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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Duval’s strategic plan is useless unless it addresses charter schools (rough draft)

Senator John “I believe in the golden rule, he who has the gold makes the rules” Thrasher asked why charter schools would want to go to St. Johns county. The implication is charter schools are for poor urban districts like Duval, not affluent white districts like his.

Superintendent Vitti at a budget community meeting said he believes in choice and he did so while acknowledging that charter schools were siphoning money out of public schools, limiting what they can do. My question is, is choice just for choices sake a good choice?

Last summer as Duval was being inundated with charter school applications, school board member Becki Couch asked how they worked with the strategic plan. After all nearly a third of our schools are under 75% capacity.  Friends this is just going to get worse too and take the Westside for example.

Enrollments at both Ed White and Forrest high schools are down but that hasn’t stopped two different charter school operators from building two high schools with 5 miles of each. Charter schools are supposed to be parent teacher laboratories of innovations not mechanisms that create under utilization of public schools and profit centers for corporations and hedge fund managers. If Duval was looking to expand and build more schools there is no way they would pick those two locations, which begs the question how does them being there help with the strategic vision of our school system.  

It’s no secret that I think charter schools as they are done in Florida harm public education rather than help it, a sentiment echoed by the Stanford Credo study which said that despite huge advantages, Florida’s charter schools under perform. But even if you deny facts and disagree with me and think they are beneficial you have to agree that the placement of charter schools should be strategic, after all supposedly they are public schools too; rather than harmful and underutilized schools bleed resources and limit the district's capabilities.

Despite benefiting from selection bias, reduced amounts of ESOL and ESE students, the ability to council out poor performers and discipline problems and to put requirements on parents these are their grades.

Wayman Academy F
Tiger Academy D
Somerset Elementary B
River City Science D

Middle School
SOS Middle School F
Global Outreach D
Duval/Arlington Middle F
Somerset A
KIPP Impact D
Duval Baymeadows A
Waverly C

Do we really need a dozen more?

1 comment:

  1. This is well done - you should point out the Gary Chartrand, and the usual crowd are pushing charters down our throats while at the same time purposefully neglecting our public schools. They buy school board seats, they bring an inexperienced arrogant individual as superintendent and try to sell us that he is a transformational leader and they have turned their back on failing school for decades.