Monday, July 20, 2015

In charter school management, easy come, easy go

When David Hansen resigned as the School Choice director of the Ohio Education Department for cooking charter school grades, you only got part of the story from the northern Ohio media.  What you weren't told - probably by superficial homogenized  reporting rather than an intentional cover-up for one of Gov. Kasich's cronies -  is that Hansen is actually a two-time offender.

For that untidy glimpse of his charter career, you must now turn to a report in Plunderbund that went beyond the surface to track Hansen's past. As such, he has become the latest symbol in a scandalous billion-dollar taxpayer-fed  industry in Ohio with no place to go but up.

Second things first in the chronology:   Hansen, the husband of Kasich's chief of staff, Beth, was exposed for enhancing the image of for-profit charter schools by altering student grades mostly owned by big Republican political donors.  He simply omitted awful grades that would  reflect poorly on the schools.  It didn't take the brain of a genius.

But wait :  Plunderbund's Joseph took the reader back to 2009 when Hansen was President of the Buckeye Institute, which released a report on Ohio's dropout recovery schools.   "Similar to  the current incident, " he wrote, Hansen's  group altered data to improve the apparent performance of the charter schools,  dramatically overstating the graduation rates of the charters.

But Plunderbund also followed the trail to many of the schools that were owned and operated by White Hat Management while owner Dave Brennan, who was "quietly contributing tens of thousands of dollars to the Buckeye Institute through his Brennan Family Foundation.

Kasich, whose campaign received $100,000 from  Brennan,  created the position in 2013 that gave Hansen his day job.   The dots do connect,  people.

By the way,  Hansen's wife Beth is on leave as chief of staff to work in Kasich's presidential campaign, reportedly to become his campaign manager.

Is that smart?

Google Plunderbund to see how this crony scene went down.

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