When did public schools in Duval County become second-class citizens? (rough draft)

A couple things school board members have said over the last
few months have really bothered me.

At the end of last summer when discussing the renewal of
Education Directions Fel Lee said to the owner, we are appreciative of all you
have done but at some point we need to stand on our own, we need you to give us
a template for what to do.
Then more recently Jason Fischer said he wants to compare
the data of comparable public and charter schools to see which is being more
successful so we can duplicate it.
On the surface there is nothing wrong with wanting to
duplicate success. It is even laudable. My problem is whom theses two school
board members want to copy. Instead of copying the model at one of our
successful public schools and we have many, they would rather copy the model from
an Education Management Company or a charter school. It’s as if the successes
that our public schools are having and once again there are many don’t matter.   
They say, great job public school so and so but instead of
doing what you are doing in our schools that are struggling, we would rather
pay somebody to tell us what to do or copy what schools that erodes local
control are doing. I think we have plenty of great schools and
we should be copying what they are doing instead. The only problem with that is it is impossible.
Most of our schools that are truly doing well are magnet
schools and just by their nature we can only have a finite amount of them or
are in more affluent neighborhoods that tend to have more parental involvement.
Sadly we can’t replicate income and parents that care from
neighborhoods that are doing well to neighborhoods that aren’t. You know who
else can’t do that? EMOs and charter schools.

If we want to have real success we must put in place
programs that mitigate poverty. Everything else is just window dressing or
kicking the can down the road. Unfortunately EMOs and charter schools won’t
tell you that. 

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