Measuring Up



Florida

TOTAL SCORE:
70 out of 116

Rank: 11 out of 26

See a summary of the state’s charter law.

See additional observations about charters in the state and recommendations to support the growth of high-quality charter schools.

What is the state of charter schools in Florida?

GROWTH INDICATORS

 

 

Score


1. Public school share
 (2013–14)

12

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter schools

625

16%

 

 


2. Public school student share
 (2013–14)

6

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter school students

229,926

8%

 

 

3. Students by race and ethnicity (2012–13)

6

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

White

35%

42%

-7%

Black

22%

23%

-1%

Hispanic

37%

29%

8%

Asian

2%

3%

-1%

Other

4%

4%

0%

Total minority

65%

59%

6%

 

4. Students in special populations (2012–13)

2

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

Free and reduced-price lunch status

48%

58%

-10%

Special education status

N/A

N/A

N/A

English learner status

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total special student populations

48%

58%

-10%

 

5. Schools by geographic distribution (2011–12)

4

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

City

37%

27%

10%

Suburb

45%

45%

0%

Town

4%

8%

-4%

Rural

14%

20%

-6%

Total nonsuburban

55%

55%

0%

 

6. Communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools (2012–13)

4

weight = 1 | Possible total = 4

 

 

 

Number of communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools

11

   
 

7. New public charter schools opened over the past five years  (2009–14)

12

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2009–10

40

Average Annual Open Rate

12.7%

2010–11

57

2011–12

76

2012–13

80

2013–14

75

Total number

328

 

 

 

 

8. Public charter schools closed over the past five years (2008–13)

12

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2008–09

21

Average Annual Closure Rate

3.9%

2009–10

7

2010–11

20

2011–12

18

2012–13

26

Total number

92

 

 

 

 
 

INNOVATION INDICATORS

 

 

Score

9. Public charter schools reporting use of various innovative practices (2011–12)

4

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

 

 

 

Extended day (30 minutes or more each day compared to traditional public schools)

43

Average

16%

Extended year (10 or more days compared to traditional public schools)

12

Year-round calendar

4

Independent study

15

School-to-work

6

Higher education courses

15

 
 

QUALITY INDICATORS

 

 

Score

10. Additional days of learning in reading (2007–11)

4

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in reading

-7

 

 

 

 

11. Additional days of learning in math (2007–11)

4

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in math

0

 

 

 

Items Reported But Not Scored

Startups versus conversions (2012–13)

 

Startups

Conversions

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools

97%

3%

 

 

 

Public charter schools that are independent, associated with a CMO, or associated with an EMO (2010–11)

 

Number

Percentage

 

 

Independent

298

65%

 

 

Charter management organization

15

3%

 

 

Education management organization

147

32%

 

 

 

Charter authorizers (2013–14)

 

Number of authorizers

Number of charter schools

Average number of charters per authorizer

Percentage of the state’s public charters authorized by this type of authorizer

Local education agency

45

622

14

99%

State education agency

Independent charter board

Noneducational government entity

Higher education institution

2

3

2

1%

Nonprofit

 

Virtual public charter schools and students (2012–13)

Number of virtual public charter school students

76

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter school student population enrolled
in virtual charter schools

0.04%

 

 

Number of virtual public charter schools

2

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools that are virtual charter schools

0.3%

 

 

 

Health of the Movement Summary

Florida’s public charter school movement ranked #11 out of 26, scoring 70 points out of 116.

Florida scored relatively well on the following indicators:

  • Sixteen percent of the state’s public schools were charters in 2013–14.
  • The state’s public charter schools served a higher percentage of racial and ethnic minority students when compared with traditional public schools in 2012–13 (6 percentage points more).
  • Eleven communities in Florida had more than 10 percent of their public school students in charters in 2012–13.
  • Three hundred twenty-eight public charters opened in Florida between 2009–10 and 2013–14, a 12.7 percent average annual open rate.
  • Ninety-two public charters closed in Florida between 2008–09 and 2012–13, a 3.9 percent average annual closure rate.

Florida scored relatively low on the following indicators:

  • Public charter schools in Florida served a lower percentage of free and reduced-price lunch students when compared with traditional public schools in 2012–13 (10 percentage points less).
  • On average, public charter school students exhibited lower academic growth when compared with traditional public school students in reading between 2007–08 and 2010–11 (seven fewer days) and the same academic growth in math.

In addition to the above points, we also offer the following observations about the movement in Florida:

  • Eight percent of the state’s public school students were charter students in 2013–14.
  • Fifty-five percent of the state’s public charters were located in nonsuburban areas in 2011–12, the same as for traditional public schools.
  • An average of 16 percent of the state’s public charter schools reported using one of the six innovative practices that we tracked in 2011–12.
  • Ninety-seven percent of the state’s public charters were startups, and 3 percent of public charter schools were conversions during 2012–13.
  • In 2010–11, 65 percent of the public charter schools in Florida were independently managed, 3 percent were associated with a nonprofit charter management organization, and 32 percent were associated with a for-profit educational management organization.
  • As of 2013–14, 45 local school boards had authorized 622 public charter schools (99 percent of the state’s total number of public charter schools), and two higher education institutions had authorized three public charter schools (1 percent).
  • There were two virtual public charter schools in Florida in 2012–13, serving 76 students (0.3 percent of the state’s public charter school population). 

Recommendations

Florida has notable populations of public charter schools and public charter school students. Such students, on average, are performing the same as their peers in traditional public schools in math but worse in reading — although it is important to note that the most recent student academic growth data available are from 2010–11.

Recognizing these strengths and challenges in the movement, Florida charter school supporters have worked to enact changes to the state’s charter school laws and regulations over the past few years, primarily as it relates to charter school accountability. There is evidence that these changes are already having a positive impact. According to a report issued by the Florida Department of Education in May 2014, in 58 of the 63 separate comparisons of student achievement, students enrolled in charter schools demonstrated higher proficiency rates. This report also found that the percentage of students making learning gains was higher in charter schools in 76 of the 96 comparisons, while the achievement gap was lower for charter school students in 18 of the 18 comparisons.1

1 Florida Department of Education, Student Achievement in Florida’s Charter Schools: A Comparison of the Performance of Charter School Students with Traditional Public School Students, Author: Tallahassee, FL, May 2014.