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Private Schools

Science project, hit movie has scholar reaching for the stars

PENSACOLA, Fla. – Zanaya Chase wants to be a fashion designer. Or a scientist.  Or, a fashion designer and a scientist. For as long as she can remember, Zanaya has dreamed of designing outfits that are mall-hip or red carpet-chic. Lately, her creativity is leading her in a new direction: spacesuits. Functional and stylish. “If a lady wants to go into space and she wants to look good, I got something for her,” said Zanaya, a sixth-grader at the Dixon School of Arts & Sciences in Pensacola. “Why not?” is her mother’s response. “I always tell her, ‘You do what makes you happy. Do what you like and what...

Charter schools without private choice killing private schools in Michigan

The Detroit Free Press reported last week that Michigan private schools have been closing at a rate of approximately two per month for the last decade. The map below shows the location of these closures. The article states: “Religious schools make up the majority, but nonreligious schools, preschools, Montessori schools and others have closed as well. In all, more than 200 private schools have closed since 2009, according to data from the Michigan’s Center for Educational Performance and Information.” Research from the Rand Corporation foretold this Michigan trend more than a decade ago. A Rand study focusing on the impact of charter schools in Michigan...

Jacksonville private school, scholarship fueled student’s emotional turnaround

Editor’s note: This month, redefinED is revisiting stories that shine a light on extraordinary students. Today’s spotlight, first published in March 2017, tells the story of a Jacksonville youth who overcame great obstacles to get his life on track. Lost. That’s where Pamela Howard feared her son, Malik Ferrell, would end up after years of struggles at different schools in Jacksonville. She couldn’t afford to let that happen. Malik needed a caring environment, especially after he and his family were rocked by the murder of his older brother, Derrell Baker. Pamela had been searching for the right fit for Malik – four different...

Latin, Julius Caesar and a second chance at senior year

DAVIE, Fla. – Josh Carlson pulled up a chair in his guidance counselor’s office at American Preparatory Academy, turned and greeted a visitor. “Salve,” he said, which is Latin for “hello.” The previous summer, the one he should have spent preparing for his freshman year of college, he taught himself Latin – and reflecting on what went wrong the year he attempted 12th grade for the first time. His conclusion: “Just a lack of motivation on my part.” At least three people close to Josh – his mother, Kadirah Abdel, his principal, Soraya Matos, and his guidance counselor, Norman Levitan – agree. Each...

Customized education reaps benefits for Jacksonville teen

When Kayla Fudge was a newborn, her mother struggled to take care of her. In swooped Kayla’s great aunt Glendora like a guardian angel. She loved. She nurtured. And she taught. A public school teacher for 14 years, Glendora Jackson-Fudge raised three children of her own before adopting Kayla when she was 2. Glendora and husband Michael Fudge, a landscaper for 30 years, didn’t have much money. But as parents they were full of fun, wisdom, and old-school values. “They’re mom and dad to me,” said Kayla, who was born and raised in Jacksonville. “They didn’t have to take me, they...
school choice

revisitED: Lessons from a school choice trailblazer

Civil rights activist Mary McLeod was a school choice pioneer, opening a private, faith-based school for African-American girls in Daytona in 1904. The state of Florida may honor her with a statue in the U.S. Capitol. (Image from Wikimedia Commons.) Editor’s note: This month, redefinED is revisiting the best examples of our Voucher Left series, which focuses on the center-left roots of school choice. Today’s post from June 2016 tells the story of civil rights activist and school choice pioneer Mary McLeod Bethune, who started a private, faith-based school for African-American girls in 1904 that became known as Bethune-Cookman University. How...
school choice

Busting choice education myths with facts

It became clear early in the 2019 Florida legislative session that lawmakers were poised to make sweeping changes to benefit education choice. It became equally clear that not all lawmakers agreed those changes would move the state in the right direction. A flurry of misinformation ensued. Some was unintentional, but much of it followed a calculated pattern of mistruths as old as the education choice movement itself. That’s why Step Up For Students, a nonprofit approved by the state to administer the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for students from low-income and working-class families (and that hosts this blog), decided to launch...
school choice

New scholarship capped historic legislative session

Florida’s 2019 legislative session rewarded supporters of school choice as the House and Senate created the Family Empowerment Scholarship and boosted funding for charter schools. The new state-funded K-12 scholarship will help get 18,000 low-income and working-class students off a waiting list for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (FTC) for lower-income families. (The FTC scholarship is managed by non-profits such as Step Up For Students, which hosts this blog.) The 18-year-old scholarship serves 100,512 students this year and is funded by corporate contributions that receive dollar-for-dollar state tax credits. However, the rate of growth in contributions slowed this year and failed...