Rod Jurado of CSUSA did not like my article in the Gainesville Sun: Consequences of School Choice. I described what is happening to local schools and neighborhoods as choices proliferate and funding decreases. I also mentioned that CSUSA, a for-profit charter management company has submitted a proposal to Alachua County Schools.
Mr. Jurado argued, ineffectively, that charters out perform public schools. I disagreed. Here’s the response I submitted as a Letter to the Editor.
Rod Jurado’s article in the Gainesville Sun is part of a publicity campaign by CSUSA, the for-profit charter school management firm that plans to come to Gainesville. Mr. Jurado is the CEO of a company called ‘The Profitable Group’ based in Tampa. He also chairs the Florida Charter Educational Foundation that oversees six CSUSA charters in the Hillsborough area. The Foundation subcontracts with CSUSA to provide privately owned facilities through its real estate firm, Red Hat. CSUSA also hires the teachers and manages these schools.
Mr. Jurado cites a DOE report comparing charter and traditional public school students in Florida. These students are not matched on prior achievement scores. An Urban Charter School Study published by Stanford University’s CREDO center did so. CREDO reported that in five of seven Florida major cities, traditional public school students out performed those enrolled in charters. In one there was no difference.
According to its proposal, CSUSA plans to spend $25,000 a month to recruit students. Parents need to evaluate the hype. Not all choices are good choices.
If you would like more information about the CSUSA (Florida Charter Education Foundation) board members who submitted the CSUSA proposal, read on. It is quite a story.