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Monday, December 27, 2010

Northeast Florida Schools jilted again

It’s funny how when you are rich people will listen to you even when you speak about subjects that didn’t make you rich. The thing is who doesn’t cringe when an actor or a singer gives their opinion about something political? Well I am cringing now, you see Bill Gates, he who made billions on computer software has thrown has hat into the education arena and people are listening, though I think it’s more because of the money he throws around rather than what he is saying.

He recently said when talking about teacher experience, why would I pay somebody more to cut my lawn just because they have been cutting lawns longer. That’s right folks to him kids are as important as having his lawn cut and teachers are the equivalent of the little black kid with chubby cheeks that I pay ten bucks to do so, and let me tell you I get what I pay for. Experience and advanced degrees have no place in Bill Gates world, they don’t matter at all. What do you think? Can you think of a place or a job where education and/or experience might matter?

Well Bill Gates has already sunk his hooks into Florida by giving Hillsborough County a 100 million dollar strings attached grant and now he seeks to expand his influence. His foundation will be here in Florida holding talks, they will be held in January in Tallahassee, Panama City, Gainesville, West Palm Beach, Orlando and Naples. They are being supported by Village Square, a nonprofit organization that promotes civility in public discourse, more so however if your way of thinking is on the right. Fair enough though right, we should all be talking about education even if our point of views don’t always sync up but did you notice what city was left off the map. If you immediately said Jacksonville you are right.

The foundation has decided to snub the 23rd largest school district in the entire nation and is unconcerned with what the 1.5 million residents of North Florida have to say. I guess they don’t have time for us what with visiting the huge metropolitan areas of Naples, Panama City and West Palm Beach. It’s also my guess the foundation, which will of course be giving its suggestions to the Governor, picked areas where the opinions they already have will be reinforced.

I think this is a bit shameful, why can’ they do one more or six more talks after all the foundation can afford it and their suggestions may influence what happens to children all throughout the state not just in those areas visited. That’s what I say, though since I am not rich, or an actor or a singer, just somebody who has been a public school teacher for a decade my opinion probably won’t carry much weight. After all, teachers experience don’t seem to matter not even when the subject is teaching.

Chris Guerrieri
School Teacher

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