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Friday, November 12, 2021

JPEF's ageism problem

 You know I expect the state to disregard veteran teachers; I really do. We should add the Jacksonville Public Education Fund to the list as well, though since they were founded and run by Teach for America, young masters of the universe types, it really shouldn't come as a surprise.

Two things.

First, JPEF wants a thousand teachers of color to join the district. That's awesome, and I would love to see it too. Though I think the fact we already have hundreds of openings, fewer people are entering the profession, and those that do, don't stay long, and veterans are taking every opportunity they can to retire, I think we should start with different priorities. 

Yes, we want to recruit minority teachers, but if we keep ignoring veterans, who will show them the ropes?

As I look at it, retaining veterans should be our priority. But JPEF going to do what JPEF going to do.

Then there is ignite, and this is from their website.

Ignite is an affinity group for young professionals that focuses on igniting, YOU, the next generation of leaders and philanthropists in education!

Young professionals, hmm, don't even think about it if you are 41; this is also from their website.

  • Applicants must be passionate about public education and eager to learn
  • Applicants must be between 18 and 40 years old

Hmm, be passionate but be young?

If you are passionate but under 40 here is their next event.

 Strangely this sounds like something they might want to ask veterans about, but what do they know.

 Let's put this on the heals of the state's scheme to greatly reward people new or who aren't even in the profession yet at the expense of our veterans. 

I have said it before, and I will repeat it, we are never going to be the district we can be, heck the school system we can be if we marginalize teachers, veteran teachers too.

JPEF should understand that, even if the state doesn't.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Why dos DeSantis keep going to the classical charter school?

 Governor DeSantis gave his education announcement at the Jax Classical Academy, far from the first time he has been there. There can be no doubt this is his favorite Northeast Florida charter school (and the KIPP school is probably very jealous about that fact). It routinely gets luminaries on the right, Marco Rubio was also there a few months back 

I think its past time we ask why this school  which also did not have a mask mandate, and if the state would have done grades got an F receives so much attention from the republican establishment.

David Withum is the headmaster and his Twitter feed reads like a right-wing and curious tenth grader musing about education but a few stand out. 

Now I have issues with teacher certification too, but at the same time, having minimum standards for teachers is not one of them. He also had a tweet where he talks about getting rid of grades, as a c+ student maybe I can get behind that one, as long as we did it retroactively. 


Impressive right? But the thing is the TU reported the Classical Academy would have been an F school had the state done grades. Now. I guess technically you can have great improvement and still be an F but it is unlikely.

And we wouldn't be complete without an anti-teacher union tweet.

Finally, he doesn't have a very high opinion of education reporters either. Maybe you are slaves to teacher unions?


Now to be honest I get frustrated too. I think there are a lot of stories that go under the radar, but anyway. So that's the headmaster and admittedly nothing super crazy, but maybe they left that to the operator Erica Donalds and where they get their curriculum.

They get their curriculum from the Hillsdale Barney Charter school initiative. 

Hillsdale is a small far-right liberal arts college out of Michigan, and recently they have sent out a series of mailers to locals. 


They espouse some pretty radical theories where they basically say racism is a made-up tool to divide society so the radical left can seize power. 


For as long as I can remember, the right has accused public schools of trying to indoctrinate kids; well, friends, this seems like some straight-up far-right indoctrination on their part. 


Furthermore, last year, Hillsdale sent out a Facebook poll asking how afraid of socialism people were; I kid a little, but the answers were basically really scared, and really #$@%ing scared, 


Then, however, it gets worse. 


This is an Optima Foundation.


The Optima Foundation is led by Erika Donalds  


Erika Donalds has rather interesting views on banning books and troubling views on LGBTQ individuals. 


Banning Books 


Removing LGBTQ protections 


Gay people are going to hell. 




Just some random troubling stuff, from the Tampa Times, 


 She led the conservative Florida Coalition of School Board Members, which split from the larger Florida School Boards Association over vouchers. She pressed for school board term limits and a statewide charter school authorizer in an amendment that famously failed Supreme Court muster amid heated statewide debate. 

So that's a lot but that's who they are. That's where DeSantis and Rubio want to go.

I think there is a story here.