Who is at fault when schools fail? School reformers say “Teachers” or “Rule Bound School Districts”. The Tampa Bay Times is running a series on something much more basic. Using examples of five of the worst failing schools in Florida, the authors cite the decline of these schools since the 2007 decision to abolish the school integration plan in Pinellas County. At the time, promises were made but not kept.Continue reading
Parents care not only about the quality of education offered but also the mix of children in a school. How does the premise that “More choice should produce a better educational fit between what parents want for their children and ultimately lead to better educational outcomes” work out over time?
This study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research looks at data from North Carolina. We all need to understand the consequences of choice.
Miami-Dade did a series of presentations on Florida’s school choice study. Their approach was to consider the unmet needs of children from low income areas. The ability of charter and private, mostly religious schools to meet those needs are considered.They discussed problems with the conflicting priorities for-profit charter management companies must face when serving ‘low-cost’ children rather than children whose needs are expensive to meet: e.g. ESE, ELL and students who struggle academically. The accountability system rewards schools whose students score well on state assessment tests. This makes charter admissions and dismissal policies subject to scrutiny.
The interrelationship between political and financial support has made conflict of interest concerns a public issue. The need to justify the inability of the private sector to overcome the achievement gap between students from low-income and higher income families has made the public more aware of the need for more efficient and equitable use of tax payer money.
This league’s approach to a discussion of school choice issues may be helpful for others who are planning similar presentations.
by Lucia Baez
The Miami-Dade League of Women Voters charter school study provides an in-depth examination of the population of students in below median income neighborhoods.
Are charters representing their own communities?
Do charters show significant academic improvement?
Are charters equitably admitting their students and increasing participation of needy students?
THE ANSWER TO EACH OF THESE QUESTIONS IS: NO!