Virtual Education Racket & Gov. Scott’s lousy BOE appointment

OPINION FEMALE

Very pleased to announce that Fund Education Now co-founder Kathleen Oropeza is participating in weekly reflections and predictions as part of the Orlando Sentinel’s Central Florida 100. These items are short and to the point. Enjoy.

Central Florida 100 – this week’s contribution:

Last week: When Gov. Rick Scott appointed personal friend and former one-term House member Tom Grady to the Board of Education, he fell short. Grady’s modest education experience involves sponsoring hostile policy bills such as the House companion of the controversial SB6, vetoed by Gov. Charlie Crist. Grady also sponsored legislation that dramatically escalated tax dollars diverted to pay for private religious school vouchers. A politically appointed education commissioner and a governor-appointed board of education all but guarantees that the people will have no voice. Scott’s appointment of Grady just adds another uninformed ally for corporate “education reform.”

Looking ahead: Red flags should fly when differing sides release studies that conclude the same thing. The Stanford CREDO study, funded by the pro-charter Walton Family, concluded that 180 days of virtual school was as valuable as not going to school at all. The study issued by the National Education Policy Center strongly doubts the ability of full-time virtual to provide a high-quality, equitable public education. Both studies cite inconsistencies in quality, lack of oversight and high ratio of vendors profiting greatly from virtual education. Expect a growing conversation about why virtual classes are a Florida graduation requirement.

Read this week’s Central Florida 100 entries here.

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