Gubernatorial candidate blocks access to social media for ECOT supporters
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio gubernatorial candidate and current state Senator Joe Schiavoni (D – Youngstown) has resorted to blocking advocates for ECOT, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, on his campaign’s Facebook page.
While his campaign’s public relations team cites that “...multiple posts will be marked as spam...” they’re hiding behind this to silence ECOT supporters.
As over 13,000 students scrambled to find a school, and hundreds of teachers and other support staff scrambled to find employment, Schiavoni’s PR director, Rachel Coyle, reacted with contemptuous glee: “They told us it could never be done. They said #ECOT was too big. Bill Lager had too much money. He donated to too many GOP legislators.”
She contends that the decision was in the “best interest of the children.” How is closing down a school that has saved thousands of children over the last eighteen years, in their “best interest?” Without ECOT, many of these students would not have graduated. Schiavoni’s PR team even admits, albeit indirectly, to hiding negative comments: “We have chosen to make the above comment public again.”
Coyle also incorrectly states that ECOT is a “for-profit” charter school. While its’ founder, Bill Lager, made money off of the iQity software that was used by ECOT students, he did not make money off of ECOT’s day to day operations. Lager earned money from iQity in that the software was sold to other schools as a way of keeping track of student performance. He is liable for $0 – he worked within the school funding system to provide a service to Ohio’s children at a fraction of the taxpayer’s cost.
While supporters of ECOT are bullied and silenced on Schiavoni’s campaign Facebook page, their PR director reacts with happiness and elation at the sight of thousands of displaced parents, teachers, students, and other support staff. Indeed, the campaign reserves the right to govern their use of social media as to how they see fit.
This is a flagrant violation of the First Amendment, the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances, in that this member of the state legislature refuses to even hear the grievances brought forth by concerned parents, staff, alumni and current students.
By Thomas Hanks
ECOT is involved in a legal action with the Ohio Department of Education. The department is attempting to limit school choice by ripping funding away from ECOT and other eschools based on selective and retroactive enforcement of absurd attendance rules. ECOT is challenging the ODE in the Ohio Supreme Court.
We need your help. Please Take Action Now to support school choice and ECOT in Ohio.
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Looking at the crushing human and taxpayer consequences of bullying, those serious about the future of public education need to reconsider their anti-school-choice actions and start to measure what really matters. View Post ->
After a lengthy two-year legal battle, hundreds of hours of testimony, thousands of pages of court documents, and scouring of numerous legal statutes, it all boiled down to the Ohio Department of Education attorney Doug Cole focusing on what he considered to be “absurd. View Post->
Our students, teachers, and staff are the victims of our government and professional groups design to shut ECOT down. OEA, AFT, and ODE relentlessly campaigned against ECOT through lobbying, donations to political campaigns, and manipulation of procedures and policy. View Post->
This is a flagrant violation of the First Amendment, the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances, in that this member of the state legislature refuses to even hear the grievances brought forth by concerned parents, staff, alumni and current students. View Post->
The biggest challenge of mobility is that each student's scenario is entirely unique. For some, they need a right place right time solution to finish out their K-12 journey. For other students, mobility challenges define their entire public school experience. View Post->
When what is in the best interest of children (allowing them to finish their school year) loses to politics and money, it is a disgrace that needs to be shouted nationwide!. View Post ->
It is most certainly the job of regulators to make allowances and/or exceptions whenever needed. Not as to be an ever present excuse, but rather an aid in the efforts of upholding an education system that supports all. View Post->
I’m the face behind the screen. The face to The Ohio Department of Education that seems to not exist. Or maybe I am only a dollar sign. I’m the face that believes in school choice. I’m the face that believes in the right choice. But most importantly, I am one of the many faces of ECOT. View Post->
From that day forward, I knew why I worked at ECOT. I knew I had the heart, patience, and beliefs to help children like Christina and parents like Mrs. White. I knew my work, my school, meant this little girl would be safe and unafraid. That she would never again see the spit of her classmates on her sleeve…or in her face. View Post->
Pushing legislation, rules and actions that may effectively displace 10's of thousands of our state's children, teachers and education administrators should not be handled so carelessly. These efforts are such a large threat to our families, our state economy, our right to choose and all of Ohio's future. We're fired up too and rightfully so.View Post->
What the Senator has shown in his words and actions is that he is playing politics with public education. He seems squarely focused on intentional and blind protectionism of the traditional institutional system at any cost or consequence to opportunity for Ohio's students. View Post ->
Abigail had to look beyond the traditional public school system to find a way to stay close to her newborn, but had no idea how her experience at ECOT would change her perspective and impact her and her new baby's life - View Post ->
There is little doubt that ECOT is changing the paradigm of public education... and it's not by blindly giving students iPads or a way for students to simply click their way to a diploma. ECOT teachers are harnessing the efficiency that technology provides while leveraging the power of teamwork to meet the unique learning needs of their students. View Post ->
After teaching English at a brick-and-mortar high school for 18 years, Maryalice Leister has been fearlessly pursuing educational technology to create more meaningful connections with her students. View Post ->
When her mother became very ill, everything seemed to change for high school freshman, Sara. Up against odds that many couldn’t possibly imagine, she found acceptance, support and a new hope for her future at ECOT. View Post -->
From isolation to recommended medication, the system was failing an energetic 2nd grader named Dax. Jane turned to ECOT to find a schooling solution that works for him. View Post -->
Constantly chasing new standards and screwing around with questionable measures while repeatedly attempting to march our diverse and fragile system towards different finish line grades is getting us nowhere. View Post ->
"Over the past 16 years, ECOT has fulfilled its responsibilities to my family by providing my children with a high-quality curriculum, exceedingly dedicated teachers and a well rounded, solid education. Please respect my decision to choose the education I deem best suited for my family" View Post ->
As a current ECOT Special Needs teacher, I have seen firsthand the positive effect that online school can have on a student. It is true that online learning is not for every student, but it absolutely is the right choice for many students. Not only is it the right choice, but it is oftentimes the last and only choice for students. View Post ->
In response to a recent fury of misinformation, outright lies and uninformed opinion being spread by those who wish to defund and destroy school choice in Ohio, ECOT (Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow) advocates have had enough and are starting to speak out. View Post->
With new capabilities in technology, new socioeconomic challenges and new science behind how people learn and grow... major changes to a K-12 format that is so long in the tooth should be expected and embraced. View Post ->