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Has the Times Union lost its ever-loving mind? The Wright way?

In what has to be the worst piece of Education Reporting to ever come out of the Times Union and there has been no shortage of humdingers, Khristopher Brooks wrote a piece extolling the virtues of former Jackson Principal and current area chief Iranetta Wright.

The article started: When Iranetta Wright became principal at Jackson High School five years ago not only was it the lowest performing school in Duval County public schools but it was ranked lowest in Florid but today it was ranked a B.

The article never mentioned the grades the school received while she was principal there, which were F, D, F and B and that the B probably had as much to do with almost half the student body leaving during her four years, a change in the state grading system which saw grades all across the state rise and the fact the district put a heroic amount of resources into the school. At the very least the Times Union could have waited to see what the schools grade will be this year before throwing her the parade on page one.

http://jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com/2013/06/lets-look-at-vittis-data-driven.html

Where is the context, where are the details? As usual they are missing. I submit an alley cat randomly batting balls around with all the resources and change in grading formula could have done as well at Jackson high school and would definitely been more popular.

http://jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com/2012/04/friends-dont-let-friends-go-to-jackson.html

Later she talked about how she improved the schools grade saying she kept teachers who were dedicated to their children as if that was a problem before she arrived and I guess must have been a problem her first three years too. There was also no mention of the grading formula change, half the student body leaving or the extra resources.

http://jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com/2012/12/so-just-how-much-did-your-high-school.html

I don’t know if Mrs. Wright has a monkey’s paw or is a siren from old charming men in her wake as she chugs towards the top but evidence doesn’t bear out either her meteoric rise or the papers gushing review of her performance.

Look I hope she gets an epiphany, the schools under her charge are going to need it and I hope she does a great job but the Times Union shouldn’t report that she did a good job when the facts do not bear that out. Also couldn’t the Times Union have written the article without her? All it did was provide more evidence that the Times Union is out of touch.

Bill Gates legacy, billions of dollars wasted, teachers losing their jobs and kids getting a poor education

Teachers are forced into odious evaluation systems, kids are forced to take classes they have no desire to take, schools are closed because of tests scores and what does bill Gates say? Who knows if any of it is going to work?

Funny because in the past he was sure smaller schools would work, identifying the best teachers and loading them up would work and the only reform with real evidence that says it does work, smaller classes would not work.

This is why we shouldn’t have billionaires driving education reform. They don’t need evidence or facts, or logic; instead they go with their guts, which they believe must be infallible because they are rich after all.  Then when their ideas fail over and over the hubris they have allows them to ignore the results as they are off to their next sure fix.

That’s the way it used to be anyway before Gates dropped, the “who knows” bombshell. But do you think that has slowed him down? No not for a second, after all since he is rich he is the only one who could possibly know how to fix our problems.

 “It would be great if our education stuff worked, but that we won’t know for probably a decade.” –Bill Gates

In the meantime because of Gates and others like him, teachers are being forced out of the profession and kids aren’t getting the education they deserve and at the end of the day this will be Gates legacy.
Here is a great, Bill Gates please stop meddling in schools website: http://teachersletterstobillgates.com/

9 things you should never tell a teacher.

From the Huffington Post by Rebecca Klein

1. "Teaching sounds like such a sweet gig. I mean, you get summers off."
As teacher bloggers around the Internet can attest, the idea that teachers get summers off is often nothing but a myth. During the summer, many educators teach summer school classes, participate in teacher training, earn advanced degrees and plan for the next year.
2. "I could so be a kindergarten teacher. It's like babysitting, and I love finger-painting."
Really? You’re fooling yourself if you think managing an entire class of children is anything like babysitting.
3. "It's great that when you go home you have no more work to do while your students have to do homework."
If only that were true. Try coming home and grading homework, working on the next day's lesson plan, having conferences with teachers and filling out mountains of paperwork. According to a 2012 article in The Washington Post, teachers, on average, work 53 hours a week.
4. "So if you have students who are 'X' years old, does that mean you could have basically stopped going to school when you were that age?"
By that logic, couldn't kids just teach other kids?
5. "It's awesome that the point of teaching is to make a difference, but do you really think any of your students will remember you?
Do you remember your best teachers? Kids these days do, too.
6. "Don't you just get to tell kids what you think all day?"
The role of the teacher is not to teach kids what to think, but how to think.
7. "If you get tenure, you pretty much can never get fired, right?"
Wrong. Tenure does not guarantee job security for life, it just requires that a teacher be given due process before being terminated. As noted in a National Education Association blog, "Tenure is about due process -- not about guaranteeing jobs for life. And it’s not about protecting 'bad' teachers -- it’s about protecting good teachers."
8. "Can't you just sit back and let the textbook teach for you?"
Teachers do get evaluated, you know.
9. "Do you have a lot more free time now that a lot of kids have private tutors?"
Tutors are meant to supplement. They are certainly no replacement for the real thing.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/26/never-say-to-teachers_n_3990648.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003&ir=Education

When are children supposed to go to the library in Duval's schools?

Both Fel Lee, chair of the school board and Trey Czar, director of the JPEF nonchalantly quipped about the fate of our school’s libraries in a recent Folio article. The sentiment was, sure it’s unfortunate but things aren’t as bad as they seem. Well a reader asked, just when are students supposed to be able to use the library.

 In middle school children get 30 minutes for lunch. The school day was reduced by 15 minutes to accommodate busing. So students cannot go to the library during lunch. After school, they probably catch the bus.........so when would they have a chance to get a book? 

The truth is it is worse than it seems, especially since a pair of our so-called education leaders don’t get it and instead make lame excuses. 

Rick Hess can’t help criticizing teachers.

First let me say I don’t understand why Education Week gives this anti-teacher, privatization lover a forum.
Rick Hess wrote about the failure of the new teacher evaluation bills but he didn’t think they failed because they were universally bad bills, he thought they failed because they didn’t ferret out enough bad teachers.
From Ed Week: In Florida, reformers responded in part by passing the controversial Senate Bill 736. Of SB736, Governor Rick Scott enthused, when signing the bill, "Exceptional teachers will now be distinguished, celebrated and rewarded for their dedication and skill."
The bill mandated that all teachers be evaluated based upon a set of formal observations and student gains on achievement tests (requiring a slew of new tests to gauge learning in every subject and grade). But after all of the effort and political capital expended to enact the program, tens of thousands of hours spent observing and documenting teachers, and tens of millions of dollars spent developing the requisite tests (some of which are still being hotly debated and so have yet to be implemented), the preliminary results announced in Januaryshowed that 97% of teachers were rated effective or better. In Tennessee, another state regarded as an exemplar of teacher-evaluation reform, 98% of teachers were rated at or above expectations. In Michigan, the figure was 98%. These results meant that all the effort and expense invested in these teacher-evaluation reforms have thus far achieved next to nothing.

The reason is straightforward enough. Legislators can change evaluation policies but cannot force principals to apply them rigorously. And it turns out that, even after policies were changed, principals still were not sure what poor teaching looked like, still did not want to upset their staffs, and still did not think giving a negative evaluation was worth the ensuing tension and hassle -- especially given contractual complications and doubts that superintendents would back up personnel actions against low-rated teachers.

Instead or realizing the vast amount of teachers are dedicated, professional, and knowledgeable he believes there is a conspiracy to protect bad teachers.  

Education's rigged game.

In case you or Fel Lee were wondering what instructional coaches do.

By Greg Sampson

Instructional coaches, both reading and math, are tasked with improving the instructional quality of the reading or math teachers that work at the school. Their function is not to work directly with students, but to work with teachers to help them achieve the desired proficiency and learning gains for the school.

As such, these coaches are directed to engage in the coaching cycle: Modeling instruction for teachers in their classrooms, co-teaching, and observing teachers implement different methods of instruction. Each stage is preceded and followed by planning and debriefing sessions. Done right, it is a collaboration between two professionals with discussion about teaching and student learning.

Instructional coaches support teachers. Nothing they do or observe can be used for evaluative purposes by administrators.

Instructional coaches conduct professional development. Since secondary teachers now receive 90 minutes for planning each day, DTU has agreed with DCPS that one day a week the planning session may be designated for professional development by the school’s administration.

Reading coaches in particular oversee some of the required testing (e.g., DAR) and assist teachers in completing the testing that requires one-on-one assessment. They also interpret data and assist teachers with data analysis. At the moment, reading coaches are engaged in reviewing the Iowa E results to make sure that all students are placed in the correct reading enrichment class.

Math coaches are about to begin the i-Ready diagnostic and implement the district-provided RtI process in the classroom.

According to Dr. Vitti, it is through the coaching efforts of these persons that students, schools, and the District will improve. It is a key part of his strategic plan. With all the changes implemented this year, coaches are helping teachers adapt and understand what to do. They have the time to research and troubleshoot that a busy teacher cannot do.

DCPS has mandated that a minimum of 80% of the coach’s time should be spent in the classroom or otherwise in direct support of teachers: data analysis, gathering resources, planning, professional development.

Coaches may be assigned other duties by the principal, but the principal must remain within the 20% guideline. Coaches turn in weekly logs in detail that describe their work. These logs are reviewed by an assistant principal at the school, the principal, the district specialist, the district director, and are available to other officials up to the superintendent himself.


That’s the gist of what instructional coaches do. I hope it has given you an idea of their function. If you have questions, I will be glad to answer them.

Trey Czar of the JPEF basically says anybody can be a librarian.

In the Folio he said: "It is important to have a media center. You might be able to staff those facilities at lunch or after school with volunteers or staff additions," Csar said.

Yeah have a media center and just throw anybody in their to man it, that's how important they are. You know anybody can be a librarian. A reader sent me the following ...school libraries could be manned by volunteers without any special training whatsoever. Could this guy be any more condescending to media specialists? The majority of media specialists hold a master's degree in library science. But what does he care?? 

The answer is probably not much.

Does Fel Lee know what reading coaches do?

In the Folio he said: "Most of our secondary schools chose a staff position to support testing over media. The choice, I believe, stems from the fact that for the first time, every school in this county has a reading coach, a resource to enhance and improve literacy," Lee said.

As I mentioned before most of the schools that lost their librarians already had a reading coach but then today I received the following message: The reading coach comment is out of touch with reality. Coaches have to turn in detailed time logs that are reviewed by several levels of hierarchy. I pity the poor reading coach who spends half a day in the school's library to make it accessible to kids instead of in teachers' classrooms. It will be noticed and stopped.

Poor Fred is out of touch on this one.  

Fred “Fel” lee’s misleading defense for cutting librarians.

I like the honorable Mr. Lee but his defense of cutting librarians is laughable at best and misinformed and deceptive at worse.

He was quoted in the folio saying, the School Board was faced with the problems of limited dollars.
"While there was an original plan submitted by our superintendent to fund media specialists in every school in 2013-'14, budget realities did not afford us an opportunity to adopt that plan," Lee said.

Well that’s not true. The district was required to keep 3 percent of its budget in reserves, some 28 million but instead chose to keep 7 percent some 65 million, well friends if we would have kept just six percent, double what we were required to we could have afforded librarians.

He then commented about how all our schools now had reading coaches and they were in effect taking the place of librarians, well the truth is most of our schools already had reading coaches and certainly most of the schools that lost librarians did.

But the craziest thing he said was, there are media clerks, teachers and staff who are using and enhancing library use,"

This is what he might think is going on but the reality is much different. Random classes may be meeting in some libraries so some learning is going on but for the most part they stand empty and please don’t take my word for it, ask a teacher.

I wish one of these guys, Lee, Czar, or Vitti would just say, look its 2013, we’re smart and if we need some information we have access to the internet at our homes and on our phones and since we have people who write our papers for us we don’t need libraries, and since we don’t need them, well, we don’t think anybody else does either.  

That would at least be honest.

Why Rick Scott put Rebecca Fishman Lipsey on the state board of education.

First friends it is not a done deal, let your state senators and other elected officials how outraged by the pick you are.

Here may be a few of the reasons he may this horrible choice.

1.  He thinks teachers don’t need education degrees and only need five weeks of training, what TFA teachers have before they start. Full disclosure I don’t have an education degree nor did I receive five weeks of training before I started 14 years and I readily admit I was clueless.

2.  He wants to phase out pensions because in his dystopic vision nobody lasts six years in the profession. TFA teachers generally only stay for two and six years is how long it takes to get vested.

3.  He wants to destroy the power of the teachers unions, you know the ones that saw us lose tenure, have despite our protests an odious teacher evaluation bill pass and have positioned us to be some of the worst paid teachers in the nation. That’s not really a dig at our unions, just an observation that their hatred of unions is disproportionate to the power that unions here in Florida have.  

4.  He is trying to distract us from his flip flop on the PARCC and his wishy-washy, will I-won’t I, who do I listen to Jeb Bush or the Tea Party ever shifting stance on Common Core. He rightly figured we will be outraged by this pick, but what he probably didn’t count on was this is Florida and teachers long ago learned to be outraged by multiple things.

5. She has pictures of him with a dead girl or a live boy.

6. He is dumb or he thinks we are.

Rick Scott’s pick for State Board of Education, dubious education background.

And I am not talking about Teach for America either, though I could and a lot. I am talking about her personal education.

First she has a BA from Pennsylvania in psychology, maybe communications, it’s hard to tell it’s not on her Linked In page and this from the glass ceiling is a little hard to interpret, but hey if you are going to be a consultant of some sort those are probably great degrees to have. Which by the way was what she was doing when Scott picked her to be on the board. http://glassceiling.com/?p=3078

Then she got a Master’s in Ed from Banks College in New York, that’s everywhere but if you go to the Banks Website it says this.

On April 26, 2012, the Graduate School was accepted as a formal candidate for accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). NCATE candidacy status means that the Graduate School of Education has met all preconditions and is actively working towards the other requirements. Below is an overview of our timeline.


So basically  she got the gig with just two years of TFA classroom experience and a masters in Ed from a non accredited college, and that’s the best we can do?

To look at the college she went to, click the link: http://bankstreet.edu/graduate-

Google, Bank Street College, that is where Rebbecca Fishman-Lipsey received her master’s in education

This is the college where our latest member to the state board of education, Rebbecca-Fishman-Lipsey received her Master’s in Education. I googled in news and I received 7 hits though none of them seemed that newsworthy.

I then googled in feeling lucky and I received a lot more hits but most of them were for hotels near Bank Street College but I also discovered it only offers three degrees a Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.), Master of Education (Ed.M.), Master of Science (M.S.)

Is this some TFA College pumping out questionable masters degrees? I don’t want to disparage them if they are doing good work but something smells Rebecca Fishman-Lipsey, emphasis on the fishy, here.

To visit Banks College's website, click the link:

Rick Scott thinks Floridians are stupid and I can prove it.

Well first we elected him so for at least some of you he is right but what I am talking about are his picks to lead the education system.

First there was Gerard Robinson from Virginia who lasted a year and was then followed by Tony Bennett of Indiana who lasted less than one, and now he puts a New Yorker, Fishman-Lipsey (fish lips um, that’s unfortunate) on the state board of education. She is a 32 year old TFA grad who taught for only two years, neither of them in Florida. You know what all three of them have in common besides being picked by Scott to head our education system? None of them are from Florida or have ever taught in a Florida classroom.

Since Scott’s not really from Florida either, he lived he barley long to be eligible to run, his disdain for Floridians isn’t all that surprising.  

Rebecca Fishman-Lipsey and Rick Scott in their own words

Let’s just look at their words:

From Rick Scott:   “With an exceptional career in education, Rebecca is committed to student success and accountability, and it is clear she will be a tremendous advocate for all Florida students," "Rebecca will help continue to ensure we are holding students to high standards in Florida and giving them the support they need to succeed in college and their career.”

An exceptional career, really? She spent two years as a TFA teacher in New York and then two more as a TFA coordinator and then moved to Miami where she spent 4 years as the TFA coordinator? That’s eight years and it hardly seems all that exceptional to me.

From Lipsey:  “As a life-long educator, I am deeply committed to what is best for children and could not be more humbled to bring my experience to the table.  Having worked closely with principals, parents, educators and students from diverse backgrounds, I know that it is possible for all students to succeed.”

Life long, um again that would be eight years and in fact she had quit TFA to start a consulting company, Radical Solutions. As for being committed to children, her two years in a classroom hardly demonstrates that and if you really cared about kids you wouldn’t have joined TFA in the first place as for the rest of her prose filled statement blah, blah, blah.

This was a terrible pick from a terrible governor and there is no other way to look at.

Rick Scott was for the PARCC before he was against it.

From the Buzz: On Monday, Gov. Rick Scott called on state education leaders to drop out of a nationwide testing system being crafted to meet new Common Core standards.

But last year, Scott celebrated the fact that the tests -- the Partnership for Assessment of
In an Aug. 20, 2012, press release Scott announced his support for the Common Core standards and the idea that the PARCC tests would begin in the state starting in 2014. The tests will measure whether students are meeting the new education standards.

"The goal of this new testing system is to eliminate 'teaching to the test' and instead will accurately measure whether our students are learning the skills they need to succeed in college and their careers," Scott said in a statement. http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/rick-scott-embraced-parcc-testing-system-before-he-wanted-to-quit-it-wvideo/2143373

Why the Flip Flop, well friends it so we can stay in Common Core but he can also say,  hey I am listening to you (accept for that whole get out of Common Core thing) because he figures most of us won't be able to tell the difference. Another politician attempting to have his cake and eat it too, who is also banking on us not paying attention.

Rick Scott insults all of Florida’s teachers... again.


By placing a Teach for America hobbyist on the state board of education, Rick Scott thumbed his nose at all the hard working men and women who sacrifice so much for the state’s children.

Teach for America in case you have been living under a rock takes non education majors, puts them through a five week access course and then puts them in our neediest classrooms or the exact opposite of what people call best practices.   

In case you were wavering because of the pennies he recently threw the states teachers please also remember that under his watch the state stole 3 percent of teacher’s pay to balance the books, and a draconian and nonsensical teacher evaluation system was enacted.  

This also continues the state's policy of not putting educators or experienced applicants in charge of education and then we wonder why we are in trouble.

Shameful.

Rick Scott places Teach for America alumni on the state board of education.

Sorry I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Oh where was I, oh yeah, Rick Scott appoints 32 year old TFA alumnus Rebecca Fishman Lipsey to the state board of education. Sorry I think I need to throw up again.

First there wasn’t one teacher in the whole state qualified? How about a native of Florida or somebody who has been here longer than 5 years as Mrs. Fishman Lipsey arrived, to work for TFA, in Miami Dade from New York, just in 2008.

“With an exceptional career in education, Rebecca is committed to student success and accountability, and it is clear she will be a tremendous advocate for all Florida students," Scott wrote in a statement. http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2013/09/rebecca-fishman-lipsey-named-to-state-education-board.html#storylink=cpy

Um career? She spent two years in a classroom and what 7 or 8 years tops in education, though I hesitate to use Teach for America and education in the same sentence? Heck in some districts that lack of experience would have put her on the surplus list.

Here is a resume I found for her on-line: Rebecca Fishman Lipsey, Teach for America
Rebecca Fishman Lipsey, 30, is the Executive Director of Teach for America in Miami-Dade. During her three-year tenure in that role she has tripled the size of the local program and increased fundraising 11-times over. Rebecca is a musical composer, and she wrote the theme and background music for a documentary on eating disorders in 2008. Last year, Rebecca won the International Stevie Award for Women in Business, in the category of "best executive." - See more at: http://miamifoundation.org/page.aspx?pid=411#sthash.mzTfUrtZ.dpuf

Florida is this really the best we have to offer?

MSNBC, liberal democrats and Hollywood attack public education.

The battle to regain control of public education from corporate interests took a turn for the worse as several supposed friends attacked public education.

First is director M. Night Shyamalan who penned the book: I got schooled, 5 Keys to Unlocking Quality Education. I can’t compete with the excellent Edshyster who has already written about it but I feel comfortable saying shouldn’t he be more concerned with 5 keys to quality filmmaking? Come on friends, we can all agree the Sixth Sense was great but what has he done since then? Even Signs and Invincible are now found lacking now as we realize we were still caught up in the Sixth Sense after glow. http://edushyster.com/?p=3269

MSNBC however must have thought his book was groundbreaking as they invited him to speak at Education Nation with all the teachers, err a couple teachers, what no teachers have been invited?!? Seriously WTF it’s called education nation, not how to profit off of education, nation. That’s right friends the Education Nation guest list is a who’s who of corporate education reformers and anti-public education politicians. http://www.educationnation.com/index.cfm?objectid=00CA0890-EE24-11E2-A6E3000C296BA163

One politician who didn’t get an invite though it seemed like he was trolling for one is Jared Polis, a self described progressive democrat from Colorado who thinks Diane Ravitch is evil, his words not mine. Mr. Polis is anti-teacher, anti-union and pro charter school, which makes me think he doesn’t understand what progressive means. If only Fezzik were here to ask him. http://dianeravitch.net/2013/09/23/who-is-jared-polis-and-why-does-he-call-me-evil-part-2/

You know what all the sudden attacks have in common, money, that’s what. First Shymalan and Polis are rich; heck make that mega rich and sadly that brings hubris with it, Gates, Koch brothers and the list goes on and on anybody.  They equate wealth with intelligence and don’t need facts or evidence to make up their mind, instead relying on the zeroes in their bank accounts. MSNBC on the other hand wants to make money and they know their audiences will be bigger with Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal and the other corporate reformers than it would be with P.S. 109’s Mrs. Mcgilicutty and who cares if she has more educational knowledge in her little finger than the entire group has combined.

Why the rich and powerful hate the classs size amendment

Rich and powerful policy makers often attack smaller classes as a waste of resources despite the fact no teacher ever said, I wish my class had 10 more kids because that would make me a better teacher. Jeb Bush has often attacked the class size amendment in Florida which was a citizen driven initiative that passed in 2002 and withstood a recall in 2010. He routinely attacks the class size amendment despite the fact he sent his children to the exclusive prep schools Bolles and Gulliver Prep who use their small class sizes as a selling point.

Gary Chartrand the chair of the state board of education has also attacked the class size amendment. He recently said in multiple papers, “In my opinion we are wasting money to the tune of half-a-billion dollars a year, limiting the number of students in a class doesn’t help kids achieve but rather is just “wasteful spending,” he said.

Ironically enough Mr. Chartrand also sent his children to the Bolles schools and his protégé, Duval County school board member Ashley Smith-Juarez went there as well. One of the reasons he sent his children there was undoubtedly the smaller class sizes. Bush and Chartrand might justify their positions because they also support vouchers that allow poor children to attend private schools.

Well let’s consider vouchers, here in Florida the family of a poor child can receive 4,335 dollars to send their child to a private school. Well they would need nearly five to seven times that amount to send their child to Gulliver Prep or Bolles ($28,000 and $21,000 respectively). That’s the difference between a school in an abandoned strip mall with uncertified teachers being paid 12 dollars an hour and an exclusive prep school with a well rounded curriculum, small classes and teachers with loads of experience and advanced degrees.

Let’s also look at the curriculums at the schools they sent their kids to compared to the schools where they want us to send our kids. The schools that Chatrand and Bush sent their children to tout a variety of arts programs which until recently had been cut from most public schools. From the Bolles web-site, Offering programs in chorus, dance, drama, instrumental music, and visual arts both in the classroom and in extra-curricular activity, Bolles upper school students are given the opportunity to shine through individual projects, school productions, and outside performances. Visiting artists, field trips locally and out of town, and invitations to perform at prestigious events and venues broaden the scope of the arts experience at Bolles.

My last year at Ed White most kids were funneled in an elective called research which was basically an FCAT prep class that no kid would elect to take given the choice. Just for fun I typed vouchers into both Bolles and Gulliver Preps search boxes and recieved a total of zero hits.

Those two schools also don’t participate in the kill and drill high stakes testing agenda that public schools are forced to. On the contrary at Bolles and Gulliver prep students are encouraged to explore a curriculum that plays to their strengths and passions. The FCAT is not mentioned on either web-site. In fact the closest I could find about standardized tests is that parents are recommended to have their children take the ACT or the SAT.

Let’s get back to the class size for a moment. Gary Chartrand said schools would be better served if instead they could use it to maintain an average class size instead. Well the problem with that is you see art classes with fifty kids, PE classes with a hundred and special education classes become nothing but babysitting because their numbers are so high. The types of classes that the children of Bush and Chartrand would never see.

They also like to simultaneously talk about the improvement in Florida’s schools since Jeb Bush started his reforms but they never talk about how this improvement corresponds with the enactment of the class size amendment, instead they take every opportunity they have to slam it and call it a waste however a former Florida education commissioner disagrees with them.

Last Summer I asked then Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson at a town hall meeting: “the state says the FCAT has led to increased scores, I say it is smaller class sizes, why are you right and I am wrong?”


He didn’t say I was wrong, in fact he said both played a role in increasing test scores. Usually these guys are on message but Robinson let slip how important and beneficial the class size amendment has been. Which by the way is one of the few reforms, not vouchers, not merit pay, not charters, that has actual evidence that says it works.

Some of you might be thinking who cares, they are rich and they should be allowed to send their children to the best schools possible, though I would question if either Bolles or Gulliver was better than our magnets or much better than schools like Mandarin or Fletcher. The answer is they should be allowed to send their children to whatever school they can afford but they shouldn’t be allowed at the same time to create a system that they would never send their children to. Our system of standardized tests and limited curriculum options sucks the joy of learning out of so many children and that sets them up to fail too. Also doesn’t it kind of make them hypocrites and do we really want hypocrites running the show?

Why do they and other rich and powerful education reformers attack smaller classes and design systems they would never send their children too? Well friend’s it is because what is good for their kids isn’t good for ours and that should tell you all you need to know about why we are at where we are.

Jeb Bush's business partner gets 12 years in prison.

The same Jeb Bush whose family, friends and supporters have benefitted financially from his so called education reforms may have some explaining to do about his business dealings with Miami businessman Claudio Osorio who was sentenced to 12 years in prison the other day.

Apparently Jeb served on the board of a company that Osorio used to bilk investors.

From the Miami Herald: Innovida had a manufacturing facility in North Miami-Dade, and prominent board members including former Gov. Jeb Bush and Miami condo king Jorge Perez, the company never gained traction.

Osorio was convicted of using Innovida, which claimed to produce high-tech building panels, to deceive investors and line his pockets. Osorio, represented by attorney Humberto Dominguez, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas in Fort Lauderdale federal court in February. As part of his plea, the U.S. attorney’s office agreed to drop 19 other charges.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/09/17/3632865_p2/miami-businessman-claudio-osorio.html#storylink=cpy

How many more Jeb Bush straws do we need before the camel’s back breaks and the public realizes what a self absorbed charlatan that he is.

How Billionaires rule our schools.


If Jeb Bush was for puppies I would have to rethink my stance on them or why I am against common core.

Let’s go over a few of Jeb Bush’s biggest hits.

Poor kids should have vouchers to go to private schools, just not the private schools his children went to.
Educating children should be like shopping for milk.

Florida’s state colleges of education should be blown up, Taliban style. Okay I added those last two words.

The class size amendment is a failure and who cares if its initiation corresponds with the modest improvements in Florida schools.

Experience and education for teachers doesn’t matter, that’s right education doesn’t matter in education.

We need to rescue education from the tyranny of unions. You know those all powerful unions assuring teacher’s opulent lifestyles.

We need to be student centered. Um, I don’t know any student who wanted to be tested to death, put in a one track fits all curriculum and not be able to go to any classes they might actually enjoy. You know what happened in Florida because of him.  

His latest man crush is for common core. Now I have some problems with common core. It’s untested, people think it might work but nobody really knows. The country is rolling it out before we are ready. It, if you can believe it, calls for even more testing and finally Jeb Bush is for it.  If Jeb Bush was for puppies I would have to rethink my stance on them.

Jeb Bush has done so much damage to public education and then he has the nerve to say, you might be for lower standards but I am not and he beats on unions and teachers like they were piñatas but then has the nerve to say any attacks on common core are political. This man is a snake oil selling charlatan and if he says common core is what we need you can bet your last dollar we need the opposite.