High school grades: No difference between charter, public schools

While the Florida media are obliged to publish whatever conclusions the Florida DOE and Bush Foundation release, Stanley Smith of UCF has emerged as a counterweight to their predictable everything-is-just-swell fluff. Gina Jordan of StateImpact has Smith’s comparison of charter schools to public schools from Florida’ just released high school grades. Smith examined 491 high schools. 46 of them are charter schools. He says that at first glance, the average scores suggest charters are the stronger performers. “Without any adjustments for poverty or minority status, it appears that the charter high schools perform better by a statistically significant difference of 4.37 percent,” Smith said. But he says this is misleading because charter schools serve a higher percentage of minority students and a lower percentage of students in poverty. Smith says that if you look at minorities alone without any income adjustment, they have a negative effect on scores.  But he argues that most or all of that negative effect by minorities is really an income effect and when you control for income levels in schools, minorities actually improve school scores. “When the income level and minority status is controlled, the difference between charters and non-charters decreases from 4.37 to 0.43 percent, which is not a statistically significant difference,” Smith said. “These adjusted results indicate that high school charters perform as well, but not significantly different, as high school non-charters,” Smith said. He says the change in results means the difference between the school grades of charters and non-charters “should not be considered valid in Florida if income level and minority status are not both controlled.” The DOE already has released a list of sloppy kisses from the usual suspects. If it acts in it’s usual fashion, a contrarian view will be forthcoming shortly.




Public education faces a battle for its existence



Who's right: Tests or teacher critics?



Controversial Florida charter school Mavericks overstated enrollment




Public or private: Charter schools can’t have it both ways



Charter schools kick out far more problem students



Charter school chain in Oregon cheats taxpayers out of $17 million: Can it happen in Florida?



Scott: Spend additional revenue on schools

Gov. Rick Scott said Friday that his plan to boost Florida’s economy includes more money for public schools next year.  A series of reports last week indicate additional money should be available when lawmakers write a state budget this spring. The Federal Reserve’s State Leading Index predicts Florida’s economy will grow by 1.7 percent during the next six months. And the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research reported that general revenue tax collections were $10.3 million higher than expected in November, putting the year-to-date revenue collection estimate at $260 million above an earlier forecast.  When asked whether his plan was to divert the unexpected revenue to education, Scott said, “Yes.” When asked whether he had a dollar figure for how much money schools should expect, Scott said, “Not yet. We’re still finishing the budget.” Scott’s budget proposal is expected later this month. General revenue is the biggest source of money for the state. It accounts for about a third of the $69.9 billion state budget and relies heavily on the sales tax.  When people are working and spending money then the state has money to pay its bills. Since taking office in 2011 when the unemployment rate was 11.1 percent, Scott has recommended cutting taxes and regulations as a way to revive the economy. Unemployment has dropped 3 percentage points and state economists report that construction-related sales tax collections are nearly 7 percent higher than expected. Scott indicated he wants to spend the additional revenue the state collects on schools. Sen. John Legg, R-Lutz, chairs the committee that sets policy for education from prekindergarten to the universities, and said it's a good thing any time the state can allocate more money to education.     “That’s something we’re interested in and I find it encouraging that the governor wants to look into that direction,” Legg said. “If we can invest in education and have a sustained long-term recovery and invest those dollars back into education I think will help stimulate the economy even more.” Lawmakers will be in Tallahassee the week of January 14 for the first committee meetings of the year. Legg said among the things his committee will explore is how to improve school safety. He has invited different superintendents to discuss security procedures with the committee.  



Tony Bennett’s promise “gave way to punitive micromanagement, with overblown testing and outside opportunism”



Violence, abuse documented at Florida, Pennsylvania for-profit schools




The dangers of “outsourcing” public education



“Frontline” raises questions about test-score tampering under Rhee



Rhee, Klein now giving grades out to states on education policy





Florida school enrollment gets best boost since bubble



Police at schools is not final answer



Officials consider extra security at schools (Andrew Spar and Katie Hansen quoted)



Hillsborough deputies at elementaries sparks security debate (Randi Weingarten quoted)


Not all police officers to remain as kids return to school



No armed guards, but Pasco schools are stepping up security



U.S. public schools cut 11,000 jobs in December (Dennis Van Roekel quoted)


Texas takes tax credit voucher plan from Jeb Bush’s Foundation



Teachers irate as Bloomberg likens union to NRA


PSRPs discuss local politics, education initiatives

The PSRP program and policy council met last month with eight new members and a slew of topics to discuss, including the urgency of political action to preserve workers' rights, a tax initiative passed in California in November and the AFT's Share My Lesson online resources for support staff. PSRP chair Ruby Newbold, president of the Detroit Association of Educational Office Employees and an AFT vice president, briefed PPC members on political maneuvering in Michigan late last year that rammed through a so-called right-to-work law without any public input. How did this happen? About three years ago, in the months leading up to the 2010 elections, Newbold said, progressive voters in Michigan unfortunately sat back and let right-wing lawmakers take over the Legislature. The result was a stripping of collective bargaining rights when, in point of fact, a majority of Michigan citizens didn't see a need for the law. The record of right-to-work laws in other states is one of lower wages, fewer benefits and more-dangerous workplaces. What's next for AFT Michigan and the state's other unions, Newbold said, is to keep mobilizing members, especially retirees who remember the bad old days before collective bargaining and can persuade their fellow members to stick with the union. "Am I upset? Yes. Am I mad? Yes," Newbold said. "But you don't push labor into a corner and think we're going to stay there. We know what we have to do. Michigan is going to get out of this. We're going to be fine. We're going to fight." AFT President Randi Weingarten told a joint PPC session with leaders from all five AFT constituencies that a proactive response to the attacks on unions at the state and local levels is needed -- a response centered on mobilizing members, extending labor's connections with the broader community, and pursuing solution-driven unionism based on quality and fairness.



Legislature must fix college funding inequity



Higher ed's future



Public sharp on $10,000 degrees



Slapping the liberal arts won't boost job market



After years of strong growth, community-college enrollment ebbs



Students rush to web classes, but profits may be much later




Migration to Florida regaining momentum




After surviving fiscal cliff, Florida still faces budget ax



Florida jobless may need email account to get benefits



Two years in, Scott's biggest challenge remains himself






Scott proposes performance pay for state workers -- again



GOP state lawmakers aim to kill local sick-time measures



Scott, Sebelius to meet in D.C. to talk health care



Florida's growth challenges are the same, but political realities aren't



Natural Florida needs stewards, not profiteers




Obama and Republicans gear up for next fiscal fight





GOP dissension over debt-ceiling strategy



Obama to draw on public support in new round of economic battles



Job creation is still steady despite worry



Obama struggles to nominate, confirm federal judges



Union-busting's the secret filling inside Twinkie demise



Major companies push the limits of a tax break



Health insurers raise some rates by double digits



Boehner coup attempt larger than first thought



 0 user(s) rated this page
Login to leave a comment
No Comments yet