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Florida Favors Charter Schools More Than Other Education Methods

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Florida currently has 726 operating Charter schools, serving over 300,000 students in the state. And with the state expanding school choice for parents, new research by education experts, Witherow Brooke found that Charter schools in Florida were the most-in-demand when it came to philosophy studies.

The group examined seven alternative education philosophies’ popularity across US states by analyzing Google search volumes, proportioned against population size.

Besides Charter schools, there was also Montessori, Waldorf & Steiner, Reggio Emilia, Homeschooling, Unschooling and Democratic schools.

With Charter, on average there were 40.3 searches for every 1,000 Floridians. Charter schools are publicly-funded and operate independently of traditional districts, offering more curriculum, teaching, and policy flexibility. They may specialize in areas like STEM or the arts, and parents choose them for reasons including dissatisfaction with traditional schools or seeking specialized education options.

The second most popular philosophy in Florida was Montessori. On average there were 38.5 searches for Montessori schools and methods for every 1,000 residents. Montessori education, pioneered by Maria Montessori, emphasizes self-directed learning and collaborative play in carefully prepared environments, fostering independence, exploration, and holistic development. 

Waldorf & Steiner schools and methods were the third most-searched in Florida, averaging 34.0 searches for every 1,000 residents. 

In the US, Montessori education emerges as the most sought-after philosophy, with 27 states showing the highest search volume per population, underscoring a national trend towards self-directed learning and holistic development. Homeschooling and charter schools follow closely, with 10 states favoring homeschooling and 9 states leaning towards charter schools for their flexibility and specialized approaches.

The survey ranked Florida’s most popular alternative education philosophies.

1.Charter schools

2. Montessori

3. Waldorf & Steiner

4. Homeschooling

5. Unschooling

6. Reggio Emilia

7. Democratic schools

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