From Palm Beach Post writer Jason Schultz:
In all, about 60 percent of all public high schools including traditional, charter and alternative programs got A or B grades. The grades are based in large part on Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test results as well as things such as graduation, participation in advanced placement classes and scores on other tests such as the ACT.
One traditional district-run high school, Pahokee High, earned a D grade while one district-run alternative program, the Crossroads Academy serving at-risk students in Belle Glade, earned an F grade. Frank Rodriguez, the district’s assistant superintendent of educational services, said Crossroads did not have enough students to qualify for the non test-related points so its F grade was entirely based on student FCAT scores.
Only two of the six charter-run high school programs in the county got A or B grades. Leadership Academy West in West Palm Beach, which the district threatened to shut down and then put on a corrective action plan last year because of curriculum and financial concerns, earned a D grade.
Mavericks Charter High School in Palm Springs, which blends online and traditional classes, earned an F grade. Officials with the West Palm Beach-based Mavericks charter school chain could not be reached for comment.
Step Up for Students Patrick Gibbons defended Mavericks last week because it strictly serves at-risk kids. He later clarified his position in a comment he left in my blog. I believe his point is a fair one, but his employer administrates Florida’s voucher program and benefits from the education reform movements “failing schools” meme. The nation’s educators have long recognized the at-risk community while education reformers like Gibbons have responded with “no-excuses.”
Maverick’s efforts to serve the at-risk population are admirable, but it is something our much-maligned public schools have been doing all along without complaint or any effort to seek adulation. With a for-profit “choice” school like Maverick’s fairly being labeled as “failing school” Florida’ education reformers get some much deserved comeuppance.