When Gov. Rick Scott unveiled some of his education policy proposals with school-choice celeb Michelle Rhee this January, they paid a visit to a second-grade class at Florida International Academy in Opa-Locka to showcase the successes of school choice.
The school rankings are out. And the academy's new elementary school just got an F.
The middle school, though, earned a B. Last year the middle school was an A. Before then, the academy was an F school based on the students' performance on Florida's Comprehensive Assessment Test. Based on that F-to-A performance of the middle school, Scott decided to travel to the site to tout its successes, but they also highlighted the new elementary school as well.
"We have to make sure our system does exactly what you are doing here at Florida International Academy, " Scott said to a group of parents, students and teachers, according to this Miami Herald story.
Rhee said the Opa-locka school was a perfect example of how charter schools can accomplish things quicker and at a lower cost than typical public schools because there is less paperwork involved.
For example, Florida International Academy built an expansion -- scheduled to open later this year -- for a one-third less than a comparable public school because it did not have to follow the same procurement and other policies when it comes to construction, Rhee said.
"There needs to be more accountability, " she said. "We spend more money per child than any other nation, and the results do not come with it."
Staff writer Kathleen McGrory contributed to this report