Due to a controversial state rule that states that an “F” school must show steady improvement, both schools are on the hit list for closure. For three years both schools have been on the State Department of Education‘s list of struggling public schools, despite steady raising grades, however, the State Department of Education says that the raise is not sufficient enough to keep the schools open. Threatening to shut the school down and issue vouchers for charter schools.
Governor Rick Scott is proposing closing both schools and issuing vouchers for charter or private school. Upon hearing about the voucher program, you might think that it’s a win-win proposition. But if you examine the idea a little closer, it might do more harm than good since the failure rate for charter schools is currently 18 percent, or 15 out of 270 schools, compared to 1.34 percent or 17 failing schools out of 2,280 for public schools.
Another concern should be: what would happen to the students if the state decides not too fund the voucher program? Would the parents be responsible for the cost of the new school curriculum?
“There is no way on God’s green earth that I will recommend the closure of these schools” stated Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent, Alberto Carvalho. Carvalho has filed an appeal with the State Board of Education, outlining both schools’ successes and asking for more time, because of extenuating circumstances, to make further progress.
It would be inconceivable to see not one but two educational fixtures that represent so much to the children and parents in the community to abruptly close down, leaving some students, who are seniors and many other students to seek an education outside of their community notwithstanding the psychological affect it would have on the students.
Under Carvalho leadership, both Edison and Central have undergone extensive changes since they were first added to the list of failing schools that faced closure in 2008. Edison and Central have survived coming from the ruins of being an “F” school to a respectable “C” school and still showing steady improvement. Despite all their efforts, both schools failed to meet the federal standards for improvement under “The No Child Left Behind law.”
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Edison and Central have been threatened with closure. In 2006, former Miami-Dade School Superintendent Rudy Crew suggested that Miami Edison High be closed and overhauled.
That suggestion was met with much resistance from the community members, who organized protests and had town hall meetings. The plan was later scrapped. Once again the community is ready to do whatever is necessary to see that both Miami Edison and Miami Central High remain open and continue to play a vital role in their community.
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