It is past time for Gary Chartrand to step down.

The Chair of the state
board of education, Gary Chartrand a grocer by trade, is arguably the most
powerful person in Florida’s education landscape besides Jeb Bush who still
casts a very long shadow. He recently said some things in the Florida Times
Union, that everyone in Florida should both be aware of and outraged by.
Chartrand said his
desire to give his children the best education possible prompted the move (of
his children from a public school to a private school) and molded his own views
on school options. “That’s exactly what I want other kids to be able to
do,”” he said. “I had a choice. I was able to afford it and so my kids
were able to go to a private school. … I think it should be available to
Chartrand however did
not send his kids to the type of private schools that take vouchers. He sent
them to the very exclusive and expensive Bolles schools. There they have a
thriving arts program, small classes and don’t have to take high stakes tests.
The type of school he
sent his children and that Jeb Bush sent his children to as well is nothing
compared to the type of schools he is helping to create for the rest of our
Chartrand also said, he spent the first six months on the job, getting his “sea
legs.” “I wouldn’t call myself really well-versed … I have a lot to learn, but
I try to apply certain business principles,” This means despite the fact he
admits he is woefully unqualified for the position he took it anyways and I
would argue he is still not well versed after four years on the board.

If Gary
Chartrand truly believes every family should have the same choice that his
family had then why isn’t he pushing for every kid to have the same kind
of education his children were fortunate enough to receive
at the Bolles School? The answer is he must believe what was good enough for
his children is too much for all of ours, then throw in a little disdain for labor and a disrespect for public schools too. Chartrand’s
term is up and we should demand Governor Scott
replace him with a real educator, one who really cares about our children and
who has the knowledge and experience to improve things.

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