What is the future of charter schools?

It’s interesting to read the 2012-2013 study. My comments are in red. Everything else is from the study at this link:
https://lwvfl.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/issue-education-studies-actions-statewide-school-study.pdf

This ship has left the port, eh? Is there any chance of giving the school district this kind of flexibility?

  • Districts must identify unmet student and community educational needs as part of their strategic plans and submit priorities for alternative and/or charter schools to the Florida Department of Education.
  • Only charter schools that offer identifiable innovative teaching/learning methods or meet specific unmet needs should be authorized.
  • Districts must identify unmet student and community educational needs as part of their strategic plans and submit priorities for alternative and/or charter schools to the Florida Department of Education.
  • Only charter schools that offer identifiable innovative teaching/learning methods or meet specific unmet needs should be authorized.

These seem like ideas we should be able to advocate for:

  • A charter school governing board must have a minimum of one local representative, not the administrator, who resides in the community and is answerable to the school parents and community.
  • Those charter schools that educate students requiring ESE services must hire appropriately certified full or part time instructors before applying for additional funding for the services. 
  • Charter schools must report teacher and student retention.
  • The charter school audit template must be adequate for comparison and analysis and identify facilities ownership and management contractors.
  • Teachers and administrators, including principals, must meet certifications and qualifications at the same level as all other public school instructors or administrators.
  • All schools, even small ones, receiving state funds must report state assessment test scores, and receive some indicator of student achievement levels.
  • Administrators and board members of all public schools, including charters, must not supervise or determine compensation for family members.
  • Members of charter school governing boards must not have financial interests in the charter school.
  • Legislators serving on education or appropriation committees must recuse themselves on votes related to charter school finance if they have financial interests in charter schools.
  • As a recipient of public education funds, charter schools should be required to meet the same procurement requirements as other public institutions, including competitive bids for leasing, acquisition of sites and purchasing of supplies, equipment and facilities. The records should meet all public records laws for full disclosure.
  • Charter schools that acquire their facility using public funds must assure that the facility reverts to public ownership at the termination of the charter. If a facility is subject to a mortgage to be paid using public funds, the mortgage must disclose and protect the public’s interest in the facility.

These should be monitored by the FLDOE not the local school district staff.  The school district has enough on their plate especially if they don’t get the funds for the administrative staff to do this or the ability to deny charter school applications.

  • Charter school admissions and dismissal policies and procedures should be supervised by district staff to ensure they conform to state guidelines.


Has your view changed over time?  

How do you view charter schools? One of these two choices or another way?

Quote from ref 1:

The story goes something like this. In 1988, Albert Shanker, legendary president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), gave a speech at the National Press Club where he outlined his vision for a new kind of publicly funded, independently managed school. He called them “charters” and saw them as educational laboratories, where teachers could try out new pedagogical approaches. By empowering teachers to experiment with their craft, charters could serve as R&D spaces for new and better practices that could then be transferred back into traditional public schools. In a New York Times column published later that year, Shanker carried his ideas to the wider public.

Quote from ref 2:

Charter School Purpose: The purpose of charter schools is to serve unmet needs with a primary focus on low income families, reading, and innovative instructional methods. Local needs are best identified by the local school district as part of its strategic plan. To avoid inefficiency through duplicative programs or to avoid insufficient funding for either program to be successful, charter schools should serve as a complement to, not a competitor of, traditional public schools.

Quote from ref 3

Charter schools were intended to be centers of education experimentation and innovation, but they generally neither invent new teaching methods nor develop and spread new education practices. They’re businesses first, and schools second.

https://networkforpubliceducation.org/privatization-toolkit/

Ref 1 is a great article and worth the read.

Ref 2 is to the League of Women Voters-Florida study

http://files.ctctcdn.com/9e023c2e001/312a667d-ca9e-4dc6-be72-3eb1d9d47c25.pdf

It was referenced in this article. Excerpt from article:

RAVITCH: Florida is one of the most corrupt states in the country when it comes to education. I’ve read the reports of a group called Integrity Florida, which is a government ethics watchdog. I read the reports of the Florida League of Women Voters, and when they write about charter schools, they write about the blatant conflicts of interests of the people in the Florida Legislature

In New Book, National Education Historian Calls Florida ‘Model Of Lawlessness And Greed’

Ref 3 is Toolkit: School Privatization Explained


https://networkforpubliceducation.org/privatization-toolkit/

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