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Saturday, August 4, 2018

Nick Howland says the city needs more charter schools. (rough draft)

Um, does district 2 where all the schools are As or Bs really need more charter schools?

Nick Howland wants choice, lots and lots of choice and it doesn't seem to matter that choice in Florida is really a euphemism for privatization.

I spoke with Mr. Howland and after a moment he said he wants innovative and high quality charter schools and as long as the money followed the child he thought it was a good thing (though I imagine after he sees this he may say I got wrong). He also admitted to me that the kids at the charter schools USA school in district 2, Charter school at coastal probably weren't getting as good an education as their truly public school counterparts and he thought we needed more schools like the KIPP school but more on that in a moment.

In Duval most of our charter schools are in neighborhoods with great schools already. Charters don't open up in low socioeconomic neighborhoods anymore because most usually fail. This begs the question if we have great schools why would we open up another school in the same area that steals resources from the first school. Howland and his friends would give you a one word answer, choice.

A woman in our conversation asked Howland why we would build a fire station across the street from a fire station but only provide enough money for one fire station which I thought was a great analogy.

In Duval we have had over a dozen charter schools fail and they bring our overall district grade down, but Howland wants more? His one word answer is, choice. Side note, about 360 charter schools have failed state wide.

Mr. Howand seemed to think as long as the money followed the child then its okay, well for a lot of the for profit charters, the money follows the kid to the schools and then a big chunk heads out of town. CUSA is incorporated in Delaware which may as well be the Cayman islands and its CEO Jon Hage is a multi millionaire and he got that way by taking a sizable cut of that money that was following the child. That's choice in Florida for you. 

Can somebody tell me what is innovative about the CUSA schools? They have to wear uniforms, like kids have to in dozens of other public schools? No seriously can you tell me? But hey, choice.

Now lets talk about KIPP, Howland's charter school model. They spend about a third more per child, their days and school year are longer and they can put requirements on parents. I am told they council out discipline problems and take fewer children (as a percentage) with disabilities. They have fewer children on free and reduced lunch than the schools in their neighborhood and despite all these advantage their grades are more up and down than a yo yo. I submit if public schools who educate everyone who shows up at their door had their resources and could do what they do then all the schools would be A schools. KIPP for all its advantages is grossly under performing.

Choice for the sake of choice is a bad choice and Howland hasn't got that.

I also would like to point out he has taken a fair amount of money from charter school supporters, though he says he wouldn't let that effect his decisions.

Speaking of choice, District 2 has several good ones and once again we have done the rich white guy several times there, why don't we try an educator this time around?

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