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Monday, December 16, 2019

Superintendent Greene says help is on the way for teachers that need reading endorsements though I think she kind of missed the point.

To refresh your memory the state with little direction said many teachers now had to get a new reading endorsement which can be an arduous years long task, if they are going to work with certain students. Several teachers reached out to me and said this was overwhelming and there seemed to be little rhyme or reason to who had to take the classes so I reached out to Greene and the school board with their concerns.

First let me say I appreciate superintendent Greene for getting back to me, it can't always be especially to someone who can be a critic, and it's to her credit that she did.

That being said I think she may have missed the point a little.

This was her note, where she explains what the district has and is doing.

Dear Mr. Guerrieri,

Thank you for sharing feedback from our teachers regarding the reading endorsement requirement as outlined in HB 7055. As a point of clarification based on teacher feedback, HB 7055 requires endorsements for reading teachers instructing all K-12 students in need of Tier III intensive reading interventions. This feedback is valuable as the district prepares for implementation of this requirement effective July 1, 2020.

The Office of Professional Development has communicated the requirements of this ruling to teachers through a variety of communication tools and has provided information to school-based administrators to share with their teachers.  Attached are supporting documents sent to teachers and administrators to use as a guide to make decisions regarding this requirement.  We do recognize that some teachers are just learning about this requirement, and others have just recently been put in a classroom situation that would require the Reading Endorsement.   The addition of face-to-face Q&A sessions regarding the reading endorsement may have alleviated some of the concerns regarding access to courses and the length of time to complete the required coursework.  Our professional development team has worked diligently to open new online classes as the existing classes fill up, and will continue to do so to meet the state deadline.

I am pleased to share that the district continues to be reflective of this demand on teachers who provide instruction to students in need of Tier III reading interventions.  Although teachers of other content areas are welcome to become reading endorsed, it is not a requirement as outlined in HB7055.  Enhancements made to the Winter 2020 Reading Endorsement course of study include a reduced number of assignments, extended time to better understand the navigation of the course, and increased communication regarding enrollment updates.

In addition, the PD department is currently piloting a course rollout combining Reading Competencies 1 and 2; and 3 and 4.  Each combined course is 10 weeks in length. For the 2020-21 school year, the district will offer additional competency combination courses, as described above, for teachers who need to take all or nearly all of the reading endorsement coursework.  We are currently piloting this modified course delivery model at two sites with 106 participants. The district currently employs 17 part-time reading endorsement facilitators. This allows for an increase in offering Face-to-Face and Online courses to maximize access for teachers who need to obtain or maintain high quality status.

Teachers with additional questions or concerns should contact Endorsement Specialist, C. Renee Jackson,, or Professional Development Supervisor, Altina Fenelon-Silva,  They understand this is a priority and are eager to assist teachers. 

Kind regards,

I hope this helps some, and again I appreciate that she wrote back but I think she missed a very important piece and that's teachers are already feeling overwhelmed and this isn't helpong, so I wrote her back and made some suggestions.

 Thank you for getting back to me. I will put this information out there on the blog  Education Matters in case some of the readers are unaware.

I think where this may address several concerns it does not address them all. Another complaint perhaps the biggest was teachers already had to much on their plate and this just added even more causing further stress and frustration.

Let me suggest a TDE day for everyone taking a course each course and an alleviation of  responsibilities during common planning and early release days. If the goal of those two things is to provide extra professional development, surely the classes can fill that function. I just want to remind you the better things are for teachers the better they will be for students.

Thank You again

Friends what some people, especially people not doing the actual work don't seem to get, is we can't continue to bury teachers, marginalize teachers and over work teachers and not expect something to give. The district hiring extra trainers for reading is good, giving teachers the time to do the work is much, much better.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Matt Carlucci called for a JEA grand Jury investigation, there needs to be one about the sales tax referendum too (draft)

Unless you live under a rock you know about the mayors plot to sell JEA, recent revelations however also show that the unqualified JEA CEO Aaron Zahn planned for him and his friends to get rich off the sale. City Councilman Matt Carlucci seemingly one of the few members of the city council members with integrity has called for an investigation. Well friends there needs to be an investigation about what went down with sales tax referendum too.

To read about Matt Carlucci's call for a grand jury investigation click the link.

It was inexplicable that the mayor and CC would fight against a sales tax referendum which would create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, stop or slow flight to the suburbs, attract businesses and fix our ailing schools, which is something everyone agreed need to happen, but there they were, fighting tooth and nail against the city's schools and children and there is a lot to investigate.

There is mayoral adviser Sam Mousa trying to shake down the district and then getting a no bid six figure contract a few days after he retired.

The million dollars to Rory Diamond's charity from Charter school fanatic Gary Chartrand and his
six figures to the mayor, Jason Fischer and tens of thousands to other city council members plus a quarter million to Ju'coby Pittman's charity all raise flags as they sought to undermine the district. 

Maybe nothing criminal went on but there are enough red flags there you would think we were at a military parade in red square.

Then lets not forget the Kids Hope Alliance where they were told to give away 10k micro grants to buy votes.

There is a rot in this city and it's not just with the JEA, it oozes out of city hall as well, with the Kids Hope Alliance, the Landing, Lot J and with the referendum and it would be a mistake just to only look at JEA. Our city has been hijacked by grifters looking out only for themselves and their backers. 

Friday, December 13, 2019

In Duval County it’s the beatings will continue until morale improves.

You know you can dislike the district for a number of different reasons.

Maybe a district staff person came through and complained you didn’t have some artifact on your wall and your principal instead of standing up for you or pointing out all your good work said, yeah, where is it.

Maybe you dislike the district because at some future point you may have to teach reading so now you are told to get 5 60 point reading classes, and you better get them quick and not expect any help or time to do so.

There are lots of reasons why “you” may hate the district but let me tell you mine.

As an ESE teacher I have to write IEPs long reports on my students, they are complicated and take hours to write. Well this year the district brought in a new program and its had glitch after glitch. It’s definitely a step down from what we had which quite frankly wasn’t that great.

Well the district told us earlier this week, that if we have to do an addendum to the IEP, adding something supplemental and what we generally do for all our students not aging out so they can attend the ESY, and the IEP was written on the new program before November, instead of doing an addendum, we had to do a completely new IEP, another glitch has prevented the program from being able to clone itself. This means I have three more IEPs to write and my neighbors have between 5 and 7.

One of my colleagues had finished their IEPs and only had the IEP addendums to do now has to rewrite all their IEPs.   

Reading back I don’t think my words are describing this debacle correctly. They have just added a ton of work to a lot of teachers.

Do they say, so sorry, omg we’ll keep trying to fix this, or anything approaching what a human with empathy would say. Nope, it’s just so sad to bad, get to work easily replaceable cogs.

It gets worse too. The district is spending wheel barrels full of money on this new program, while the state has an IEP program which is more streamlined (less work for teachers) and I am told its free. Wait what, free. Maybe if we used it we wouldn’t be trying to save nickels by under paying subs and bus drivers.  

I get it the state sucks, they really do, but time and time again when the state puts us in a hole it’s the ivory towers instinct to keep digging, and the staff are the ones given the shovels.  

You know under Pratt Dannals and Vitti communication with teachers and attempts to treat them as professionals weren’t priorities and a year and a half into Greene’s reign, I am starting to feel like, new boss same as the old boss. Nobody at the Ivory Tower ever seems to think, well how will this affect the staff or how can we help them.

When will the powers that be realize the better things are for teachers the better they will be for students, and if the district treats people like easily replaceable cogs, those cogs will find another machine, and most likely make more money there as well.

So yeah, what a Merry $%^#ing Christmas the district laid on its ESE teachers.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Don't panic, yet, about reading endorsements in Duval County

Somebody told me ,the beatings will continue until moral improves, and nothing describes our district philosophy better.

The thing is don't panic, yet, anyways.

I sent below to the superintendent and school board about the avalanche of reading endorsements and the consternation, panic and anguish it has caused. Let's see if the district is interested cares about its teachers or not.

A few weeks back a teacher reached out to me and said they were being overwhelmed at their school because of all the reading endorsements they are now required to get. They said their entire staff was being required to get them, and the admin wasn’t giving any time or help. They said this was burning out the staff and making them miserable.
So, I asked on FB and twitter is any other teachers were experiencing the same thing and wow were there. Here are just a few of their answers.
Yes, our whole school was pushed into it. Even the resource teachers like Art & PE... most teachers already have some of the classes though. College of Ed often 1-4 and Alt Cert has 1-2. Ppl just need to send their transcripts to be verified.
I asked them what school they were at, and where they told me, they asked me not to mention it however because of fear of retaliation, but that’s another matter. Here is another.
Hey there. In response to your question. Yes we have to do the reading endorsement classes mostly because as elementary we never know what we will be told to teach from year to year. And no, we aren’t allowed time or support to do them. It’s on our own dime and own time. I asked Tammie from DTU about getting early release time or such to do them and she said no as it wouldn’t be enough time. Plus the classes are filling because there are only so many people who can teach them.
 I asked them, so teachers that don't teach reading have to get it too, in case they teach reading at some point
They replied Yep. Only departmentalized 2nd through fifth. Most elementary teachers are certified k-6 or 1-6 and can be pretty much placed anywhere. I myself have been moved around a lot. Fifth ELA, 3rd ELA, 2nd everything, 1st everything, 3rd math science, 2nd math science. And back and forth.
Here are some more comments I received from teachers each break represents a comment.
.Hi Chris! Yes I am having to take reading endorsement and esol class, must take a class for each endorsement by the end of the year. The amount of work that is expected is Exhausting and unbelievable.! I love teaching, honestly, I do, but i have a limited personal life and family life bc of unrealistic expectations 😣
All on line with two face to face and a ton of work! People are stressed beyond belief! How is that helpful to them teaching children daily? It’s ludicrous!
If we could maybe get more time that would help! Absolutely no course one openings for spring offered for free through Duval available
The law says only tier 3 reading teachers in elem. ed bit because the positions change we were told all have to be endorsed. If you get flagged out of field you are screwed!
Yes. OMG. 5 courses. Free through the district but we are talking 5 60 hour courses. If you were lucky enough to get in. Courses filled quickly. On our own time. 100 pages of reading on some of them. 5 assignments on some. Plus grading and planning. And charters exempt. I assume because they don’t have to be certified. Can’t get an endorsement not certified. Oh and some teachers have to get esol. And we know have to have 40 hours of reading to renew certificates. On top of 20 ESE. Oh and we were told we couldn’t double dip. So the reading endorsement doesn’t count towards the 40 additional just to get recertifications
It’s online. Once you are tagged, you must do two a year. Only we don’t know which kids will tag us. “They” will tell us. Don’t know who is defined by they. No TDE. No suspension of common planning or early release.
this whole reading endorsement requirement is absolutely unfair and the lack of planning (this law was passed 5 years ago) is creating more panic. I hate that the state is taking more time away from my family.
Yes! No time and difficult to get a spot in any of the courses offered.
We are told we have to take two classes a year and that is 60 hours. What time do we have for this? They act as if we have no families or other responsibilities.
Yes! Have to take all 5 courses. And by the time we were told, most filled up. I signed up (along with some friends) for Competency 2 for this April since 1 was completely filled. No support. No one really knows much. No time during early release. We asked about having a class held at school in the evenings once a week and were told it probably won’t happen because they don’t have enough instructors. Also, I emailed and asked if my hundreds of hours for Literacy 101, 201, 301, and many Reading Academy and other type inservice would count. They replied that I should send them my transcript to see if any college classes will count. Which wasn’t even my question! I know my college courses won’t count, as I graduated in 1992.
I’m not even sure if I need the reading endorsement. I teach XXXX, which would be a no, but I’m ALSO teaching XXXX this year. DTU said ill be notified if I do need it, but I haven’t been. I guess I’ll do it just in case so I don’t lose my job.
Somebody from the district also reached out to try and explain what was happening, they to wanted to be anonymous because of that whole retaliation thing, again another issue for another time, I guess.
I saw some of the posts by teachers about the reading endorsements and there seems to be a lot of false information being given. The mandate was hidden in the train bill 7055 that was passed and signed into law in June of 2018. The state just gave guidance this year to districts. There is no way to define which teachers are attached to students for 2020-2021 school year because the school year hasn’t started. Secondary has a code for these students because it would be in intensive reading but elementary does not so the district will have to figure out how to meet the mandate and track who is providing tier 2-3. It only applies to teachers who provide tier 2 and tier 3 interventions for reading. Right now, that depends on each individual school and who the administration has providing these supports. The guidance from the state to districts says a teacher must be working on it to remain in field so that mean two courses a year starting next year. Districts across the state are struggling to accommodate the mandate because of the lack of time and guidance and there frankly aren’t enough trainers who can train all of the teachers.
Please do not use my name on this but I thought you should know so maybe you could pass along more accurate information than what other teachers have been posting. This is clearly a teacher tax and burden that was placed on districts to meet without enough trained staff and time.
Sure, I can pass on the information but um I shouldn’t have to. There has been a huge communication breakdown with staff, and it doesn’t seem like the district had much of a plan more than telling people to get it done.
I want to remind you too that this doesn’t affect me in the least. I am just passing on concerns.
I also get it the state sucks, teachers at voucher schools don’t have to have any certifications, and their guidance has been woeful but that doesn’t excuse the districts poor rollout and lack of communication.
I have some suggestions, send out an email explaining what is going on, then go to the schools and tell them because sometimes we need it explained a couple times and in person.
Then prioritize who should get the reading endorsements and allow them to sign up first.
Finally give all the teachers time and support. A TDE day a quarter, time to do it during common planning or early release. Those things are about training right, well the classes are training so it works.
These teachers are hurting and need help. I hope you recognize that and do all you can to help them, we can’t afford to lose many more.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Yesterday was a $%^#ed up day in education in Florida (adult language below)

Yesterday was a fucked up day in Florida Education. Sorry not sorry to curse but symbols just didn't cut it.

We had Manny Diaz a long time foe of public ed proposing what teachers want and makes sense and we had the school board association and superintendent association, people who should be supporting educators, stabbing them in the back and capitulating to the governor.  Up was down, black was white and people were jumping on the furniture. 

Listen to Manny Diaz,

From Florida Politics,

“You [can] talk about categorical, you [can] talk about putting in the base student allocation. And then, do we say that everybody [must reach] a minimum $47,500 or do you try to equalize the money across the state and have it where you raise all boats and it brings the average salary higher?”

Put it in the base student allocation, raise all boats, preach it brother Diaz.

This is what people have been begging for, this also makes the most sense or anything out out there.

Compare this with the statement from the school board and superintendents association, or you know the people who should know better.

If you are a teacher and just felt a sharp pain in your back, that's a knife wound.

Thank you Governor DeSantis, how high would you like us to jump? 

They have to know teachers hate his proposals, and instead of backing teachers they capitulated, they gave in. 

This was a base betrayal of education in Florida no more no less.

We applaud, we are excited, geeze, they sound like an abused spouse who thinks if they clean the house just a little more than won't get the belt. They are supposed to stand up for their staffs and instead they asked the bully if they could join his team.

That's fucked up.

Monday, December 2, 2019

It is time to Rally in Tally

I think unless there are tens of thousands of people in Tallahassee on 1/13  on public education 's behalf Tallahassee will just dismiss it. I also think even if there are tens of thousands of people in Tallahassee there is a good chance Tallahassee will dismiss it. That being said, its time for Florida's teachers to step up, because if not us then who. 
I sent below to my local paper and a slightly different version to my superintendent and school board (Duval). Wherever you are at, I hope you consider doing the same and sending letters to yours.
On January 13th teachers, school staff, parents, students and people who care about education, plan to Rally in Tally, to express their dissatisfaction for the state governments education policies and its criminal lack of funding. Teacher salaries are ranked 46 nationally, many support staff don’t make a living wage and we would have to add a thousand dollars to the base pupil allotment to get to 2007 levels.
Superintendent Greene and the school board should support this rally by canceling school on the 13th which would allow even more than the hundreds perhaps thousands that already plan to attend to do so.
As a teacher I loathe to miss a day without a sub present and would cancel absences if none were available. This day however is to important to the future of education and the teaching profession for me not to take the day off.
The district still has three weather days it can use to make the day up or it could cancel a few early release sessions instead.  
More than a month away hundreds of local teachers already plan to attend and after the governor’s recent dismissal of teachers that number is bound to rise, which means hundreds of classes will be manned by subs, admins or have to be combined if the day isn’t canceled.  
This day is to important not to have all hands-on deck and I hope the super and board show leadership, not just here in Duval but all across the state by affording as many of its staff as it can the opportunity to attend.   
The very future of public education may be at stake.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Jason Fischer reveals his true character, or lack of it

So this is the story Action New Jax did tonight. It was about Politicians getting to park for free at meters for official business. Okay I guess we can debate how fair that is. I mean if I go down to city hall, it's official business. The thing is Jason Fischer instead of parking at a meter just parked in the crosswalk, and then when confronted blamed it on a Hemming Plaza security guard.

I am not saying Jason Fischer lied, but does anyone believe him?

I don't.

This guy in my opinion, is corrupt and completely dishonest and sadly he represents people.

A retired and disabled vet put me onto the story and this is what they had to say.

What a lie...and if someone would go out of their way to blame it on a poor $10 an hour, ham and egger security guard just trying to get by then he would have no problem lying about bigger things...what a piece of shit....blame it on the security guard...I dont think so Jason

I deal with that everyday when I go out just to get a loaf of bread and some milk so it really hit a nerve...its what he would consider a little thing that reveals his true character.....

Or lack of it

Friends is nobody going to step up and take this guy on? He's unpopular with everyone but his donors and I bet they only tolerate him.

We have to do better.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Well at least we know the cost of Kim Daniels selling out the community

Did anybody else have 30 pieces of silver? Well it turns out it was a lot cheaper than that. Well at least we know why she voted for Fischer's J1 bill which calls for a vote changing having an appointed superintendent to having an elected one.

She was elected to head the Duval Delegation a basically meaningless position.

From Florida Politics. 

Daniels, an African-American Democrat, a staunch social conservative, and a minister, is best known for bills that include pushes for moments of silence in public schools and the required offering of religious elective courses.
Daniels’ fellow Democrats, Sen. Audrey Gibson and Rep. Tracie Davis, were not on hand when the meeting began. It didn’t matter, as Daniels took the chair by a unanimous vote.
Daniels lauded the “true teamwork” of the delegation upon accepting the nomination. Republicans find her to be a reliable partner.
A couple things, Senator Gibson and Rep Tracie Davis didn't show up to the meeting because they must know by now it's pointless.
I would say she is equally well known for all her ethics violations. Though I guess those are man's laws not Gods.
Then of course the republican's find her reliable since she is one.
Kimberly Daniels is a bad joke whose punchline was never funny.
Image result for kim daniels

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Florida's teachers must strike if there is any hope in saving public ed or the profession

Governor Ron DeSantis reveled his education budget and legislative priorities and after looking at them I have come to the conclusion that if we want to save the teaching profession and public education, teachers MUST strike.
DeSantis received a lot of fanfare for his proposal to raise teacher starting salary to 47,500 but the idea has gotten little support in the legislature and he admits it leaves out 75 thousand veteran teachers who have seen their salaries actually go backwards over the last decade.
A teacher on the same step I am now (17) before the great recession had 7k more earning power than I do now when you factor in inflation. Some back of the napkin calculations reveals that veteran teachers, those with ten or more years’ experience, the backbone of the profession, have lost 1.5 billion since the recession ended in 2012. That’s 1.5 billion in houses, cars and investments in their communities that we have lost because Tallahassee has refused to do the right thing. We would have to increase the base student allocation by about a thousand dollars to get to 2007 levels, and this year, DeSantis proposed 50.  
It’s worse because the Governor doesn’t even have the power to set salaries, something only districts can do and he has to know that which means his proposal was little more than smoke and mirrors meant to distract people.
The Governor also proposed a bonus plan that leaves out tens of thousands of teachers and most of the ones at our highest performing schools. It will also be the states sixth bonus plan in the last decade. It is beyond me why he thinks doing the same thing over and over will lead to different results, but it is also beyond me why he can’t do what teachers have been begging for and just say, every teacher gets “X” raise.   
However, it’s not just because of teacher salaries that teachers should strike, not by a longshot, other reasons include the state’s punitive testing and accountability system, the fact many of the support staff in our schools don’t make a living wage, and the governors exponential push for the privatization of our schools.
While the governor was distracting us with terrible teacher pay ideas at the front door, he was pushing a massive expansion of privatization through vouchers, through the back.
It used to be that vouchers were funded by money diverted from the tax rolls, now however they are directly funded by our state taxes and DeSantis wants to greatly expand who is eligible.
Voucher schools, I remind you, can pick who they take and keep, teach whatever they want, many of whom teach junk science and history, their teachers don't have to be certified let alone have degrees, and there is so little accountability that you might as well say there is none. This is what DeSantis plans to expanding exponentially, this is what he wants to invest public money in, rather than public schools.
It’s time Florida’s teachers, joined teachers all across the nation and said “no more”, it’s time for us to demand DeSantis and the GOP controlled legislature did what is right and if not we will see you on the picket line.
Some people might say we can’t strike, it’s against the state constitution, well friends the legislature ignores large swaths of the constitution with regularity, at this point it’s more like suggestions on a cocktail napkin than a hallowed document. Teachers all across the nation were also told it was illegal to strike including teachers in West Virginia, twice, and that didn’t stop them from doing what is right and good luck firing a hundred thousand of us.
Finally, I think many superintendents and boards would support a strike or work stoppage because they too have been on a decade long attack from Tallahassee and we would be fighting for their kids and schools as well.
Friends it’s time to fight while there is still something worth fighting for.  
Chris Guerrieri

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

While DeSantis distracts us with terrible pay proposals, pushes through a massive expansion of vouchers

Well DeSantis isn't governor of Florida because he is dumb. While DeSantis has been pushing terrible teacher pay ideas through the front door, he has tried to sneak a massive voucher expansion through the back.

From Accountabloney,

Voucher schools I remind you can pick who they take and keep, teach whatever they want and many teach junk science and history, their teachers don't have to be certified let alone have degrees, and there is so little accountability that you might as well say there is none. This is what DeSantis is expanding exponentially, this is where he wants kids to get their education.

Also if this is the year two expansion, whats the year three, four and five going to look like? We are looking at the end of meaningful public ed here in Florida within the next decade.

Friends, the goal is to destroy the teaching profession and replace public ed with a hodgepodge of charters and voucher schools, though if I was a charter school supporter this proposal would alarm me as well.

You see after the Governor is done destroying public education they are next. Why have charter schools when you can have teachers teaching whatever being paid ten bucks an hour at voucher schools. You think it could never happen to you, well that's what public ed was saying 20 years ago.

So what are we going to do? Hop on the bus? Wear red for ed? I know how about another letter to the editor. Wait let's meet in Tallahassee the day before the legislators get there, for reasons.

The thing is the Governor and Tallahassee won't care about whatever we do. It is going to be full steam ahead with their plans unless we fight back.

At this point its fight or die. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Governor DeSantis, our anti-public school teacher governor continues to ignore the needs of education.

There is a teacher shortage/exodus reaching crisis levels and rather than addressing it and trying to stop it our governor instead comes out with one proposal he knows is doomed to fail, and another that teachers have overwhelming rejected. For some reason Governor DeSantis refuses to do the decent thing and say every teacher gets an X raise and instead throws out gimmicks and schemes that are doomed to fail and make things worse.
DeSantis continues to call for a massive raise for starting teachers while leaving veterans that have seen their salaries go backwards over the last decade out. This incredibly unfair proposal is going nowhere fast too as nobody in the house or senate, controlled by the governor’s party seems to be for it.
Then he wants another convoluted merit pay bonus scheme or you know the opposite of what teachers want because let’s face it he’s both ignorant and spiteful. I bet if teachers would have said, please sir can we have another bonus system, right now we would be getting a raise. Spoiler alert there have been different bonus schemes going on for nearly a decade now, all dumb, and all have failed.
Then he wants to increase the BSA 50 dollars per kid, this is the money that districts use to pay teachers and for everything that isn’t a categorical and oh by the way when you factor in inflation, this amount is so close to zero we might as well call it zero.
This is all terrible and none of it will help education and educators but do you know what will make me lose my $#&%ing mind? If one of the union says, nice first step, or great ideas but how are we going to pay for them.
The unions need to wake up and realize no help is coming from the governor and Tallahassee and if we want better for ourselves and our students, then it is time to fight.
At some point their lack of meaningful action becomes complicity.
So Governor DeSantis if your goal was to help teachers you failed miserably however if it was to show people you are ignorant or don’t care, then kudos to you.
Educators, he is laughing at you.
Image result for ron desantis laughing

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Seaside Charter School spreads lies to shill for money and students.

Ugh, this school seems like a real disaster.

So Seaside put this out there.

I may be a little behind the times but I believe all schools have art and music and P.E.  Furthermore recess is now mandated, think about that, things got so teach to the test that we had to make recess mandatory.

Look I wish half the day was fun classes for kids, but to lie and say they don't exist, that's unacceptable. I mean so much for the golden rule right.

How can we have a conversation about what's best for kids when one side can just tell blatant lies.

Jessica Morgan is Seasides director of special events by the way, less you think this was put out there by a random parent.

Fl Charter school closes and gives its students in another charter school. wait what?!?

So, from the I can’t make this up file. Families choose one charter school, a few months into the school year, the charter decides to close down and enrolls the kids into another charter school. So much for parental choice right. Friends it's time to agree that charters aren't public schools and they don't have the best interests of children in mind.
You might want to read that again.
Is this the school choice their advocates have been pushing for?
Or is this corporate greed, one charter buying another out to get their students?
It's $#^ing crazy no matter how you look at it.
School choices isn’t about helping kids or families, it’s not even really about choice either. It’s about undermining public education and the teaching profession and lining the pockets of a few charter school operators and the donors they have purchased.
 A Hialeah Gardens charter high school hailed by the likes of Gov. Ron DeSantis, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush is slated to close by the end of the month, and students are preparing to transfer to a nearby campus affiliated with a politically connected for-profit education company
Several students leaving LBA Academy on Thursday afternoon said they had been informed this week the school was shutting down and they were being transferred to the nearby charter school Mater Academy in Hialeah Gardens. The students didn’t want to be identified by name for fear of getting in trouble. Many of them were wearing grey long-sleeved uniform shirts with the words “Mater-LBA.”
A spokeswoman for Mater Academy confirmed there’s a “partnership” in the works between the South Florida charter school network and the LBA.
“The goal of the partnership is to create academies within existing Mater schools that focus on: construction, design, and engineering,” said Lynn Norman-Teck, executive director of the Florida Charter School Alliance, who answered questions on behalf of Mater Academy.
Norman-Teck said Mater Academy Charter High School in Hialeah Gardens is not currently at capacity and would welcome applications from transfer students, including those attending LBA Academy. Mater Academy is one of four prominent charter school networks affiliated with the South Miami for-profit educational service provider Academica. The Mater, Somerset, Pinecrest and Doral academy networks pay millions in taxpayer dollars annually to Academica for administrative services. Academica has close financial ties to several current and former state lawmakers who have crafted lucrative laws and budgets benefiting charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run
I guaranty you when we check back in a few weeks the owners of the LBA Academy are going to have a few extra bucks in their bank account.
So much for choice right.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Gov DeSantis takes his terrible teacher pay plan and makes it even worse

Last month to great fanfare and zero follow up, Governor DeSantis proposed a massive raise for new teachers and nothing for veterans. Instead of dropping like a lead balloon, he got a lot of pub for his proposal even from the FEA who instead of dismissing it outright said it was a good first step.

FEA at some point your lack of meaningful action becomes complicity.

Today he took that horrible plan and made it even worse morphing it into another hair brained bonus scheme, or you know the exact opposite of what teachers have been crying for. 

From Accountabloney,

After years of calling for raises not bonuses, Governor DeSantis' teacher compensation plan gives massive raises to the newest and most inexperienced teachers and, wait for it... a new bonus, based on the school grade system, for Florida's most experienced teachers:
"The plan, as outlined by education commissioner Richard Corcoran, would pay bonuses to teachers and principals in schools based on their growth in the state’s A-F school grading system.
Schools that see their points in the grading rise 6 percent or more would qualify for the highest bonuses, with those that have gains of 3 to 5 percent in the next level and those with 1 to 2 percent growth in the bottom tier. Educators at Title I schools, serving primarily low-income students, would get an amount double that awarded to non-Title I schools."
We heard they're calling it the "Suck it, Old-timers Bonuses" but that could have just been a rumor. 


Governor DeSantis is apparently incapable of doing the right thing and saying, every teacher gets a insert number here raise, or better yet significantly raising the base pupil allotment and letting districts and unions figure out what to do with it, or you know their jobs. At this point can there be any doubt that either by hook, he is incompetent, or crook, he wants to stick it to teachers, we can't expect anything decent from the governor.

So what do we do? Wear red? Write some letters to the editor? Meet the day before the legislative session starts in Tallahassee and hold some signs? I feel like we have been there and done that and things have just got worse year after year. This may be a spoiler to the FEA but the don't care because their plan is to injure and destroy the teaching profession.

DeSantis took a terrible plan that teachers hated and instead of listening to teachers he made it worse. That should tell us all what we have to do next, while there is something worth fighting for anyways.

Maybe we can get some inspiration here. In case you were wondering, DeSantis and the Republican party are the borg. It is time to stop falling back and draw a line.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Rory Diamond continues his unethical ways

Let's talk ethics in Florida, it used to be if you were caught with a live boy or a dead girl in Florida you would have some explaining to do, though now even that is in question, and Jacksonville has always been behind the curve.

So here is what happened, Rory Diamond voted for one of his bosses, who had just quit another  board and had proposed privatizing the city's parking services, to join the board of the JEA. He could have recused himself to avoid any appearances or impropriety but he chose not to.

This on the heels of his million dollar gift from Gary Chartrand and the summer he spent fighting for his warped causes with no reveal at all.

Diamond is quickly giving Kimberly Daniels and Jason Fischer a run for the most ethically challenged politician in Jacksonville. 

From Trey Csar's twitter page,


Dear beaches, can we talk here. Is this the best you could have done? Couldn't you love veterans and dogs and had ethical leadership too.

You and the city deserve better.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Jason Fischer once again attacks DCPS on behalf of his donors.

Have you ever heard the expression, any day that ends with a Y? It means sure I can do that/would do it anyway, well that's Jason Fischer with his attacks on public ed, and specifically local public ed.

His latest attack is to codify into law how special tax referendum money has to be spent, allocating a proportion of it to charter schools, and gasp, whether they need it or not.

From Florida Politics,

For any future referendums to raise sales tax rates for public schools, there could be a proportional carveout for charter schools.
That sharing approach is contemplated by language that a Jacksonville lawmaker aims to have added to the 2020 tax package.
Rep. Jason Fischer, a second-term Republican who has prioritized education reform, wants all future school tax referenda to see proceeds shared equitably between charter and traditional public schools.
First I am a 100 percent sure, Fischer has no idea what equitably means because that is what the district already proposed.
So he wants to blow the system up and you know who this benefits? His lords and masters in the charter school industry that is who. He wants them to get millions more and again whether their schools need them or not.
How do you get so hateful and vile like Fischer has to attack the futures of children so his donors can line their pockets with ever more money. What blackens somebody's soul like that?
Once again Fischer reveals himself and the site is nasty. 
Image result for jason fischer

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Florida state board of education prepares to stick a knife in the teaching profession.

There is a teaching shortage in Floirda, brought upon by a combination of low pay, accountability on steroids, and disrespect. Rather than address those issues the state board of education prepares to double down, by letting anybody with a pulse be a teacher.

From Florida Trends,

 State Board prepares to adopt rule for full-time adjunct teachers 

With concerns over a teacher applicant shortage still strong in Florida, the state is preparing to offer school districts another path to fill its classrooms — the full-time adjunct instructor. Districts long have had the ability to employ part-time adjuncts, who need not meet the same credentialing as contracted employees and do not fall under the same pay and benefit structure as if they were represented in collective bargaining.

So they don't have to have the same credentials, hmmm, and they are exempt from collective bargaining. You know why didn't they just get rid of the profession all together, you have to know by now that is their ultimate goal.

Private schools finance by public money can already hire teachers without certificates or even degrees for that matter, how long until its that way in public schools?

Just a reminder that when the State Board requested their budget, when you factor in inflation it is smaller than last years.

Florida wants to destroy public ed and the teaching profession and people better wake up while there is still something worth fighting for.

What is it going to be friends, what is it going to be?

Hey Times Union, Rory Diamond does not deserve your praise

I think we can all agree that helping our Veterans, like Rory Diamond's K9's for veterans does is a good and worthy thing, but if the Times Union is going to lavish praise on Diamond they should give us a complete picture of the man.

Diamond was one of the fiercest opponents of the school districts efforts to get a sales tax referendum passed to help fix its aging and crumbling schools. While doing so he accused the school board chair of being less than honest, and said only students at charter schools have a chance, which is laughable and uninformed. He did this after taking a million dollars from public school foe and charter school proponent Gary Chartrand,something Diamond didn't bother to disclose. One could make the argument he fought against the city's schools and children, along with jobs and a stimulus, after being paid to do so. 

Then speaking of being paid, Diamond is well rewarded for his efforts, after Chartrand's million dollar gift his compensation went up 40k to a quarter million dollars, pretty good right and I guess more proof that true altruism doesn't exist.

Diamond, may love helping veterans but he sure doesn't love helping children, and his moral ambiguity is troubling to say the least.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Gary Chartrand's company going bankrupt raises some troubling questions

From the Jax Daily Record 

Jacksonville-based Acosta Inc. announced Friday it will file a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan, with a majority of creditors in agreement. 

The sales and marketing company said the plan will be filed “in the coming weeks.” The plan provides for vendors to be paid in full during the Chapter 11 process and for all employees to receive their usual compensation. 

Pickett, a 28-year veteran of the company, was promoted to chief executive officer in July.“This process will enable us to continue to operate our business without disruption to clients, customers, employees, and business partners,” CEO Darian Pickett said in a news release. 

The plan will eliminate $3 billion in debt by converting it into equity, and investors have committed $250 million in new equity capital.

Here are some facts, the KIPP school owes Chartrand three million dollars and they recently changed their structure so they can use capital funds to pay lease payments. Chartrand led the fight against the tax referendum, so charters could get millions more in capital funds. Chartrand's company is filing for bankruptcy.   

I am not saying Chartrand looted the company to pay for his far right anti-public education agenda, but wouldn't you like to see the books?

Some people like Chartrand, they say he gives to a lot of good causes but you will forgive me if I think him over charging customers, under paying employees and running his company into the ground makes for a poor resume, let alone him using all that money to push policies that hurt children, teachers and schools.

He is the villain of the story. 

Image result for gary chartrand

Thursday, November 7, 2019

School choice breeds discrimination and segregation

Imagine somebody came to you and said you could have your weight in ice cream. At first you might think this was a great idea, I mean who doesn’t love ice cream. However shortly after you had between 100 pounds to 300 pounds delivered I imagine you would start to see problems and ones beyond the diabetes you just gave yourself. That is school choice in a nutshell, sure it might sound good but when you get into the details and the reality of it, it kind of becomes a disaster.

School choice in reality is nothing more than an excuse for discrimination and segregation and that’s a problem.

First a woman in Florida was fired from the private school she worked out that was funded by public money.


After an anonymous call to school officials, teacher Monica Toro Lisciandro was fired from her position teaching musical theater at Covenant Christian School in Palm Beach, Florida for being gay, according to LGBTQ Nation.
Administrators told Lisciandro that someone had informed them that she was in a relationship with a woman. She was also accused of attending a Pride festival and hosting an LGBTQ group in her own acting studio.
After admitting that those things were true, Lisciandro was let go from her job. Her class was readying their production of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Private schools in Florida that take vouchers have also been criticized for excluding disabled children as well, but the truth is they can turn down any child for any reason but they aren’t the only ones as the Florida Department of Education said charters don’t have to take kids either.

In Jacksonville it was reported that an autistic boy was turned away from a charter school, because they said he wouldn’t be a good fit. You will find similar stories all across the state so where repellent it’s not that unusual, what is however is the state department of education said that was just fine.

From Action News Jax, 

It’s against the law for public schools and charter schools to turn away students because of special needs. 

However, Action News Jax learned there’s a catch. 

The Florida Department of Education said it’s not discriminatory for charters to suggest a different school that would better serve a student with disabilities.  

Well that’s quite the catch isn’t it. I mean what parent is going to want to send their child to a school who obviously doesn’t want them. The FLDOE has given charter schools carte blanche to turn away whatever student they don’t want. Live with your grandmother, no that doesn’t seem like it will be a good fit, family lives in poverty, well we’re going to pass on you too.

If a school can turn down a kid for not being a good fit because they have a disability, they can turn down any kid for not being a good fit for any reason and they often do.

More and more research has indicated charter schools are being used to resegregate our schools too.

From NEA Today, 

In December 2017, the Associated Press conducted an analysis of charter school enrollment nationwide and found that the schools were among the most racially segregated in the nation. 

While only 4 percent of traditional public schools have student bodies that are 99 percent minority (2014-15 school year data), 17 percent of charter schools are 99 percent minority. Furthermore, of the 6,747 charter schools in the country, more than 1,000 had minority enrollment of at least 99 percent. 

The numbers were troubling, if not particularly surprising, to anyone who recognizes that high levels of racial and economic segregation is systematically linked to wide gaps in educational opportunity and achievement.

What is truly maddening beyond the discrimination and segregation that school choice fosters it is we as tax payers are paying for it. We are investing in schools that are perverting our values and usually it’s so their owners can make a buck.

School choice might sound good to some but when you break it down, the way we do it, it’s not. It’s 2019 we should and could be doing better.

Image result for ice cream melting all over someone