Humiliation not improvement is the goal of the commissioner and state board of education.
Sixty-four of sixty-seven of Florida’s school superintendents said in a letter that they have lost confidence with the pubic school accountability system, joining millions of teachers and parents and numerous civic organizations statewide. They have urged education commissioner Pam Stewart and the state board of education not to give school grades based on the much maligned Florida Standards Assessment until all the bugs are worked out and confidence can be restored. The commissioner and boards response thus far has been to say not only will we go forward but we will make passing scores as high as possible and we should all ask why.
I believe it is because the commissioner and board, none of who were elected and were appointed by an administration who is more interested in privatizing our school system than improving them, want to humiliate the state’s schools and teachers.
Higher passing scores will lead to more schools being labeled as failures and more teachers being labeled as ineffective. Then the states reliance on high stakes testing and insistence in using a flawed test will also drive more families to take vouchers which have don’t have the same ill-conceived accountability measures in place. In fact they have practically no accountability measures in place as voucher schools don’t have to have certified teachers, recognized curriculums nor take a test that shows any type of growth, furthermore they don’t even have to account for how they spend the money given to them unless they take over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, which is the vast majority of them.