Charter school CEO is magazine’s “Floridian of the Year”

Jonathan Hage, CEO of Charter Schools USA, is Florida Trend’s 2012 Floridian of the Year. The influential business magazine notes the strong growth of charter schools in Florida and nationally and says, “Hage’s 15-year-old company has staked out a leadership role.” In the piece, Hage advocates for more funding charter schools, but also says he supports tougher regulations to crack down on wayward charters. Full piece here.

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BY reimaginED staff


Jim Jackson

This is an unfortunate choice and continues to laud the merits of charter schools that take public funds from open door public schools that cannot cherry pick their students. Look at the evolution and development of Jonathan Hagee. Checkout the institutions where he trained, the Heritage Foundation where he worked, his relationship with StepUpForStudents (Ron Matus, I respect you bud but you sold out) and the fact Hagee sends his own kids to very expensive Pinecrest School in Broward County for the blue bloods. Hardly my Man of the Year. Good job Jeb.

Doug Tuthill

Hi Jim. Thanks for your comment, and I hope you are doing well. I’d like to clarify a few points.

Jon Hage and his charter school organization have no relationship with our nonprofit, Step Up For Students. We do know Jon and admire his dedication to public education.

I don’t know that charter schools “cherry pick” their students any more than magnet or fundamental schools do in our community. I helped start the International Baccalaureate program at St. Pete High and we never had open admission. My older son attended the arts program at Gibbs HS and he had to audition to win admission. We had a neighbor child expelled from Thurgood Marshall fundamental school recently because he was tardy to class too often, and our school district regularly “administratively transfers” students out of their neighborhood public schools for a variety of behavior and safety reasons.

Your assertion that Ron Matus “sold out” is particularly unfortunate. Our nonprofit’s mission to help high-poverty families access the learning options that best meet their children’s needs. Above his desk, Ron has letters from families describing how our scholarships have transformed their children’s lives. These families’ struggles for equal educational opportunity and social justice are what motivate Ron. You may disagree with Ron’s progressive ideals, but that’s no cause to question his integrity. He is an extraordinary journalist and person. I’m honored and proud to work with him.

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