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State Audit Finds ECOT Doesn't Track the Time Students Spend in its Online Classroom

ECOT image

Ohio’s auditor has issued a report that’s critical of the state’s largest online charter school, saying it isn’t tracking the amount of learning time of the 15,000 students it claimed were enrolled last year.

Auditor Dave Yost says his office’s review of the records of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow shows that ECOT had no way to determine how much time each student spends logged into ECOT’s system. The Department of Education now is requiring ECOT and other online schools track that information. 

Click here for the full report.

ECOT is still fighting an order from the Department of Education to pay back nearly $60 million for students it claimed were enrolled full time but the state says were not. Yost says other eschools might face that, too, and says state lawmakers may have to settle the issue of how to define full time enrollment.

ECOT spokesman Neil Clark said in a statement that the Department of Education has overstepped its authority by changing its interpretation of state law.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.