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Florida Charter Schools Shine on State Grades

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Strong School Choice Policies Contribute to Increased Success

CER Press Release
Washington, D.C.
July 14, 2014

The Center for Education Reform applauds school leaders for major gains in the recently released 2014 School Accountability Report issued by the Florida Department of Education. Schools receive letter grades each year based upon student performance on state assessments.

Of the 420 total charter schools to receive letter grades, 41 percent received an “A”, compared to 34 percent of traditional public schools. Just seven percent of charter schools and traditional public schools overall fell into the “F” category. Of all schools, both traditional public and charter, 36% received “A”s – an increase of seven percentage points over 2013.

“It’s so promising to see Florida’s enduring legacy of choice and accountability truly at work,” said Kara Kerwin, president of The Center for Education Reform. “We know that charter school leaders set expectations high and deliver results for students and families. Their impact is creating a ripple effect statewide.”

Results in Florida demonstrate that a diverse portfolio of educational providers, regardless of their tax-status, is beneficial to the overall education landscape. For example, the Ft. Lauderdale based Charter Schools USA oversees 38 charter schools in Florida, and as a network, exceeded Florida’s average proficiency rate in math, science, reading and writing. Over 70 percent of Charter Schools USA schools earned an “A” or a “B” on the state grading system, with 90 percent maintaining or improving their grade from the previous year.

“Florida’s relatively strong charter school law has undoubtedly helped innovative schools thrive,” Kerwin said. “While charter schools are just one piece of the puzzle in granting parents access to the best educational options for their children, we must continue to push for strong policies that allow for these options to flourish.”