School where Trump made education speech got failing grade

Charter school proponents dispute state scores
Posted at 5:48 PM, Sep 08, 2016

The Cleveland charter school, used as a backdrop for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s policy speech on education, recently got a failing grade in student growth from the state of Ohio.

The Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy scored an F on the most recent state report card. The school, run by a for-profit company, scored worse than the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, which got a C.

“While generally charters are struggling, there are really high-performing charters in Cleveland,” Innovation Ohio education policy expert Stephen Dyer said, “But he chooses to go to the one that has an F in student growth.”

But charter school proponents argue that metric only tells part of the story. The non-profit Village Prep in Cleveland also got an F in student growth, but founder John Zitzner said parents should judge for themselves, tour the school of their choosing, and look at a variety of metrics.

At Village Prep, Zitzner pointed to eighth grade English and math scores, which he said were among the best in the state.

“By the time my kid graduates from eighth grade, where is he going to be?” Zitzner said, "Well, he’s going to be stacked up pretty close to where the kids in Solon are doing.”

The principal of the Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A number of school districts have dismissed those state-issued school report cards, saying a test introduced last school year from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), was not an accurate reflection of student performance.  The Ohio Department of Education is switching to another new text this year, in partnership with the American Institute for Research.


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