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Image: Sunshine High School in Orlando is located in Oakhill Village, a strip mall on Old Winter Garden Road. (Malcolm Denemark/USA Today Network)
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

FL Investigating Graduation Rates Following ProPublica Report


Florida is investigating graduation rates at alternative charter schools after a ProPublica report about an Orange County charter school that served as a “release valve” for nearby traditional high schools by taking in academically challenged students. Education commissioner Pam Stewart says the department will be doing a thorough examination to determine if inappropriate actions presented a flawed portrayal of districts’ graduation data. The ProPublica report says poor-performing students from Orlando-area schools, like Olympia High School, were encouraged at assemblies by charter representatives from Sunshine High School to transfer and catch up on credits. Once they got to high school located in a strip mall, some students said they would sit for hours a day in front of computers with little …
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Image: Sunshine High School in Orlando is located in Oakhill Village, a strip mall on Old Winter Garden Road. (Malcolm Denemark/USA Today Network)
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Orange County School Board renews contract with an “alternative” charter school under scrutiny


Orange County School Board officials voted recently to renew a charter contract with Sunshine High School, which is currently under the microscope after a ProPublica investigation reported the charter school was a “silent release valve” for local traditional high schools by taking in academically challenged students unlikely to graduate on time. The school district has responded sharply to the article, with Superintendent Barbara Jenkins calling it “false” in a statement. ProPublica reports Olympia High School would hold assemblies for poor performing students where representatives from Accelerated Learning Solutions, a for-profit management company that runs Sunshine and other charter schools, told them they could catch up on credits and graduate. The report alleges Olympia kept its graduation rate above 90 percent …
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