Last updated: April 16. 2014 1:09AM - 333 Views

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Lax approach yields bad results

While Ohio lawmakers fail to take steps to hold charter schools more accountable for how they use millions of dollars in tax money, evidence mounts that this lax approach yields bad results.

Chiefly, the law allows charter-school boards to contract with for-profit management companies to run the schools and includes too few restrictions on those relationships — restrictions that would protect the public and the state treasury from exploitation. Among the most outrageous omissions is that those private management companies, which sometimes are contracted to receive more than 90 percent of a school’s tax revenue, are not required to tell the public much about how they spend the money …

Now, a recent investigation by reporters from the Akron Beacon-Journal and a consortium of northeast Ohio journalism schools has found that most charter schools fail to meet their most basic public-disclosure obligations. Reporters or students called 294 of the 393 charter schools in operation at the time of the investigation, and three-fourths of them failed to provide basic information requested by the callers….

The results weren’t encouraging. More than a third — 114 schools — simply didn’t reply to voicemail messages; eight refused to answer anything and seven said they would call back but didn’t. Seventy-three provided some of the information and 80 provided all that was requested.

Ohioans deserve better from organizations spending public money and entrusted with a critically important public service.

By failing to fix Ohio’s flawed charter-school system, state lawmakers provide fuel to those who seek to eliminate school

— The Columbus Dispatch


Iranian radical’s request for a US visa

In 1979, Hamid Abutalebi was among the Iranian radicals who illegally seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held 52 Americans for 444 days.

Today, he wants a U.S. visa so he can enter this country and serve as Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations.

This request is an insult to America.

President Obama shouldn’t just deny it. He should send back Abutalebi’s application form in tiny little pieces.

Many younger Americans weren’t alive when Iranian demonstrators burst through the doors at the American embassy and took everyone inside hostage. President Jimmy Carter correctly called these captives “victims of terrorism and anarchy.” Some were beaten and tortured. Others were forced to undergo mock executions or play Russian roulette.

Not surprisingly, Abutalebi argues he was an interpreter and negotiator. Not someone who had a pistol or rifle in his hand.

But there’s no difference between these roles. He was a terrorist who was part of this criminal mob. He has no business in this country.

This week, a bipartisan group of 29 U.S. senators sent Obama a letter, urging that the State Department reject Abutalebi’s request. It includes liberals like Chuck Schumer of New York and conservatives like Ted Cruz of Texas. Georgia senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss have signed it as well. …

None of the hostage-takers are welcome on American soil. They are goons, not diplomats.

Abutalebi’s selection as Iran’s envoy to the U.N. is an obvious slap in this country’s face. Obama must return the favor.

— Savannah Morning News

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