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Monday, November 4, 2013

Charter school says threatening kids was a big misunderstanding.

In case you missed it an Orlando Charter school threatened to kick out students who did not get FCAT prep, they however say it was just a big misunderstanding.

From the Miami Herald:  The Orange County school system is investigating a charter school that wrongly threatened to dismiss students for failing the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests, or FCAT.
The school, Cornerstone Charter Academy, retracted the threat Thursday, blaming a “poorly written letter” from the principal to parents.

Still, the move was enough to spark a new round of allegations that charter schools, which are privately managed but receive taxpayer funding, inflate their state-issued school grades by “cherry picking” students.

“If a child does not pass FCAT and the school discontinues that child’s enrollment because of it, then they are rigging their own school achievement scores by dismissing students who may bring down the school’s grade,” said Sandy Stenoff, who withdrew her child from Cornerstone last year.

Cornerstone Charter Academy is run by the Miami-based school management firm Academica, which manages more than three dozen charter schools in South Florida, and has ties to top state lawmakers.

What?!? A charter school with ties to elected officials, how unbelievably common in Florida! What is also common is charter schools counseling out poor performers and discipline problems after FTE (money time) and before the FCAT. This steals money from public schools and jacks up charter school scores which are still no better despite numerous advantages.

It’s time Florida got a clue and put the brakes on the charter school expansion unless you like a system where kids get substandard educations while politicians with close ties to charter schools benefit.

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