What Charter Schools USA Is REALLY Up to In Their MacDill AFB Gambit

Sen. Jeff Clemen’s (D-Lake Worth) is introducing a bill which effectively give final say on charter school applications back to local school boards. The top lobbyists for Charter Schools USA weighed in with redefinED writer Sherri Ackerman:

“It is interesting now after 18 years of Florida charter schools when we have statistical data that clearly shows that Florida charter schools are outperforming district managed schools in most grade levels and gaining increasing market share that suddenly we see legislation that is aimed at severely limiting the growth of charter schools,’’ (Jim) Horne said in an email to redefinED. “In other words, if you can’t compete with them then let’s just stop them from opening in the first place.”

Let first dispatch with Horne’s whopper that “charter schools are outperforming district managed schools.” Horne is referring to a FLDOE study that as done by two charter school executives who now work there. A much more credible CREDO study contradicts Horne assertion.

Horne is a former commissioner of education who has sold out to the for-profit charter school industry and get’s paid to utter nonsense, but he’s occasionally is gaffe prone. To make sure his employers “continue gaining increasing market share” is his primary mission. And no it’s not about the kids.

This brings us to Charter Schools USA effort to get a facility on MacDill AFB. Their application was incomplete and flawed and properly rejected by the Hillsborough board. Predictably, CSUSA is playing their usual PR game of acting like an aggrieved party, demonizing the Hillsborough board and it’s well-respected superintendent while insisting that their efforts are all about military families.

Though predictable, their rhetoric was more shrill than usual. How come? It’s all about their “market share.”

SAVANNAH, GA – Two Georgia Army bases are part of a nationwide study that could expand military charter schools.

The Defense Department is re-thinking education for military children.

About 23,000 students attend schools run by the military at bases in the 50 states.

The study will take into account test results, graduation rates and parent and community comments to decide which schools need a big makeover.

Martha Brown of the Department of Defense Education Activity says some schools could remain as they are or be turned over to be run by local districts.

“DODEA requested this study to look at options available for the education of military dependents and examine those options through the lens of maintaining the highest of quality while at the same time maximizing efficiency,” Brown says

Kara Kerwin of the Washington, D.C. based Center for Education Reform says the effort could lead to more charter schools.

“There are just under ten charter schools already across the country that are on military bases,” Kerwin says. “And part of that process came as a result of similar assessments in previous years.”

Similar studies in the past have been used to turn some schools into charters.

The review at 16 bases is expected to be complete by next summer.

Charter Schools USA already has a toehold in Georgia and is sure to be aware of the DODEA study. They’ll go to the map to get that building on MacDill AFB as this facility would serve as a model for other gullible base commanders like MacDill’s is turning out to be.


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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3 Responses to What Charter Schools USA Is REALLY Up to In Their MacDill AFB Gambit

  1. I wonder if Horne is counting the 240 plus charter schools that have opened, taken tax payer money, failed children and then closed in his assertion. I also wonder since he sold his soul to the charter industry if he has a reflection in mirrors.

  2. The Department of Defense initiated the study referenced above. The CONUS Education Options Assessment (CEOA) is being conducted by the National Defense Research Institute (RAND). The objective of the study is to recommend options that most effectively balance cost, quality and implementation considerations. For information and details on the DoD study of DoDEA schools referenced in the above article/post, visit http://www.dodea.edu/CEOA/index.cfm. (DoDEA Public Affairs)

  3. Too bad no one every looks into the sad state of CSUSA’s Jacksonville schools. The three charter schools are sharing one prinicpal. The Arlington school gets no support, and little supplies. The kids are shuffled through multiple teachers and the turn over rate is near 90%. It’s a D school and that’s a generous grade. CSUSA virtually ignores their underperforming schools and sadly so does the state.

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