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450 words on charter schools

I was given 450 words to describe how charter schools were bad for public education.

I would need more than that to describe how several lawmakers who support charter schools have profited off of them.

I would need more than that to describe how Florida’s charter schools disproportionately exclude disabled children and English as a second language learners.

I would need more than that to explain how charter schools often cherry pick the best learners and then counsel out the underachievers.

I would need more than that to discuss all the charter school sandals over the last few years, though I would start with the principal of the failed charter school with an enrollment of 160 kids who made over 800 thousand dollars in 2011. To give you some scale our superintendent managing 176 schools with 123,000 students makes 275
thousand.

I would need more than that to talk about the tens of millions of dollars siphoned out of education to pay charter school management fees.

I would need more than that to debunk the states charter school study that said charters were performing better than public schools. Though I would start by pointing out, the state didn’t include forty percent of charter schools in the study, and despite the fact they can have additional requirements of their parents, charter schools only
performed better by a point or two here and there in just a few categories.

I would need more than that to talk about all the studies that say charter schools are a bad investment.

I would need more than that to explain that if your child went to a charter school they were seven times more likely to have attended a failing school.

I would need more than that to explain how charter schools are reintroducing segregation.

I would need more than that to discuss how John Thrasher doesn’t think charter schools are good enough for St. Johns County but are just fine for the poor black kids of Jacksonville.

I would need more than that to explain how Albert Shanker, the union activist who came up with the concept of charter schools would be rolling over in his grave had he lived to see what they had become.

I would need more than that to talk about how charter schools erode local control of public education.

So instead I will use my allotment to say I understand how some people like charter schools. I understand that despite the fact public schools are the best thing going some are underachieving and we all want better for our kids. I just hope those same people now understand that charter schools aren’t better and choice for choices sake doesn't improve our children's futures.

There is just so much you can do with 450 words. 

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