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Saturday, May 11, 2019

If the Potter's House Christian Academy was a public school it would be fast tracked to close

It's not however it is a private school that takes vouchers and as a result it is primed for expansion.

Why should we care about the Potter's House, well mostly because Governor DeSantis, flanked by Mayor Curry and others was there to sign a massive expansion to the state's voucher program. Up to now the voucher program had only diverted money earmarked for the state coffers. Now the state plans to take a hundred and thirty million out of it, a plan that can grow by ten percent a year.
We should also care because the Potter's House represents all that is wrong in the voucher program.

Schools that take vouchers are required to give their students a norm referenced test to see how they are doing. However unlike with public schools there are no consequences for how children do. The school isn't graded so a grade isn't effected, kids are allowed to matriculate on no matter how they do and teachers evaluations aren't effected. Furthermore schools that do poorly aren't put into a turn around status with the threat of being closed, taken over or replaced with a charter school. Nothing happens except the scores are put in a report that few read. I read it.

During the 16-17 school year, the mean student regressed in both reading and math. From page 11-   The mean gain score for FTC students was - 0.3 normal curve equivalent in reading and -1.2 normal curve equivalent in math.

The Potters House, the school that the governor choose to go to, to announce this massive expansion did considerably worse.  No photo description available.
The average student at the Potter's House regressed even more dramatically than the average voucher student did and on average they all did  Um why are we expanding vouchers again? How can we load up our public schools with ever increasing accountability, while we shrug our shoulders at what happens in private schools that take vouchers? 

Then while the Governor is pushing for the expansion of private schools with hardly any accountability he is increasing the accountability, though one might say ratcheting up the screws on public schools.

The schools of hope bill gives massive tax breaks and grants to charter schools to open up near public schools.

From the Florida Phoenix,

More charter schools: The bill opens the door for a major expansion of charter schools across Florida. Charters are public schools run by private entities, and there’s been tension between traditional public schools and charters that have blossomed across the state.
The new charter schools could be set up in certain low-income areas called Florida Opportunity Zones, part of a fairly-recent federal program designed to bolster economic development in low-income communities. This is significant because there are 427 zones in communities across Florida and charters could set up shop in those zones. Those specific charter schools are called “Schools of Hope.”
What is a persistently low performing school? The legislation changes what it means to be a school that has repeatedly struggled. The designation has to do with A through F grades given to schools by the state.
Essentially, the new definition means there will be more persistently low-performing schools in Florida. And that means charter schools can open up shop to serve students in those low-performing school areas.
 Friends the goal isn't to improve education, the goal is to destroy public education, a goal that DeSantis has gleefully embraced. 

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