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Friday, January 9, 2015

Florida falls to 28th in school rankings, we never should have been ranked very high anyways.

I have covered the quality counts rankings in previous years

and the truth is we never should have been anywhere close to the top ten. Now this is not to say we have terrible teachers and schools, this is to say that the previous year’s rankings always had a lot more to do with things that were on the peripheral of education. Like we would get tons of points for just giving assessments, who cares if they were valid or sucking the life out of education, they heaped points upon us anyways. The new rankings recognize the quality of our teachers as past rankings have but also recognize the value that the powers-that-be put on education, which quite frankly isn’t that much.

Jacksonville Superintendent Vitti summed it up nicely in the Times Union: “Although it is true that we are likely to have one of the highest returns on investment in the country, imagine how much stronger our students would perform if the policy commitments were maintained and balanced with an increase in per pupil funding,” he said. “Fiftieth is completely unacceptable. We can, and must, do better.”

Another problem with these rankings is they can be used to justify anything whether we are ranked fifth or 25th.

See school choice is working we’re ranked fifth. Or, we don’t have enough school choice so we’re ranked 25th.

Bush’s reforms are working, we’re ranked fifth. Or, we don’t have enough of Bush’s reforms so we’re ranked 25th.

Why do we need to pay our teachers more we’re ranked fifth. Or, why should we pay our teachers more we’re ranked 25th.    

Florida has some wonderful teachers but they can only do so much especially when constantly marginalized, disrespected and blamed and as long as we either ignore poverty or treat it like an excuse we shouldn’t really expect much more than treading water.  

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