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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida rates high in group's review of charter school laws



Charter schools occupy a key position in the Obama Administration's education agenda. But the latest review of charter laws by the Center for Education Reform suggests that many of the states with weak regulations have yet to improve them, while those with strong laws continued those.

Florida landed in the CER's latter category again this year, netting a B in the group's grading system for having one of the nation's best charter laws. It got highest marks for the number of schools allowed -- the state has more charter schools than all but California and Arizona -- and also for allowing freedom for charter teachers.

One of the arguments for charters is that parents deserve choices, and that charter schools offer options as they're supposed to provide innovative programs to compete with the mainstream public schools. Yet then we hear stories about charter schools where the offerings are lacking and school systems have little recourse but to tell parents that they can choose to remove their children.

The CER argues that charter school laws matter. "States control these laws, and without strong charter school laws, the progress promised in 2010 can never be possible. Without a dramatic strengthening of charter school laws across America — a possibility in January when new legislative sessions commence — there is simply no way to 'scale up' the charter school progress highlighted by the media and lawmakers
this year."

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[Last modified: Monday, November 29, 2010 12:18pm]


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