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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Rick Scott admits Florida got it wrong on testing but why stop there?

Rick Scott through executive order canceled the 11th grade English assessment saying, “It’s important to measure students’ progress and achievements, but we must not lose sight of our goal to provide every student with the very best education. As I have traveled the state, I have heard from parents and teachers that there are too many tests, and I agree.”

I suppose I and all the other parents and teachers that he spoke to could say, we told you so, but instead I think we should thank the governor for acknowledging the mistake and encourage him not to stop there.

What about admitting Florida was wrong about charter schools where over 270 have failed in Florida over the years, leaving families in a lurch and costing untold millions of dollars? Despite their advantages they as a group don’t perform as well as public schools and most of the ones that are doing well set up shop in affluent neighborhoods siphoning away resources from the public schools there. Shouldn’t the governor also say, hey guys we blew it on that one too.

Then how about with Florida’s voucher program which has practically zero accountability and it’s just not academically. Private schools that take less than 250 thousand dollars, or most of them, don’t have to report how the money is spent. Shouldn’t the governor say, hey if accountability is good for public schools it’s good enough for private schools financed by the public too.

How about admitting Florida was wrong to start a merit pay system for its teachers. First merit pay has scant evidence that says it works and then we are basing teacher scores on VAM scores, a complicated mathematical formula that doesn’t take into account poverty, absenteeism or behavior. That's a recipe for disaster if there ever was one and the Governor should acknowledge it and cancel it too.

Here are a few more things Florida has blown.

The A-F scoring system which only accurately shows what schools zip codes are because the ones in the poorer zip codes invariably do worse.

His appointments to the state board of education all of who have less experience in education than private schools that take vouchers have accountability.  Hey Rick how about appointing a true educator to the board?

Then there is how we fund schools which has had us ranking at or near the bottom since they started rankings.

Finally what about Common Core which doesn’t address poverty our real problem, not low standards, which completely guts a system which was working.

So thank you Governor Scott for admitting Florida was wrong and does test too much, something parents and teachers have been telling you for years and getting rid of one test but why stop there when there is so much more that Florida has gotten wrong as well.


  1. Don't be fooled, I read the executive order, and Pammie's nonsense, other than this one test, nothing has changed. Politician's posturing to placate parents (do you love the alliteration? Feel free use it.) Nothing has changed. ^0^

  2. VAM is supposed to take absenteeism and behavior into account, but I don't see that being done. Duval has a wierd policy that states that being present for any part of the day means you are present. A student can leave after 1st per. every day and the report will show perfect attendance. I'll bet anything that Duval doesn't follow the law about driver's licenses either. Anyone want to take that bet?