Solutions that don’t break the bank, reinvent the wheel or marginalize our teachers are within our grasp. We could have rigorous classes, safe and disciplined schools and treat teachers like valued colleagues rather than easily replaceable cogs, and we could do so tomorrow if we wanted. Disclaimer, this is an opinion and commentary site and should not be confused as a news site, and you should know that quite often people may disagree with the opinions posted herein.
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Saturday, May 23, 2015
The two faces of Gary Chartrand
If you don't know Chartrand is the Jacksonville Grocer who parlayed
campaign support to Rick Scott into a spot on the state bard of education. He
is actively trying to privatize our schools and has often showed open disdain
He has also called for the state legislature to Pass Rick Scott's education
From the Times Union:
Education has always been a passion of mine. And as a Florida
taxpayer and parent, I applaud Gov. Rick Scott for proposing historic per-pupil
funding in his “Keep Florida Working” budget.
The Florida Legislature will soon start a special session to
develop the state’s 2015-2016 budget, and I implore them to make our state’s
students a priority.
Florida is one of the largest states in the nation with 2.7
million students in more than 4,200 K-12 public schools, and I know that some
of the best and brightest minds are sitting in classrooms throughout the state.
Unfortunately, I also know that without adequate support, many
of these students will not reach their full potential or even set academic and
Educators, as well as school and district staff, can make all
the difference in the life of a struggling student, but they must have the
Technological advances have given educators the ability to teach
students in a way never before possible and have also created entire industries
that expand career options for our students.
It is critical that we take this chance, while we have a budget
surplus, to invest in our state’s education so that when our students graduate
they are valuable assets to our workforce.
I am optimistic that our students’ tremendous success in recent
years — which includes ranking seventh in the nation for student achievement
with an all-time high graduation rate — will be evidence enough for the Florida
Legislature to allocate record per-pupil funding.
Sounds great right? What can I complain about? Well the
truth is a lot.
First Rick Scott's budget is far from historic, it is an
increase true but it does not match 2007's budget and furthermore how can any
budget be thought of as historic as long as the three percent pay cut teachers
took during the great recession is still in effect. Later he talks abut a
budget surplus, a surplus which was built on the backs of teachers.
He also he talks about educators. These are the same people he
gleefully helped strip of work protections. Every teacher hired since 2011 is
an at will employee and can be fired at the end of the school year for any
reason, or none as none has to be given. Gary Chartrand has zero concern for
teachers and how can you really care about kids while at the same time hating
those people charged with educating them?
Then he talks about taking a chance on technology.
Chartrand's entire education philosophy is based on taking chances, very
few of which have paid off, Take a chance on charter schools well over 280 in
Florida have failed. take a chance on vouchers, well they have practically zero
accountability, both academically and financially and nobody truly knows how
they are doing. But hey, lets roll the dice, its not his kids that will pay the
price if it comes up snake eyes.
Finally he talks about student achievement and graduation rates.
Florida's teachers, despite the many obstacles put in their path and the state
treating poverty like it is an excuse rather than the number one factor in
student achievement, by Chartrand and Tallahassee are doing an amazing job. He
got that part right but since that is the case, why is he one of the leading
figures in the push to privatize our schools. If he thinks Florida is doing a
great job, then why is he trying to outsource our kids futures to mercenaries,
charlatans, and barely regulated private schools? Is he a crazy person or is he
talking out of both sides of his mouth?
Chartand has what I believe is a pathological need to be liked
and where it is true he has donated a lot of money to several worthy causes, at
the end of the day he is not the hero of the story he is the villain.