There have been three huge reports about the failure of charter schools, this year alone, three!!!! If there was just one you could probably dismiss it, two should at least raise your eyebrows, but after three we should all be having W.T.F. moments.
From the most recent one in the Naples Daily News:
■ Forty-five charter schools have closed in Florida since 2008 because of academic failures, most often receiving multiple state-issued “F” grades for student performance. Before closing, an estimated 7,500 students attended those failing schools. Another three that received back-to-back “F” grades in 2013 and 2014 are expected to close in the coming weeks after the Florida Board of Education denied waivers to allow them to stay open at least one more year.
■ A record 42 out of 400 — or 10.5 percent — charter elementary and middle schools received an “F” in 2014 (grades for high schools will be released later this year). Another nine charter schools would have dropped from “C” to “F” in 2014, but the state provided all schools with a one-year buffer that prevents a two-letter grade drop, the result of complaints about tougher standards.
■ The state’s traditional public elementary and middle schools also saw a record number of “F” grades, with 136 out of 2,274 getting failing grades in 2014, but that only comes out to 6 percent of schools. In the past five years, about three times the percentage of charter schools have gotten failing grades when compared to traditional public schools.
■ Issues with instituting a proper curriculum preceded the closures of 26 schools. Most often, charter operators failed to properly implement English Language Learning and Exceptional Student Education programs. Seventeen schools closed amid concerns about student safety, including eight schools where adults working with children weren’t properly screened.
■ Minority and lower-income students are the ones most often being failed in charter schools. Two-thirds of the schools that have closed because of academic failures since 2008 had student populations of at least 95 percent minorities. About three-quarters of academically failed charters had student populations with significantly more kids qualifying for free or reduced lunch than the state average.
“We’re really not seeing the kind of results that the charter initiative was supposed to produce,” said Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Duval County Public Schools
, which includes Jacksonville. “I think that leads to some of the resentment you hear among educators.”
Poor academic results, poor financial management, sometimes bordering on straight up stealing and a kneecapping of public schools by siphoning away resources is the legacy that Florida’s charter schools are leaving behind.
When will Florida say enough is enough?