Great schools, including charters

This morning, about 65,000 children in the Columbus City Schools district woke up, picked up their books, and headed to school.

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More than 15,000 of these kids didn’t set their books down in a Columbus City Schools building. Instead, they go to one of 55 local charters, which are also publicly funded, tuition-free schools. What can we do for these children?

On Monday, the Columbus Education Commission will hear from experts and people who run charter schools. The commission has been charged by Mayor Michael Coleman to issue recommendations for all children living within the Columbus City Schools district, which includes the ones attending charters. (The agenda is posted here. Read the background materials here.)

How can you tell whether a school will be great? A Stanford University study found that the evidence shows up in the first year. Nearly 95 percent of schools that did well their first year continued to deliver strong results over time. Conversely, nearly 90 percent of charter schools that had poor ratings for their first three years years failed to improve.

What brings great charter schools to a community? Some urban areas, like Indianapolis,  have created special foundations or other non-profits devoted to recruiting and  supporting organizations with a proven track record in other communities.

Who’s presenting?

charter speakers finalThe session starts with a brief presentation by Mark Real of on the state of charter schools in Ohio today. Ethan Gray of the Cities for Education Entrepreneurship Trust will offer an overview of how some cities attract top charter school organizations. Finally, the commission will talk with a panel of four representatives from top local charter schools. The panel includes:

Meeting details

Monday’s meeting is open to the public and runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Columbus Metropolitan Library (see map). The library will provide free public parking throughout the day.

We’ll also be streaming the meeting online — stay tuned to this website and our Twitter feed for details. If you can’t make the meeting, we’ll be posting the video afterwards to our “Watch it” page.

If you’d like to read more about the subjects being discussed Monday, the background materials that have been prepared for the Columbus Education Commission are available here on our website.

3 thoughts on “Great schools, including charters

  1. LifeSkills High School of Columbus North is a dropout recovery school located on the second floor of the Ashland University Building on the North Side of Columbus. We have approximately an 85% economically disadvantaged student body comprised of students who dropped out of high school or were at risk of dropping out of High School. This past year, we attained an EFFECTIVE rating from the ODE. This ranked as the highest rating of ANY high school in Columbus with 75% or higher economically disadvantaged student population. (28 high schools). I have been the Administrator since 2007 and disagree with the hypothesis that schools that don’t do well their first year are destined to fail. My first year, our Performance Index was 46 (Academic Emergency). Our PI has been on a steady climb every year since culminating in a 90.8 (Effective) this past year. Rome wasn’t built in a day. I would love to share with the committee how this has been accomplished. I can be reached at

    Life Skills Centers High Schools have graduated over 1,000 students who were at risk of dropping out or dropped out of High School in Columbus over the last 10 years.

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    • Accordn to the State dept of Education Life Cinci, Dayton, Cleveland, Toledo , etc…are in THE BOTTOM 5percent of the States report card..

  2. Pingback: What we’ll learn today | Reimagine Columbus Education

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