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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Who do Vitti and JPEF really care about?

From the Times Union: “We’re in the midst of tremendous transition in public education, right now…,” said eduation fund President Trey Csar. “Along with that, comes a change in assessments so we’re moving from the old FCAT 2.0 to the new Florida Standards Assessment and that’s where a lot of the concern is.”

The fund has proposed a six-month pause on releasing results from this year’s exams in order to give the state baseline data to calculate student growth.

Vitti emphasized the need for a baseline year, a point he’s made repeatedly since last spring.

“It has not been properly field-tested, and that’s why we have been continuing to advocate as a district to fully test — we believe that all children should test at every grade level as was expected to happen — we believe that the results should be published…but don’t attach it to a school grade,” he said.

First let me point out this is the type of meeting the distirct usualy puts on at schools but in order to give JPEF credibility it is partnering with them more and more.

Next I don't disagree with Csar and the superintendent, this year should at the very least be a baseline for us to set future scores, though with all the problems we have had it is easy to call the results into question. My problem is what Csar and the superintendet are calling for is both self serving and doesn't go nearly far enough.

Others including this author have been calling for the state to hold third graders and tenth graders, who have potential promotion and graduation consequences and teachers who have pay and employment ramifications harmless. These improperly field tested tests can do some real damage.

Vitti and Csar however seemingly don't care about that, they just don't want school grades attached to it which would undoubtedly make the superintendent look very, very bad, but it's also giving cover to charter schools too and we all know how JPEF loves charter schools.

You see we have a lot of poor performing charter schools and many of them cannot afford to get another another F because the statutes say charter schools with two consecutive Fs or a combination of Fs and Ds can be closed. If districts follow the letter of the law there will be a charter school bloodbath in a year or two, but not if grades aren't kept this year. 

Where I agree this years test shouldn't be used to grade schools, stopping right there protects their interest and puts a lot students and teachers in harms way. It doesn't seem like Vitti and Csar care to much about that.

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