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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Senator John Legg is not the good guy on education that some believe he is.

Lets face it the republicans in Tallahassee are bad for public education, now admittedly some are worse than others. Senator  Legg often gets billed as the reasonable one, the one people can talk too and who will listen. Well as Fund Education Now points out that's not really accurate.

From Fund Education Now,  Florida public education advocates, you are making an impact! We used our voices this week and sent nearly 45,000 letters telling the Senate Education Committee that the FSA should not be used to grade anyone.  Now an annoyed Chairman Legg wants us to “stop harping.”  Dismissing the real concerns of parents and professionals by saying further discussion about the state’s testing mess is unnecessary does not make it so.  Aside from that, it’s extraordinarily tone deaf.

After decades of micro-managing public education, Legg claims “there’s nothing the legislature can do.”  He goes on to assert that they are “unable to stop” Commissioner Pam Stewart and the Department of Education from setting pass/fail cut scores, issuing school grades or using the flawed scores to evaluate teachers. Legg’s comment lacks credibility. He knows Stewart is an unelected political appointee with an ardent penchant for rule following. The FSA testing mess was wholly created by the Florida Legislature. Period.

During the Senate hearing, politicians were dogmatic about preserving the political agenda of “ed reform.” Even though the EdCount/Alpine  study team will not deem the FSA 100% “valid,” committee members said any discussion of alternatives is useless. Looking for a better way, such as using limited standardized tests only as transparent diagnostic tools would destroy Florida’s A-F Accountability scheme.  Reformers know that without high stakes there would be no classroom fear or chaos. There would be no leverage to use against us.

FEN is right, if the study would have come back and said the FSA was invalid we would not be using it for anything as is we aren't using it to make graduation decisions, which begs the question how is the test good enough to be used for grading schools and evaluating teachers but isn't good enough to make promotion decisions for kids. 

I feel like Alpine Testing Solutions really had to contort themselves not to chuck the entire test. They left enough doubt that a heard of elephants could easily plow through.

Speaking of elephants, John Legg is not the reasonable one, not the one people can talk to and who would listen, if he were then there would be noway he could just dismiss all the evidence and all the calls from superintendents, teachers, school board members and parents who have said don't use this test.

Who is John Legg that he thinks his opinion is more accurate than evidence?


  1. Ask yourself why the FL Department of Education told school districts to conduct baseline tests this month for the purpose of having a means of computing VAM teacher scores for this school year. That's right, even FLDOE regards last Spring's administration as invalid and unreliable for future measurement. They don't want to use it to measure student growth from 2015 to 2016. But they still insist upon using last Spring's results for the accountability scheme for last school year. Confused? everyone is. But the takeaway is even they feel vulnerable and probably anticipate a legal challenge that they will be hard pressed to survive.

  2. Sen John Legg is, since you asked, a Bible-believing Christian, charter-school-"educated" ideologue who does the bidding of his minion-masters... he is a Koch-funded Republican shill, and a very successful one at that... chalk it up to his good-looks and seeming "approachability" (if you are donating Republican), and his ability to deliver the script convincingly... ask him to pray about his decisions to dismantle public education in Florida... if that is something an elected official should consider proper and seemly behavior when bestowed with the public's trust to protect our Florida Constitution and our Florida institutions...