Florida Gov. Rick Scott's affinity for charter schools seems to know no bounds. But the evidence that they don't perform as well as traditional public schools continues to build. The state's school letter-grade system – the inspiration and model for Indiana's new system – finds elementary charter schools there are seven times more likely to earn an "F" than traditional public schools.
In his first week in office, Scott visited Florida International Academy with former DC schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, declaring that Florida schools needed to do exactly what they were doing there. Florida International's grade? "F," for failing, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
When Scott signed a merit-pay bill in March, he did so at a KIPP charter school in Jacksonville. Its grade under the state's label system? You guessed it – an "F."
But charter schools are so popular with the Florida governor that of the $55 million available for capital projects for schools, every dollar will go to charter schools. Traditional public schools won't receive a dime.
Charter school supporters, it seems, have no qualms about spending tax dollars on first-rate facilities, even if the money is flowing to for-profit, out-of-state entities.
Apparently, it's only traditional public schools that have to show they are academically deserving.