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‘Alternative’ Education: Using Charter Schools to Hide Dropouts and Game the System

By Andrea Hernandez

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TUCKED AMONG POSH GATED COMMUNITIES

TUCKED AMONG POSH GATED COMMUNITIES, and meticulously landscaped shopping centers, Olympia High School in Orlando offers more than two dozen Advanced Placement courses, even more afterschool clubs, and an array of sports from bowling to water polo. U.S. News and World Report ranked it among the nation’s top 1,000 high schools last year. Big letters painted in brown on one campus building urge its more than 3,000 students to “Finish Strong.”
Olympia’s success in recent years, however, has been linked to another, quite different school five miles away. Last school year, 137 students assigned to Olympia’s attendance zone instead attended Sunshine High, a charter alternative school run by a for-profit company. Sunshine stands a few doors down from a tobacco shop and a liquor store in a strip mall. It offers no sports teams and few extra-curricular activities.


Find out more: https://www.propublica.org/article/alternative-education-using-charter-schools-hide-dropouts-and-game-system

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