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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Do you ever get the feeling that Tallahassee wants public education to fail? (rough draft)

Of course you do.

Example number 1,003 the Florida legislature refusing to not count school grades this year despite the pleas of superintendents, school boards, teachers, parents and education experts. Ahh what do they know. Not even all the problems with the tests have swayed their minds. Problems schmoblems. 

From the Bradenton Herald: TALLAHASSEE -- A proposal to eliminate some testing requirements for Florida schoolchildren won the unanimous support of a second House committee on Thursday.
The real debate centered around an amendment proposed by Rep. Mia Jones.
Jones, D-Jacksonville, proposed holding off on school grades during the transition to new standards and assessments -- something superintendents, school board members and parent groups have long been asking for.
Jones noted that students had trouble accessing Florida's new online exams last week -- the result of both software problems and cyber attacks -- and argued it would be unfair to hold students responsible for the results.
"Today, I ask you not to put a scarlet letter on our young people," she said.
Unfortunately Mia Jones rational and reasonable amendment was voted down.
A regular reader of the blog pointed out it may be worse than we think. "As for this year's assessment, it is turning out that it is not a baseline, it is a beta test of the infrastructure and format. Next year will be the baseline. Then we need two years for calibration. Rational people will ignore the results until 2019, which will see us under new standards and assessments, Sigh .... the circle of stupidity is unending."
I would say he was right about the circle of stupidity being unending, except they might not be as stupid as the appear and the impending damage may be intended. The amount of F and D schools in my hometown of Jacksonville are predicted to double after this years round of tests. Double! Schools that have traditionally done well and are located in affluent neighborhoods are now going to be classified as failing. How can any rational governing body, shrug their shoulders and think that is acceptable?  
Then couple this with vouchers which this year took 390 million dollars out of public education and are allowed to expand by 25% a year.  They will drain a billion plus dollars out annually in just a few years. The minimum for a family to use a voucher is now 62,000 dollars. How many middle class families are going to go, my kids school is an F and been an F or a D for a couple years now, we're going to give vouchers a chance. Voucher schools by the way have to endure none of the draconian accountability measures or take the tests that public schools do.
What's going to happen when public schools go away? Well we might be about to find out.
The members of the Florida Legislature may indeed be stupid, their ideas certainly are but it's stupidity with a purpose and that purpose is the destruction of public education.
Read more here:


  1. Corrected Copy. Why does one only see the typos after you hit 'Submit"?

    I HAVE A VISION. It's a vision of education in America....a vision for the future. One day all people will get what they deserve, an education that matches their position in society. No more funding schools equally. No more spending the same amount on every student regardless of race, creed, and color. It will be an appropriate education for all.

    One day all people will be eligible for vouchers, rich, poor, and even the neglected middle class. Taxes for education will be collected, and appropriately skimmed for the benefit of those overseeing the administration of education. What's left will be distributed EQUALLY to all. Rich people will have a lump sum to apply to the elite private school of their choice. Poor people will have a lump sum to apply to any neighborhood 'Charter School' that will accept vouchers alone, and the middle class will get the privilege of deciding how much they want to sacrifice for a quality education, be it a private school, or continue with the charter system. The Government will no longer be burdened with providing a free and appropriate education for all. Change is necessary. We all know where 'Public Education' got us. One need only look at the United States over the last 100 years !

    Charter Schools will once and for all prove that they can provide education at a cheaper price. A standardized national curriculum provided through an online service will revolutionize everything we thought we knew about education. Expensive teachers will be a thing of the past (except in those few backward, overpriced, private institutions). Online Charter schools will be administered by clerks, trained to operate computer labs. No more need for in depth content knowledge or passion. A six month training in the National Online Program is all that is truly needed.

    Change is scary. Some will say it's a nightmare, but I say it is the 'New American Dream'.


  2. What is Shine's view for the future of public education in the next 50 years. What is the role of Charter Schools in the big picture? What is enough? What is too much? Is there too much? Can Charter's do a better job than public? He says we need more Charter Schools. How many more? How do Vouchers play into his vision of Charter Schools? Who should get Vouchers? Everyone? Or just some?

    These are the questions I want to hear about from our Beaches School Board Member.