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Record year for Ohio charter school failures is unnerving proponents

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The charter school movement in Ohio has to contend with a rash of failing schools in Columbus. Of the 17 that failed last year — an unprecedented number, according to the Columbus Dispatch — nine only managed to remain open for a few months before failing, leaving students scrambling to find a new school.

Since 1997, 29 percent of Ohio’s charter schools have closed, the Dispatch reported. The median life of an Ohio charter school is four years.

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A handful of large corporate charter school operators appear to be responsible for wide swaths of the problem. For example, The Talented Tenth Leadership Academy for Boys and the Talented Tenth Leadership Academy for Girls closed in October after inspectors at the schools discovered that students faced unsanitary conditions and poor management. Both schools were operated by the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center.

“Meals were not served at regular times and often were purchased at fast food restaurants,” Richard Ross, Ohio’s state school superintendent, noted in an announcement closing the schools. There are reports of several significant fights, thefts and property damage. … They did not ensure the safety of the students, they did not adequately feed the students, they did not accurately track the students and they were not educating the students well. It is unacceptable and intolerable that a sponsor and school would do such a poor job. It is an educational travesty.”

The North Central Ohio Educational Service Center also sponsored 21 other community schools in Ohio. In 2013, the firm attempted to open 16 community schools, including six schools that failed to open or closed within a few weeks of opening. Four more NCOESC schools should never have opened, according to Ross, as they were closed or not renewed by other sponsors. At least four schools are suffering from fiscal problems.

Several of the firm’s schools owe Ohio money for funding received based on inflated enrollment estimates, the release said.


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Kamala Harris is boosting Biden in a state Trump desperately needs to win: report

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On Saturday, Politico reported that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) being added to Joe Biden's ticket has "electrified" a group of voters who normally are ignored by both parties: West Indian voters. And this could make a big difference in Florida — a state that could decide the outcome of the election.

"Calls from Caribbean radio show hosts flooded the Biden campaign from South Florida. And a jolt of excitement shot through the crowd of early vote poll workers at the Lauderdhill Mall, in the midst of Broward County’s growing Jamaican community," reported Marc Caputo. "'There was just this sense of energy,' state Rep. Anika Omphroy, a daughter of two Jamaican immigrants, said in describing the moment the announcement was received. 'It was all Black women out there working under the tents,' she said. 'It was 98 degrees in August in South Florida, so it was too hot to cheer. But you could feel it, this sense.'"

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WATCH: Protesters dump ballots outside of USPS head Louis DeJoy’s home

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On Saturday morning, angry crowds of protesters gathered outside of pro-Trump Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's residence in Washington, D.C. to protest his organizational changes rolling back capacity at the Postal Service — changes widely suspected of sabotaging mail-in voting ahead of the November election.

The protesters banged together pots and pans and blew air horns. Many of them gathered at the entrance holding fake mail-in ballots and shoved them into the bars of his front door.

Watch below:

Upon arrival.... pic.twitter.com/Y4ipb7iyNx

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2020 Election

Insurance industry front group to bombard Democratic Convention with ads attacking Biden-backed public option

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The ads by the Partnership for America's Health Care Future fearmonger over potential tax hikes and recycle industry talking points against "government-controlled health insurance."

When Democrats convene for their party's virtual convention next week amid the backdrop of a global pandemic, media coverage of the event will be interspersed with insurance industry ads attacking the public option—a policy solution supported by presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden—as a "one-size-fits-all approach" that would lead to "government-controlled health insurance."

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