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Sunday, July 7, 2019

You might think you know Gary Chartrand, but the truth is you don't know Gary Chartrand

Gary Chartrand is a Ponte Vedra businessman who is currently fighting against the Duval County Public schools and their desire to get a special tax referendum to repair and in some cases replace their aging schools. He is currently doing so as part of the Civic Council but he also parlayed some large donations to Rick Scott into an 8 year stint on the state board of education.

He is also known for bringing KIPP and TFA to town, being a large donor to the Quality Education for All an initiative an arguably failed attempt to bring business solutions to our schools and giving money to dozens and dozens of current and want-a-be politicians.

The thing is a lot of people think they might know Gary Chartrand but the reality is they have probably just scratched the surface.

Perhaps the most relevant is the one time Gary Chartrand fought against a school tax referendum in order for charter schools to get a bigger cut when a charter owed him 3 and a half million dollars. 

That one time Gary Chartrand was a little less than truthful

The current plan allocates 100 percent of all tax proceeds to district-operated public schools, depriving the 16,500 students currently attending public charter schools of the benefits of improved buildings and facilities. Charter schools are public schools, and should have access to the same tax benefits as the rest of the district. This proposed funding inequity would only increase over time, as the Duval school district’s own projections show charter enrollment growing by 10,000 within 10 years.
From the beginning the district has said charter schools will be able to participate based on need. He had to know that but if somehow he didn't then nothing he says should be taken seriously. 

The time Chartrand demanded to be part of the superintendent hiring process.

As Duval School Board members on Tuesday discussed how they are hiring a superintendent search firm, a prominent group of Jacksonville philanthropists and business owners sent a letter asking the Board to wait to hire a new education leader until November 2018.
They thought they deserved a bigger role than teachers and parents and sadly they eventually got it.

The time Gary Chartrand tried to blackmail the district

When the board was moving away from the arguably failed QEA, Chartrand threatened to withhold promised funds if they didn’t do what he wanted.
I can make the argument that the QEA only happen as a quid pro quo for a massive KIPP expansion

The time the commissioner of Education accused Chartrand of lying about the KIPP school 

From Politico: State Education Commissioner Pam Stewart, in a sardonic text exchange with a colleague, accused a prominent GOP donor who chairs a Jacksonville charter school chain of using misleading data to boast about students’ test scores, according to public records obtained by POLITICO 

Florida.Stewart said in a text message to a top saff member that the leaders of KIPP Jacksonville overstated the percentage of third graders who passed state reading exams. 
Even Pam Stewart knew KIPP and Chartrand were full of well you know.

The time Gary Chartrand made some homophobic remarks

From the I can’t make this up category, today at Florida’s education summit he said: Florida Board Chairman Gary Chartrand suggested that the state look for a curriculum or instructional materials for Common Core that "align with Florida's values and culture." He said reading lists could upset people; particularly in they mentioned topics such as socialism or homosexuality.
The Times Union used to have a local blogger section and they suspended me from it (first banned but then I complained) when I did this piece.
He denied the remarks but the Tampa Times stood by the article.

The time Gary Chartrand came out for Common Core

Now I think there was some good stuff with Common Core, but Chartrand was all for it.
Talking about Common Core in the Jacksonville Business Journal, Mr. Chartrand said:  “There absolutely is a need. Florida ranks high for education nationally, but the U.S. is still ranked 25th in the world.
 I wonder if he would feel the same way now that DeSantis has flipped.

Then all the Times the KIPP school seemed to benefit from Chartrand being on the state board  

The one time a KIPP school closed to avoid a bad grade

KIPP Voice, a kindergarten through fourth-grade school, and KIPP Impact, a middle school, currently operate in one building. The state allowed the two schools to become one and to take the highest state grade for its joint report card, so the new school will take KIPP Impact’s C rating instead of KIPP Voice’s D rating from last year.
They were allowed to do so while Chartrand was on the state board, The KIPP school had also received a substantial charter school grant a few years before.

The Chartrand Rule

The KIPP school started slow with the worst grade in NorthEast Florida, it got a miraculous B, the next year but in its third year it would have fallen all the way back down to a D except for a rule that Chartrand put in that said schools could only drop one letter grade. 
The KIPP school while chartrand was on the state board was able to get away with a lot.

KIPP’s grades have been, C,B,C,D,B,C*,B,F *grade protected, would have been a D without the Chartrand rule. 18-19 school grade isn’t out yet. 

That one time Gary Chartrand said there was no empirical evidence that smaller classes work despite their beings tons of empirical evidence that says it does.

This guy was both on the state board of education and sent his children to a school that touts there smaller class sizes, THE BOLLES SCHOOL 7400 San Jose Blvd. (904) 733-9292 ... it serves 900 students, the school is known for its small class sizes and supportive environment.

That one time Gary Chartrand was for Race to the Top which doubled down on high stakes testing and brought us blame the teacher evaluations. 
The good news is that Florida has a clear chance of winning a Race to the Top grant. In fact, we are one of only two states in the country to be rated by the New Teacher Project as “highly competitive” to receive funding (the other is Louisiana).
Florida is a strong contender because we are already implementing key elements of the program, including rigorous standards and assessments, student data management, high quality teachers and support for struggling schools.
That time Rick scott collected politicians like I used to collect baseball cards, sorry make that the dozens of times. 
He also has made donations as himself, Unreasonable Leadership book, Chartair Holdings and Messenger of Truth LLC
The one time Gary Chartrand said it was good teachers were now on one year contracts
Florida is currently undergoing a growing teacher shortage and one of the reasons is that teachers are on one year contracts and have no job security, other reasons are also pay and testing, something that decreases and increased under his watch.

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