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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Florida must stop injuring the teaching profession.

A study from the Alliance for Excellent Education said Florida loses more than 130 million a year because teachers either leave the profession or move to new schools. Imagine what Education could do with and additional 130 million dollars though to be honest I am surprised the number isn’t higher considering all the damage our leaders in Tallahassee have done to the profession over the years.  

There was a time when the teaching profession was respected if not revered, instead now it is often ridiculed and blamed for societies problems despite the fact teachers are given all of the responsibility and none of the authority while having to endure a lack of resources and policies that hamstring the profession.

Over the last few years Tallahassee has stripped teachers of work protections, taken three percent of their salary to balance the states books, forced them into an evaluation system that often evaluates them on children they have never taught and the department of education, a group who both touts VAM scores and has a lot riding on their success admits are inaccurate more than a third of the time.

It’s not low salaries, though Florida has some of the lowest in the nation, that is forcing teachers out of the profession but willful policies from Tallahassee that are forcing teachers to leave. There was a time when kids might never have a rookie teacher, now it’s more likely they may never have an experienced teacher as the profession has been reduced.

We can no longer look at what is happening to the teaching profession in Florida and shrug our shoulders. Instead we need to stand up for the profession and that means standing against the leadership in Tallahassee because its not just teachers that suffer but students and our state too.

There are indeed problems in education but they have not been caused by teachers or their representatives and its time we supported the people in our classrooms giving so much to our kids rather than the politicians who blame and hamstring them.


  1. Whats going on with our education system is a sinister destruction of our public schools system and replacing it with a corporate structure in which only rich people stand to gain. My question is, for instance, since when are rich white people interested in educating black inner city kids - something to think about.

    So, with a corporate take over, a principal will earn, as is the case with many private schools, between $300, 000 and $500, 000 a year whereas teachers will be paid $12 per hour or approximately $16,650 a year based on the actual hours they are paid for being in the classroom. This is a quite horrific and dismal state of affairs for our country.

  2. Having taught at First Coast High School for about 8 months and now reflecting on how things were, there, I began wondering what contribution was actually made toward my students' education by the Principal and his Assistant Principals. And I am particularly talking about the very unfortunate students in 6 classes (a ridiculously rough and untrusting bunch by then) whom I rescued after being abandoned by God knows how many previous teachers. I think I can actually say those administrators contributions were approximately 0%. Anyway, Instead of recommending me for a 'medal of honor', the principal gave me a relatively poor evaluation out of two 40-minutes observations he did 1 week apart. During the first he observed me while his Boss observed him. I wonder if she was observing how fast he could type on his laptop or if he was actually looking at me. Could someone explain what she could have been observing of him observing me teaching? By the way, I think she earns $126, 000 a year.

    So, he gave me a very poor evaluation this first time; I figure he had to keep me below the effective grade for bonus reasons. Then, one week after, for the next observation at which she was absent, he told me that I made a vast improvement and that he does not know what it is. The poor bloake could have asked me; teachers do not offer suggestions - their job is always at stake. Folks, can you fathom that I made an astronomical improvement in my teaching just after 1 week; his Boss from the Ivory Tower was sitting on his shoulders - that's why.

  3. I had wondered how well an experienced teacher from a suburban school would perform in an urban school. I asked a District Coach. Her response was; " She would be a rookie starting a brand new ball game". That Coach told me that was her personal experience. She said she herself had to start all over. So, when we talk about experienced teachers and rookie teachers we need to clarify whether suburban or urban schools.

    Incidentally,experienced teachers of many years do not necessarily have the energy required for urban schools. Urban schools have high-maintenance students. And beside, experienced teachers may not be tempted by carrot sticks when they are expected to work 90 or 100 hours per week and suspect their VAM evaluation scores might take a huge plunge. One very important consideration is that too many urban kids show up for classes quite infrequently. Do not trust the administration's records of students'attendance. Ask to see the class teacher's record. I had my experiences like 7/25 to 14/25. Also, some are present for testing in the media center more than they are in your class. Being a teacher in an urban school does not fair well with VAM scores.

  4. I can tell you what will happen to the teaching profession in Florida; it will cease to be a profession. Labor Agencies will staff our schools ; $8 to $11 per hour.

  5. I had a moron of a Principal at First Coast High School. He Gave me 0.80 points for 'Communicating with students' which rated as 'Developing/Needs Improvement" on my VAM evaluation and in the wink of an eye took it back and gave me 0.00. His explanation was that he needed me to come in during the summer vacation so that they(I'm assuming himself and an Idiot AP) could work with me in better communicating with students.

    The AP once told me, in the presence of a 17 year-old female and her step-father; "she is a kid and if you tell a kid a thousand times not to do something they are still going to do it". What a CONFOUNDED IDIOT would tell a teacher such a thing in the presence of a student! I have 2 kids of my own and they don't do it whether in school or at home, and they are both younger than 17.

    The student referred to herein made constant accusations that I refused to accept and grade her work, until a fair-minded, conscientious AP found out the facts of the matter and gave her a proper dressing down. I was constantly boosting this student's points so that she could pass the course, even though she gave me hell almost all the time.This student used the Mother-F--k and Mother-F--king constantly in my class and would return to class from the House Administrator's Office with a smirk on her face when I send her out. Then others would interrupt my instructions to ask what Ms J.... said. Her usual reply was; "Ms J.... cool man she cool" while steering at me with a smirk on her face. So I always looked like the idiot. First Coast is the most unrewarding place I worked at.

    By the way I observed that the 'good AP', formerly a math teacher, was not favored by the Principal. The Principal's right hand man was a yes-man! And Yes, the vindictiveness of this Moronic Principal has really hurt my chances of getting a teaching position. But as my old folks said; "whoever laughs last gets the best laugh".

  6. The education system in this country has been redesigned in a way so that PROFESSIONALS would disrespect and abuse other PROFESSIONALS. That is what Principals and Assistant Principals do to their TEACHERS. As regards SUPERINTENDENTS and SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS, they are not considered professionals since they are the MASTERS and OVERSEERS. Think about the following definition: OLIGARCHY - a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution.

  7. Most non-education degree holders prospects of acquiring the 5-year professional education certificate are dashed the moment they accept a teaching position in an URBAN SCHOOL. This is especially very difficult if they have not already completed the SAE, GK, and PeD exams. The reason is that they will not get the time to study for the exams; working 90 - 100 hours per week makes it practically impossible to study because you are always too stressed, too tired, and usually don't have enough time to even do personal things including adequate personal hygiene. Plus you have to complete approximately 21 education credits and a lot, and I really mean a lot, of B**l S**t paper work.

    Then, you have to be observed 2 times per year by your Principal and this could turn into 3 or 4 times because he fails to complete his part of the post observation paperwork; I know this because it happened to me. You will be observed about 4 times by Assistant Principals and you will receive some very disgusting/ irritating feed-backs from some of these morons who, in many cases, cannot comprehend an iota of what you are teaching just because they are completely out of touch with very basic academic principles. Just imagine you are teaching ellipses or hyperbolas and your AP is observing you but she is out of touch with how to find the LCM of 2 numbers. Boy, you genius, will definitely be found with flaws by this Semi- or Demi-god. I promise you will be mad when you receive her email.

    Then, will be observed at least a couple of times by each of your Mentor, Subject Coach, and by someone coming down from the High Tower - the Ivory Tower. This is usually the person who shrugs her shoulder at every question your ask or every statement you make because she disagrees with all the B**I S**t coming down from the TOWER but is trying to protect her paycheck.

    Also, you will have to observe 4 Professional teachers. Don't be surprised that some of them may not even be managing their classroom as well as you do, either because they settled in many years ago with a workable style based on their own personality and one that is informal but does not concur with the so-called educationists who never placed their feet in a classroom, or just because you are naturally talented at people management.

    Just keep in mind the whole process is a CHARADE geared at destroying the Public Education System. Every teacher has their own personality derived from their unique DNA, derived in turn from their distinct karmic profile.

    Imagine the performance of our own Florida Governor being observed teaching an academic subject of his own choice. LOL. The students would definitively have a Hilarious Moment. It is so unfortunate that these are the people that set standards for us, the true educationists. This thought just momentarily came to me as I decided to conclude this commentary. God, look down upon our teachers!

  8. There needs to be a real shortage of teachers; then, and only then, would the politicians stop treating us like dirt and filth. It is true that politicians use us, teachers, as their fools for political mileage. So, for a few years it is incumbent upon those aspiring teachers to focus more stringently on one of their other career alternatives. When a real shortage comes about the politicians would then begin to reverse their draconian policies that are hurting teachers and correspondingly our students.

    Already, my very smart daughter who was aspiring to be a teacher and then principal has reneged on that aspiration and is contemplating another career. And, of coarse she will experience greater rewards such as not being treated like filth by politicians, superintendent, principal, assistant principals, parents and their children who don't want to learn to read and do addition and subtraction. The word "TEACHER" is now synonymous with "DISRESPECT"; this definition needs to be included in the Webster English Dictionary. Also, she will not be working 90 - 100 hours a week, calling parents in the evenings when she gets home and on Saturdays and Sundays, or making GRADE RECOVERY PACKAGES late into the nights. Plus, she will earn much, much more money and actually, really have a life. She will have REAL TIME for HER FAMILY which the SUPREME CREATOR has given her - YEA!!! TEACHERS IN FLORIDA DON'T HAVE A LIFE. If any Florida Teacher refutes this they are a LIAR or they just GIVE GRADES to PACIFY, which means they are CHEATING; there is no LEARNING, just FOOLING. What a SHAME!!!

    Where is the American Dream?
    I see only a Nightmare!
    How about the Statue of Liberty?
    Was she just a web of illusion?
    What ever happened to that Beacon of Light?
    All I can see is a Long Dark Cold Night!
    Where has Democracy Gone?
    Her soldiers have all fallen asleep!
    As a teacher all I hear is the disappointing clunky sound of chains!
    Well, forgive me, I chose to be a Florida Teacher!!!

  9. Why in the world would anyone want to become a teacher? Only 1(one) year contracts are availed to new teachers. That is "No More Tenure". So, you go to a 4-year college for at least 4 years to acquire a 4-year degree. You acquire a degree in, say, math education. You get the Eligibility to Teach certificate for $75, do the SAE Math 6 - 12 test for $200, do the General Knowledge test for $130, and do the Professional Education test for $150. Plus, you spend another $80 - $100 for the books to study for the 3 tests mentioned.

    Now, as is the norm, they employ you on the 1(one) year contract in a Urban school where education is not valued and where the prevailing culture is a culture of Disrespect and targeted Disrespecting of teachers from other cultures. Your Principal is a product of, say, Raines High School. Well, you know he does not know much better than the students who disrespect you because he was cultured in the same environment as them. So, he and his students, by virtue of their student growth scores, 'give' you a poor evaluation at the end of the year. He does not renew your contract and you are left with a Valuable Piece of S**T Paper that every Next School and School District is going to ask you for. You have just effectively received a Career Death Sentence.

    Guess what - you also have a Student Loan Debt of Tens of Thousands of Dollars to repay but you are not allowed to default on the Loan Repayment, by law, and your career as a teacher has ended especially if you are not a White- or Black- American (You are a 3rd class citizen) and you have some age and a certain percentage of physical disability. So, where are you going to go - Wal Mart? Target? Publix? Save-a- Lot? Dollar Store? You will probably start at $7.80 an hour and you will not get 40 hours a week, probably 30 hours. Most likely, you will not get full-time employment until after 1(one) year. You will be kept off limits for Health Care and other benefits; CEO's have to get their Massive Bonuses to show God when they go up to the High House, or at least they think so. They and the Principal don't know that the Records are kept behind a LARGE GRANITE SLAB guarded by an unfamiliar face of the one DELEGATED with the Responsibility for Justice. Become a teacher? I don't think so!!!

  10. Testing in Duval County and Florida is a Hot Ass Mess

    When the curriculum assessment guides were re-written just a few years ago, I thought we had a much better test that could fairly be used in the evaluation process. However, as soon as the test was written and before the ink was dry, someone thought it necessary to change the curriculum. Well, this may not have been a problem had a new test been written to go along with the new materials, but that is not the case. Since that time, teachers have been left to stress over squeezing the new material in to prepare for certification exams while also squeezing in the old curriculum in that is tied to current curriculum guide assessment. Also, let’s be clear that some teachers are in the same school and teach supposedly the same course, but different curriculum; I will talk about the confusion it creates for students, guidance counselors, and parents on another day. With that being said, if you choose to or refuse to teach the new curriculum, you have the whole year to freely prepare for the curriculum guide assessment, therefore improving your chances of having the best scores and possible outcomes. You will also have a better chance of keeping your job. On the other hand, if you chose to become certified and teach the new curriculum, there is no remedy for you; you are just stuck trying to fit all this shit in in one school year, which brings me to the next point. How in the hell am I supposed to fit all this old and new curriculum in when you keep pulling kids out of my class for ASVAB testing, Algebra 2 testing, FSA, FSA Reboot cause the computers did not work, FSA retakes, field trips, IEP meetings, ACT and SAT registration, AP testing, discipline issues, ROTC inspections, End of Course exams, PERT testing, certification exams, track meets, senior final exams, etc.? Where does all this crap leave me and my ability to foster learning when you are routinely stripping me of the children that I am paid to teach? Is anybody looking at the testing schedule?
    So many tests are being given, it is even pitting teachers against each other for a student’s time. Although students are not supposed to be held by another teacher, it is becoming more commonplace. Teachers are desperate enough to hold a kid and prepare them for whatever exam they have coming up, even if it means they will save their job and have me losing mine (call it survival of the fittest).

    1. All this testing was thrown into the PUBLIC SCHOOLS to drive the students off to PRIVATE CHARTER SCHOOLS. This is a HIGH LEVEL CONSPIRACY by the REPUBLICANS - Bush, Broad, Chartrand, et al, to get their filthy hands on half-a-trillion dollars per year of public education money paid into the GOVERNMENT'S COFFERS by hard working Middle Class Americans comprising teachers and others. BTW, CHARTER SCHOOLS and the other PRIVATE SCHOOLS are paying very low wages compared to the PUBLIC SCHOOLS, and in most cases there are no paid benefits. If you want benefits you have to go to and be prepared to fork out a lot of your hard earned dough. Lots of the trouble makers from the PUBLIC SCHOOLS are migrating to the CHARTER SCHOOLS; they and their parents are attracted by the fancy names given to these CHARTERS. Well, the CHARTERS are having intense difficulty with staffing their schools, with qualified teachers, and many who have tried the CHARTERS have bolted. The students are not learning but they are given lots of A's which make their parents EXCEEDINGLY HAPPY.

  11. Florida has already injured the teaching profession; THERE IS NO TENURE. So, imagine you accept a teaching position in a county somewhere relatively far out from where you currently live and you move with your family, but after one year your principal does not renew your contract for whatever MALICIOUS reason. Then you may have to move again, either back to where you lived originally, or to some other county.

    But suppose for whatever reason you have been given poor VAM Scores (the teachers' NIGHTMARE) due to some malice or vindictiveness by the administration or by a student and his/her parent(s). Another county might ask for your VAM scores which now guarantees that you do not ever get rehired as a teacher. Now what do you do!

    I have seen first hand how some wonderful math teachers' careers have been obliterated, YES I SAY "OBLITERATED". One such teacher delivered excellently but had exceedingly low performing students and a few malicious ones whose attitudes were supported/instigated by their parents. These few intentionally disrupted her class every-time the teacher underwent her CAST Observation. This particular teacher taught as the lead teacher for only one year after she completed her MASTERS DEGREE in EDUCATION (She spent $13, 000 toward acquiring her Masters) and received an UNSATISFACTORY EVALUATION; her contract was not renewed and she decided she would apply for a job as a grocery clerk. A few times I consoled her on the job after her last class of the day when she would burst into tears. She never blamed the students for conspiring against her, but did their parents.

    Little did this teacher realize, her FATE was SEALED by the REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE in Tallahassee, FLORIDA. May GOD REWARD THEM for what they did to that wonderful teacher whose face oft wore a dazzling smile.

  12. It is almost ABSOLUTE that NEW teachers WILL NOT get a good VAM score at an INNER CITY SCHOOL such as First Coast High, Raines, FOREST, or Buttler, just to name a few. If you are teaching MATHEMATICS as a NEW teacher in one of those schools you are just setting up yourself for TEACHING CAREER SUICIDE; I repeat TEACHER CAREER SUICIDE. You have to be extremely cautious because of all the TENS of THOUSANDS of $$$$$$ DOLLARS of your own money, and the thousands of hours, and the great sacrifices you endured due to the bureaucratic absurdities of the Teacher Education Programs, whether TRADITIONAL or ALTERNATIVE, to become a teacher in a profession that has been DENIGRATED to the LOWEST LEVEL of American Society. The reason; America's MERCENARIES see a TRILLION DOLLARS to be made from the pool of PUBLIC EDUCATION MONEY by EXTORTION in the name of CHARTER SCHOOLS, and YES, they are PRIVATE CHARTERS funded by PUBLIC MONEY. And, do you see how JEB BUSH is failing miserably in the Republican Presidential Race? The LAW of KARMA is FAIR and PRECISE; it does not take sides and it acts on its own schedule according to the law of the WORD or MASTER.

  13. Now, if you didn't go through the traditional teacher education program and you are trying to become a teacher through the Alternative Teacher Certification Program because you are a career changer BEWARE. You also have to do the Reading Competency 2 course which is a pain in the *ss. Of course you have to pay for the course, but that is nothing compared to the readings which are longer than a rope from Earth to the moon. You have to do 14 Log assignments plus discussions plus responding to others discussions plus tutoring a struggling reader for several sessions. This is in addition to the 80 hours of practicum you have to do in your subject area. Man this course is real hell. And I mean hell because you haven't even started teaching but its like you are already working full time. No time to really do anything else! TEACHING in Florida REALLY STINKS!!! That's a FACT!

  14. I training to become a teacher but I may never teach; I saw the SCARY FACES of Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee, and Bill Gates in a Portrait; I almost threw up. Its like the DEVIL also has a TRINITY!

  15. Does Senate Bill 616/House Bill 7069 say "Student performance, if accurately and fairly measured, is the best indicator of effective teaching"? Can effective teaching affect "Reluctance to Learn"? STUDENTS are REFUSING to LEARN!

    So, will Senator Don Gaetz please sponsor a bill that will accurately and fairly measure "STUDENTS' RELUCTANCE to LEARN"?

    Will Senator Don Gaetz also sponsor another bill to purge DELINQUENCY from the numerous 17 year old and 18 year old students who cannot add or subtract but are in higher level math classes destroying teachers' effectiveness.

    Will Senator Don Gaetz visit math classrooms in Duval County High Schools to get a first hand awakening of this PERVASIVE DELINQUENCY?