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Press Release

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

2010 Florida Charter School Conference Gathers Educators from Across the State

~ School choice experts meet to enhance Florida’s quality educational options for families ~

ORLANDO – Nearly 600 charter school teachers, operators, administrators, authorizers and state officials have convened in Orlando for Florida’s 14th annual Charter School Conference. The event kicked off late Monday under the theme, “Rising to the Challenge,” providing attendees with ample opportunities to network, gather information and share best practices about providing quality school choice options for Florida’s families. Keynote speakers for the event include Florida State Board of Education Chairman T. Willard Fair; Distinguished Professor of Education and Founder/Director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University Dr. Howard Fuller; and Author, Educator and Technology Consultant Ms. Deneen Frazier Bowen.

“Every student deserves an educational setting that can cater to their unique needs, helping them embrace the learning process in the fullest of ways,” said Chairman Fair. “For 14 years now, Florida’s charter schools have stepped up to the challenge to help accomplish this important task, using the enthusiasm, passion, and innovation produced through this conference to fulfill dreams and provide better academic outcomes for our children.”

The Florida Charter School Conference is an annual event sponsored by the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Education Foundation. This year’s conference showcases 36 breakout sessions and more than 70 exhibitors. In addition, following Monday night’s Welcome Reception, conference participants attended a special viewing of the charter school-focused documentary film, “The Lottery,” followed by a question and answer session with the movie’s director.

“Florida’s charter schools are essential as we strive to provide each student with the opportunity to reach his or her full potential,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “The Charter School Conference is an excellent forum to display the tremendous positive impact our charter schools make in meeting the needs of Florida’s diverse population.”

Over the past 14 years, the number of charter schools in Florida has grown from five to more than 400. They are among the fastest growing school choice options in the state and serve more than 150,000 students. Charter schools are public schools that are independently operated and are committed to meeting the academic needs of every student by providing innovative learning opportunities.

For more information about school choice in Florida, visit To learn more about this year’s Florida Charter School Conference, visit