After weeks of investigating, the Ohio Department of Education released a scathing report Friday, accusing Bishop Sycamore, the Columbus high school that made national news for flopping during a football game, of being nothing more than “a scam.”
A damning 79-page report claimed investigators could not find proof Bishop Sycamore met any of the requirements for private, non-chartered schools like holding regular classes, verifying teacher credentials or maintaining academic records.
“Unfortunately, the facts suggest that Bishop Sycamore High School was and is, in fact, a scam …,” State Superintendent Stephanie Siddens wrote in a memo attached to the report. “Bishop Sycamore was a way for students to play football against high school teams and potentially increase students’ prospects of playing football at the collegiate level.”
Attempts to reach Bishop Sycamore by phone and email were unsuccessful Friday.
Here is what investigators found.
The school did not meet or did not provide proof it met state standards
Ohio kids can attend a variety of different K-12 schools, and each of them comes with a different level of oversight. And Bishop Sycamore’s founders chose the one with the lowest level of requirements, a private, non-chartered academy.
Non-charted, non-public schools don’t seek accreditation from the State Board of Education (often for religious reasons), and they don’t receive state funding.
State law only requires that they meet a set of minimum…