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Ohio's Largest Teachers Union Urges Scrutiny Of ECOT Status Change

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The state’s largest teachers union is urging tough scrutiny on a change of status for the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow. The union says it’s up to the education department to make sure the state isn’t duped by the online charter school.

The Ohio Education Association sent a letter to the state, asking it to make sure ECOT meets all requirements before allowing it to become a dropout recovery school.

That means the majority of ECOT’s students must be at least 16-years-old and majority must be one grade level behind.

The change would hold ECOT to lower academic standards, and would likely lead to better state report cards.

Those better scores would make it easier for ECOT to find a new sponsor, if necessary. ECOT's current sponsor, the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West in Toledo, has had poor evaluations from the state and further low evaluations could cost them the ability to sponsor ECOT.

Ohio law requires charter schools to have a sponsor. Without one, ECOT would have to close.

The OEA says verification is important, and it's not enough to take ECOT at its word. The state has found that ECOT has inflated student participation numbers in the past.

The education department is still reviewing the OEA’s letter.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.