I have long thought JPEF was in the pocket of the forces of privatization and today's performance did nothing to change that, in fact if anything it reinforced my opinion.
She had one exchange where a caller asked her about compensating teachers, and she said, I think teachers should be compensated, an exasperated Melissa Ross asked, how much, and Tutweiller Fortune paused and said, what they are worth. Everyone wanted a number but she didn't want to give one and the reason is probably because Gary Chartrand the man who at least metaphorically signs her checks, doesn't think teachers are professionals and would be okay with temporary TFA teachers manning our schools.
When asked about the difference between the candidates the men who seem to support corporate reforms and the women supporters of traditional public schools, she said the board members need to work well together. Not satisfied Melissa Ross asked for a deeper answer that never came.
Here are some more low lights.
At one point she said candidates had ideas. Um, okay, sure.
When Ross asked her about the budget shortfall, Tutweiller-Fortune played along, the problem is we have never had a shortfall. Did we spend more than we planned to under Vitti, yes, but the thing is we had the money to spend.
She pointed out that 5 candidates had served as educators, but the truth is Willie and Chanucey's experience can't compare to Andersen, Smith and Joyce's experience. Willie and Chauncey have five years total, and none of Willie's was in Jacksonville and it was more than a decade ago and in Arkansas. Each of the ladies individually have more experience than the men collectively.
When asked is JPEF a non partisan arbitrator about education, she talked about the diversity of the JPEF board, though there isn't much of a diversity in who they donate to. She said JPEF doesn't take a side but they do when they don't do deep dives into the candidates. You see all candidates say they want whats best for kids, and to retain and attract the best teachers, so to really get to know their differences you have to do a deep dive and you have to call out lies, lack of details and relationships, something JPEF can't be bothered to do.
When asked about lobbying, whether they were fighting for more pay or for more choice, she said, JPEF doesn't take a side. Ugh, they totally take a side.
Trey Csar the former president of JPEF used to say all the time he wasn't for good public schools or good charter schools, just good schools, while doing all he could to steer kids to charters. I get Tutweiller-Fortune isn't Csar but how far could the apple have landed from the tree?
Also saying you aren't taking a side, when one side has hundreds of thousands of dollars and very little relevant teaching experience, and not doing anything to just inform people of the things they say and do and the relationships they have then you have taken a side.
I could go on and on but you should check it out for yourself.
Tutweiller-Fortune said teachers need to be valued and respected, well friends the people paying her salary disagree.
Ross did her best to get some answers about the races but afterwards both must have been exhausted from all of Tutweiller-Fortune's dancing.
Finally I want to say she referred to herself over and over as an educator, and I want to thank her for those two years she put in, leaving the second after her TFA commitment was over assuring the kids in her school would have another rookie teacher.