Comments by 4marcoisland

Written on PHOTO GALLERY: Paleo and Calusa – TBE kids put names to nesting pair of eagles, garner check from Eagle Foundation:

The Tract K Eagle Sanctuary Group (AKA the political action committee formed to prevent a charter high school on Tract K) paid thousands of dollars to prevent a school from being located in their backyard. Then they gave a school that is not in their neighborhood a check for $1,000. What a generous offering. I think all the schools in Collier County should plan field trips to Tract K to visit "their" eagles. If the Eagle Sanctuary is really interested in protecting the eagles and educating the community about the eagles, they could help coordinate/facilitate the field trips. This would be a wonderful outreach to children of all ages throughout Southwest FL. I would imagine, that children from Lee County might want to see this incredible resource as well. Has the Eagle Sanctuary Group been reaching out to the schools to set up any educational programs for the students? The Eagle Sanctuary could advertise at the Naples Zoo, The Botanical Gardens, and at the Conservancy so people of all ages could come to witness the beauty of Paleo and Calusa.

Written on PHOTO GALLERY: Paleo and Calusa – TBE kids put names to nesting pair of eagles, garner check from Eagle Foundation:

I think it is great that the Eagle Foundation donated $1,000 to TBE. If they really support children and education on the island, their next step should be to donate 3 million to the Charter High School to help pay for land they took from them. Maybe during their presentation at TBE they should have mentioned how hard they fought and how many thousands of dollars they spent to make sure they wouldn't have a school or kids near their homes.

Written on Letter to the Editor: This Island teacher supports a high school:

Kerri L-the voice of reason. Thank you for sharing your well written letter. The Marco Island Academy will be an asset to this community. It is unfortunate that the Marco community fights about everything regardless of what it is. Hard to believe anyone would fight against a quality school. Thank you for sharing your feelings. I couldn't agree more.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Animosity started with the opposition:

in response to Ocram:

The truth hurts. Why don't you go back and read the newspapers since June.

I hope the person you divorced is happy where he/she is now living, probably having the ball of his/her life!

Ocram, why do you constantly say nasty things about people you don't even know. Regardless of where anyone stands on the high school-life is not that bad-you live on one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Get out and enjoy yourself every once in awhile. Life is too short to be so unhappy.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Some views and questions on the Charter School proposal:

More info on Charter Schools

Money for building will come from private donations and grant money. Have said the same thing over and over-just because you don't believe it doesn't mean it isn't true.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Some views and questions on the Charter School proposal:

in response to Ocram:

The following article can shed some additional light on the direction of Charter Schools. Please read to be informed.

This is a great article that shows how some ESP's or Educational Service Providers are mismanaged and operate solely to make money. However, the Marco Island Academy is going to be run independently and will not be managed by an ESP, so the article doesn't relate at all. If you continue to research, you will find that most charter schools that are started by concerned parents and business owners in the community where the school is located have a much higher success rate. In fact, Marco Island has already done this once. Look at the success of the Marco Island Charter Middle School. Clearly Marco Island parents can make a Charter school a success in this community.

Written on Letter to the Editor: A strip club or a school?:

in response to islandeye1#236971:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Have you ever tried to introduce change and innovative ideas into an existing school system? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to incorporate even a small change in an existing public school? Do you know how hard it is to fire ineffective teachers? Charter schools are a part of an educational reform that are sweeping the nation right now. They have much more flexibility than other public schools. I can assure you that the parents who support a Charter School also support Lely, Gulfcoast, Naples High, Immokalee, Golden Gate, Barron Collier...and on and on and on. These are parents who care about children and education. No one wants to hurt one in order to get another. The idea is to improve education across the board and give every student a fair chance to the best possible education. I personally support Lely and want to see it succeed. I also want a Charter High School on Marco so my children can attend a school in the community where we live.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Some views and questions on the Charter School proposal:

in response to Ocram:

1. The Y was dropped because the 250 got increased to 500?????

2. Where is the money going to come from for the building of a school??????

3. Who said it was a "done deal" in June????

I think it is your nose that is growing longer with each blog you post.

1.Where are you getting your info?The Y plan was 400 students-not 250. Unfortunately, a high school with 400 students isn't big enough to accommodate the students who currently attend the Marco Island Charter Middle School (which happens to be the only middle school in the District to achieve AYP last year by the way).
2.Money for the building will come from grants and private donations-NOT tax dollars.
3. No one said it was a "done deal" in June. Did you read that in the paper or on a blog? I was at the meeting where the change was announced and no one said "done deal." It might have been printed in the paper, but it doesn't mean it was said.

You are quick to point out where everyone else lives....where do you live? Tract K?

Written on Letter to the Editor: Some views and questions on the Charter School proposal:

in response to Ocram:

If it started out as being a small school for our kids to benefit from, then why did it turn into a school for another 250+ making it 500 students? If they were concerned also about that other 250+ why did they just not go to Lely and put their efforts there and have a school within a school?

There appears to be something more to this than meets the eye. I wonder what it is! Who are the financial supporters and what are their benefits in doing this? Someone earlier said it is all about money. Is there a connection to that statement in what is happening here?

Please stop spreading the lies. This is why everyone is confused. Half of you have a copy of the Charter application and you still aren't getting it right! The school has always been for up to 400-500 students. The first year it starts with 250 students, adding up to 125 more students each year to a max of 500 total. The demographics of the high school will be exactly the same as the elementary and middle school. Most of the students live on the island. Half of the students won't even have a driver's license so how do you think they will drive to school?????
There is no huge financial payout from anyone. There is no secret hidden agenda. All the people working on the project are parents, grandparents, educators and people who care about education and all are doing it as a VOLUNTEER! People keep blogging lies and nonsense to try to confuse those who are reading.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Animosity started with the opposition:

It is completely unacceptable for anyone to accuse Charter High School proponents of being racist and elitist. You can disagree with their plan, or express your unhappiness about the school being located near your house, but you can't make slanderous remarks about the proponents. If someone is defaming someone else, the Eagle shouldn't be publishing it. The Marco Eagle has spent the past 3 months reporting only negative comments about the Charter High School. How unfortunate for the community that the paper has decided to pick a side and only report half of the story...over and over and over again. It makes me wonder if you can believe anything you read. I think it helps sell more papers, but it certainly doesn't reflect accurate reporting. Perhaps the paper is just trying to find something to fill its pages? Why not report on something important? Like the state of education in the U.S. today? The failing schools in our own county and what we can do to improve them? The entire country recognizes the need for educational reform. But the only focus of the Marco Eagle is the location of the Academy.

Written on Letter to the Editor: A strip club or a school?:

in response to Fossil:

Parents in Marco Island are attempting to build a high school in their home town, one their children can walk to or ride a bike to. How can that be narrow minded? No, it's actually a very American idea. The majority of commuities in our country, offer high schools for their children. It's something they feel their children deserve. It's something our parents once believed all of Marco Island would support. Yes, we have pre-school, elementary and middle school facilities available. It is a fact that children will age beyond middle school and eventually require a high school. A high school within and supported by their community. People who are narrow minded are those who dismiss the needs of others. island, you got yours and that's what counts. Tell us what "negative impact" our own children cause our community? Me thinks, if you were honest, you would simply tell us that YOU do not want kids anywhere near where you live. Island, sit down with these parents and listen to them. Tell them your concerns and fears. Perhaps compromises and assurances can be made. Try and be interested in what they are doing and help rather then hinder. These children are our future and are important to our community and our nation. Given em a break.

Well said Fossil. The people who are involved in the Marco Island Academy are parents who care about education. They are open to finding a location that suits the island. The only reason Tract K is being considered is that Deltona donated the land to the school district for a school. If there were other locations available at no cost, I am sure the Academy parents would be happy to locate their school in another place. Wouldn't it be great if Marco Island could actually work together to support the families and children in the community to come up with a solution? Those who are opposed simply don't realize that years ago, Tommie Barfield faced resistance when she pushed for an elementary school on the island. 11 years ago the parents who worked on the Charter Middle School were faced with resistance in the community. Now the Charter Middle School has a waiting list and was the only middle school in the district to meet AYP. The high school will help raise property values on this island. Across the country, cities with the best schools have the highest property values. It will increase year round business for the community as more families will be attracted to the area.
Thank you for your fair and equitable assessment of what is happening on Marco Island in regards to the school.

Written on Not in my backyard: Opposition to location may not prevent Marco Island’s proposed charter high school:

in response to LuvParadise:

JWatt keeps saying the money is not coming from our property taxes or increases. Then what's this comment? "through donations, as well as state and local tax allocations that would have gone to the schools the students are zoned to attend. In the case of Marco Island residents, that is Lely High School." Why can they take my property tax dollars to spend on a Marco School when I choose to support Lely? NO!! This is going to take so much money. Far more than they can comprehend. Then there's the issue of getting accreditation to issue diplomas acceptaing to colleges. They don't have to be athletes to miss out on the issue of team bonding, team support, marching bands, etc. Things that are part of the high school experience. A lot goes into creating a high school besides wanting to keep your kids away from the Lely demographics.

JWatt didn't write the article-Kelly Farrell did. Money follows the student-it is that simple. For every student that attends Lely, the money follows them. For every student that attends the Marco Island Academy the money follows them. The students are the ones who get to pick where the money goes-NOT you. If you have kids and you like Lely, then send them to Lely. No one is stopping you. Do you think it is fair for me to decide where your kids go to school? Well I don't think it is fair that you are trying to decide where my kids will go to school. The students will have to choose to attend the Marco Island Academy, just like students choose to attend to the Marco Island Charter Middle School. Our middle school students are zoned to go to Manatee-not Charter middle. Manatee is a good school as well with some very incredible teachers. Some of the volunteers who help with the Academy also volunteer there and work closely with the students.
The Marco Island Charter Middle School did not raise the local residents taxes. There was no massive increase in the infrastructure to support the traffic, etc. The school is located in a residential community near homes. Stop signs manage to handle the traffic just fine. There are over 360 students who attend 3 grades at Charter Middle. There will be between 400-500 students who attend 4 grades at the Marco Island Academy. Just as the Middle School offers a variety of activities, so will the Marco Island Academy. This has nothing to do with wanting to "keep your kids away from the Lely demographics," but has everything to do with wanting a local choice for Marco. The local residents will have an opportunity to choose where they send their kids. Nothing will be forced on them. You have a choice for a big high school in Naples or a small high school on Marco. The kids can decide where they want to go and it doesn't cost the taxpayers a penny more. They actually rezoned Lely this year so they have a significant increase in their student population this year.
In addition for all those bloggers who complain about why the Academy supporters don't just put their effort into Lely-it is much harder to try to change the way a large established school is run especially if they do not want to change. The Marco Island Academy will start on small scale and institute programs that have consistently demonstrated results. Once the Academy reaches the level of success that I believe it will, any and all ideas will be shared throughout Collier County for all of the District schools to implement if they want. This isn't about Marco vs. Naples. This is about raising the bar on education for all students.

Written on Not in my backyard: Opposition to location may not prevent Marco Island’s proposed charter high school:

in response to Ocram:

Dear stay at home mom,

1. A bank will not give a loan for a mortgage without 4 or 5 up to date, valid, credit references and you expect a School Board to allow you credit for being a Stay at Home Mom. Would you hire you? I do not think I would.

How do you think it appears to those individuals looking at the paperwork that all the letters of reference, except for one, are from insiders for each other? (I think your other paperwork looks like a lot of time and effort has gone into it, but I am not the professional to evaluate it for inconsistancies, why would you ask me to?.)

You wish to control the lives of students and have no professional experience in that area what so ever. While your motives may be good, without any real, true educational experience or background in either Ms. Watt or Ms. Barrett you are shooting from the hip. Having a few volunteers who once, some time ago, were teachers and/or administrators does not count much in today's world of education. What about their own personal references? No former employers, just the same insider pats on the back. Maybe their experiences are from years gone by too. But who knows, not from what is being presented by what is on paper.

2. Modular classrooms for elementary and middle school may be fine, but for high school....NO WAY! Ask any, well rounded, high school student or experienced high school teacher!

3. I have heard the word choice too many times in the last couple of years and have found out that it means someone else's choice, not mine. It is over used and abused.

4. Put your efforts into Lely. Our children and Naple's children deserve your team's efforts.

P.S. I was especially "turned off" today when Jane Watt was quoted that she was going to bring the issue to the State Level if she does not get her way at the County level. What happens if the State turns her down? Will she then go to the Supreme Court?

First of all, Ms. Watt is doing this as a volunteer. She has no intention of working at the school. Many of the most successful charter schools are started by parents, who tend to care the most about their children's education. For example, the MICMS was started essentially by 2 mothers. Once the school is open, it will be staffed by the appropriate educational professionals.
Am I to understand that you are being critical of parents who choose to stay home to raise their children and who think it is valuable not only to their family but also serve the community at large? And that those same parents are also volunteering their time to help organize one of the most innovative schools in the State are for some reason inadequate to you?
The natural progression of any charter school is that if they are turned down by the District, they appeal to the State. This is to ensure the District is being fair to the Charter school, since most consider Charter schools to be competition. It protects the rights of the Charter applicants. Not a threat by any means. When someone asks what the Marco Island Academy plans to do if the charter is turned down at the district level, the answer is simple. They will appeal to the State. FYI: the only reason a Charter can be denied is if a Charter Statute is missing. It won't be denied based on a public vote, or the location,or because several individuals live near the site don't want it, and certainly not because you are against it. You are entitled to your opinion, but it doesn't mean that the charter will not be approved.
If you are certain that no students will attend a school in modulars, than why are you worried about it anyway? Seems like you are just wasting your time.
Charter schools provide choices. Their description is listed on the FL Dep of Ed website listed under school choice. All students will still have the option to attend Lely if they would like. Nothing is being taken away, but another option is being added.

Written on Not in my backyard: Opposition to location may not prevent Marco Island’s proposed charter high school:

in response to Ocram:

The restraining order should be on Watt herself!

Right away if she does not get what she wants from the Collier County School Board she says that she is going to appeal the issues to the state level That, to me, appears to be a threat to the School Board that she really does not care what they say unless it is her way. Does she really think that the School Board Members do not already know that without the threat being vocalized and put into print?

There was no restraining order, just a police report. But why let the facts interfere with a good story? Too bad what is said and what is printed doesn't always match.

Written on Not in my backyard: Opposition to location may not prevent Marco Island’s proposed charter high school:

in response to dwbadger:

Klab....Once again you never answer any questions or defend a position. You just accuse others and insukt those that try to have a meaningful discussion. Go to the top of the topic and answer the questions posed. If you can't why throw insults.

Where is the money coming from for the infrastructure, operating expenses, police,fire, roads, water etc? Just answer the question without throwing insults.

TBE and MICMS have over 1000 students attending school on their property. How much infrastructure was needed for it? Police, fire, roads, water, etc? Did you see a huge increase in your taxes when the MICMS was built? I didn't think so.

Written on Not in my backyard: Opposition to location may not prevent Marco Island’s proposed charter high school:

in response to Ocram:

Fact 1: Both references are from inside people, do not tell me that the person from JMCOF does not get funded one way or the another for what he is doing?

2. What are you talking about me not knowing many of anything. To me the parents who I know have said that they did not want their kids going to your school because their own kids say that they do not want to go there.
That is my fact.

There may be a high percentage of parents, as you suggest who wish for their children to go to the Acadamy, but there are quite a few who do not.

I would like for you to poll not only the parents but the kids going to Lely from Marco and see how many want to go to school in a trailer, instead of enjoying all of the growing up experiences of being in a REAL high school during the most memorable years of their lives.

Again, the point relating to references was why aren't the references from outside professional people with no vested interest in the Acadamy? You know, like from a former employer?

I have not made any comments about support from parents in any negative way nor have I said anything that was not consistant with my own personal contacts.

Do not try to maneuver the conversation to make it look like anything else.

Perhaps because the person you are attacking has been a stay at home mom for 11 years raising her 3 small children. Seems ridiculous to ask a former employer from 11 years ago for a reference. Out of 500 pages of the Charter application is this the best you can find to poke holes in? The fact that Jane Watt has used references from people she knows on the project. Really? Are you kidding me?????? The MICMS started in modular classrooms and has done an amazing job over the years offering quality education to our students. I think it is wonderful that there are students who currently attend Lely and are having a good experience. They can continue to do so. In addition, the Academy will be able to offer a choice to those who prefer a hands-on curriculum to remain on the island for high school. The purpose of Charter schools is to offer educational choice.

Written on Not in my backyard: Opposition to location may not prevent Marco Island’s proposed charter high school:

in response to Ocram:

To be honest, I have not seen much support from people or kids on the Island. Whatever minimal support has been diminishing day by day with the inconsistancies in the application. Names of people listed as volunteers who are not volunteers. Organizations listed under Community Support that were only spoken to and never gave their support, personal Board references by what one would call insiders.
I wish I had the time to go over the application page by page. I wonder how much more there is that can be ignored by Jane saying, well that really does not mean what that says, it means something else. No wonder her references are from a potential employee of the Acadamy and a listed volunteer.

As long as we are stating the facts, one of her references is from a volunteer who has no interest in being a potential employee of the Academy. The other reference is the Director of Education from Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures, who has been working with her for 15 months. He is NOT a potential employee of the Academy and he is NOT listed as a volunteer.
Obviously you do not know many of the people with school aged children on this island or you wouldn't have made the comment you made about support from parents.

Written on Not in my backyard: Opposition to location may not prevent Marco Island’s proposed charter high school:

in response to lauralbi1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The students from 6L farms are located on Rt 41 in East Naples. These same students attend the Tommie Barfield Elementary School and the Marco Island Charter Middle School. They are not bused from Immokalee! Quit spreading misinformation!

Written on Not in my backyard: Opposition to location may not prevent Marco Island’s proposed charter high school:

in response to MarcoPasha:

This is my second posting because the first one seems to be dropped.

There is already a Charter High School on the Island: The Christian Academy. They have about 6 pupils per teacher, hardly crowded. Do we really need another High School for those kids that cannot wake up before 9:00 AM? Get them off the internet early at night.

How do you perform an open flame physics experiment in a FEMA trailer and call it world class education? We will have to beef up everything from Fire department to Police force. I can smell more fire hydrant studies by NBC and more reserves on your next tax bill.

Think also more of plush administrator jobs for our city council members and Jane Watt. Nonprofit status, hence tax free income and benefits from donations, a bit of occupational therapy in paradise and lots of political visibility, maybe even an appearance with Jacque Cousteau’s grandson on CNN. I am sure you remember the need for a water plant, electric plant and more city lights than Paris on Collier Boulevard.

The Winterberry Christian Academy is not a Charter High School. It is a private Christian school serving grades 6-12 with a small number of students. It is not free. You pay to attend. Much different than a public school. Their curriculum is web-based. Completely different from the Marco Island Academy.

Written on Guest Commentary: Are city leaders creating a conflict of interest?:

I think the Tract K issue should go in front of a judge. According to the Deltona corp who gave the land to the school board the intent was clear when they gave the land to the school board. The people who live near Tract K don't want a school there even though when they purchased their home, everyone who bought nearby knew what the land was for. The bottom line is that now that a school needs the property, some of the surrounding residents don't want it. If Deltona wanted the Conservancy to have this land, they would have given it to the Conservancy. Yes there are 3 areas located on the legal description for schools. We know where Site 1 is located-TBE and MICMS. So where is the other parcel listed in the deed as a school site above Tract K-I am guessing we have we already used it for something else. I would personally love it if Tract K went in front of a judge-not a local attorney, because I am confident it would be turned over to the school for free. Apparently the Deltona's wish to have the land used for a school isn't good enough for this island.
Let's hope the Eagle writes another story about the school so we can start a new blog.

Written on Guest Commentary: Are city leaders creating a conflict of interest?:

I am glad you mentioned it. I have the deed and am looking at it right now. Legal description OR BOOK 001495 Page 0387
School Site No. 2
June 5, 1989
That certain parcel of land lying in and being a part of Section 23 and 24, Township 51 South Range 26 East, Collier County Florida, being more particularly described as follows: (more details to describe this piece of land) Containing 12.00 acres, more or less.
Why would Deltona give the land to the School Board if they didn't want it to be used for a school????? Why would they list the legal description OF TRACT K as a SCHOOL SITE???????????
Perhaps you are the one who needs to look at the deed more carefully!

Written on Guest Commentary: Are city leaders creating a conflict of interest?:

This is about Tract K isn't it? Someone has a plan in mind that has nothing to do with education. Deltona gave it to the school board for a school which is why it says school site on the legal description of the deed. This is also why when we asked the VP of Deltona what the intent was that she said for a public school. I don't think the proponents for the high school are the ones who aren't being transparent. In fact, every time they share any part of their plan, someone opposed works very hard to try to destroy it. Where else in the U.S. can a group of parents work day and night for free toward a public high school (where there isn't currently one available-other public high schools are in Naples-not Marco) and have the local residents who might have to drive past it ready to fight to their death. Marco is a very unusual place.

Written on Guest Commentary: Are city leaders creating a conflict of interest?:

in response to Brillo:

Perhaps if you read all of my posts that were listed earlier you would not have jumped to your "Bonnie come lately" opinion.

I did, in fact, recommend finding another place other than Tract K. months ago, but was told that this was a "done deal". I, personally, can not remember saying anything about Immokalee.

I do not in any way like being called a liar by anyone, especially by someone who does not know me in the slightest way. You have one hell of a way of expecting a polite response after calling any of us liars.

All that I have written is what I heard at presentations, have read and from others who have had actual conversations with Jane Watt.

Maybe those are the facts but be careful who you call a liar because that person may be closer to you than you think.

Right-so you are saying that everything you read in the paper is fact and truth?????? Because they quote everyone correctly and get every detail right? But wouldn't the truth be boring to read? Then you wouldn't have anything to blog about.

Written on Guest Commentary: Are city leaders creating a conflict of interest?:

in response to Fossil:

Because I really don't have a dog in this hunt, I thought I wouldn't need to comment. I do believe however that a high school on Marco Island is necessary. I feel that way because I don't like the idea of our kids travelling so far to attend school. We are are wealthy community and can afford to support this school. From reading the above posts most objections appear to be to using Tract K as it's location. I say to those who live in that neighborhood, you knew when you bought your property that Tract K was to be used for education. You have the same objections as those who bought next to an airport. Another group objects for a whole litnany of reasons, none of which amount to much. I suspect these are people who would rather Tract K be used for commercial interests. The last is a group who objects simply because it will hurt the old school these students attend. The arguments have been reduced to calling my friend Klab names and he in turn fighting back. My question here is why would a community not want a place near home for it's children to go to shool. I ask our Rebuplican and Libertarian friends, isn't it our personal responsiblity to educate our children? Isn't this Charter school exactly what you should be supporting? Come'on, this is our community, we can figure this out. Stop sniping at each other and work to make this happen. You old people, get behind this, you have experience and can help. You young people, do something for your children and those you may yet have. This is your community too. Stop spending all your energy on stopping this inititive and use this project as your one useful positive contribution to our community. And leave Klaub alone, he is right on this as he is on most issues he responds to.

Thank you for giving me hope for this community!!!!!

Written on Guest Commentary: Are city leaders creating a conflict of interest?:

Addressing the misinformation:
1. There are many people who are in support of a Public Charter High School on the Island. If you were polling the younger families in the community, the studies would reflect this information. Unfortunately there are many people in the younger generation who do not belong to MICA. Many of those who do belong do not take the time to fill out surveys, because they are too busy. The Marco Island Charter Middle School has a waiting list this year, so clearly there are plenty of parents on the island to support a school. You can check with the principal to verify. There is no law that states there should be a vote for a school. Charter schools can be started by parents, business owners or other interested community members. Charter schools are opening all over the U.S. and none of the residents vote to decide whether or not they want it.

2. There is no law that says that City Officials cannot volunteer for a non-profit. The Academy's volunteer list is simply the list of people who have agreed to receive emails and updates about the Academy. They are not required to attend meetings, serve on committees, or even participate in events. They simply receive updates on a regular basis. According to Florida Statute1002.33(15)(a) the Legislature intends to encourage the formation of municipal-operated schools through charter school status. There are actually charter schools that are run by municipalities. As a whole, it is common practice for city officials who have experience and expertise to also serve and volunteer for charter schools.

3. The Charter application follows a model application for Florida Charter Schools. Section 13. in the model is titled “Parent and Community Support and Partnerships.” In this section we mention the local advisory board in detail. We also include a marketing plan that shows how we have been informing the community about the plans for the Academy. While this is not required, we think it is important to educate the community about the project and include them in our plan. The application states that Jane Watt has been speaking to various clubs and organizations on the island and lists several of the organizations where she has given a presentation. However, it does not say that any of these specific organizations support the Academy. The Charter application is public record and anyone can check to verify.

Written on Guest Commentary: Are city leaders creating a conflict of interest?:

There is no law that states that city members are required to abstain. They are entitled to their own positions as they are residents too. There is no conflict of interest.
In fact, there are some charter schools that work very closely with the city, better known as Municipality Charter Schools.

For those of you who are not sure if the island can support a charter high school, keep in mind there is a very successful charter middle school on the island right now with a waiting list to get in.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Educate our kids:

in response to Klabautermann:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I like that you are thinking out of the box. One problem, we don't have millions of dollars to spend on the property. The more money that goes toward land, the less that can go towards education and ultimately the students. We have already contacted Fiddlers and they are not interested. We have looked at land between Marco and Goodland-the cost was over $3 million dollars and there were a number of gopher tortoises that would have to be relocated. The concept of the Marco Island Academy is a community high school-located on Marco Island.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Educate our kids:

The YMCA location is not big enough to support the population of students who currently attend the Marco Island Charter Middle School. We could only fit a maximum of 400 students and that was pushing it. The Academy needs to accommodate up to 500 students(over half of whom will not have a driver's license). If you don't want the school at Tract K, we welcome other suggestions for land that could support the school. This is not about Tract K. It is about offering the students a choice for quality high school education on Marco Island.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Tract K is beautiful:

in response to islandeye1#236971:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

On behalf of the Marco Island Academy, I would like to assure you that there is no plan for a collaboration between the Solar Panel Farm and the school. The Marco Island Academy is not in cahoots with anyone. We are simply trying to offer a local choice for quality education for the high school aged students. I have spoken with Russ personally to discuss this. I do not know how or why the rumor started, but I can assure you that it isn't true. Jane Watt, Chair of the Marco Island Academy

Written on Marco Island high school proponents hold meeting to address neighbors’ concerns:

The are many reasons why the efforts of the marco island academy proponents cannot just focus their energy to make lely better. First of all, this is a community school with community involvement. We live on marco not in naples. This is the most obvious reason. Butregardless, it would be impossible to "fix" lely, because no one in the county acknowledges any of the problems. If you don't recognize the problem, it is impossible to fix it. It is very difficult to initiate change in an existing school system and unless the teachers embraced the new philosophy and wanted to work extra hours,it would not work. No matter where the school is located,someone will complain about it. The focus should not be on where the school is,
But rather how to offer the best education possible for free to any student who chooses to attend the academy. The children are the future.

Written on Marco Island high school proponents hold meeting to address neighbors’ concerns:

in response to ClearlyStated34145:

4marcoisland- You are either pitifully uninformed, or an extreme skewer of the facts.

How can you say that the local schools have low graduation rates and no one does anything to fix it? That is your uninformed, uneducated OPINION, not a FACT!

Where in the world did you get the "fact" that the Marco Island Charter Middle School has the 3rd highest migrant population in the district? According to the MICMS website at, they have EXACTLY 7 migrant students, which is 1.98% of their student population. That is the 3rd highest in the district? In a matter of minutes this information is readily available to anyone who takes the time to look it up.

I have not checked into your other "facts" as you have proven that you are not credible, just like many other members of your group.

Those against a new school (paid for by taxpayers, and/or on Tract K) are a very large, mostly silent majority. It's nice to see that they are finally voicing their opinions.

Since you are questioning the facts, here are a few more. This is a clip straight from the Naples Daily News."How low-performing are some of Collier County High Schools? Among the worst in the country according to a report released Monday by The Alliance for Excellent Education.

The organization is asking Congress to address the almost 2,000 high schools that account for nearly half the nation’s dropouts. According Prioritizing the Nation’s Lowest Performing High Schools, the schools exist in every state and in 80 percent of congressional districts.“We believe these schools can be turned around,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “We want to help identify the schools that need the effort the most and build public will to turn them around.”

Florida has more than 160 of the nation’s lowest-performing schools, putting it second behind Texas, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and calculations by the Alliance. It represents about 35 percent of Florida’s high schools and educating about 36 percent of its high school students.

In Collier County, seven high schools were studied and four were determined to be among the lowest performing schools. Those schools are: Naples High School, Lely High School, Gulf Coast High School and Immokalee High School. Everglades City School was also mentioned as a low-performing school but data for 2008 was not available according to the report."
The information about the migrants attending MICMS is accurate. You would need to contact the principal at MICMS directly to get the info-it is not available on the website. The website also doesn't accurately reflect the number of economically disadvantaged students on the free lunch program. MICMS doesn't use the State free lunch program, instead they absorb the cost and pay for the lunches themselves which is why it doesn't show up on the stats. This information was not made up-it came directly from the MICMS principal. He is the one who gave me the info. I think he knows the facts about his school.

Written on Marco Island high school proponents hold meeting to address neighbors’ concerns:

Are any of you aware that Collier County has the 4 of the lowest performing high schools in the U.S.? Google it if you don't believe it. I hear lots of people giving excuses as to why the local schools have a low graduation rate...but no one talks about how to improve it. You are asking for facts, so how about if I give you a few. After WWII, the U.S. had the highest level of graduation rates in the World. Now we rate 25th out of 30 industrialized countries. We rank 21st in Science and 25th in math compared with 30 industrialized countries. For every additional year of education a student receives, crime rates are significantly reduced. We spend $22,000/year on prison inmates. That is about 4 times what we spend on students. Check out the stats on the Edith and Eli Broad Foundation(one of the largest foundations geared toward improving education in the U.S.). If these stats don't scare you, they should. At what point do you recognize that on a NATIONAL level the educational system is failing our students? This is the reason for the Marco Island Academy. After reviewing all the comments, and listening to peoples' concerns, NOT once have I heard anyone state a care or concern about the KIDS. The Marco Island Academy is focused on one thing and one thing only: Offering all students the best opportunity to receive a world-class education for free. It is a public school. The Marco Island Charter Middle School has the 3rd highest migrant population in the District. It performs in the top 3% in the State. There is no reason to believe the Academy will be any different. There is a significant amount of research to support the advantages of small schools and increased student performance.
This is why Bill and Melinda Gates have poured millions of dollars into the development of smaller learning communities. It is time to stop making excuses for average and below average performances in the educational system and time for a change. The Marco Island Academy will accomplish this goal.

Written on Marco Island high school proponents hold meeting to address neighbors’ concerns:

The Marco Island Academy will not just be another school, it stands to be one of the best schools in the State of Florida. I am excited and encouraged to watch the progress the group is making. I tnink those who haven't seen the deed, need to take a look. The legal description for Tract K is listed as School Site 2. The CFO from Deltona sent a letter stating that the site is indeed for a school and they fully support it for this use. Rather than just pushing their agenda forward, the Academy group invited residents to talk about concerns and ask the best way to address their needs. How do you think the Marco Island Charter Middle School with 3 grades can sustain itself on Marco but a High School with 4 grades will not? This is a natural progression for the island. First an elementary school, then a middle school, now a high school. The students will likely start out in portables. Keep up the good work Marco Island Academy and I wish you all the best in your efforts.

Written on Guest Commentary: Applying reason to the high school initiative:

Wouldn't it be nice if people embraced change instead of fighting it? Truth be told, Tommie Barfield had to fight like crazy to get the elementary school on the island years ago. The parents who started the Charter Middle School on the island had to fight the same way to start a Middle School. Now the elementary and middle schools are 2 of the best in the District. The middle school is in the top 3% in the State. People always resist changes. The arguments are all the same. Most people who are opposed have emotional ties to a school in the District that has served their own children well. The foundation of the U.S. of America is all about providing choices...not preventing people from making choices. The families on Marco Island should have the right to decide where their own child will perform the best, be it in a small school or large school. They should not have to spend thousands of dollars to send their kids to private schools to take advantage of a small school setting. Has anyone thought about the students who can't afford private school, yet slip through the cracks in a large school setting? The Marco Island Academy will provide a wonderful opportunity for the families who live on the island and in nearby communities. Do you know that the Academy has done an outreach to the families at 6L Farms? Do you know that the families at 6L Farms are thrilled that their children will have an opportunity to attend a school of this caliber for free? The comments made about the Academy being elitist, etc are dead wrong. This is not about Marco or Naples or Lely. This is about providing all students with an opportunity to receive a world-class education for free. At what point did we stop caring about the kids? The Marco Island Academy has focused only on what is best for the children-nothing else. You are paying for these kids to be educated no matter where they go to school. Quit spreading rumors saying that this school will cost more money to the tax-payers. It simply is not true. Accept the fact that change happens. If you do not choose to support it, that is your right. But there is no reason to fight it... at least not a valid reason. I wonder if the people who are opposed to this think the elementary and middle schools on the island are also unnecessary...

Written on High school still an option for Marco Island's Tract K:

The quote in the article is wrong about the distance from the eagle's nest. Of course it is makes it sound more exciting. The school can be within 100'. Call the State and ask for yourself! Don't be so quick to believe everything you read.

Written on High school still an option for Marco Island's Tract K:

Tract K is the perfect location for a high school on Marco Island, especially if the land is given for free. What a wonderful way to save the taxpayers of Marco Island 3.6 million dollars. I hope the District recognizes the value this school will bring to Southwest Florida and allows the Academy to use the land. Since the school is open to all students in the District it is truly a benefit to all the students in Collier County. The Academy's team of volunteers should be applauded for all their hard work.

Written on Two half-pints delivered a quart-sized message to City Council:

The Marco Island Academy is more than just another high school. It will offer so much for the community. I am glad to see the City is supportive of the project and recognizes the positive impact it will have on Marco Island.

Written on Q&A | Marco Island Academy: Charter high school plans moving forward :

This is the most exciting project Marco Island has seen in years!!!! I am so impressed by the people who are working on the project-many of whom are educators. The level of talent of volunteers is unbelievable. There are over 200 people helping now. Finally Marco will offer a choice for complete public educational facilities on the island. A community serves people of all ages. There are plenty of activities for the adult community and young children up to the 8th grade. However, there aren't any activities for high school students. This will soon change. The school will start with 9 and 10 the first year, then 9, 10 , and 11 the second year, and 9,10,11,12 the third year. I can't wait for my children to attend this school! Keep up the great work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Written on Letter to the Editor: Marco Island needs a high school:

I have to agree with Marcosupporter. I have heard very good things about Lely...and I haven't heard anyone from the Academy making negative comments about it. But I have heard people who support Lely saying very mean personal comments about the people who are working on the Marco Island Academy. I think Lely has a very good principal who cares about the students. There are also lots of activities for the students to chose from. This isn't about Lely at all. This is about choices. Some students thrive in big schools, others in smaller schools. I think it will be nice for the parents and families to be able to choose for themselves.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Marco Island needs a high school:

Hmmmm....very interesting. Do those of you who are against the Charter High School think the students who attend the Charter Middle School are racist, elitist too? Because I don't. Keep in mind the middle school kids are zoned for Manatee. I think the Charter Middle School does a nice job of offering quality education on Marco...just as the Marco Island Academy will do. People were opposed to the Charter Middle School 10 years ago for the same reasons you are now. The naysayers were wrong then and they are wrong now. The Marco Island Academy will offer a choice for public education on Marco that is not currently available. Across the nation, charter schools are outperforming the regular public schools. In order to succeed, they must be held to higher standards. The Marco Island Academy will attract families to move here. This will help our local economy by bringing more year-round residents to support the businesses during the summer months. A good local school system has a very positive effect on property values. With a highly qualified team of over 120 people actively working on this project, it will not fail. I am very excited to see how it will benefit the community, the families, and the future of Marco Island.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Marco Island needs a high school:

What an insightful letter. Wonderful to see the adult community recognizing the advantages to supporting education for our youth. Just as the Marco Island Charter School has provided a wonderful choice for quality education on Marco, so will the Marco Island Academy. By the way, I have talked to hundreds of parents who are very excited about the high school and that number is growing every single day! Keep up the great work Marco Island Academy!!!!!!!!!

Written on Marco YMCA, high school venture to share land:

in response to GBR:

Don't get me wrong, I know there is room for improvement, but your comment about "worst in the world" was a gross exaggeration.

"Assessments were conducted in 21 countries in 1995"

how many countries in the world?
Many sources offer different answers, and depending on the source, there are 189 , 191, 192, 193, 194 or 195 independent countries in the world today. ...

So according to your stats, we are still in the top 10.


You are right. I meant compared with other industrialized countries we are seriously behind( I was not including 3rd world countries). Based on the US being a world leader, you would expect the US to be at the top in Education...and we are not. We have the resources and the talent, but are still missing the mark. Compared with the other industrialized countries in the world we are NOT in the top 10 percent. If we ignore the fact there is a problem and do nothing to correct it, we will continue to fall further behind. This study is from 2006.

While most parents think their children are receiving a quality education, the majority of American students are falling behind their international counterparts. The consequences to the country are dramatic.

Consider these stark statistics:
We have low expectations for American students.
American students rank 25th in math and 21st in science compared to students in 30 industrialized countries.

America’s top math students rank 25th out of 30 countries when compared with top students elsewhere in the world. [1]
By the end of 8th grade, U.S. students are two years behind in the math being studied by peers in other countries. [2]
Seventy percent of 8th graders can’t read at their grade level, and most will never catch up.
Too many students drop out.
More than 1.2 million students drop out of school every year. That’s more than 6,000 students every school day and one every 26 seconds. [3]
The national high school graduation rate is only 70 percent, with states ranging from a high of 84 percent in Utah to a low of 54 percent in South Carolina. [4]

Written on Marco YMCA, high school venture to share land:

in response to GBR:

Thank you for the numbers.

Assumeing these numbers are correct, "lagging behind" is much different than "worst in the world."

Just the raw numbers are not a fair comparison.
"In 1987, 4,700 PhDs were awarded to U.S. citizens, while 5,600 Asian citizens were awarded PhDs. By 2001, only 4,400 PhDs were awarded to U.S. citizens while 24,900 Asian citizens received PhDs."

Assuming "Asian" means China, Japan, and Korea, we did pretty good. There are approxamately 300 million people in the US, While China alone has well over 1 billion.( A billion is 1,000 million)

My point is, don't say we are worst in the world when are far from it.


a few more stats for you :)
Assessments were conducted in 21 countries in 1995 to examine performance on the general knowledge of mathematics and science expected of all students and on more specialized content taught only in advanced courses.

The science assessment covered earth sciences/life sciences and physical sciences, topics covered in grade 9 in many other countries but not until grade 11 in U.S. schools. On the general science knowledge assessment, U.S. students scored 20 points below the 21-country international average, comparable to the performance of 7 other nations but below the performance of 11 nations participating in the assessment. Only 2 of the 21 countries, Cyprus and South Africa, performed at a significantly lower level than the United States.
A curriculum analysis showed that the general mathematics assessment given to students in their last year of secondary education covered topics comparable to 7th-grade material internationally and 9th-grade material in the United States. Again, U.S. students scored below the international average, outperformed by 14 countries but scoring similarly to Italy, the Russian Federation, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic. As on the general science assessment, only Cyprus and South Africa performed at a lower level. These results suggest that students in the United States appear to be losing ground in mathematics and science to students in many other countries as they progress from elementary to middle to secondary school.

Achievement of Advanced Students. On advanced mathematics and science assessments, U.S. 12th grade students who had taken advanced coursework in these subjects performed poorly compared with their counterparts in other countries, even though U.S. students are less likely to have taken advanced courses than students at the end of secondary school in other countries. Compared with their counterparts in other countries, U.S. students performed below the international average of 16 countries on the physics assessment. (See figure 1-6 .) The mean achievement scores of the United States (423) and Austria (435) were at the bottom of the international comparison (average = 501). Students in 14 other countries scored significantly higher than the United States. The subset of U.S. students taking or having taken AP physics scored 474 on the assessment, similar to scores of all advanced science students in nine other countries, and six countries scored higher (scores ranged from 518 to 581). Only Austria performed at a significantly lower level, with an average score of 435 (NCES 1998b.)

The international average on the advanced mathematics assessment was 501. U.S. students, scoring 442, were outperformed by students in 11 nations, whose average scores ranged from 475 to 557. No nation performed significantly below the United States; Italy, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Austria performed at about the same level. (See figure 1-6 .)

Written on Marco YMCA, high school venture to share land:

in response to GBR:

"by the time our students are in high school, we are one of the worst countries in the world."

I need to see some factual stastics on this.


Here is one article, but there are hundreds to choose from. Google Education K-12 How is the US comparing to other countries. This article states figures comparing the US 8th grade and how the scores slide by 12th grade. This is a NATION WIDE problem. Ignoring it will not make it go away!
K-12 Public Education:
Ignoring Good Management Practices and Risking America's Future
STEM Subjects Are Key to Innovation

Recent studies emphasize a strong correlation
U.S. Students Lag Internationally

U.S. students currently lag behind their international counterparts in basic science and math skills. When comparing the 8th grade test scores of American students with their international counterparts, the U.S. is in the 32nd percentile in math and the 59th percentile in science. Yet, these figures worsen when comparing 12th grade advanced math and physics students around the world, American students are in the lowly 6th percentile in math and at a bleak 0% in science. These figures portray the stark reality that, when compared to other countries, American students are failing.

Even at the advanced PhD level, there is a declining interest in STEM subjects. In 1987, 4,700 PhDs were awarded to U.S. citizens, while 5,600 Asian citizens were awarded PhDs. By 2001, only 4,400 PhDs were awarded to U.S. citizens while 24,900 Asian citizens received PhDs. At a time when the number of American students receiving PhDs declined, the number earned in Asian countries jumped by a factor of five. Furthermore, only 17% of all U.S. bachelor degrees awarded were in engineering and science, while Singapore awarded 68% of its bachelor degrees in these fields, China 58%, South Korea 36% and Taiwan 34%. Most European countries also awarded a higher percentage of degrees in science and engineering than the U.S., led by Germany with 31% of bachelor degrees awarded in engineering and science.

The serious predicament of our education system is very real. Each year fewer American students focus on STEM subjects at advanced levels, and even fewer master math and science at even the basic grade school level. If education in STEM subjects is one of the foundational characteristics of the United States’ innovative ecosystem then the modification of our educational system should remain a top priority.

Written on Marco YMCA, high school venture to share land:

in response to MarcoMom09:

I hope this all gets worked out because by the time my babies are old enough to go there (wherever it is), all the kinks will be ironed out and it will be great.

Just keep sticking with your values, the core mission, and intent of your vision and curriculum. If it is meant to be, everyone who sees that will see past the obstacles and help make it happen for the children and community of Marco Island.

And do yourself a favor, 4marcoisland, stop trying to defend yourself against ignorant, miserable people-there are plenty of them out there-it's a waste of time and energy that would be better directed elsewhere.

Thanks Marco Mom, you are right. These people are a waste of time. The same handful of people post negative comments about everything. They don't take any action to try to improve things, just spend their time complaining and making negative comments about what everyone else is doing. Just thought some accurate information should be available to the people who read these comments. I have been following the progress of the Marco Island Academy very closely and the group is a powerhouse. I am going to focus my energy on volunteering at Tommie Barfield and working for the high school effort. Hopefully it will all be up and running long before your kids are in high school:)

Written on Marco YMCA, high school venture to share land:

in response to MrBreeze:

4marcoisland, who have confirmed that you are indeed a "Darma" and wish the "Darma" lifestyle.

Your examples of supporters include retired educators, principals, superintendents, college professors and business people who support education.

Friends of mine who were employed in those jobs actually enjoy the same or more income retired than when they were working, so yes I would call them "well off". People like you describe surround themselves with the "elite" and "fundraise" and socialize for the "good of education". I have seen it I know.

Next, yes I have volunteered at local "public" NON CHARTER school. I help regular "working Joe" kids so they are not left back by your elite kid with your money. What "public non charter" school do you volunteer at?

The problem with public schools are most teachers are s----- and lazy. Yes, you heard me right. I have many friends that are and were teachers that are retired. Many cannot figure out how to turn on a computer, prepare a lesson plan other than by an outline. Some have had their child become teachers and then the cycle continues. They see the lifestyle that mom or dad have, work 9 months of the year excluding days of holidays, winter break ect. Show up for 30 years get a retirement plan that is huge along with LIFETIME medical.

Your hardworking families on Marco Island I do not agree with. Does the person mowing your lawn or cleaning your pool live next door to you? I doubt it.
Would you want that person living next door to you? I doubt it. People like you "Darmas" want to say that the island is so "diverse" in "economic" backgrounds but I do not see my landscaper at the country club.

Your other statement "if you don't have a child why do you care? That is an elitist statement if I ever heard one. Truth is I am part of Marco Island as a resident and I care about the impact on my FELLOW CITIZENS which you do not care about as long as your school can proceed forward.

The "Darmas" see this as a huge chance to get what they want one stop island. Paradise confined. I to like the privacy of the island why would I have paid so much money for anything else? You people are just trying to take it to the next level then what? Marco University? A school for only the very elite.

Want that lifestyle? I don't I want to live in a friendly place with peace and quiet. You people "Darmas" want that and more.

You should move to Ava Maria. That was done right. It was developed in OPEN AREAS from scratch, and then the town will evolve around the school. Brillant planning. Tom Monanhan is a very smart man. He constructed his vision and did not bother or displace one person. I admire his thought and compassion and he used his own funds that HE earned. He did not just by off the YMCA like you are trying to do.

The problem you "Darmas" want it all. I do not believe the majority of the island want your school on the YMCA properity.

I volunteer at Tommie Barfield is a public non charter school on Marco Island.

Written on Marco YMCA, high school venture to share land:

in response to 33yearresident:

4marco- get my facts straight??? You need to get your facts straight.

You state that the proposed academy is a charter school. When did the proposed Marco Academy get their charter? They don't have a charter. Why?

The county turned them down, backed up by refusal of the state to fund a charter high school on Marco. Why? Not needed.

Some day, if this group gets private funding, they might have a little private school for a small number of students whose parents do not want them to have a well rounded high school experience.

If that's what you want for your kids, keep your checkbook handy.

The Marco Island Academy hasn't even applied for their charter yet! That will happen in Aug 2010. If they are denied by the county, it will be overturned at the state level. A charter cannot be denied based on empty seats or a county that doesn't support charter schools. Once again you are wrong.

Written on Marco YMCA, high school venture to share land:

in response to MrBreeze:

Marco97, Your post about "kids who's family's have very little". I will tell you this,people with "very little" as you put it do not reside on Marco Island and send their kids to private charter school.

I am puzzled by your post of child pickup at 2:45 at the school with cars in line. If you walked to school from grades K-12 why are the cars lined up to pick up kids from school on Marco Island? I could see maybee if it was storming, but other than that the weather should not be a factor. I walked to a bus stop every day and lived in snow, ice, and below zero ville my entire youth.

I feel the private school is a mini country club that you believe will give your kids a better education. That may be true, but I feel the island was never intended to develop this way and if the Mackel bros. were here today they would be the first to say it.

Why do you think tract K was not developed as the high school? Answer, as with the Y it just does not treat the surrounding neighbors quality of life fair. Bottom line, I am not anti-school, but everyone has to be treated equally. You just cannot come in a "buy or merge" your thinking into people's space.

Neighborhoods evolve and grow, you do not create them with funds and buildings, But you can ruin one quickly with people with money.

The Charter school is a PUBLIC school-not private. Approximately 30% of the students that attend the Marco Island Charter Middle School are from off island. Some of them are from 6L farms, and other surrounding East Naples neighborhoods. These students will ALL be welcome to attend the Marco Island Academy, it will be a PUBLIC charter high school. When is the last time you volunteered at the school or attended a program at the school? There are a number of hard working families who live on Marco. They come from all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds.

Written on Marco YMCA, high school venture to share land:

in response to MrBreeze:

Again, this is another step to making Marco Island a "private" island.

The people behind the school are the elite or want to be around the elite and believe this concept of charter schools is the answer.

I am not that old, and I attended public school where my zone put me in a school that was eight miles from home. It was called get the bus in the morning then I bought a car that I drove myself to school.

This concept is called "real life" where you learn how not to mouch off mom and dad the rest of your life. It teaches the basic terms of getting up and being on time to school which should turn into work habits.

The people behind the school want to continue to baby their kids in the name of "good education" but we all know that is not the case. Public school is just that public. If your kid has good values at home then it does not matter where school is located.

Marco Island is starting to resemble the tv show "lost". Ever look at the "Darma Society" on that show? It reminds me of Marco Island with the look of the 70's design. I see the island as heading that way a private all inclusive island for the elite and elite families.

Since we already have "cavedwellers" and "cronies" as catagories on the island maybee we can add "Darma's " to the list.

Do you actually know any of the people behind the charter school? Because I do. None of them are elitist, racist or "Darmas". Some are parents, grandparents, retired educators, retired principals, retired superintendents, college professors,and business people people who support education. In case you haven't noticed, the U.S. is in desperate need of educational reform. Our public schools are some of the best in the world up to 3rd grade. By the time our students are in high school, we are one of the worst countries in the world. Considering the amount of money we are investing in education there is no excuse for it. The world has changed and the schools need to change in order to compete globally. This has nothing to do with Lely vs. Marco or Naples vs. Marco or Public vs. Private. This is about preparing the children for college and the workplace after graduation. Instead of sitting back, complaining about it, and spreading misinformation, people are finally trying to make a difference. The Marco Island Academy is going to offer an excellent public education to prepare the kids for post secondary success. If you don't have a child, why do you care? If you do have a child, now you will have a choice. In the meantime you should think of something better to do with your time than to say mean things about people you don't even know.

Written on Marco YMCA, high school venture to share land:

THIS IS TO ADDRESS THE QUESTION ABOUT HOW THE ACADEMY CAN PARTNER WITH THE YMCA( A CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATION)....While the Marco Island Academy and the YMCA will share the same campus, the Academy will adhere to all state regulations for public charter schools including any statutes pertaining to religion. This is not the first time a public school and YMCA have collaborated with one another. Actually, joint-ventures of charter schools and YMCA’s around the country have proven to be very effective. A similar partnership was formed in Orlando between the Lake Nona YMCA and the Northlake Park Community School. The collaboration between a public school and a YMCA has proven to be very successful, showing tremendous advantages throughout the school and community. The Northlake Park Community School has been an A rated school ever since it has been graded by the Florida Department of Education (2000). In fact, the U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Florida’s Lake Nona YMCA and Northlake Park Community School in July. He called the school “the model of what a 21st Century School should be.”