Two of the charters, Eagle and SMART, were run by the same management organization, and the third, Touchdowns4life, was founded by former Miami Dolphins running back Terry Kirby.
During an on-campus visit to Eagle Charter, school staff could not immediately provide an administrator to comment for this story. A call to the cell phone of Edward Miller — CEO of the charter management company for both Eagle and SMART — went unanswered, and his voicemail was not accepting messages.
At Touchdowns4life, administrators were equally hard to reach. The school’s campus, located in a Tamarac strip mall, was darkened and locked, and no one returned a message left on its voicemail.Now that's what I call accountability.
Perhaps what was most staggering about the article were the quotes from Lynn Norman-Teck, of the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools. Think of her as Florida's Carlos Perez. Not only do they have the same job, just in different states, they use the same lingo!
Lynn Norman-Teck, a spokeswoman for the pro-charter Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools, said the latest Broward closures aren’t a cause for concern. Parents at these schools “voted with their feet,” Norman-Teck said, and decided to send their kids elsewhere. The best charters can have waiting lists in the thousands, she added. (emphasis mine)And the line that really killed me was this:
“A closure, although it’s terrible from a parent point of view ... I see it as a system that’s working,” Norman-Teck said.What does this say about how charter advocates and like Norman-Teck actually feel about parents and students? The state of Florida allowed these charters to operate without providing enough oversight to make sure they were managed properly. These charters were not shut down by the state, they closed voluntarily, leaving parents and students with nowhere to go after the school year is already in full swing.
And the people responsible for the chaos just turned off the phone, turned off the lights, and walked away, leaving the parents and the children that trusted the "system" to fend for themselves.
And this is an example of Florida's system "working?"
Can someone please remind me again how charters are improving educational options for our children?