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Ohio Charter School Chain Under Investigation

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The Ohio State Board of Education has ordered an investigation into 19 charter schools in the Horizons Science network after allegations surfaced of severe misconduct among school officials at one of the schools in Dayton, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Four former teachers at the Horizon Science Academy Dayton High School leveled hefty accusations against their ex-employer at the state education board's monthly meeting Tuesday. Among the allegations they made are:

  • The school broke standardized-testing protocol;
  • School administrators suspended two students for sexual misconduct on campus, but lied to the students' parents about the reason for their suspension; 
  • Officials didn't punish Turkish students or teachers for bad behavior, even when a Turkish teacher referred to African-American students by racial slurs. The schools, which have a math and science focus, were founded and are managed by Turkish scientists.

The Columbus Dispatch article details other accusations and says this is not the only investigation Horizon Schools has been connected to recently:

"Ohio's Horizon schools are among 30 in the Midwest operated by the Chicago-based Concept Schools. Some of the schools also are part of a separate probe by the FBI, reportedly about the use of federal technology grants.

A statement released by Concept yesterday did not respond to the latest allegations but defended the schools."

Although the teachers' allegations only involved  that one high school Dayton, the newspaper says it appears the state intends to look into all 19 Horizon Science charter schools in Ohio.

UPDATE (July 17):

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that the state's auditor, Dave Yost, has also launched a special audit of the same schools.

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