COLUMBUS – June 3, 2014 – The Ohio Education Association (OEA) today called on State Auditor David Yost to look into the serious questions raised by one of its members, Matt Blair, about activities that he observed while teaching at a the Horizon Science Academy in Dayton, Ohio.
In a letter sent yesterday to the State Superintendent and the State Board of Education, Blair said that he witnessed what he believes to be unethical behavior, including “officials pulling at-risk students out of class during standardized testing (and) Turkish men who came in on a Saturday to darken ‘in the answers for students who wrote too lightly’ on standardized tests.”
Blair asked Board members to “determine whether the apparent cheating and other irregularities I witnessed were properly investigated and whether they continue today.”
The initial reaction by officials at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to Blair’s allegations, which first appeared on the OEA website in December, 2013, was to try to put a positive spin on the activities at the charter school. No real effort appears to have been made to investigate Blair’s claims, according to publicly-released documents.
“ODE’s apparent failure to conduct a thorough examination of the issues raised by Matt Blair does not inspire confidence in ODE’s ability to oversee charter school operations,” said OEA President Becky Higgins. “It is for that reason that we urge Auditor Yost to act and to conduct a probe worthy of the serious questions that have been raised.”
The Ohio Education Association (ohea.org) represents 121,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals in Ohio’s public schools, colleges and universities.
CONTACT: Michele Prater
614-227-3071; cell 614-378-0469, firstname.lastname@example.org