FEA Questions Charter School Report

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL -- April 11, 2012 --

At a construction site in Tallahassee, educators, lobbyists and Florida’s Lt. Governor broke ground on a new charter school. This is just one of four new schools being built by Charter Schools USA. Florida has 517 charter schools in operation right now. Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll says the public schools run by private companies are improving Florida’s education system.

“It creates competition in the environment because what we had been doing has created D and F schools we can not continue on that path therefore we have to do new and innovative things,” said Carroll.

A new study backs up Carroll’s claims. This report released by the Department of Education compares traditional public school students with charter school students. According to the report in 145 out of 170 categories charter school students did better. Teachers unions aren’t buying it.

“Basically what they are doing is they are measuring things only on test scores,” said Mark Pudlow with the Florida Education Association says the report is flawed because it doesn’t take into account that charter schools educate fewer low income, minority and disabled students.

“The populations are very different. In close quarters sometimes a charter school may have a very different population than the traditional neighborhood school a few blocks away,” said Pudlow.

There is also a disparity in the number of students the two education systems serve. Traditional public schools educate two million students statewide. Less than 200-thousand students are enrolled in charter schools. State lawmakers have paved the way for the charter school expansion. A bill that failed last year would allow the state to give charter school companies money to build and expand. The legislation is expected to be refilled next year.

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  • by Ben Location: Tallahassee on Apr 13, 2012 at 07:30 AM
    Before taking any report at face value you have to consider the agenda of the agency that contracted the study, the biases of the company conducting the study, and the political agenda of the agency touting the "results." If it comes from the republican controlled Florida DOE the results of the study are suspect and likely to be slanted against public schools. If there is a difference in charter school performance in Florida, and certainly ONE study touting biased results does not prove so, perhaps one reason is that public schools are being financially starved while charter schools are being actively financially supported with tax money that was never meant to go to them. I can't wait until November when the voters clear the republicans out of the legislature and remove at least part of the problem. Tricky Ricky is next in 2014.
  • by Love my Charter School on Apr 12, 2012 at 08:07 PM
    My 3 sons are all enrolled in a charter school. Thou the population may be different, it's not the school's fault. Everyone that applies has an equal chance of getting in. If you want better for your children you will work to get them a better education. Their school is ranked 4th out of the state this year in education, yes it's based on test scores, but these children are working hard and the work that they do, I have no doubt surpasses many neighborhood school. I am not discrediting neighborhood schools bc there are some great ones. But charter schools are setting a bar, and if it causes public schools to strive for higher standards, than so be it. We all win!!
  • by Moe Location: tally on Apr 12, 2012 at 06:15 AM
    Of course the FEA(union, special interest group)is going to question a report that highlights their failures. It's all about the money in their pocket and fatcat 1 percenter union bosses.
    • reply
      by Gerry on Apr 12, 2012 at 03:26 PM in reply to Moe
      spot on
  • by Anonymous on Apr 11, 2012 at 07:58 PM
    Who funded this study? What were their raw data? based on what criteria? what were the numbers of minorities, non english speaking, disabled students participating in these schools compared to the public ones? Sure. Let's compare Harvard to Keiser collge. Not to disparage either one, but they are definitely different institutions with different students and with different intake criteria.
    • reply
      by Gerry on Apr 12, 2012 at 03:31 PM in reply to
      That is why we should kick the stupid kids out and let the smart ones flourish......Harvard didn't get to be number one by flooding their rolls with idiots. Read your communist manifesto if you want to know why our public education sucks.
  • by Reagan Republican on Apr 11, 2012 at 07:54 PM
    Charter Schools are more likely to operate in urban areas due to a desire for more options for a child's education and that information is widely known and factually supported. In fact, the percentage is 53.7 are in a city location compared to 21.9 percent in a suburb location, with the remainder percentage in a rural location. Charter Schools student population in 2009 are as follows: 38.4% white, 29.7% black, 24.7% hispanic, 3.9% asian, 3.3% other. Charter Schools have a certain amount of regulatory freedom and autonomy in terms of staffing, curriculum choices, budget management, school hours, school days etc. A huge factor in the success of Charter Schools is the ability to make hiring and firing decisions of the teachers at will. The Florida Education Association along with other teacher's UNIONS are not involved and has absolutely no influence over the charter. Charter Schools ARE improving the education of minority children and these schools will continue to thrive and educate children. The main priority and focus is for every child to have a valuable education and the immediate administration is held accountable for the Charter Schools success.
    • reply
      by Bubba on Apr 12, 2012 at 03:28 PM in reply to Reagan Republican
      Blah, blah, blah. If charter schools are so great then prove it. Data tells no lies...
    • reply
      by Reagan Republican on Apr 12, 2012 at 03:29 PM in reply to Reagan Republican
      Fake Reagan get you own handle and leave mine alone!
  • by DTH Location: Tallahassee on Apr 11, 2012 at 06:47 PM
    OK, maybe we should start calling the "Public" Schools "CHARTER" Schools.
  • by John on Apr 11, 2012 at 06:14 PM
    Put the same percentage minorities and low income students in the charter school system and see if the results then equal public school. You can't compare apples and oranges and get correct statistical comparisons.
    • reply
      by Reagan Republican on Apr 12, 2012 at 03:27 PM in reply to John
      only communism guarantees every child a free public education....you are right sir, kick the bottom 25 percent out and the smart ones would be able to get a great education and change the world but under socialized education everyone suffers together
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 12, 2012 at 06:57 PM in reply to John
      kick the slow ones out
  • by Anonymous on Apr 11, 2012 at 04:51 PM
    Also recheck the tests and make sure those for the charter schools are not being "adjusted" like what happened in the Atlanta area schools. Comparing organges and apples and saying the apples got a better score is not an accurate report. Give ALL of the kids of ALL schools the same test in the same environment with the same preparation and time to take the test then it will be an equal comparison.
    • reply
      by Reagan Republican on Apr 12, 2012 at 03:28 PM in reply to
      Are you saying that public schools were cheating?
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