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Monday, July 16, 2018

Darryl Willie's latest campaign video proves once again he is all style and zero substance.

In Darryl Willie's latest campaign post he asks District 4 do you love me? Ugh how does he fit his head through his shirt?

He posted a video where he gets out of the D-Willie mobile and dances with his family and school board building in the background?

There is nothing about that pesky reading problem, teacher morale or the 63 million dollar budget shortfall, just him shaking his money maker.

The school board needs serious people to do a serious job and D-Willie has just proven again its not him.

We can't afford to put somebody who thinks selling his dance moves is more important than selling his ideas on the board.



I am reminded of a line of dialogue from the musical Hamilton. Hamilton asks Burr, if you stand for nothing what do you fall for, and Burr replies, talk less smile more, don't let them know what you are against or what you are for. Willie is dancing not talking about his ideas and he hopes people will overlook his lack of them, as well as his lack of experience and a track record of success.

We don't need somebody with dance moves on the school board we need somebody with ideas. Willie proves once again he is all about style over substance.

If he really cared about our schools and children he would drop out of the race and allow people with experience and a track record to have a conversation about improving our schools. 

The Jacksonville Public education Fund is okay with people thinking they support particular candidates

It might seem like I am pretty critical of JPEF and it's because I am. I think it is abhorrent that they take that sweet sweet Gary Chartand money and then pretend to be advocates of public education.

Here is an incomplete list of things they have done over the years.

They have hosted school board forums without revealing their board members support particular candidates.

They did a white paper which said, public schools do better than charters and we don't know how well private schools that take vouchers do, but we need more charters and vouchers.

Trey Csar their long time director said he wasn't for public schools he was for good schools, a noble sentiment indeed, but its to bad JPEF isn't call JGSEF. I would also argue that supporting charters and voucher schools goes against his sentiment.

They crowned a Teach for America teacher with just two years classroom experience as the best the district had to offer.

They advertised for a forum whose theme was how can we get more African american boys to attend charter schools.

They said on one hand that lots of our teachers are highly effective and effective but on the other a lot of kids aren't passing state tests, the implication being very clear.

These are just off the top of my head.

When a teacher reached out to me and said, when they go to the JPEF Facebook page, they saw an add for Darryl Willies school board candidacy Page, I reached out to JPEF and had the following exchange.

Good morning, a couple people have come to me and said Darryl Willie for School Board

displays as a related page on your facebook page, well, this seems like a conflict of interest unless you were going to have all the candidates pages be related pages. I don't know
if this is something you can control but it looks like you are endorsing Willie. If you can rectify this, I would do so immediately. Thanks

Good afternoon, Chris, The Facebook algorithm will present pages to you related to the ones that you are already interacting with. This is not something we can control. We do not, can not and are not endorsing any specific candidate or candidates for school board.

Chris

Thanks for getting back to me. I had a couple thoughts. Maybe you should post your assertion in case other people see candidate pages and get a similar idea. That being said shouldn't you endorse pro education candidates and don't you kind of already endorse candidates as an organzation? I mean Chartrand gave 4,000 dollars to Chauncey and has supported Willie and Howland as have several other board members. I know I know, they can do what I want but I have to be honest it looks bad. Thanks again for getting back to me.

Thank you for your ideas! I think at this time, we will handle the requests on an individual basis, so if you’re getting questions, you can let folks know we are here and willing to answer.

The IRS guidelines for 501(c)3 organizations prohibit us from endorsing candidates as an organization or as representatives of the organization. You are correct in that Gary Chartrand is not an employee or board member of JPEF and thus, can invest his dollars however he chooses. I can assure you that internally, our goal with the school board elections candidate forums is to create a space for community members to meet the candidates and ask their questions so they can make informed decisions at the polls.

Hope this helps and reach out any time with questions 😊





























































A smiley face? Oy vey!

They can't be bothered to clear up any misconceptions but they can blast my Facebook feed with the same post a half dozen times?

I think JPEF had great promise, most of which it squandered. They really could have done some good but instead they nibbled around the edges afraid to upset their founder Gary Chartrand.

It would have been great if we could have had an organization whose purpose was to help public education, it's just to bad we haven't had one.

If you have any questions, per their request, send them to JPEF.

The Network for Public Education gives Florida a F for their commitment to public education.

These are irrefutable facts.

Florida's teachers are some of the worst paid in the nation.

Florida is always ranked among the lowest in investing in public education.

Republican's have controlled the state government for over 20 years.

Republican's routinely pass laws that harm the teaching profession and public education while siphoning money to for profit charter schools, who are some of their biggest donors, and to private schools which have practically no over site.

Nobody can argue with above.

The NPE a grass root organization of teachers and education professionals has ranked the states according to their commitment to public education and it is no surprise that Florida received a F.

No automatic alt text available.

Well friends do we really like being at the bottom of the list? Don't our children deserve better?
It's time we made a change in Tallahassee and instead of continuing to elect people who would dismantle our public schools and the teaching profession, we elected people who will support both.

It is past time for a change.

To learn more, click the link: http://schottfoundation.org/sites/default/files/grading-the-states.pdf
  

If Darryl Willie can't be trusted to do his paperwork how can we trust him to be on the school board?

Friends it is the little things and I know not many people nerd out like I do and check the candidates paperwork, but I like to know who is supporting them because to me that tells me a lot about them. If parents and teachers support a candidate, I think that is good. If corporations, the uber rich trying to purchase influence and charter schools support them, I think that is bad. Needless to say, Willie gets a lot of the latter.

Then he can't do his paperwork either. This latest filing was due on the 6th and ten days later he hasn't bothered to do it and this is far from his first time being very late. I wrote below when he was late last time.

This is D-Willie's second attempt to be on the school board. He ran against a rather nasty campaign against Paula Wright in 2014 where he and his allies spread falsehoods about the district and Mrs. Wright herself. This go around he has exhibited a different issue.

http://jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com/2014/08/darryl-willie-is-nastiest-of-nasty-lies.html

Candidates have to report who gives them money and this last cycle ended on June 22nd some ten days ago and he didn't file his report until today.

Now it's not unusual for candidates to pass the deadline by a few days, ten days however, well that is another matter.

These dates and the fact you are supposed to have this information in are well known in advance. It's paperwork that candidates are required to do, like the paperwork that teachers and I am sure school board members have to do. You might not like it, or agree with it or want to do it, a boat I have been in many times, but there it is.

It took Willie ten days to get his in and this isn't the first time he has taken more extra time than his opponents

I guess on the scale of things, that's better than spreading lies about ones opponents, but a history of not doing your work on time is something we should be aware of.

I wrote in 2014 about how it was troubling he was the preferred candidate of a cabal of rich white families that don't live in the district, he had terrible ideas and spread misleading statements about board member Wright. I guess I can add he has a hard time getting his paperwork in to the list as well.

It's the little things.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Jeb Bush's foundation puts Kimberly Daniels in its honor roll

Jeb Bush has an education foundation, Florida's Future, where he pushes things like high stakes testing, punitive measures against teachers and privatization, and democratic representative Kimberly Daniels in part of their honor roll. 

Sandwiched in between Richard Corcoran and Manny Diaz, two long time foes of public education, and just a few notches above Jason Fischer who is the worst of the worst, the foundation had this to say about Daniels,

  Representative Kimberly Daniels
Representative Kimberly Daniels was one of the Florida House’s most outspoken proponents of educational opportunity, often sharing her experiences as a parent as well as the experiences of many of her constituents.
While sharing her passion for empowering parents with high-quality choices, Representative Daniels often focused on the positive, lifelong impact these choices have for students.
Kimberly Daniels is a lot of thing, two things she is not is a friend of public education and a democrat.
The Florida Education Association, inversely to Jeb Bush had Daniels the lowest ranked democrat when it can to supporting public education.
Friends we cannot have fake democrats representing our schools and children because they don't and instead they represent the interests of privatizers, mercenaries and charlatans. 
Kimberly Daniels has shown by what she has done and who she takes money from that she does not deserve a second term and how she got a first is beyond me.
Instead we need to elect a real advocate for children, current school board chair, Paula Wright, who unlike Jason Fischer did when he ran for the house did not quit her job. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Who is funding amendment 8?

First a refresher. Amendment 8 is a Frankenstein proposal, that pairs to nominally popular ideas, term limits on school board members and civic education with a third idea, taking charter school approval out of the hands of local school boards, that on its own would not have much of a chance of passing. 

First I should say, we already have a middle school civics requirement and localities can already choose to have term limits on school boards, as Duval has shown.  

So who is funding the pushing of the amendment? Charter schools and foreign investors of course.

From News for Jax:

Companies with ties to charter schools and a controversial federal visa program are providing the bulk of contributions to an effort to pass a constitutional amendment that would impose an eight-year term limit on school board members.
Through June, the 8isGreat.org political committee has raised $54,532 in support of Amendment 8, state election records show.
Nearly three-quarters of the money raised by the 8isGreat group has come from companies involved with charter schools.
Red Apple Development, a Fort Lauderdale company that has helped develop more than three dozen charter school projects in Florida, donated $10,000 to the amendment effort.
GreenAccess, a Jupiter company also involved in more than three dozen charter schools in Florida, donated $15,000.
Florida Overseas Investment Center, a Sarasota company, also made a $15,000 contribution to the amendment campaign, records show.
GreenAccess and Florida Overseas Investment are both involved in the EB-5 investor visa program, which provides a path to U.S. residency for wealthy foreign immigrants.
Under the program, the foreign investors can obtain a “green card” for themselves and their families if they provide at least $500,000 for projects, such as schools, that are tied to job creation.
Critics have said the visa program is loosely regulated, while supporters have defended it as a way to direct investments and jobs to under-served communities.
Friends what can I say, neither foreign investors of charter school operators care about our children, they just see an opportunity to make a buck. That is not who we should be siding with, when our children's futures hang in the balance.
The League of Women voters fortunately has stepped up and is suing to get this monstrosity thrown out.
From Florida Politics:
Calling it “affirmatively misleading,” the League of Women Voters of Florida is seeking to have a proposed constitutional amendment on education tossed off the ballot.
At issue is a section that would let organizers of charter schools avoid having to get an OK from local school boards to open.
Voters “will not recognize that the real purpose of the amendment is to allow unaccountable political appointees to control where and when charter schools can be established in their county,” she said.
“We know that Floridians overwhelmingly support the constitutional requirement to make adequate provision for the education of all children that is ‘uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality.’ We are asking the court to ensure that voters aren’t tricked into eliminating those protections.”
8 is bad both for democracy and our children and if not thrown out it should be voted down.

Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's supreme court pick is anti public education

I think there are a lot of reasons to oppose Kavanaugh's nomination but here I am going to focus on his anti public education positions. 

Kavanaugh is a big believer in school vouchers. In Florida that means students can attend schools without certified teachers let alone degrees. Many of the schools teach junk science, intelligent design and a perverted version of history, slavery wasn't that bad and dinosaurs and humans coexisted. 

http://www.newsweek.com/florida-private-schools-teaching-students-humans-dinosaurs-roamed-earth-same-954612     

Now I can't say for sure if Kavanaugh thinks slavery was okay but I can say he is okay with private schools teaching that it was.

He also pushed prayer in our schools. Now to be honest I pray all the time while at school. I pray the powers that be will finally listen to teachers and help us give students what they need, but that's not the type of prayer he was defending in 1999.

From Politico:

  Kavanaugh wrote an amicus brief in December 1999 in favor of a Texas high school’s policy allowing the use of a public address system for student-led and student-initiated prayers at school football games. The amicus brief, on behalf of Oklahoma Republican Reps. Steve Largent and J.C. Watts, argued that the policy passed constitutional muster — an argument the Supreme Court rejected. In a 6-3 ruling, the court declared the school policy allowing prayer unconstitutional under the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-education/2018/07/10/a-dig-through-kavanaughs-record-on-education-finds-plenty-of-material-274850

Sigh, the right really loves the second amendment but doesn't mind ignoring the first.

Kavanaugh's push to entangle religion with a public education is fraught with peril and is to put it mildly an interesting position coming from the son of a public school teacher.

From the Washington Post:

As he was introduced Monday at the White House, though, Kavanaugh pointed to his mother’s work as a history teacher at two public schools in the District in the 1960s and ’70s, McKinley Tech and H.D. Woodson, before she went to law school.
“Her example taught me the importance of equality for all Americans,” Kavanaugh said.
I imagine he wishes he could have gotten away with saying "Christian Americans", there.
Now I think we should invest public schools, and we should have standards. Those people that support vouchers are pretty much saying the opposite while they funnel money away from schools most of which are already starving. 
Kavanaugh's position seems to be anything goes as long as it is religious based, though, I think we all know he has just one religion in mind.
Like I said, I believe there are many reason people should oppose his nomination but as a teacher and supporter of public education, I find his opinions on public education very troubling to say the least.  

Republicans finance Kim Daniels versus Paula Wright in house district 14

You can usually count on democrats to support pubic education in Tallahassee, one of the exceptions is Kimberly Daniels and it is probably because of that, Paula Wright is running against her. Well friends if her voting record wasn't bad enough then after looking at her latest fund raising numbers and where the money came from there is little doubt that Daniels is just a democrat in name only.

From Florida Politics:

Daniels garnered her haul from an atypical donor base for a Democratic candidate.
Private prison mega-corporation The Geo Group and U.S. Sugar gave $1,000, as did First Coast Conservatives, the political committee of Rep. Travis Cummings.
Also ponying up: friendly Republican donors, such as Peter Rummell and charter school impresario Gary Chartrand (along with Charter Schools USA).
If Peter Rummel, Gary Chartrand and Charter Schools USA are supporting you then there can be know doubt where your allegiances lie and it isn't with public education. Kim Daniels has sold out public education.

If you live in 14 and care about public education then Wright is your only choice.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Scott Shine should resign immeadiatly

Since Scott Shine announced he would not seek reelection he has regularly engaged in some troubling behavior.

First he did not show up for the final interviews for the superintendent candidates, perhaps the most important job the board has had.

Then he called on intern superintendent Willis to rescind two principal promotions that went to relatives of hers. the problem here is he already voted to approve the promotions. He claimed that Willis was not forthcoming but as far as I can tell nobody stopped him from asking questions before he gave his approval.

Then last week he basically accused the district of cheating when the district did better on the end of the year civics exam. The pupil progression plan, a plan he also voted for called for children to take the test when they were better prepared, which seems more like a good thing than gaming the system as Shine implied. State education commissioner Pam Stewart basically rebuked Shine when she called the practice of better preparing students academically sound and found no wrong doing.

Any one of these incidents is troubling but when put together they show a dereliction of duty for a job that despite the fact he is a multi-millionaire he is being paid to do. That's right folks he collects a check.

During the last two election cycles, district 2 has chosen rich, white businessmen, first Fel Lee who also only served one term and then Shine, without any relevant education experience and we see how this has worked out. I hope this time around they choose an educator, somebody who cares about our, children, teachers and schools, rather than somebody who treats the position like it is a check mark on a bucket list.

Shine should immediately resign. 

I blocked Tom James on facebook and maybe you should too.

Tom James is a teacher and former union member out of south Florida and I did not take blocking him lightly.

You see, I believe people can disagree with each other, I believe people can look at a situation and see it from different perspectives as well. What people can't do is bully, troll or drive by and throw bombs and that is what Tom James and so many more people are doing.

In my opinion people like James aren't interested in having discussions and finding solutions, no, they are interested in being right and belittling the people they disagree with, though James calls it "exposing liberal lies."

Now some people might be saying, come on Chris, you write about the republican party all the and I do, but me pointing out what they have done and are doing has a valid place in the education debate especially in Florida where they have been in complete control for over twenty years.

Me pointing out what they have done is not an attack, it is the equivalent of me saying the sky is blue and puppies are cute, it just is.

Here is the thing, in my blogging career, I have also criticized President Obama and Arne Duncan for their education polices and was a huge critic of Race to the Top as well. Heck when I thought it warranted I have criticized my own union too. I don't mind calling out anybody who in my opinion is harming public education and the teaching profession.

What James and he's not alone, get miffed about is the fact that when it comes to education Republicans give me a lot more opportunities to point out their corruption, maleficence, and bad policies. Policies that more often than not hurt children and teachers.

I want to make two points, I will never lie about whats happening, I don't need to and where I do a lot of commentary, I will always do my best to source as much as I can. Next feel free to challenge and debate me, but you had better come with facts not memes or unrelated subjects, and with a certain amount of decorum. I will not start it but I have no problem giving it back.

So if you want to have a conversation lets do it, if not scroll on by or if on Facebook, feel free to block me as well.

In education, as in most areas of life, we have serious problems that need serious solutions, bullies, trolls and bomb throwers however are not needed. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Jason Fischer and Scott Shine basically called frauds by education commissioner

Jason Fischer and Scott Shine in my opinion are some of the worst of the worst. It is not just that they actively root for failure it's also they complain against things they supported. Fischer helped craft a budget that he later called an audit for and Shine complained about a pupil progression plan he likewise voted for when it led to success. 

Why did they do these things? I believe it is at the behest of a rich donor, Gary Chartrand who will do everything in his power to embarrass and hurt DCPS. To paraphrase Dean Wormer, ignorant and corrupt are noway to go through life.

Well it's not just me who thinks Fischer and Shine, who basically called the district cheats when the  it did better than before on the end of the year Civics exam, out of line, it is commissioner Pam Stewart as well. 

From the Orlando Sentinel:

Florida school districts that delayed enrollment in a required civics course for some middle school students did nothing wrong — and may have made an “educationally sound” decision for those youngsters, said Education Commissioner Pam Stewart.

Stewart shared her views in a letter sent to six Republican lawmakers, who last week accused three school districts — those in Duval, Manatee and Polk counties — of trying to “game” Florida’s school grading system with “dishonest and unethical practices.”
But Stewart said in her letter Tuesday that she found no evidence of wrongdoing or any attempt to manipulate the state’s A-to-F school grading system.
Stewart added, “We do not have any evidence that the districts you have listed have done anything that is in violation of the law or improperly manipulated the accountability system.”
Fischer and Shine have never been friends of Duval County Public Schools and they have never represented the people of their districts either. Everybody who took ten seconds on the story knew DCPS had done nothing wrong yet the two of them pushed it. Shameful.

Shine has already announced he isn't running for reelection, and it's time we made sure Fischer is out of a job come November as well.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Jason Fischer takes ten thousand dollars from Florida's voucher king

From Florida Politics:

School choice money, via Step Up for Students founder John Kirtley, comprised $10,000 of the committee’s haul; Florida Power and Light, a company with lobbyists in Jacksonville’s City Hall during the lapsed debate over potential privatization of the city’s utility, ponied up $5,000.

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/267820-in-hd-16-incumbent-jason-fischer-expands-money-lead-over-democratic-challenger#comment-49870

Here is a little trivia you might not know, Fischer also works for Kirtey at the state house Uretek holdings.  

Let's talk about vouchers in Florida, the following are all facts.

They have diverted billions away from public education.

Teachers at the voucher schools don't have to have degrees, nor do they have to be certified.

Many don't have a recognized curriculum and teach junk science, the Earth is only  9,000 years old and junk history, slavery wasn't so bad. 

Most don't have to report how they use the money they get from the state.

This is what Kirtley pushes and Fischer supports.

Fischer also funneled two million dollars to a donors charter school while ignoring the please of DCPS that the state didn't adequately fund its school security programs. 

I also found this interesting, also from Florida Politics:

Among Organes’ backers: former CSX CEO Michael Ward, notable as Organes retired from the Jacksonville railroad, former State Attorney candidate Jay Plotkin, and the local Sheet Metal Workers.

Fischer and Organes both worked for CSX and Michael Ward and he chose to support Organes.

Fischer does not care about the people of district 16 and he should not be given another term. 

Is Darryl Willie going to be a school board member like he is a candidate? If so we should be troubled.

This is D-Willie's second attempt to be on the school board. He ran against a rather nasty campaign against Paula Wright in 2014 where he and his allies spread falsehoods about the district and Mrs. Wright herself. This go around he has exhibited a different issue.

http://jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com/2014/08/darryl-willie-is-nastiest-of-nasty-lies.html

Candidates have to report who gives them money and this last cycle ended on June 22nd some ten days ago and he didn't file his report until today.

Now it's not unusual for candidates to pass the deadline by a few days, ten days however, well that is another matter.

These dates and the fact you are supposed to have this information in are well known in advance. It's paperwork that candidates are required to do, like the paperwork that teachers and I am sure school board members have to do. You might not like it, or agree with it or want to do it, a boat I have been in many times, but there it is.

It took Willie ten days to get his in and this isn't the first time he has taken more extra time than his opponents

I guess on the scale of things, that's better than spreading lies about ones opponents, but a history of not doing your work on time is something we should be aware of.

I wrote in 2014 about how it was troubling he was the preferred candidate of a cabal of rich white families that don't live in the district, he had terrible ideas and spread misleading statements about board member Wright. I guess I can add he has a hard time getting his paperwork in to the list as well.

It's the little things.