School choice chief in Ohio quits amid controversy

School choice chief in Ohio quits amid controversy

The administrator at the Ohio Education Department responsible for school choice and charter schools has resigned amid a controversy over removing poor grades received by online schools from charter school evaluations.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that David Hansen, school choice director for the state's education department, quit over the weekend. Hansen, the husband of Gov. John Kasich's chief of staff and campaign manager Beth Hansen, had intentionally left F grades for online schools out of academic evaluations of charter school oversight agencies.

The evaluations of charter school sponsors, also called authorizers - the agencies that help create and oversee charter schools - are the cornerstone of Gov. John Kasich and the state's roundabout plan to improve Ohio's charter schools.

Including the failing grades for online schools in the evaluations would have dragged down the rating of the oversight agencies, possibly costing them access to new perks from the state.

State school board members said not counting those schools violates state law. Under questioning at last week's board meeting, Hansen argued that counting those grades would mask the successes of other charter schools. But state board members noted that the law allows only new schools and schools for disabled children to be left out.

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