The half-million-dollar payout to the principal of a failing charter school in Orlando has sparked far-ranging criticism of Florida charter schools and the laws that govern them. But over at the Fordham Institute’s Choice Words blog today, Adam Emerson offers a different take. After doing some independent reporting, Emerson (the founding editor at redefinED before moving on to Fordham) says the Orange County School District should have responded earlier to obvious warning signs, including information contained in independent audits.
“It’s true that the charter school’s own board seemed absent in its required oversight of NorthStar, and it behaved (at best) irresponsibly in signing off on the outsize compensation for its principal,” he wrote. “But the school district is responsible for overseeing the charters it authorizes, and that responsibility became more critical when audits highlighted conflicts of interest and other red flags.” Read his full post here.