Smacking Down Florida Charter School’s Outrageous Waiting List Claim


Miami Demorat Representative Kionne L. McGhee didn’t let Florida charter school lobbyist Jim Horne off the hook during this week’s public testimony on the Florida House’s latest charter school bill. Horne, whom sources say wrote the bill, made the claim that there are 80,000 children on charter school’s waiting lists.

(The exchange begins around the 30 minute mark of the February 6, 2013 archive found here)

When McGhee inquired about the numbers, Horne quickly began back-pedaling with vague responses. Sensing Horne’s evasions, he asked two more questions about the numbers forcing  FLDOE’s Michael Kooi  to the podium to sheepishly admit the numbers were coming from the charter schools. Miami Dade official Iraida Mendez-Cartaya followed Kooi with testimony pointing out that in her district, students are likely to appear on more than one waiting list – an obvious reason for such inflated numbers.

The moment had to be an embarrassing one for Horne, a former state commissioner of education. It was clear he knew the numbers wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny. But the brief exchange again showed charter school’s high paid mouthpieces will say anything.

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About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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6 Responses to Smacking Down Florida Charter School’s Outrageous Waiting List Claim

  1. There’s a small charter school chain based here in San Francisco that has had a practice of putting anyone who visits the school on the waiting list whether or not they ask. And they always tell the press and the families that are touring that they have a long waiting list and a lottery to get in. But the charter operator’s board used to post its meeting minutes online, and you could easily see that they had been discussing their troubles getting enough applicants.

    Last time I checked, they had stopped posting the minutes where they could be seen publicly. But just the fact that at one period this charter operator was simultaneously making claims to prospective parents and to the press that it had long waiting lists, while verifiably worrying about its low number of applicants, blows ALL charter school claims about “long waiting lists,” everywhere, out of the water.

    The press should simply not quote these claims. They’re obviously not verifiable, and making the claims is on Page 1 of the “How to Be a Slick Charter Operator” handbook.

  2. Pingback: The exaggeration of charter school waiting lists

  3. Charter schools are businesses, and businesses inflate numbers. Anyone visiting, anyone who asks for information is then counted as a prospect and placed in their numbers pool.

  4. tom james says:

    former Senator Horney has prostituted himself to Jebby and the charter school thieves.

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