Putting Education Reform To The Test

Feedback Loop: What You Want to Know About Charter Schools

Joe Raedle / Getty News Images

Children wait to shake hands with Florida Gov. Rick Scott during his January visit to the Florida International Academy charter school in Opa Locka, Florida.

Our ongoing series on charter schools prompted some reader questions this week. Keep the questions coming — we’ll answer them in future posts.

SheilaY wanted to know more about how charter schools select their students:

Do the requirements differ from school to school? When comparing charter schools to public schools, these questions need to be asked. If charter schools are being selective in who they accept into their schools, is it really fair to compare them to public schools?

We’ll have more on the rules regarding charter schools next week, but readers correctly noted that charters are required to accept all applicants. The schools hold a lottery if applicants exceed capacity.

But Markandjackiej offered some thoughts on the ways charter school students are self-selected:

Charter school students must apply to get in, which means their families are already more committed to education (and motivated to act) than many whose children attend traditional public schools. At many charters students and parents must agree to follow certain requirements (longer school day/year, check off on homework, parental involvement, etc.), which screens out more students/families. Attrition is much higher at most charter schools…

Julie added some research for context to our post about the history of charter schools:

Charter schools in Florida do not get good reviews from national studies or from the state’s own accountability program. Stanford University’s CREDO study found Florida charters lacking in comparison to those operating around the country

GRomeroRoses asked us to follow the money:

I would encourage you to be sure to integrate the financial aspect at each juncture: there are many implications to how Charter schools are financed and how they leverage funds outside of public dollars and perhaps as importantly, where/how would those resources be allocated if they weren’t going towards Charter schools.

We plan to get to that story over new few weeks of our series. Got a story idea? Post it here or email us.

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.


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