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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

This is what passes for local control of education in Florida

From scathing Purple Musings

by Bob Sykes

Few observers were surprised yesterday when a stacked state board of education overruled Orange county school district for rejecting a Charter Schools USAmanaged school. It was predicted here that CSUSA CEO Jonathan Hage – also a member of Rick Scott’s education transition team – would prevail in the end. But the state board’s stunning denial of its own charter school appeals commission on two Florida Virtual School applications should give voters pause. From the Florida Times-Union on the Duval county FVS application:

On Oct. 4, the School Board denied the application from Northeast Florida Virtual Charter School Board Inc., which wanted to open a kindergarten-to- ninth-grade school with a proposed enrollment of 620 students.

The organization failed 12 of the 19 sections of the application of which at least 15 sections must be met to pass.

District staff also said school representatives did not attend any of the provided meetings or help sessions scheduled to discuss the requirements and procedures to complete the application, school system records show.

Why have charter schools even apply anymore to local school boards if they can go about it so willy-nilly and still not be held accountable by the state board?

The state board of eight is composed of three appointees of Jeb Bush, three from Rick Scott, one from Charlie Crist and ed commissioner Gerard Robinson. One board member, Scott appointee Gary Chartrand, is on KIPP schools board of directors in Jacksonville and, like Hage, was on Scott’s education transition team. Hardly a group one can be confident will act in a fashion which demonstrates independent thinking.

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