An employee at the McKeel Academy has been arrested for stealing $100,000 from the charter school. The former Assistant Director for Academy faces seven felony charges relating to her creation of fake companies to hide purchases, travel expenses and other illegal activities.
McKeel Academy’s three charter schools have had other serious management problems. When will the legislature address the charter management oversight issue? These McKeel charter schools have seen problems before. But, then, its board members are in the legislature.
In a news report on President Obama’s legacy, one commentator stated that is focus on eliminating failing schools would survive. These are the ‘turn around’ schools where most students do not meet state proficiency levels. Some say that the goal to have all students be proficient is like assuming all students must be ‘above average’. Proficiency standards, however, are set at levels most but not all students are expected to reach. The expectations are an ever increasing target. As achievement goes up, standards go up.
It is a trap, however, to excuse low performance because students have not been expected or even required to do better. Is there an escape hatch?
The data suggest that the education sector is better served by a public investment approach that serves each and every child than by a market-based competition approach that creates winners…..and losers.
It is worth taking a minute to see how and why.
Rep. David Simmons, the chair of the Florida Senate Appropriations sub committee on Education wants a serious look at way to reduce over testing. What is over testing? Is it all the prep testing that goes on prior to the state tests? On the other hand, is it too many redundant state or national tests e.g. requiring students to sit the FSA and the SAT if they are going to college? Or, is it requiring students to take a state test like the FSA every year? There is another way to look at over testing. Perhaps it is a way to avoid looking for solutions.
We can continue to feed information to the public about the destructive impact of ill thought out school choice policies. There is a danger, however, that we are simply preaching to the choir. Those who should be aware may not be tuned in.
Our strategies to increase awareness must be more diverse. What would prompt your neighbor, colleague, fellow parent to tune in?
It is logical that busy people preoccupied with families and jobs will respond to calls for action if they recognize the urgency and the possibility for a positive impact.
I am working on a set of ‘headlines’ and slogans that communicate the immediacy of the need to preserve our public schools. What do we value about our public schools? What are the threats to public education? Which solutions do we propose?
Can we come up with short, single sentences that encapsulate a need or something you value. Then we can refer people to more in depth analyses and ways to respond.
You get the idea. Send me your captions and communication strategies. We will hone them and use them to target issues. We will discuss these at the League’s Orlando leadership conference in January.
It is worth reading to see how an insidious resegregation of schools has evolved. Of course, charter schools are part of the problem. Things came to a head when a proposal for a new charter was presented to the school board. Board member Andy Griffith erupted and asked: How do we know this is not just another white flight school?
Charters are not the only way to resegregate schools. Read about the:
The journalists ask if there is not a better way. What is happening to schools in this community is not good.
If the Trump administration follows through on its pledge to gut public education, and the appointment of DeVos indicates it might, then it is time to circle the wagons. Read the Education Law Center proposals on how to fight back. In a state like Florida, we must take the case to the people; too many legislators may not listen.
What’s at stake?
Less funding for already underfunded public schools.
3. Ignoring needed charter management reform to control self dealing.
4. Shift of $20 billion in federal Title I funding from low income public schools to private sector charter and religious schools.