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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

While DeSantis distracts us with terrible pay proposals, pushes through a massive expansion of vouchers

Well DeSantis isn't governor of Florida because he is dumb. While DeSantis has been pushing terrible teacher pay ideas through the front door, he has tried to sneak a massive voucher expansion through the back.

From Accountabloney,


Voucher schools I remind you can pick who they take and keep, teach whatever they want and many teach junk science and history, their teachers don't have to be certified let alone have degrees, and there is so little accountability that you might as well say there is none. This is what DeSantis is expanding exponentially, this is where he wants kids to get their education.

Also if this is the year two expansion, whats the year three, four and five going to look like? We are looking at the end of meaningful public ed here in Florida within the next decade.

Friends, the goal is to destroy the teaching profession and replace public ed with a hodgepodge of charters and voucher schools, though if I was a charter school supporter this proposal would alarm me as well.

You see after the Governor is done destroying public education they are next. Why have charter schools when you can have teachers teaching whatever being paid ten bucks an hour at voucher schools. You think it could never happen to you, well that's what public ed was saying 20 years ago.

So what are we going to do? Hop on the bus? Wear red for ed? I know how about another letter to the editor. Wait let's meet in Tallahassee the day before the legislators get there, for reasons.

The thing is the Governor and Tallahassee won't care about whatever we do. It is going to be full steam ahead with their plans unless we fight back.

At this point its fight or die. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Governor DeSantis, our anti-public school teacher governor continues to ignore the needs of education.

There is a teacher shortage/exodus reaching crisis levels and rather than addressing it and trying to stop it our governor instead comes out with one proposal he knows is doomed to fail, and another that teachers have overwhelming rejected. For some reason Governor DeSantis refuses to do the decent thing and say every teacher gets an X raise and instead throws out gimmicks and schemes that are doomed to fail and make things worse.
DeSantis continues to call for a massive raise for starting teachers while leaving veterans that have seen their salaries go backwards over the last decade out. This incredibly unfair proposal is going nowhere fast too as nobody in the house or senate, controlled by the governor’s party seems to be for it.
Then he wants another convoluted merit pay bonus scheme or you know the opposite of what teachers want because let’s face it he’s both ignorant and spiteful. I bet if teachers would have said, please sir can we have another bonus system, right now we would be getting a raise. Spoiler alert there have been different bonus schemes going on for nearly a decade now, all dumb, and all have failed.
Then he wants to increase the BSA 50 dollars per kid, this is the money that districts use to pay teachers and for everything that isn’t a categorical and oh by the way when you factor in inflation, this amount is so close to zero we might as well call it zero.
This is all terrible and none of it will help education and educators but do you know what will make me lose my $#&%ing mind? If one of the union says, nice first step, or great ideas but how are we going to pay for them.
The unions need to wake up and realize no help is coming from the governor and Tallahassee and if we want better for ourselves and our students, then it is time to fight.
At some point their lack of meaningful action becomes complicity.
So Governor DeSantis if your goal was to help teachers you failed miserably however if it was to show people you are ignorant or don’t care, then kudos to you.
Ugh.
Educators, he is laughing at you.
Image result for ron desantis laughing

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Seaside Charter School spreads lies to shill for money and students.

Ugh, this school seems like a real disaster.

So Seaside put this out there.


I may be a little behind the times but I believe all schools have art and music and P.E.  Furthermore recess is now mandated, think about that, things got so teach to the test that we had to make recess mandatory.

Look I wish half the day was fun classes for kids, but to lie and say they don't exist, that's unacceptable. I mean so much for the golden rule right.

How can we have a conversation about what's best for kids when one side can just tell blatant lies.

Jessica Morgan is Seasides director of special events by the way, less you think this was put out there by a random parent.

http://seasidebeaches.seasideconsortium.org/staff.html

Fl Charter school closes and gives its students in another charter school. wait what?!?

So, from the I can’t make this up file. Families choose one charter school, a few months into the school year, the charter decides to close down and enrolls the kids into another charter school. So much for parental choice right. Friends it's time to agree that charters aren't public schools and they don't have the best interests of children in mind.
You might want to read that again.
Is this the school choice their advocates have been pushing for?
Or is this corporate greed, one charter buying another out to get their students?
It's $#^ing crazy no matter how you look at it.
School choices isn’t about helping kids or families, it’s not even really about choice either. It’s about undermining public education and the teaching profession and lining the pockets of a few charter school operators and the donors they have purchased.
From WLRN.org
 A Hialeah Gardens charter high school hailed by the likes of Gov. Ron DeSantis, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush is slated to close by the end of the month, and students are preparing to transfer to a nearby campus affiliated with a politically connected for-profit education company
Several students leaving LBA Academy on Thursday afternoon said they had been informed this week the school was shutting down and they were being transferred to the nearby charter school Mater Academy in Hialeah Gardens. The students didn’t want to be identified by name for fear of getting in trouble. Many of them were wearing grey long-sleeved uniform shirts with the words “Mater-LBA.”
A spokeswoman for Mater Academy confirmed there’s a “partnership” in the works between the South Florida charter school network and the LBA.
“The goal of the partnership is to create academies within existing Mater schools that focus on: construction, design, and engineering,” said Lynn Norman-Teck, executive director of the Florida Charter School Alliance, who answered questions on behalf of Mater Academy.
Norman-Teck said Mater Academy Charter High School in Hialeah Gardens is not currently at capacity and would welcome applications from transfer students, including those attending LBA Academy. Mater Academy is one of four prominent charter school networks affiliated with the South Miami for-profit educational service provider Academica. The Mater, Somerset, Pinecrest and Doral academy networks pay millions in taxpayer dollars annually to Academica for administrative services. Academica has close financial ties to several current and former state lawmakers who have crafted lucrative laws and budgets benefiting charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run
I guaranty you when we check back in a few weeks the owners of the LBA Academy are going to have a few extra bucks in their bank account.
So much for choice right.
Ugh

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Gov DeSantis takes his terrible teacher pay plan and makes it even worse

Last month to great fanfare and zero follow up, Governor DeSantis proposed a massive raise for new teachers and nothing for veterans. Instead of dropping like a lead balloon, he got a lot of pub for his proposal even from the FEA who instead of dismissing it outright said it was a good first step.

FEA at some point your lack of meaningful action becomes complicity.

Today he took that horrible plan and made it even worse morphing it into another hair brained bonus scheme, or you know the exact opposite of what teachers have been crying for. 

From Accountabloney,


After years of calling for raises not bonuses, Governor DeSantis' teacher compensation plan gives massive raises to the newest and most inexperienced teachers and, wait for it... a new bonus, based on the school grade system, for Florida's most experienced teachers:
"The plan, as outlined by education commissioner Richard Corcoran, would pay bonuses to teachers and principals in schools based on their growth in the state’s A-F school grading system.
Schools that see their points in the grading rise 6 percent or more would qualify for the highest bonuses, with those that have gains of 3 to 5 percent in the next level and those with 1 to 2 percent growth in the bottom tier. Educators at Title I schools, serving primarily low-income students, would get an amount double that awarded to non-Title I schools."
We heard they're calling it the "Suck it, Old-timers Bonuses" but that could have just been a rumor. 

Sigh 

Governor DeSantis is apparently incapable of doing the right thing and saying, every teacher gets a insert number here raise, or better yet significantly raising the base pupil allotment and letting districts and unions figure out what to do with it, or you know their jobs. At this point can there be any doubt that either by hook, he is incompetent, or crook, he wants to stick it to teachers, we can't expect anything decent from the governor.

So what do we do? Wear red? Write some letters to the editor? Meet the day before the legislative session starts in Tallahassee and hold some signs? I feel like we have been there and done that and things have just got worse year after year. This may be a spoiler to the FEA but the don't care because their plan is to injure and destroy the teaching profession.

DeSantis took a terrible plan that teachers hated and instead of listening to teachers he made it worse. That should tell us all what we have to do next, while there is something worth fighting for anyways.

Maybe we can get some inspiration here. In case you were wondering, DeSantis and the Republican party are the borg. It is time to stop falling back and draw a line.


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Rory Diamond continues his unethical ways

Let's talk ethics in Florida, it used to be if you were caught with a live boy or a dead girl in Florida you would have some explaining to do, though now even that is in question, and Jacksonville has always been behind the curve.

So here is what happened, Rory Diamond voted for one of his bosses, who had just quit another  board and had proposed privatizing the city's parking services, to join the board of the JEA. He could have recused himself to avoid any appearances or impropriety but he chose not to.

This on the heels of his million dollar gift from Gary Chartrand and the summer he spent fighting for his warped causes with no reveal at all.

Diamond is quickly giving Kimberly Daniels and Jason Fischer a run for the most ethically challenged politician in Jacksonville. 

From Trey Csar's twitter page,

Image


Dear beaches, can we talk here. Is this the best you could have done? Couldn't you love veterans and dogs and had ethical leadership too.

You and the city deserve better.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Jason Fischer once again attacks DCPS on behalf of his donors.

Have you ever heard the expression, any day that ends with a Y? It means sure I can do that/would do it anyway, well that's Jason Fischer with his attacks on public ed, and specifically local public ed.

His latest attack is to codify into law how special tax referendum money has to be spent, allocating a proportion of it to charter schools, and gasp, whether they need it or not.

From Florida Politics,

For any future referendums to raise sales tax rates for public schools, there could be a proportional carveout for charter schools.
That sharing approach is contemplated by language that a Jacksonville lawmaker aims to have added to the 2020 tax package.
Rep. Jason Fischer, a second-term Republican who has prioritized education reform, wants all future school tax referenda to see proceeds shared equitably between charter and traditional public schools.
First I am a 100 percent sure, Fischer has no idea what equitably means because that is what the district already proposed.
So he wants to blow the system up and you know who this benefits? His lords and masters in the charter school industry that is who. He wants them to get millions more and again whether their schools need them or not.
How do you get so hateful and vile like Fischer has to attack the futures of children so his donors can line their pockets with ever more money. What blackens somebody's soul like that?
Once again Fischer reveals himself and the site is nasty. 
Image result for jason fischer

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Florida state board of education prepares to stick a knife in the teaching profession.

There is a teaching shortage in Floirda, brought upon by a combination of low pay, accountability on steroids, and disrespect. Rather than address those issues the state board of education prepares to double down, by letting anybody with a pulse be a teacher.

From Florida Trends,

 State Board prepares to adopt rule for full-time adjunct teachers 

With concerns over a teacher applicant shortage still strong in Florida, the state is preparing to offer school districts another path to fill its classrooms — the full-time adjunct instructor. Districts long have had the ability to employ part-time adjuncts, who need not meet the same credentialing as contracted employees and do not fall under the same pay and benefit structure as if they were represented in collective bargaining.


https://www.floridatrend.com/article/28229/federal-judge-backs-best-and-brightest-settlement

So they don't have to have the same credentials, hmmm, and they are exempt from collective bargaining. You know why didn't they just get rid of the profession all together, you have to know by now that is their ultimate goal.

Private schools finance by public money can already hire teachers without certificates or even degrees for that matter, how long until its that way in public schools?

Just a reminder that when the State Board requested their budget, when you factor in inflation it is smaller than last years.

Florida wants to destroy public ed and the teaching profession and people better wake up while there is still something worth fighting for.

What is it going to be friends, what is it going to be?

Hey Times Union, Rory Diamond does not deserve your praise

I think we can all agree that helping our Veterans, like Rory Diamond's K9's for veterans does is a good and worthy thing, but if the Times Union is going to lavish praise on Diamond they should give us a complete picture of the man.

Diamond was one of the fiercest opponents of the school districts efforts to get a sales tax referendum passed to help fix its aging and crumbling schools. While doing so he accused the school board chair of being less than honest, and said only students at charter schools have a chance, which is laughable and uninformed. He did this after taking a million dollars from public school foe and charter school proponent Gary Chartrand,something Diamond didn't bother to disclose. One could make the argument he fought against the city's schools and children, along with jobs and a stimulus, after being paid to do so. 

Then speaking of being paid, Diamond is well rewarded for his efforts, after Chartrand's million dollar gift his compensation went up 40k to a quarter million dollars, pretty good right and I guess more proof that true altruism doesn't exist.

Diamond, may love helping veterans but he sure doesn't love helping children, and his moral ambiguity is troubling to say the least.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Gary Chartrand's company going bankrupt raises some troubling questions

From the Jax Daily Record 

Jacksonville-based Acosta Inc. announced Friday it will file a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan, with a majority of creditors in agreement. 

The sales and marketing company said the plan will be filed “in the coming weeks.” The plan provides for vendors to be paid in full during the Chapter 11 process and for all employees to receive their usual compensation. 

Pickett, a 28-year veteran of the company, was promoted to chief executive officer in July.“This process will enable us to continue to operate our business without disruption to clients, customers, employees, and business partners,” CEO Darian Pickett said in a news release. 

The plan will eliminate $3 billion in debt by converting it into equity, and investors have committed $250 million in new equity capital.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/jacksonville-based-acosta-to-file-prepackaged-chapter-11-bankruptcy-reorganization-plan?

Here are some facts, the KIPP school owes Chartrand three million dollars and they recently changed their structure so they can use capital funds to pay lease payments. Chartrand led the fight against the tax referendum, so charters could get millions more in capital funds. Chartrand's company is filing for bankruptcy.   

I am not saying Chartrand looted the company to pay for his far right anti-public education agenda, but wouldn't you like to see the books?

Some people like Chartrand, they say he gives to a lot of good causes but you will forgive me if I think him over charging customers, under paying employees and running his company into the ground makes for a poor resume, let alone him using all that money to push policies that hurt children, teachers and schools.

He is the villain of the story. 

Image result for gary chartrand

Thursday, November 7, 2019

School choice breeds discrimination and segregation

Imagine somebody came to you and said you could have your weight in ice cream. At first you might think this was a great idea, I mean who doesn’t love ice cream. However shortly after you had between 100 pounds to 300 pounds delivered I imagine you would start to see problems and ones beyond the diabetes you just gave yourself. That is school choice in a nutshell, sure it might sound good but when you get into the details and the reality of it, it kind of becomes a disaster.

School choice in reality is nothing more than an excuse for discrimination and segregation and that’s a problem.

First a woman in Florida was fired from the private school she worked out that was funded by public money.

From Newsweek.com

After an anonymous call to school officials, teacher Monica Toro Lisciandro was fired from her position teaching musical theater at Covenant Christian School in Palm Beach, Florida for being gay, according to LGBTQ Nation.
Administrators told Lisciandro that someone had informed them that she was in a relationship with a woman. She was also accused of attending a Pride festival and hosting an LGBTQ group in her own acting studio.
After admitting that those things were true, Lisciandro was let go from her job. Her class was readying their production of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown.


Private schools in Florida that take vouchers have also been criticized for excluding disabled children as well, but the truth is they can turn down any child for any reason but they aren’t the only ones as the Florida Department of Education said charters don’t have to take kids either.

In Jacksonville it was reported that an autistic boy was turned away from a charter school, because they said he wouldn’t be a good fit. You will find similar stories all across the state so where repellent it’s not that unusual, what is however is the state department of education said that was just fine.

From Action News Jax, 

It’s against the law for public schools and charter schools to turn away students because of special needs. 

However, Action News Jax learned there’s a catch. 

The Florida Department of Education said it’s not discriminatory for charters to suggest a different school that would better serve a student with disabilities.  


Well that’s quite the catch isn’t it. I mean what parent is going to want to send their child to a school who obviously doesn’t want them. The FLDOE has given charter schools carte blanche to turn away whatever student they don’t want. Live with your grandmother, no that doesn’t seem like it will be a good fit, family lives in poverty, well we’re going to pass on you too.

If a school can turn down a kid for not being a good fit because they have a disability, they can turn down any kid for not being a good fit for any reason and they often do.

More and more research has indicated charter schools are being used to resegregate our schools too.

From NEA Today, 

In December 2017, the Associated Press conducted an analysis of charter school enrollment nationwide and found that the schools were among the most racially segregated in the nation. 

While only 4 percent of traditional public schools have student bodies that are 99 percent minority (2014-15 school year data), 17 percent of charter schools are 99 percent minority. Furthermore, of the 6,747 charter schools in the country, more than 1,000 had minority enrollment of at least 99 percent. 

The numbers were troubling, if not particularly surprising, to anyone who recognizes that high levels of racial and economic segregation is systematically linked to wide gaps in educational opportunity and achievement.

What is truly maddening beyond the discrimination and segregation that school choice fosters it is we as tax payers are paying for it. We are investing in schools that are perverting our values and usually it’s so their owners can make a buck.

School choice might sound good to some but when you break it down, the way we do it, it’s not. It’s 2019 we should and could be doing better.

Image result for ice cream melting all over someone

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The FLDOE admits they rig the game for charters and charters are allowed to discriminate.


You know it’s funny after these revelations, I thought there would be a bigger outcry. More people would be upset and maybe Tallahassee would want to do something to make the playing ground level, but thus far they have been met with a collective shrug.

In Jacksonville it was reported that an autistic boy was turned away from a charter school, because they said he wouldn’t be a good fit. You will find similar stories all across the state so where repellent it’s not that unusual, what is however is the state department of education said that was just fine. 

From Action News Jax,

It’s against the law for public schools and charter schools to turn away students because of special needs.

However, Action News Jax learned there’s a catch. 

The Florida Department of Education said it’s not discriminatory for charters to suggest a different school that would better serve a student with disabilities.
  

Well that’s quite the catch isn’t it. I mean what parent is going to want to send their child to a school who obviously doesn’t want them. The FLDOE has given charter schools carte blanche to turn away whatever student they don’t want. Live with your grandmother, no that doesn’t seem like it will be a good fit, family lives in poverty, well we’re going to pass on you too. 

If a school can turn down a kid for not being a good fit because they have a disability, they can turn down any kid for not being a good fit for any reason and they often do.

Now they might not do it to the parent’s face, instead they do it through the application process, where they ask about criminal history, income, who they live with and other invasive questions that could give them insight into how they might behave or perform academically.

Furthermore schools report all the time they receive transfers from charter schools, usually after the charters receive state funding and before the students have to take their state tests, who are often behind their public school counterparts.

The FLDOE has in essence set public schools up to fail and despite that they are by and large the best option to educate students.

Charter school proponents talk all the time about choice and competition. It’s central to their argument why we should have them. The thing is how can we have true completion when the game is rigged against public schools in favor of charters?

Sunday, November 3, 2019

CW Leanna Cumber spreads lies about the District

Friends I have a couple questions. How did Cumber get to the point where she can just spread lies about the district?




Hoo boy, if you look closely you can see chairman Hershey's response which points out the district's vaccination rate is 95 percent.

So Cumber misreads an article, and instead of reaching out to the district for clarification, goes right into spreading misinformation. This is Jacksonville, this is us.

My next question is how did somebody who doesn't care about facts and is willing to spread lies get elected.

This is a sorry state of affairs.