Breaking down Florida’s Quality Counts grade. Sometimes good news is not good news. (rough draft)
Education week ranked us 5th in the nation up from 11th last year. Florida 5th! That’s amazing and awesome, take that all you naysayers we’re amazing. Oh wait a minute you think I should look behind the numbers instead of just reading the headline? I should take the time and do the research before I celebrate? Why would I do that, I’m from Duval County where one ataboy wipes out a thousand ahhshits.
Let me ask you this, if your kid brought home 2 As in his electives and then 1 B, 1 C, 1 C- and a D+ in his core classes, what would you think? Would you think he or she was 5th in the class?
Since you insist I will take a few minutes.
There are six categories:
Chance for Success, we received a C and were ranked 34th. Okay, our schools are in the bottom half of the nation, that’s not so great, but it could be worse right? We could be Alabama or Mississippi.
K-12 achievement, we received a C- but there is good news here, we were ranked 12th. It seems like the whole country is doing pretty poor. Yay we’re the best of the worst!
Standards Assessment and Accountability, and if you guessed we excelled in giving tests then give yourself a no-prize, we received an A and were ranked 4th, it’s just to bad all these tests haven’t led to more chances of success for our kids.
Transitions and Alignment is the other category we excelled in receiving an A and being ranked 4th. Which begs the question how great is a comprehensive plan if it leads to such poor chances for success and academic achievement? Somebody at a higher pay grade will have to answer that one.
Next we got a B for our teachers, which translate to a number 4 rank nation wide. You would probably have no idea teachers here ranked so high if you looked at their treatment at the hands of the legislature and governor. 3% pay cut, value added evaluations, teachers aren’t professionals and neither their experience nor education matter, anyone?
Finally we got a D+ in finances and a 39th place ranking. Cheap, cheap, cheap and according to Ed Week this makes us one of the best values around, it’s just to bad many teachers have to get second jobs and live in fear of illnesses, flat tires and the Mondays through Thursdays before payday.