Arguments for Charter Schools don’t hold water.

The Charter School Consortium’s spokesperson Lynne
Norman-Teck did not have a very convincing argument in favor of charter
schools. She pointed out that in 63 comparisons charter schools performed
better in 58 categories usually by a point or so I might add but this falls
apart when you consider charter schools are able to counsel out poor
performers, discipline problems and take fewer ESE and English as a second
language learners. With these advantages shouldn’t charter school be out
performing public schools by a mile?
They aren’t and all the consortium can do is point to
comparisons made by the very charter school friendly Florida Department of
education. The FLDOE also says kids attending charter schools were five times
more likely to be attending an F schools but she didn’t mention that because
the only thing supporters of charters schools can do is to point to cherry
picked evidence with little context.
An even bigger question though is what about the students
that attended the 250 plus charter schools that have failed where do the kids
that attended them get counted? Most likely it is in the public schools they
have to return too. How would public schools be doing if they could ignore the
scores of the bottom ten percent?
Then her second argument about how Charters receive less
money falls apart too. First yes per pupil charters do get less but how about
the hundreds of millions in PECO construction funds they have gotten over the
last few years while public schools relieved none? A few hundred million
dollars divided by a few hundred schools quickly adds up. Furthermore despite
her claim charter schools get less per pupil it hasn’t stopped the owners of
Charter Schools like Academia and Charter schools USA from becoming
millionaires, or other schools paying their administrators/owners as much or
more than some superintendents of entire districts.

If charter schools were parent-teacher driven
laboratories of innovation that supplemented districts then I believe they
would have a role to play. Unfortunately here in Florida too many are run by
mercenary outfits whose first goal is to earn a profit and who compete with districts
while producing an inferior product.

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