Florida Gets an ‘F’ Again

FAILED1Which states get it right?  Not Florida.  It was one of eight states that received an overall grade of ‘F’ when its grades were averaged across the categories studied.   The Network for Public Education rated states based on six criteria.

For each category, I combined the percentages of A, B and C grades received across states.  I was surprised at the results.  Relatively few states (11) use test scores to punish students and teachers, but Florida is one of those that do.  You can see the combined percentages (think of them as passing scores) at the end of each of the criteria.

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Maine Charter Schools Are Not Like Florida’s

Maine Starting a charter in Maine is very different than in Florida.  There are basically two routes.   The district can issue a request for proposal that specifies the type of charter desired.  The Charter School Commission can also authorize a charter school, but it is limited to ten schools over ten years.  Charter schools have their own district instead of being part of the local school district.  This is very different from the system in Florida.
Maine had a curious funding plan for charters.  Local districts paid tuition for students to attend them.  Now, the state will pay the bill directly to charters.  There are only six charter schools in Maine, and one is a virtual charter.  The net effect is that money for charters will come off the top.  Thus, local districts will end up sharing the cost rather than having each district subtract funding from its budget.
It is early days for charter schools in Maine.  The impact of the change from district funding to the State is yet to be determined.  Next year, district funding will not be reduced for students attending charter schools.  What happens after that is yet to be determined.