleveland is home to several of them, Dyer said. “Perhaps he chose this school because it is run by notorious for-profit operator Ron Packard, whose political dealings have been well documented.”
Trump announced that his Cleveland trip will include a 2 p.m. speech at the Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy. The charter lags the Cleveland public schools on Overall Student Growth – a key indicator that measures students’ overall academic improvement. The charter received an F in growth, standards met and closing the achievement gaps, according to the most recent state report card. The charter’s poor performance comes although it receives more money per pupil ($7663) than the Cleveland ($7554) schools.
For a more detailed comparison, visit KnowYourCharter.com
“Rather that spotlight Ohio’s success stories, Donald Trump is doing what he does best, using African-Americans as props. Instead, he should be advocating policies that help these kids and their families.’’ said ProgressOhio Executive Director Sandy Theis.
ProgressOhio has exposed a series of charter school scandals that helped inspire last year’s reforms and is advocating for additional ones that would allow Ohio to accurately track student attendance at the politically potent online schools.
The U.S. Department of Education has put on hold $71 million earmarked for high-performing Ohio charters after learning that state officials misled them on the grant application. The application characterized Ohio as a model of charter oversight. A few days later, David Hansen, the state official who lead the grant effort, resigned for scrubbing data to conceal the shortcomings of some of Ohio’s most politically connected charter sponsors.
Hansen is married to Beth Hansen, who served as Gov. John Kasich’s chief of staff before managing his failed presidential campaign.
The charter Trump is scheduled to visit is run by a for-profit company, Accel Schools Ohio. It’s parent company, Panosophic, is run by Packard and pays Accel 12.5% of its state and federal revenue for management services. That totaled $2.8 million in the 2014-2015 school year.
For More Information, Contact:
Sandy Theis, 614-940-0131
Stephen Dyer, 330-338-1486