Are Florida’s high school graduates ready for college, career and life? Evidently, only 35% of the 177,000 students tested met the SAT college readiness standard.
Pulling students out of the public schools and enrolling them in charters or private schools has not improved Florida’s educational system. If fact, it hurts more students than it helps. See for example, the CREDO Urban Study on charter schools where Florida’s charters performed less well than comparable public schools. Check out the high withdrawal statistics for students in tax credit scholarship private schools. Over sixty percent of students leave private schools within three years. Many return to public schools further behind than when they left.
School choice has lasted twenty years in Florida. It is not the answer to Florida’s low achievement rate. It plants the seeds of its own destruction by discouraging college graduates from entering the teaching profession and dividing Florida’s limited funding into three inefficient directions…public schools, charters, and private schools.
It is time the legislature focuses on creating learning environments that facilitate student achievement. We cannot test our way to the top. We cannot segregate students by race and income and expect students to believe that education is the key to their futures. We cannot blame teachers for social failings in our communities. We can redirect funding to support community schools. We can create learning environments where
students work together in schools much as they will have to do in the workforce i.e. in diverse teams solving common problems. We can put a moratorium on choice expansion just as the governor of New Jersey has. We can prohibit the expansion of for-profit charter management.