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Sunday, May 24, 2015

It was a terrible week for Florida's Education system.

First a judge dismissed the lawsuit challenging Florida's voucher system saying the people bringing the suit did not have standing. Since, superintendents, school board members parents, teachers, students and community members, the people that brought the law suit  don't have standing the only people left, are politicians who want to privatize education. Next year Florida will divert nearly a half billion dollars from the state coffers and education to these largely unregulated private schools.

Then the head line says it all, "They studied, they took the test and the state said never mind". The state threw out a half dozen end of the year math tests for 550,000 students because there were concerns about their validity and yes that means Florida gave kids tests they weren't sure were valid.

Next, the extra school hating hour that the state required some readers to take has proved to be ineffective. Hmm imagine that if you make a kid do something they hate they won't do as well. From the Palm Beach Post: Learning gains for the bottom quarter of students at those elementary schools fell despite an investment of more than $20 million since 2012. Yet reading scores for students overall are improving slightly at the schools, suggesting that low-performing students are benefiting least from extra classes intended to help them most.

Finally despite a predictable botched roll that the states superintendents and school boards warned educator commissioner Pam Stewart about the state board of education praised her and gave her a solid review. The accountability system is in shambles and parents across the state are in open revolt but none of that seems to matter. It makes me wonder what she would have had to do to get a negative evaluation.

Privatization, incompetence and waste rule the day in Florida.

1 comment:

  1. Vitti's comments echo those of the parents who fought him tooth and nail against the extra hour at 11 schools OUTSIDE of the State Mandate last summer. Something that has yet to be made clear in the media, Vitti doubled down on the extra hour last year and forced it on schools that were not even on the absurd "bottom 300" list. It's almost hilarious to see the same talking points that were used against him by parents being taken up verbatim in his comments for this story. Or it would be had he not wasted a year and turned the heat up even higher on teachers already roasting on the spit with this new test debacle on this bu!!shit. The data cited in this story is not new. There is no current data on this school year aside from CGA's, which should be enough but if they were we wouldn't have the aforementioned testing debacle. So the data in this article is (fanfare) the same data that was pored over and cited in the parent's argument against Vitti last summer. I know because I was one of the parents who gathered and dissected that data from numerous public records. He didn't listen then despite being widely known as all about the data. He could have and a real leader would have at least slowed his roll and taken a second look. He was playing politics then and he's playing them now that the wind is blowing in a different direction. With the opt out movement growing and the true devastation of this year's testing mess about to come to light he's trying very hard to change his image over to a champion for the parents. I hope that all the parents he rolled over last year remember whose side he ultimately is on. Nikolai Vitti's side.