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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

More general cluelessness from Representative Adkins

When Tallahassee talks about school choice they are really talking about privatization and I think I can prove it.

When defending her school choice bill Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach said, "Parents do know what is best for their child.  Not government. Not bureaucrats." This is the same representative which has insisted we keep with the high stakes testing agenda despite the protest of most of the states parents.  Apparently Representative Adkins only thinks parents know best if they are opting their children out of public schools.

I wonder if she thinks the parents of the thousands and thousands of children who were enrolled in one of the 270 Florida charter schools that failed knew best too.

Margrett Raymond the founding director of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes, known as CREDO, the definitive study on charter schools which says Florida’s underperform when compared to public schools, disagrees with Adkins, she recently said:

This is one of the big insights for me. I actually am kind of a pro-market kinda girl. But it doesn’t seem to work in a choice environment for education. I’ve studied competitive markets for much of my career. That’s my academic focus for my work. And it’s [education] the only industry/sector where the market mechanism just doesn’t work. I think it’s not helpful to expect parents to be the agents of quality assurance throughout the state. I think there are other supports that are needed. Frankly parents have not been really well educated in the mechanisms of choice.… I think the policy environment really needs to focus on creating much more information and transparency about performance than we’ve had for the 20 years of the charter school movement. I think we need to have a greater degree of oversight of charter schools, but I also think we have to have some oversight of the overseers.

We do have problems in education but by far the biggest is the leadership out of Tallahassee which has been abysmal.

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