Let me give you the lowdown on school choice in Florida.
Florida is the land of for profit charter schools that offer little if any in the way of innovation and private schools that don't have to have a recognized curricula and their teachers don't have to be certified or have degrees, and did I mention they can and do hire felons as well. Throw in numerous members of the state legislature benefiting off of legislation that promotes school choice and kneecaps public education and there we have school choice in Florida in a nutshell.
Hooboy, anyhoo let me get to it:
From the Palm Coast Observer:
The charter school had transferred many of its lowest-performing students to a private school on the same campus immediately before state assessments, preventing those students from taking them and affecting the school's grade, according to district office.
Several days before the Florida Standards Assessments began near the end of the school year, 13 third-grade students suddenly transferred from the Palm Harbor Academy charter school to a newly created private school on the same school campus, run by Palm Harbor Academy governing board chairman the Rev. Gillard Glover.
With one exception, all of those 13 students had one thing in common: They were at least one full grade behind grade level. Many of the children were multiple grades behind grade level. Another five students in other grades, all at least two grades behind grade level, were also transferred out of Palm Harbor and into the private school at around the same time.
The students’ transfer to a private school meant that they didn’t take the state assessments required of public school students — and, therefore, didn’t drag down the school’s state scores and school grade. A failing school grade would have meant shuttering the school, School Board Attorney Kristin Gavin said, because the school got a D last year.
Um, what, um.
Is this what school choice is supposed to be about?
Is this what we are starving our public schools and kneecapping the teaching profession for?
And for those of you who are thinking this is an isolated incident, not so fast.
While it’s widely known that private schools convert to charter status to take advantage of public dollars, more schools are now heading in the opposite direction. As voucher programs across the country proliferate, shuttered charter schools like the Orange Park Performance Arts Academy have begun to privatize in order to stay open with state assistance.
Oh and less you forget over 330 charter schools have taken public money in Florida and closed, how the beep are they still a thing?