Florida: The ‘Wild South’

The Center for Popular Democracy is calling for a moratorium on the expansion of charter schools.  Their report “Florida Charters fall short on State Assessments was just released.  This is a report to which the LWVF contributed.  The data indicate:

 

 

 

 

  • Charters have increased enrollment by 172%.  They comprise approximately ten percent of the Florida K12 student population, yet:
  • Charters have failed to live up to the mandate for high quality standards in student achievement due to lack of proper oversight.
  • Background checks on charter owners are inadequate, and there is no provision for disqualifications due to problematic disclosure findings.
  • Seventy million dollars have been lost due to charters that closed shortly after opening.
  • Charter boards should be required to be run by local representatives.
  • Charters and districts should collaborate and provide detailed and transparent data on student selection, discipline, and dismissals.
  • Charters enrollment is 51% of disadvantaged students compared to 70% in public schools.
  • Data on charter teacher education, certification status, and student to staff ratios should be included in a more comprehensive accountability system.

The focus on Florida’s charter industry is not only because it is relatively large, it also has a high failure rate.  Corporate self dealing, lax legislation on conflict of interest, and a history of personal ties to charters for key legislative positions in public education has made correcting charter management problems difficult.  The evidence is mounting.  See also AlterNet’s report:  New Reports Reveal The Big Charter School Accountability Lie.

 

Posted in Achievement, Authorization, Charter School Management, Civil Rights, Florida.

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