Florida has a habit of exporting its public policies to other states, where they spread like cold sores on a drunken Himmarshee night. Grading schools and teachers based on test scores, expanding vouchers and charters schools -- the nation has former Gov. Jeb Bush to thank for that.
Now, the governor of Louisiana wants to pass a law modeled after Florida's "charter school-in-the- workplace" initiative, in which private businesses can start schools to serve the children of their employees. In South Florida,
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at least two of these workplace schools appear to be a success. A Miami elementary charter school designed to serve the employees of Ryder, the truck company, is no longer affiliated with the business but received an A grade from the state last year. In Palm Beach, the JFK Medical Center Charter School also received the top grade from the Department of Education.
Still, many Florida charter schools do not perform as well, particularly those run by for-profit companies. Questions about financing, oversight, and academic performance have long plagued charter school chains. With that in mind, New Orleans' alternative weekly paper, Gambit, decided to introduce its readers to Mavericks in Education, the for-profit charter chain based in West Palm Beach. The paper is reprinting New Times' feature about Mavericks in two installments -- the first of which went online this week. To read the Mavericks story in its entirety, click here.