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The FLDOE charter study leaves out 159 schools. What are they hiding and why?

Charter schools are doing better than public schools on the FCAT and EOCs blah, blah, blah, yada, yada yada. Don’t believe the hype.

Resisting the urge to throw up in my mouth some, I will just get to it. The FLDOE reports that charter schools are doing better than public schools. Let’s forget for a moment how they for the most part pick who they take and keep which gives them a tremendous advantage over public schools when it comes to test results and let’s look at the states sample instead.

According to Jeff Solochek of the Tampa Times, 359 charter schools were graded. The problem with that is according to the State there are 518 charter schools. That means some 159 schools were exempt from their study. Geeze I wonder how public schools would do if each could exempt their 159 worst performing students. Also as far as I can tell none of the public schools were exempt. I wonder how the comparisons would have sorted out had 30% of public schools been excluded or if all the charter schools were included.

Maybe charter schools would do better overall, I doubt it but the problem is we don’t know and for some reason the state doesn’t want us to know.

And that friends, should tell you all you need to know.


  1. I'm not at all surprise! I have come to the conclusion that all government entities are crooked and only out to line their own pockets/pocketbooks. My trust in any politician and my very own school board has diminished tremendously over the past few years.

  2. My first year teaching at a charter school, we took the FCAT, but our grades didn't count because we had to establish a baseline. Could that be any part of the reason for those not counted? Having taught at both charter and regular public schools, I can tell you this: we had disabled and handicapped students at our school, and some of them took the FCAT; some didn't. It was all according to their IEP's, just like at the regular public schools. Our charter specifically said that students could not be turned away unless there was no room for them. The only big difference between charter and public in that respect was behavior. IF a student was a continual behavior problem, they could be kicked out. We didn't have any that were in four years that I taught there. The reason I left: better benefits and retirement in the public system. But, I personally like the charter school better. I was able to be more creative with my teaching and less cookie cutter teaching occurred. Also, I was treated as an individual and felt more appreciated than I do in the public schools. Our students DID do well. I believe the primary reason is smaller class sizes. Studies have proven over and over and over again that smaller class sizes garner better learning, yet we are still struggling with larger and larger class sizes. WHY?

  3. Ok, so here's what I was able to ascertain by looking at the Excel
    files provided by the DOE.

    There were 359 listed Charter Elem. & Middle Schools
    There were 47 listed High School Charters.
    That equals 406...
    Of those, 36 were ungraded (assuming they had less than 2 years of
    4 were listed as Incompletes (less than 90% school population tested);

    A separate number, 18, had moved to School Improvement Ratings rather
    than regular school grades.

    So counting all the schools listed, there were 424 Charter schools; yet
    the DOE said there were 518 Charters in 2011-2012.

  4. Hi - I just came across this great blog while checking out the latest train wrecks in Tallahassee. I wonder about these "518" or "406" or whatever the number is. I also wonder about the oft-quoted number of "1 in every 17 students in FL attends a Charter School". I simply cannot buy that. I think the FLDOE is messing with the data in order to sell the public on wasting massive amounts of money on corporate Charter schools. I am also interested in the teacher's comments above regarding preferring the Charter over public. I think a distinction must be made between grass-roots Charters and corporate cookie-cutter Charters. The political animals are chasing the corporate models, because whether for-profit or "not-for-profit", they still manage to pay themselves handsomely. I also marvel at the fact that the taxpayers fund their buildings, but then the buildings don't belong to the taxpayers...they belong to the corporation! That's ridiculous...anyway, thanks for this great blog...I will try to remember to look at it...especially with the legislature in session!