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Thursday, July 7, 2011

In Florida, most education reforms do more harm than good

Jacksonville’s KIPP Charter School received a lot of local press when it received its F but they are not the only charter school to struggle, at the same time 15 of 270 charter schools also flunked. Since statewide only 17 of 2280 public elementary and middle schools received a grade of F, this means kids that attended charter schools were 740 percent more likely to be attending a failing school.

The state legislature and Rick Scott with their recent round of reforms has deceived the public. Every merit pay study says it doesn’t work, quality of instruction and cheating charges follow virtual schools, McKay scholarships are wrought with fraud, kids on opportunity scholarships by and large do not improve at their new schools and charter schools are not the magic bullets the Florida Legislature led the citizens of Florida to believe. Then at the same time the legislature kneecaps the one reform that has proven to work, because it costs money, smaller classes. Cutting the education budget by billions of dollars is only one of the problems that Tallahassee has sent to the local school districts,

A friend said to me, follow the money; well most of these reforms follow the money out of our schools and into the hands of hedge fund managers and corporate CEOs who are only concerned with their bottom line and profit margins, not our children.

You want to know why our schools are struggling? Look to Tallahassee it’s their meddling in education that is setting our children, schools and state back.

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