Welcome to Florida’s new era of charter schools. It’s brought to you by some of the same folks who inflicted on Florida a scandal-ridden voucher system and initiated the mania for high-stakes testing that has done so much damage.
One of the architects of this new era is Jim Horne, chairman of the Florida Charter School Alliance. Horne recently wrote an op-ed for the Sun Sentinel. His first sentence was, “Accountability for charter schools is of the utmost importance to those of us who are leading the charge in education reform.”
That made me choke on my Wheaties.
Let’s revisit a little history. When Gov. Jeb Bush took office in 1999, Horne was a powerful member of the Florida Senate. Then in 2001, Bush appointed him education commissioner. And Horne was a horrible education chief. An accountant by profession, his primary education qualification was unstinting support for Bush’s agenda of high-stakes testing and vouchers.