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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Why a marketing campaign for Jacksonville's schools is a waste of time and resources.

Below is a very interesting comment from the Times Union article about Duval's new marketing campaign by Educatedone a frequent commentator on education issues:

 Public education, as we know it, is under attack. These plans to privatize education began to surface long before we had FCAT, long before the public even knew there could become such an option. These plans were discussed prior to Jeb Bush becoming Florida's Governor. However, Bush was widely supported by millionaires and billionaires in his Gubernatorial race because he was pre-selected as the General who would launch the first attack on our schools--FCAT.
This is an attack truly but secretly launched in the name of profits for the private industry.
The message we, the people, were brainwashed to believe was this would bring more "rigor" and "accountability" to our schools.
Instead, we have seen quite the opposite unfold before our very eyes. We have seen little rigor in our schools as the average middle school student struggles with multiplication and signing his or her own name but can still earn a level 5 on the FCAT. What is rigorous about this widespread multiplication and handwriting epidemic?
Fred Heid, former Bureau Chief of School Improvement and former Chief Academic Officer for DCPS, at one time, admitted that earning a level 5 on FCAT did not equate to college readiness.
Yet schools were highlighting its students for earning a level 5 on FCAT.
Bush instituted a recognition program offering bonuses to teachers and school staff that increased FCAT scores all while knowing we were producing nothing short of dummies.
Florida Governors after Bush have continued education policy from the Bush reign. In fact, the formerly elected office of Commissioner of Education is now appointed by a State Board of Education that is led by school privatization companion Gary Chartrand. The Governor is also very influential in determining this person.
The Florida Legislature's actions have been shameful as it relates to their massive support in derailing our public schools by abysmal funding and allowing the constant abuse from FLDOE (e.g. constant cut score changes).
Having federal and state officials aboard the "privatization" train does not come full circle unless you have local officials willing to ride the train too.
This is what we have just witnessed with Chartrand, Peter Rummell, Preston Haskell and even Michael Bloomberg trying to buy a School Board seat for TFA staffer Darryl Willie.
What is also important is that this is the same club that hand picked Vitti, and continues to support his "approach" today (QEA).
Who else does this club support? If you guessed Jeb Bush, you guessed right!
Darryl Willie, Nikolai Vitti, Jeb Bush.
All three are supported by the same club.
One works for TFA which has given us "charter teachers" greatly compromising today's teaching profession.
One has recommended the contract renewal of TFA and has recommended more charter schools than previous Superintendents combined.
One has destroyed public education throughout the state while building up even more wealth for the wealthy at the expense of middle class and poor children.
How can any one of these effectively build a marketing plan for an ailing traditional school system?
Can't be done!
Don't waste a single dime on marketing schools until we have a Superintendent whose allegiance isn't to the "club" that has caused the need for a marketing plan in the first place.

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