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Category archives for: Charter Schools

Charter School Grades Should Alarm Every Floridian as Drag On Districts Continues

| July 22, 2014

The idea that charter school operators should make a profit by providing children a better educational experience should offend no one. The fact that the numbers say they’re not doing a better job, while they’re draining away precious public resources, should alarm everyone.

Florida’s Teachers Union Sues State Over “Sneaky” Last-Minute Voucher Expansion

| July 17, 2014

The voucher expansion had appeared dead in the Senate until getting approved in a broader bill in the waning hours of the 2014 legislative session. The Florida Education Association charges the state “log rolled” that and other education issues into a single bill.

Flagler School District Rated B For 2nd Straight Year Despite Seven A-Rated Schools

| July 11, 2014

A-rated schools included Bunnell, Rymfire, Old Kings, Wadsworth and Belle Terre elementaries, along with Indian Trails Middle and Palm Harbor, the charter school that just two years ago was failing. The district will earn several hundred thousand dollars in bonuses.

Flagler Students Post Wide Gains in State Rankings in FCAT Reading, Math and Science

| June 6, 2014

Overall, Flagler students improved their rankings in Florida in 12 categories while dropping back in seven, providing many bright spots but also a few worrisome ones.

Flagler District’s 4th Graders Rank 6th in Writing in Florida, 3rd Graders Rank 10th in Reading

| May 23, 2014

The Flagler County school district had a few results to celebrate as the Department of Education on Friday released FCAT writing scores for 4th, 8th and 10th graders and reading and math scores for third graders.

As Baker Acting of Children Soars, Flagler School Board Grapples With Perceptions of “Outrage”

| April 3, 2014

Baker Acts involving children in schools has reached 32 so far this year, three times more than last year, prompting one school board member to call herself “outraged” at the police-led manner in which most such Baker Acts are carried out, even with teens and younger children.

“Opportunity Scholarships”: Lawmakers Revive Vast Expansion of School Vouchers By Riding Coattails of Students With Disabilities

| March 29, 2014

The House Education Appropriations Subcommittee voted 8-4 to introduce the measure, which would bind together a program aimed at students with disabilities and the voucher expansion. Senate leaders last week pulled their counterpart to the House voucher bill, but the measure for students with disabilities remains alive.

The Problem With “Step Up for Students,” Florida’s Voucher Jockey

| March 24, 2014

Step Up For Children CEO Doug Tuthill is shameless about the way his organization–the administrative agent for Florida’s school voucher program–spends lavishly on political races, which may explain why a Senate proposal to vastly expand the voucher program this year foundered.

Inquiry Into 4th Grader’s Suspension at Palm Harbor Charter School Raises Concerns of Arbitrary Discipline and Due Process

| December 12, 2013

The Flagler County school district is investigating the case of a fourth grade girl who was suspended from Palm Harbor Academy, the Palm Coast charter school, for two days in late November without documented due process, and in apparent violation of school policy and safety standards.

Stolen School Bus Was Leased to Palm Coast’s Palm Harbor Academy

| November 18, 2013

Palm Harbor Academy, the charter school in Palm Coast, had been unaware that a school bus it was renting from 95 South Tours and Transportation of Jacksonville had been stolen from the Alachua school district.

Easter Seals Becomes Latest Charter Applicant Rejected by Defensive Flagler School Board

| October 17, 2013

Counting Easter Seals, which planned to open two small charter schools for disabled 3 and 4 year olds, no fewer than eight applications for charter schools have been filed in Flagler in the last two years. Six were withdrawn, and two were rejected by the school board, which also forced once charter to close and saw another fail in mid-year and close shop.

That Feared Flagler Schools Enrollment Drop And Loss of $1.8 Million? Didn’t Happen.

| September 6, 2013

Last May, when the school board was campaigning for a new tax, it was projecting a loss of 283 students and $1.8 million. In fact, the district has added a handful of students two weeks into the new school year, ensuring that the state will keep sending that money to Flagler–and reducing pressure on the local district to think of closing some schools.

Most Flagler Schools’ Grades Drop, Following State Trend, As Tougher Standards Kick In

| July 26, 2013

In Flagler County, not a single school saw its grade improve and five fell back a grade, though two maintained their A rating: Indian Trails Middle School and Belle Terre Elementary. Grades would have been worse had the state Board of Education not agreed to artificially prop them up, limiting grade drops to a maximum of one letter grade.

Board Members Balk at 7:25 a.m. Middle School Start Time, But Approve New Bell Schedule

| July 23, 2013

Buddy Taylor and Indian Trails middle school students will have to wake up even earlier than last year when school resumes on Aug. 19, with first-bell at 7:25 a.m. and dismissal at 1:25 p.m. Most other schools’ schedules are unchanged, with high schools starting at 8 a.m. and elementaries around 9 a.m.

Brett Cunningham, a Star On and Off Stage, Is Imagine Schools’ National Teacher of the Year

| June 5, 2013

Brett Cunningham, a fifth-grade teacher at Palm Coast’s Imagine School at Town Center, was chosen from more than 2,000 teachers in 72 schools across 12 states, a yet unparalleled distinction for any teacher in any type of school system—traditional, charter or private—in Flagler County.

Charter-School Trigger Bill Passes House 68-51; Flagler’s Hutson Among Dissenters

| April 5, 2013

Rep. Travis Hutson was among the Republicans crossing party lines to oppose the bill, favered by the charter-school movement, as it would let parents petition their school district to consider a turnaround option for a school that receives an “F” on the state report card for two consecutive years.

Parent Trigger Bill: A Trojan Horse of Corporate Charter Schools

| March 20, 2013

The so-called parent-trigger bill does not empower parents. Rather, it empowers out-of-state corporate interests and their lobbyists to siphon Florida tax dollars away from our already underfunded public school system, argues Paula Dockery.

Parent Trigger Bill That Would Boost Conversions to Charter Schools Nearing Law

| March 20, 2013

The measure would allow parents to petition their school board to adopt a specific turnaround option for any school that draws an “F” on state report cards for two straight years.

“Parent Trigger” Bill Advances In Backdoor Victory for Charter School Lobby

| March 8, 2013

Supporters say the proposal will improve chances for children trapped in failing schools.Opponents worry that politically savvy for-profit corporations could encourage parents to back the charter school option.

Less Than 5 Months In, Charter School Closes, Upending Parents, District and County

| January 1, 2013

Global Outreach Charter Academy opened hurriedly at the Flagler County Airport in August, with generous lease terms from county government and accommodations from the school board, only to tell its 122 students and staff on New Year’s Day that the school was out of business.

Matanzas High School Is an A School Again, FPC Maintains B, Heritage Gets 3rd F in a Row

| December 21, 2012

The much-anticipated high school grades are in, with Matanzas High School getting the second A in seven years, after three years as a B school, and FPC maintaining its B for the third straight year. Now-closed Heritage, a charter, got what would have been the third successive F.

Flagler Schools’ Overall Enrollment Flat For 4th Straight Year as Charters Keep Growing

| November 2, 2012

Flagler County’s three charter schools’ enrollment exceeds 1,000, or 8 percent of the district, which saw its traditional schools’ enrollment fall to the lowest level since the 2005-06 school year.

More Charter Schools, and Debit Cards to Teachers, as Scott Unveils Education Agenda

| October 29, 2012

The most controversial element of Scott’s plan could potentially prove to be measures to increase the role of charter schools, removing enrollment caps on existing charter schools and allowing school districts to operate their own charter schools.

Flagler School Board Takes a Hard Line on Corporate Charters as it Delays Latest Bid

| October 17, 2012

The Phoenix-based Leona Group’s application to open a middle and high school charter in Flagler next year was tabled at least two weeks as Flagler board members raised concerns with the company’s track record and its dearth of local involvement or support.

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