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Friday, March 30, 2012

Duval County’s inconsistent charter school logic

Let me just say I am not a fan of how charter schools are done in Florida. They were envisioned being centers of parent and teacher driven innovation but instead they have become publically funded private schools run by hedge fund managers and real estate tycoons interested in profiting off our children. Now there may be a few good ones who are concerned with how our children do but there are so many more concerned with the bottom line it makes them all suspect.

Recently Jacksonville charter schools have been in the news and they are another example of the “what the heck are they doing” nature of our school board.

First they voted to allow the KIPP charter school to expand despite the fact its first year test scores were the lowest in North East Florida and its kids regressed. One of the reasons is undoubtedly because Gary Chartrand is heavenly involved in the school. This non-educator has bought hook line and sinker into the charter school movement, which is probably why he over thousands of better choices was placed on the state board of education (which has very few real educators on it by the way).

Gary Chartrand is also running his protégé in the district 3 school board race, Ashley Smith-Juarez.

Next the superintendent recommended the closing of the SOS academy because the highest grade they have achieved is a D. This is actually pretty good for Charter schools as last year 17 of the 32 “f” schools in Florida were charter schools.

Then the board has voted to fight the state because they approved a virtual charter school, yes that’s right, a virtual charter school, that the county had turned down.

Why does one get to expand, while another one faces closure and the third can’t get approval? Where is the rhyme and reason?

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