Florida

Putting Education Reform To The Test

Feedback Loop: What’s on Your Mind About Academy of Arts and Minds

Sarah Gonzalez / StateImpact Florida

The Academy of Arts and Minds in Coconut Grove used to be a shopping mall. But no one was buying space, so the owner of the property founded a charter school and now rents his property to his school. The campus still looks like a shopping mall. There are wrap-around balconies on every floor and the classroom have floor-to-ceiling windows very much like a store front.

Sarah Gonzalez‘ story Wednesday about the business deals of a Miami-area charter school drew strong reader responses.

Intelligentmom came to the school’s defense, arguing students were left without books due to surprising enrollment growth. Academy of Arts and Minds students are prospering:

The Academy of Arts & Minds is an A+ school with a 98 percent graduation rate. Our grads have been accepted to some of the best colleges and universities in the nation. The school’s strong track record of academic success is why we chose to enroll our children at this school and it’s why we stay.

But SickOfLies believes school officials are living off past accomplishments:

The school was a mess until a real principal was hired in 2009 and turned the school around completely. It was because of him that the school earned it’s first-ever “A.” The principal has since left, but the school is still riding on the success of that one “A.” A lot of poor kids were disappointed this year to find that most of the teachers had left

A post about efforts to organize parents’ unions drew skepticism from Maggiefishman, who believed these groups were sold a false bill of goods:

Unfortunately, genuine concerns of parents about their child’s schools are being preyed upon by large corporations who want to sell them an answer to their problems in the form of the charter schools they are investing in. Parents are busy with work and family and don’t always have the time to do full research as to the causes and best solutions for what is wrong with the school system.

A revolution might suggest seizing the power, but it is not the parents ultimately who will have more power over their children’s education, but big corporations with very limited public control.

Finally, Jschnetzky disagreed with teachers joining the anti-corporate Occupy Wall Street movement:

Who do you think pays your wages? The tax payer that earns their money from Wall Street. Stop Wall Street and we will have no UNIONS for Government to pay school teachers, police, fire, politicians to put more regulations in place for the green peacers and animal rights…

Reader reaction is an important part of building StateImpact Florida’s education coverage. Feedback Loop will be a regular feature highlighting your questions, criticisms and comments.

Comments

  • Disallusionedinmiami

    For four years…. FOUR years A&M did not have textbooks for many of their classes. Some classes still do not have textbooks. Mr. Alonso’s answer… Let’s photocopy, digitized and give illegal copies to students so they can take it home. Many teachers, students and parents refused to comply because of copyright infringement. And still the teachers taught and raised test skills in the FCAT, and AP exams.

    Charter Schools can be a great asset. They give students choices when their home school is not an option. Not every child fits into the traditional school format and many charter schools offer environments that are more comfortable and nurturing for these types of students.

    Whats wrong at A&M is not a charter school problem. It is greed, arrogance, and a lack of oversight by Charter School Operations. Rumors of these problems surfaced four years ago but nothing was ever done.

    NOW THE ONLY PARTIES THAT ARE SUFFERING ARE THE STUDENTS.

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