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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Florida’s lack of accountability system or how stupid does Tony Bennett think we are?

This is what DOE spokesperson Cheryl Etters said today, "As Commissioner Bennett said at today’s State Board meeting, Florida is a national model for school accountability and our state’s commitment to higher standards has resulted in tremendous gains in student learning over time.”

She didn’t mention that at the meeting the state voted to lie to its citizens (for the second year in a row) and mask actual school grades. Full disclosure I think our system is an ever worsening joke and needs to be completely retooled but I am not saying look at our accountability while advocating for a system that effectively lies to the people of Florida like Tony ‘one states trash, another’s treasure” Bennett is. 

The following is a piece from the Tampa Times; notice the difference from actual accountability and what the state plans to tell its citizens. 
It showed the decrease in F schools if grades were not permitted to drop more than one level, as well as a near doubling of B schools prevented from becoming C's (or worse).
It also provided a comparison between the 2012 grade distribution and the projected 2013 distribution, with the new criteria in place such as a return to requiring at least half of the lowest performing quarter of students in a school to show gains. The results? The number of A schools would drop from 1,242 in 2012 to 756 this year. B schools would decline from 609 to 389, although that number would rise to 680 with the safety net in place.
On the other end, C schools would increase from 494 to 818, D's from 212 to 390 and F's from 40 to 262. See the full chart here.

Um, how are we supposed to know the school grades again? I read above three times and my head is spinning. There also seems to be a big difference from accountability and honest there.  It is like the state is setting the clock back and hoping we forget what time it actually is.  


  1. They do not wish to use funds for teachers or students (lotto/Gates Grant) as they wish to invest and make money on the schools and only supply to token schools. So many schools still without technology in all classes and career teachers with extensive experience are moving elsewhere. We are all losing.

  2. The issue is supply vs.demand. The supply of qualified teachers is at an all time high; and with continued (political and economic) resistance to class size reduction and intelligent (non-gambling)funding, the demand is low. Charters get away with offering lower salaries. Teachers are fired on a whim...and quickly replaced. The consequence is a growing segregation of the "haves" (to charters and private schools that "teach to the test" and produce A grades)and the "have-nots" - the public schools. The resulting gap is expanding our prison population and shrinking our world rating in technology and scientific progress. We need to go through this; no amount of ranting will change our direction.

    Having said that; there are things we can do.

    Voting for pro-education politicians is the beginning, demanding your (public school) teachers are on-task (by communicating with them about your son-daughter on a regular basis) is the beginning of the change.

  3. What I would like to know is why "the public" thinks teachers are so often "off task" the truth is the government is what makes the teachers appear to be "off task". They are asking more and more of the teachers and demanding more and more paperwork, meetings, etc to be done and yet not willing to pay comparable to the business world. In fact many counties have frozen raises and if you are in your first ten years of teaching you are frozen at this small salary for years to come. Meanwhile the teacher is still suppose to be continuing to find new and innovative ways to teach so they won't be "off task". What is really happening in the public school system is we are producing generations of test takers not individuals that can think and problem solve for themselves. If in fact, a teacher is teaching their students to think for themselves then this is when they are considered "off task"!!! What's wrong with this picture?