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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jeb Bush, Rick Scott, Steve Wise and the Republicans Conspiracy to Privatize Florida’s Schools

From Practical Slate

by Umpire

Jeb Bush, Rick Scott, Steve Wise, and just about every other Republican in the state got the memo. They know the jig is up on No Child Left Behind. Like any cunning scoundrel, they know how to seize upon an opportunity. That blood is in the water you see is the disastrous consequences of NCLB’s recipe for any school to ultimately fail.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is expressing concern for America’s schools. As high as 82 percent of schools in the nation could fail to meet the goals set by the No Child Left Behind law. This percentage is 45 percent higher than the failing numbers of 2010

Crafted with the best of intentions by people of good will and friends of both public schools and teachers unions, the bill’s hidden trigger for failure was hidden. It’s lofty mandate that 100 percent of the nation’s children would read at grade level by 2014 was never obtainable. NCLB’s progressively tightening standards have doomed schools to failure. And by Duncans number, its occuring at a stunning rate of speed.

The goal could never be met. Even if some grandiose plan were never in place and grassy knollists are hysterical, a perfect storm exists in Florida for an abrupt transfer of its public schools to private entities. The other shoe drop is here now with eminent passage of the new school voucher plan. Read this about the bill’s stealth expansion of the Opportunity Scholarship Program:

…..(the)bill, which moved through committees in both legislative chambers this week with party-line votes, would expand the public-school provisions of the Opportunity Scholarship Program.

At the heart of proposed expansion is the definition of a failing school.

Existing law says a student can leave a school that receives two “F” grades in a four-year period. The state Department of Education issues the grades annually based largely on student scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

That definition would change with the Senate version of the new bill: Students could opt to leave any school receiving a “D” or “F” and a low rating on a separate state system that provides extra funding and support for schools that need additional help.

In both 2008 and 2009, almost 8 percent of Florida schools received a D of F - well over 200 each year. Pearson’s FCAT results disaster for 2010 preliminarily assigned a significant increase in schools failing to make “adequate yearly progess” a key NCLB benchmark used to perceive schools negatively.

Further comparison between the 08-09 numbers shows that a whopping 52 percent increase in the number of schools who received a C – a number thats actually greater as there was a slight decrease in the number of schools which were graded. The astonishing increase shows that the criterion is significantly more lethal.

Including D schools into the slippery calculus which launches voucher applications to the NCLB school death warrant activates the privatization mechanism in Florida. The state’s market based crowd already has this all figured out.

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