The scam of school choice

When republican politicians in Tallahassee talk about
school choice what they are really talking about is privatization and the dismantling
of public education.

What they never mention however is the cost and how
hundreds of millions of dollars are directed away from public schools to options
that quite frankly don’t deserve a dime of public money because they either don’t
have any accountability or waste so much of it.

According to the Florida Department of Education 312
charter schools have opened, taken public money and closed, leaving communities
in a lurch.

There are something like 1,800 private schools that
take vouchers. These schools do not have to have certified teachers, a
recognized curriculum and the vast majority don’t have to report how they spend
the money given to them. Furthermore they are exempt from the state tests which
have caused such angst over the years. Why are the tests required for public
school students and not for kids that take vouchers? After all both of their educations
are being footed by the citizens of Florida.

That brings us to cyber charters which are quickly
expanding in Florida because every high school student is required to take at
least one class on-line.  According to
the Stanford CREDO one of the most regarded organizations studying school choice,
s
tudents in online
charters lost an average of about 72 days of learning in reading and lost 180
days of learning in math during the course of a 180-day school year. Friends
the school year is only 180 days long. Taking a math class from an on-line
charter, which you are helping pay for, is the equivalent of not taking a class
at all.  

Instead
of investing in these options which waste untold millions, it’s time we
invested in our public schools.

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