Request Comes After Multiple Allegations of Malpractice
Today, State Auditor candidate and State Representative John Patrick Carney (D-Clintonville) joined in the effort to urge State Auditor David Yost to investigate serious questions that have been raised about potential unethical behavior at the chain of charter schools in Ohio that operate under the ‘Concept Schools’ name.
Concerns were first addressed in an article on the Ohio Education Association website in December 2013 where former Horizon Science Academy teacher Matt Blair outlined abuses he observed at the schools and raised serious questions.
In a letter sent this month to the State Superintendent and the State Board of Education, Blair described what he called unethical behavior within the schools, including “officials pulling at-risk students out of class during standardized testing” and “Turkish men who came in on Saturday to darken ‘in the answers for students who wrote too lightly’ on standardized tests”.
This week, the Ohio Education Association (OEA) called on State Auditor David Yost to look into the questions raised by these allegations. “We urge Auditor Yost to act and to conduct a probe worthy of the serious questions that have been raised,” said OEA President Becky Higgins.
After learning of Auditor Yost’s claims that he hadn’t received “correspondence from OEA but would review any request upon receipt,” Rep. Carney sent a letter to the Ohio Auditor of State’s office to second the request for an investigation.
“It is alarming that state officials were alerted to this matter last year and still nothing has been done to determine whether unethical behaviors occurred in these schools and whether or not they continue today. I am concerned by my opponent’s lack of urgency on this matter. It is crucial that we hold Ohio schools accountable to make sure that our children are getting the best education possible.”
A copy of State Representative Carney’s letter to State Auditor Dave Yost may be viewed here.
ProgressOhio has been looking into irregularities at Gulen-run charter schools for several months. While our research is in the early stages, the Ohio Department of Education’s dismissive tone about the already-published charges of former teacher Matthew Blair compel me to release one of the interviews that already is complete. It can be viewed here.
As you will see, although Tim Neary taught at the school a few years after Matthew Blair, he witnessed many of the same problems.
I find it astonishing that the FBI and FCC clearly recognize that these schools are failing in their mission to educate children but the top educator in Ohio, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, clearly orchestrated a cover-up when he heard first-hand allegations from a well-respected teacher.