The Groveport Madison school district was one of only eight charter school sponsors in the state to score an A on the academic portion of state assessments but still earned an overall "poor" rating because it earned zero points in two other categories.

The Groveport Madison school district was one of only eight charter school sponsors in the state to score an A on the academic portion of state assessments but still earned an overall "poor" rating because it earned zero points in two other categories.

That means the district is in danger of losing its authority to oversee the Cruiser Academy, a charter school serving about 175 high school students.

Superintendent Bruce Hoover said the rating is "almost exclusively a compliance issue" and not a "quality issue." He said the district filed an appeal on Oct. 14.

The Ohio Department of Education released evaluations in October of Ohio's community and dropout-recovery schools. Each sponsor was graded on three equally weighted components -- academic performance of their schools on the state report card, compliance with laws and administrative rules and "adherence to quality sponsor practice measures."

Each part was rated on a scale of 0-4 for a total possible score of 12 points and a rating of exemplary, effective, ineffective or poor.

Districts rated "poor" had 30 days to appeal the rating. A hearing before an independent hearing officer must be scheduled within 30 days of the appeal, and a decision on whether to revoke the authority of the sponsor or keep the sponsor must be made within 45 days of the hearing.

Cruiser Academy has rated "exceeds standards" overall on the state report card for the past eight years.

Hoover said the ODE notified the district in June that "significant, last-minute changes" to the documents required of charter school sponsors had to be submitted by July 25 -- a deadline the district was unable to meet.

"In prior years, approximately 30 different reports were required of the sponsors," Hoover said. "This year, the number of required compliance reports increased tenfold to more than 300 reports totaling thousands of pages

"Because of the district's inability to submit all of the required compliance reports by the July 25 deadline, the district received a 'poor' rating on the community school sponsorship evaluation," he said.

In an email, Associate Director of ODE Media Relations Brittany Halpin said House Bill 2 "requires the department to evaluate sponsors on compliance with all applicable laws and administrative rules and significantly reformed and strengthened the community school evaluation process."

Halpin said the bill went into effect on Feb. 1 and "set all the new requirements that sponsors must be evaluated on."

The ODE, according to Halpin, "compiled the list of all laws and rules to assist the sponsors and provide the initial list online in early spring."

For the compliance portion, Halpin said Groveport Madison only submitted records for the 2015 school year and provided no records for the 2015-2016 school year.

Hoover said district officials understand the ODE wants to "crack down" on "underperforming" schools but Groveport Madison's Cruiser Academy is not one of them.

"The district has reallocated staff to manage the new compliance requirements of ODE, and we are making every effort to provide the necessary reports as quickly as possible," Hoover said.

He said the district will continue to work with the ODE and the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio to meet its responsibilities.

Based on its appeal, the district is hoping that the previous deadline will be extended to allow it to complete the report submissions.

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