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Pam Stewart decides to stick it to teachers. Worst Education Commissioner ever? (rough draft)

I put the question mark there because especially recently we have had some doozies. Counting her three times, it’s six in four years and none worth a damn.

After she decided to stick it to the grieving mother of a deceased severely disabled child I guess I shouldn’t have expected any less.

This is what she sent to all the public school teachers in Florida last week.

Some of you may have heard or read that a federal judge recently upheld the constitutionality of the law requiring teacher evaluation systems in Florida. I am pleased that this ruling has been made, because I believe we should focus our energies working together on what is most important: providing the best education for our young people.
You may also have read that although the judge upheld the constitutionality of the law, he also noted in his ruling some of the concerns expressed by the teachers union and others who filed the suit, specifically that evaluations may have been made using school-wide rather than individual teachers’ student performance data, or using student improvement data from subjects a teacher does not teach.
The Florida Legislature continues to address this area of law.  Most recently legislators passed SB 1642, which includes my proposal for maintaining each district’s flexibility in the evaluation system through our assessment transition and provides even more flexibility in choosing local student assessments based on the Florida Standards.
Your evaluation will be a reflection of what you are expected to do every day. As a fellow professional educator, I know how important it is that we work together to ensure all the systems that support educators also work to support the best education for students.

She’s pleased that the judge ruled against the states teachers, hmm I wonder if she is pleased he said it was a ridiculous and unfair law too?  Yes friends lets just forget about working in a rational system that makes sense, fairness, the dignity of teachers all that unimportant jazz and lets just concentrate on providing the best education to our children. We all know working in a system that values teachers isn’t important anyways right?

Oy vey, why does she feel the need to say anything? Why not let the Rediske’s just grieve and why not let teachers be frustrated, why does she feel the need to pour fuel on the fire? Sometimes it is best to just shut up and let people think you are an idiot than to open your mouth and confirm it, a lesson this ladies grandmother obviously didn’t teach her. 

Then she tries to give the Florida legislature some credit for trying to fix an awful law they never should have passed in the first place, a law that only passed because there are dozens of legislators in Tallahassee whose chief goal is to dismantle the public school system and transform teaching from a profession to a service industry job. These are the people she suggests we high five.

Finally she ends with, your evaluation will be a reflection of what you do every day, yeah unless you teach a non FCAT subject, are a guidance counselor or teach special ed, or heck what most of you do every day.

Let me just throw in a few more recent doozies, Common Core won’t cost anything extra and we don’t need to field-test the tests. Yeah conservative estimates say it will cost in the hundreds of millions more and um, about 5 million of that is going to Utah to field-test test questions for us. Utah the Florida of the West.

This woman is an absolute disaster as commissioner but sadly she hasn’t been the only one. When I think about recent Florida’s education commissioners it reminds me of Fukushima where an earthquake caused a tsunami that destroyed a nuclear power plant that initiated an ecological disaster. In Florida the hits keep coming one after another. 

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