From the Times Union:
Councilman Richard Clark willing to endanger children to bring Charter School to town
Duval County has 31 charter schools, 31, that's more than some Florida counties have public schools and council man Richard Clark thinks we need one more and is willing to bend the rules and endanger children to make it happen.
From the Times Union:
The property falls within a “school regulation zone” that bars new schools in certain areas within the vicinity of airports. The city can waive that restriction by determining the public benefit of a school outweighs the risk of a plane crashing into the school.
City Councilman Richard Clark filed legislation saying the benefit of expanding the city’s network of charter schools would justify granting a waiver.
But the city planning department had not done any report on the legislation, so it had no recommendation for or against the waiver. The city had not posted signs at the property or mailed out notices to nearby residents about the proposal, which also is standard for city decisions affecting how property can be used.
The “school regulation zones” extend 5 miles from the end of airport runways. The width of the zones varies depending on the airport because the width is equal to half the length of the runway.
State law lets local governments grant waivers for new schools on a case-by-case basis.
Clark’s legislation argues a waiver is justified because Duval County competes with surrounding counties on public school performance, and “new charter schools have demonstrated a successful alternative to the existing, traditional public school system.”
Why aren't our elected leaders required to be informed about issues? Duval's charter schools as a group grossly under perform when compared to public schools.
From Context Florida:
In Jacksonville, with its areas of almost intractable poverty, it’s easier said than done. While some school-grade calculations are still pending, 32percent of Jacksonville’s elementary and middle charter schools graded so far this year have earned F’s.* By contrast, so far, only 12.5 percent of Duval’s traditional public schools scored F’s this year. Speaking in proportionate terms, and without accounting for sample sizes, Jacksonville’s charter schools, as a district, have 2 ½ times the number of failing schools than do our traditional-district schools.
We are paying for it dearly — not only in terms of student failure, but also in terms of diffused resources. Test-based accountability is a little too high-stakes in Jacksonville as compared to our nearest-peer district, Hillsborough. (Hillsborough County is exempt from the provisions that count test-scores as 50 percent of teachers’ evaluations.) Nevertheless, standards-based accountability permits educators to zero-in on students’ specific academic needs in order to better serve them.
But here is Richard Clark, at best ignorant, perhaps compromised willing to bend the rules, possibly endangering children to bring another unnecessary charter school to town.