Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Civic Council is extorting DCPS for 250 million dollars and don't take my word for it, take Warren Jones

Warren Jones is a local political icon. He was term limited from the city council, twice and he spoke truth to power at the city council meeting Tuesday.

From the Times Union, 
Jones said during public comments in the Rules Committee meeting that as someone who previously served 28 years on the City Council, he has seen council members engage in maneuvers to disguise the real reason for opposition.
“All that is smokescreen,” he said. “We know what the reality is. You know what the reality is.”
He said charter school advocates want a dedicated funding source for charter schools from the sales tax.
“Over 100,000 students are by choice attending traditional public schools, but yet we are being held hostage because we won’t share $250 million off the top to charter schools for the 16,000 [charter] students when many of our students are in schools that desperately are in need of safety [improvements] and repair,” Jones said.
“I pray as a City Council member you break those chains that are holding you hostage and prevent you from doing what is right and fair for all of our students, and most of all for those who by choice have chosen traditional public schools,” Jones said.
250 million dollars, much of would go to for profit charter schools, and a big chunk to a school that owes Chartrand and Baker millions.
Some of you might be think well that's just Jones's opinion, well nope, this is an excerpt from a secret memo the Civic Council sent the city council, several of their members used it's talking points when fighting against the referendum.
The civic council is demanding a proportionate cut of the tax referendum not a cut based on needs.
That's not how things are done, but I guess if you own a city council and a mayor you can get away with extortion.

IDEA coming with 12 schools starting in 2022

Um what?!?

After Bowman said IDEA planned to bring 15 schools to Jacksonville and the media had reported 4 and in an exchange with board chair Hershey they said 6 I decided to ask IDEA and their response was a little troubling.

Here it is,

Mr. Guerrieri,

Thank you for reaching out. We are indeed coming to Jacksonville, starting in 2022, though we are only set on launching 12 schools.

I hope this is helpful.


Here is a link to where they told the Times Union they were bringing just six,

Deep breaths, deep breaths, wooshaw wooshaw...

I have to say Dan got back to me quick. Don't expect that from the City Council and I want to give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe things changed since his interview with the Times Union, I mean who could have predicted the massive resistance to our school from the mayor and council. they may have said, 6, heck  lets do 12, if things work out with the council there won't be much of DCPS left by then and we might have a tax windfall

Lenny Curry attempts to bully and intimidate the school board chair

We are at a low point in city politics. We aren't being led by Lenny Curry we are bring ruled by him on behalf of his super donors. The little king isn't above trying to bully and intimidate either.

I mean how dare the school board chair thank the two members of the council who have stood up and supported our public schools!!!

Um, and is he talking to the city council or the civic council, I ask because the city council are more like his lackeys, rather than colleagues.

There no other interpretation of Curry's tweet, he thinks pointing out Board Chair Hershey's appreciation is something to be chided and ridiculed, and should have ramifications.

I hope she uses this as a wake up call. The board is not having a gentile policy debate with the mayor and the city council. It's a knife fight with the future of our schools on the line.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

How does somebody as ignorant as Rory Diamond get elected to the city council? (rough draft)

This past fall when the beaches had a choice between anti-public education businessman Nick Howland and teacher Elizabeth Anderson, the beaches overwhelmingly chose Anderson. Yet somehow Diamond was elected to the city council and this past Tuesday he showed how ignorant and corrupt he was.

From Florida Politics,
Rory Diamond, who introduced the motion, noted that the Finance deferral meant that the bill was deferred, “not structured to move along.”
Diamond is concerned about enrollment declines, “school choice” and the overall costs of the plan, questions echoed by the portion of the donor class represented by the Jacksonville Civic Council.
“The only place I see kids getting a chance,” Diamond said, is a charter school, not a public school.
The only place kids are getting a chance is charter schools, let that sit in.
Mr. Diamond represents the beaches area which has not just some of the best schools in the city but in the state. I feel like those kids are getting a chance. Those are schools by the way that would benefit from the referendum.
Diamond doesn't care about facts or decency for that matter, and why should he when his doors reward him for bashing our public schools.  
At about the hour seven mark Diamond started to speak from what was apparently a set of talking points provided by the civic council. He spoke fondly of the the kids in charter schools complaining that the district hasn't provided charters public money for construction or equipment which is not their job by the way. That's like Winn Dixie demanding Public provide them their meat.
Then he demanded a guaranty to share tax money with charters (something the district has said they plan to do over and over) saying the only place that kids get a chance are in public charter schools ,saying he would die on that mountain.
This is what we are fighting against, people who despite tons of evidence to the contrary think are schools or failures that and people who are paid to say it.  Diamond is either ignorant, corrupt or both,

The city's plot to privatize our schools explained (draft)

The school district was literally one percentage point away from  an A grade, it's a B plus plus. Now are things perfect everywhere? No to many of our schools in neighborhoods wracked with poverty still struggle with the state test. That being said, you would think most city's would rally around the school district to get it over the hump, that they would leave no stone unturned to make sure it was successful but not Jacksonville, here a bunch of businessmen and politicians have conspired to turn our schools over to charters.

In May at an incredible state board of education meeting state commissioner Richard Corcoran chided superintendent Green to give our schools to the IDEA academy, saying the district had failed it's children.  He even said he wants the authority to take over schools.

Scott Shine since a memo to all the city council members saying the IDEA charter chain is coming soon and bringing 15 schools with them, He wrote, Last week, Idea Charter Schools announced they will bring 12 to 14 schools to Jacksonville – mostly in the urban core.  How are charters recognized as an impact to student populations?

The thing is they announced no such thing, announced anyways and when TU editorial reporter Emily Bloch reached out to them she told me they seemed upset that any news had leaked out and they were in talks to bring 4 schools here in 4 years.

In the article they said they met with the super and board chair and several city leaders, one of who was Aaron Bowman.

Yesterday when giving one specious reason after another to not support the City's schools, at the 41st minute mark of yesterdays city council meeting he said, that he met with their board members and administration and that they have offered to come in and open 15 schools and that has been agreed to by their board.

This is the same group that told the TU 4 in 4 years. Did Bowman just lie to the people of Jacksonville of did IDEA lie to the the Times Union?

So somebody lied, Bowman to the people of Jacksonville or IDEA to the Times Union, either should be unacceptable.

Corcoran, Shine, Curry, Chartrand, Bowman, I don't think it should be lost on anyone that these affluent white men who don't live in communities of color are fighting to have their public schools replaced. They  are meeting with charter chains,  they are saying that 15 IDEA schools is a done deal.

We were less than a percentage point away from an A and instead of saying, hey lets rally together to get us over the hump, city leaders are saying lets replace our public schools with charters and deny them the resources they definitely and desperately need, how is that right? How does that make any sense?

And for my friends who live in more affluent areas of town, who don't think they have to worry about charters replacing their public schools, first they came the schools in the poor areas of town but make no mistake they will come for your schools as well.   

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Aaron Bowman specious reasons for throwing the city's children under the bus

Aaron Bowman loovvvess public schools, loves them so much he has done everything to make sure they don't have the resources they need.

He starts talking at about the 37 minute mark

First he has concerns about low voter turnout which is rich because the city's power structure benefits and plans elections when turn out will be low, and see this past spring as example number one. regardless I am pretty sure everyone knows about the tax referendum by now and will have the opportunity to weigh in should they choose.

His next concern was OPPAGA, it's very important and he just learned about it last week. Oy vey, I can't I just can't, to learn more about it click the link.

Next he wants DCPS to hire people to build buildings and then lease the buildings from them. Um...

He says IDEA schools have come and agreed to open up 15 schools, well not according to the paper with said they had plans to open 4 in four years, but um shouldn't DCPS be in charge of our schools run our schools?

Bowman brings up a mysterious developer to take over the DCPS school board building. You know, one of his pals.  They should get rid of that building because reasons.

Ron Salem tells the school board, listen to the Civic Council or else

At 24:38 Ron Salem with a wink says listen to the Civic Council or else.

He says any organization that wants input into this process and obtain and consider their comments, he has got a lot of analysis that makes a lot of sense to him.

Gary Chartrand and the Civic Council are fighting against our schools getting the resource they need Ron Salem is more than happy to carry water for them.

If you want to check his donors, the civic council is well represented.

Whatever happened to the Hazouri rule?

When Hazouri was on the school board he brought up rule from time to time. Not a rule in the books but a rule he had to promote collegiality on the board.

If there was a district specific issue he would support that districts representative regardless of his feelings. The thought being they were elected to represent the people of that district and they would know best. Well he has thrown that noble notion out with the bathwater as he has done all he can to usurp the school boards authority. Hey Tommy they were elected to take care of our schools, not you and the board.

He knows better than most the issues that DCPS has as a former board member and he also knows what is happening with the city  is plain wrong but rather than do what is right and defer to the duly elected school board he has joined the city and their efforts to usurp their authority. He know that's wrong but it hasn't stopped him.

He says he wants the referendum to pass, I don't believe him.

He says they are almost there too, and I don't believe that either.

What I do believe is Hazouri has traded his values for one last go around. Maybe that's good for him but it turns out it has been terrible for the city.

  Image result for tommy hazouri

A summary of the rules committee meeting, specious reasons and questions dominate the meeting

It's time to sue. There is nothing the district can do short of giving away its schools and all the tax money to charters that would satisfy the majority of the city council. This meeting just reemphasized that.

First props to Joyce Morgan and Matt Carlucci who supported the tax referendum.

The rest well...

Tommy Hazouri, if you could just answer some more questions maybe we could get behind the referendum. Face palm

Leanna Cumber, I work with a lot of engineering firms so I know engineers, so can you give me a list of every project and when it will take place, for $%#s sake, how do these people get elected.

Randy Defoor, the school board needs to map out every cent, and every move for the next 15 years or she can't support it.

Micheal Boylon points out how desperate our public schools need money and it should be up to the school board to make the decision what to do because that is the job they were elected to do, but, he can't support the referendum.

Despite millions in PECO money and dozens of school choice programs in DCPS schools, Rory Diamond wants money guaranteed for charter schools which are the only schools giving kids a chance. He's the rep from the beach by the way which has some of the best public schools not only in the city but the state. He's a joke.

Warren Jones vice chair of the school board calls out the City Council for blackmailing the district over charter schools. I don't want to say I told you so but...

Speaker calls out City Council for dissuading democracy by having comments at the end of the meeting. She asks, shouldn't we have the discussion before the vote. Amen!

Elizabeth Anderson points out how much has been cut from school district.

Tracie Davis points out the referendum would cost a buck fifty five per month for the average person. The last four are great points that should have probably come up before the vote.

It's time to sue. There is nothing the district can do short of giving away its schools and all the tax money to charters that would satisfy the majority of the city council. 

It's time for the school board to sue.

From today's meeting,

City Council, what did OPPAGA say about your plans?

School Board, sorry we haven't asked them because we can't until the referendum has been approved.

City Council, well we won't consider approving your referendum until OPPAGA (the Office of Program Policy and Government Accountability) weighs in.

School District, well they can't weigh in until the referendum has been approved. It's kind of the law.

City council, we aren't approving it until they do, takes bite of an apple.

School District oh for %$#@s sake, lets sue

The last line was what I would wish the SB would say.

There is nothing the board can do which will appease Bowman who is on record saying he wants to replace our public schools with charters. Nothing.

If, lots of letters government advisory body, would have weighed in he would have wanted something else. Unless the board goes okay we will give our schools to charters and all the tax money to, the referendum isn't going anywhere and its time we stopped pretending it might.

The board should be applauded for trying to go through the process despite the deck being stacked against them They should be, but it should be obvious by now that this is over.

It's time to get the lawyers involved.

City Council, Aaron Bowman wants to turn our public schools over to charters.

Well it's out there. After years of  people saying, hey guys they are coming for our schools, Aaron Bowman and several other city council members during today's finance meeting made it official, they want our school district privatized and the public schools replaced with charters. No more beating around the bush, no more lies about them supporting our schools, not even smiles to the districts faces while they stabbed them in the back. Nope, they want charters and more money for them and the districts public schools can wither on the vine for all they care.

I don't have a link to the video which isn't up yet but at the meeting he said he wanted our public schools to be given to the IDEA charter chain which recently announced plans to open several charter schools here in 4 years.

Why wait though right? I mean we have schools, why not just move the district staff out and the IDEA staff in. Who wants to bet they will find money to fix up the schools if that happened?

Bowman, fix our schools, nah, support the school district, forget about it, now replace them with charters who pick and choose who they take and keep, staffed with Teach for America, now that is the ticket.

He wasn't the only council member either,

LeAnna Cumber despite the millions charters already get, wants them to get even more, as does Ron Salem. Think about that, instead of helping our public schools, they want more money to go to often for profit schools.

So much for being less than a percentage point away from being an A district.

This is shameful. City Council members fighting against the improvement of our public schools. This was a dark day for education in Jacksonville.


Image result for aaron bowman

Monday, July 15, 2019

Richard Corcoran's wife owns a Taj Mahal charter school, our kids can go learn under a tree

Richard Corcoran believes in the golden rule, he who has the gold makes the rules.

While visiting Duval some of whose schools are literally crumbling, when asked about a special tax referendum they local board is trying to get on the ballot, he commented that Jacksonville doesn't need mini-Taj Mahals for their children and they would do just as well if they were taught under trees.

This is a picture of his wife's charter school, why do I feel like they want for nothing.

Image may contain: house, sky, cloud and outdoor

This is a picture of the public school down the street from former board member Becki Couch

Image may contain: tree, sky, house and outdoor

Um which looks more like the Taj Mahal? That's black mold on the walls by the way.

We are not being led in Florida we are being ruled. 

DCPS is strongly considering bringing back Teach for America

This from a draft contract that the board will discuss at its August meeting,

Previous Outcomes TFA teacher performance based on Florida DOE Valued Added Model (VAM) score was reviewed for TFA teachers in TFA cohorts 2013-2015 to 2016-2018 using VAM data from 1415 to 1718 school years. There were 473 TFA teacher scores during those years. Of those, 53.9% were Effective or Highly Effective and 46.1% were Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory.

Um if almost half were considered needs improvement or unsatisfactory why for goodness sake would we even be considering bringing them back?

Well maybe its because they cut their initial asking price of 14 k to nine grand per teacher. Also from the draft contract.

Um 9 k per TFA teacher?!? Why don't we have somebody going to the states education colleges and offering graduates that money? You know people who were trained to be teachers and who will have a much greater probability of staying more than two years.

Last year we had 18 TFA teachers and the district didn't have to pay a dime. They applied just like anyone else would.

I hate to think this is a quid pro quo to get the Bully  and TFA supporter Gary Chartrand to support the tax referendum but regardless this is short term thinking. It allows TFA to remain a presence in the city until those 10-15 IDEA schools get here. Do you know who works at IDEA schools? Teach for America that is who.

Teach for America was an expensive and terrible program that did the exact opposite of what we know our most vulnerable children need and the district should not entertain for one moment bringing them back. 

I am not saying we don't need more teachers, we do, I am saying this solution makes things far worse not better.

Come on DCPS you are better than this.