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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rick Scott's education bait and switch

From Scathing Purple Musings, by Bob Sykes

Here’s what Governor Rick Scott says in a new ad:

“I’ve learned a lot as governor – you can study all the numbers you want, but listening to parents and teachers is still the best education,” Scott says in the ad.

“I’ve listened to the frustrations parents and teachers have with the FCAT,” Scott says. “Next year we begin improving our testing system. No more teaching to the test.”

Even Florida republicans aren’t buying this lame “me, too” angle. News Service of Florida reporter David Royce has this:

Even fellow Republicans acknowledge that Scott may be a bit late to the idea, but some say that’s OK. Sen. Nancy Detert, the Republican who sponsored the bill phasing out theFCAT for a new “end-of-course” exam, said even if the idea has already left the station, it’s better for Scott to board late than not at all, because he can help sell the new testing scheme.

“We’re happy to have him on the train,” said Detert, of Venice. “He’s done an excellent job of listening and not just hearing what he wants to hear, he’s heard the complaints about FCAT,” Detert said. “And I think now everybody is on the same train.”

Scott must know he and his party are in deep muck-muck with their high-stakes testing regime. Tossing an ad out there that can be hit out of the ballpark by one of the 3rd grade kids who get held back because of FCAT is desperation on steroids. Those poor kids already know that FCAT won’t be around and will replaced by another monster under the bed at night called PARC. This one’s sooooo much better say Pearson’s sales force of slick hucksters. Just….. just not Florida Sunshine State Standards this time. Common Core Standards, you see.

Rick, having you flip-flop on FCAT is like Obama doing the same on Obamacare. After your SB736 made the state’s high-stakes tests even more high-stakes just last year? And YOU ranking school districts based on FCAT scores just seven months ago? And what about that FCAT Writes debacle that happened on your watch this spring? NOW you tell us, Rick?

Looks like tossing Gerard Robinson over the side didn’t slow the runaway train. . Scott’s hoping that Floridians just don’t get it with “no more teaching to the test.” ANY high-stakes test forces curriculum to “teach the test.” Scott has already lost credibility on education and trying to fool Floridians with a bait-and-switch will only make him look worse. I wonder if he is having second thoughts about having Michelle Rhee and top Jeb Bush wonk Patricia Levesque on his education transition team yet.

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