1. Why were 15 of the 31 failing schools in Florida charters when they comprise such a minimal percentage of the school supply?

    • Diane–These schools are probably not failing. If they were, most parents would withdraw their children and the schools would close.

  2. As a teacher at YES Prep, I have to add that our commitment to innovation and flexibilty in trying different teaching methods, scheduling, routines, etc. adds to our success. One reason why we see such great results is due to everyone’s willingness to try new ideas when we see an area of either instruction or culture that needs to be improved. Courage to try something new and break out of the routine when you’re not seeing the results you need is key to student achievement!

  3. Mr. Tuthill: Depends on how your define failing, I guess. I’m not an advocate of high stakes testing, but I also don’t believe parents simply keeping their kids in a school necessarily indicates the school’s educational effectiveness, either.


    • Ms. Malchow, thank-you for your comment. I agree we should not rely solely on parental choice to hold schools accountable. I support a two-tier system, similar to what we use for hospitals, PreK programs and colleges. Schools should have to meet government standards to open and remain open. Once those standards are met, then the second level of accountability is parent choice. Schools that fail either of these tests are failing schools and should close. That is, the government should close a school because it does not meet regulatory standards, or a school will close itself if an insufficient number of parents choose it.

      To make this system work we need to agree on the standards government should employ—and I agree standardized testing data should be used but not abused—and we need to ensure parents have access to a sufficient number of choices.

      Do you have another model you’d like to propose?