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Friday, July 29, 2022

Superintendent Greene says we are all in this together, um are we?

 In the media, Greene said we are all in this together, against the rising realization that we won't have enough teachers when school starts in two weeks. She announced several plans, including increased class size, certified staff teaching instead of doing the jobs they were hired to do, paying subs more, and admin, including her subbing. Funny, I don't feel like we are in this all together.

Before I continue, I want to say the district made this announcement because they got caught. I made a media inquiry about it last week, and I am sure real media outlets did too. There had been rumors for a couple weeks, and only after the district knew they could no longer hide their plan did they make an announcement. I sincerely believe they were just hoping teachers would show up and either not notice or, like they usually do, just take it. By the way, I am still waiting for a response to that inquiry.

Next, I have to say nobody believes the district when it says class sizes will go up a student or two. I have already talked to teachers who have seen their class lists, and they have seen jumps of 5 or more. Now I get it; things start to even out when the year begins, but this district long ago lost its credibility with teachers, especially when it comes to considering the district's actions toward them.

Also, do some of those suggestions seem similar? Oh yeah, we heard them all (except raising class sizes) earlier this year when the omicron wave hit. They didn't work then, so why should we think they would work now?  

Then can somebody let the super know that coming in late, leaving early, and not being alone for a second is not subbing? I would love for her to sub. I really would, but what she did was babysitting and a photo op.

Finally, if she were sincere, there are things she could do to show that we are all in this together. Let's eliminate common planning or pull it back to once a month on early release days. If they are putting stuff on teachers' plates, let's also take some stuff off. Streamline lesson plans. When I started teaching, they were notes on a box on a calendar. Now they are four-page 8 font monstrosities where I am supposed to plan and anticipate everything and spoiler; all they do is sit in my lesson plan book because I don't write them for me I write them for admins that wander in. Then be understanding when things inevitably break down, or teachers get behind. Friends, no one going to die if, god forbid, I forget to enter something into focus one day. 

We aren't in this together, and it's insulting that Greene says we are but actively shows teachers repeatedly that they are not.

The super has forgotten that nobody would notice if she took the day off, but when teachers do, everyone they come into contact with does. She has forgotten that the better the district treats its teachers, the better they will be for our students, and she has forgotten what it is really like to be in this together.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

DCPS pours gas on its dumpster fire!

 I want to point out that the state has done DCPS and public ed no favors. A large amount of the blame for where we find ourselves should fall clearly on their shoulders. That being said, Greene shouldn't get a pass. Her "teachers are easily replaceable cogs" policies of the last few years have exacerbated a terrible situation, and she deserves criticism too. With that out of the way, let's try and come up with solutions that don't make teachers miserable and put more on their plates, or you, the only solutions that DCPS ever comes up with. 

First paras, my para can't cover my class when I am out; nope, I have to get a sub, or another teacher has to.  This has never made sense to me. We have a lot of excellent paras that could cover for a class or a day or heck in this climate where wives of veterans with 60 hours can be teachers, an extended time. Ask for volunteers and pay them a little more and, hopefully, more than whatever terrible stipend they give to teachers now is.   

Retired teachers, let's bring them back and set up packages. You commit to just one period a day, get this, two, you get more, and so on. With inflation, I am sure more than a couple might want a part-time job, but the thing is, we have to make sure all that extra stuff like common planning, complicated lesson plans, and all the other BS that really makes teachers hate their jobs, never gets on their plates. Remember, friends, we are doing triage here.

Then let's go to the colleges and bring in what few colleges of ed kids there are and offer them a similar deal. They might as well learn now, and easing into teaching may be a better plan than shoving them into the deep end and hoping for the best.

Finally, and this one makes me cringe a little bit, offer signing bonuses to teachers from the surrounding counties, and instead of sending them to where they are most needed, let them pick their spots. I get it, this will not help at all our neediest schools, but if it fills some slots, it's a win. 

I have to believe there are better solutions than jacking up class sizes, and nobody believes it will be just one or 2 kids here or there, putting more on teachers' plates and surplusing an unlucky amount to fill holes. What I don't believe is the district is trying to come up with them.

Any suggestions? Let me know, and in a day or two, I will compile them and send them to the district, where I am sure Greene will promptly ignore them. The thing is, I figure I can't just complain. I have to try and be part of the solution even though, as a teacher, I am always the last one asked.


Saturday, July 23, 2022

DCPS raised starting salaries nearly 6k and the teacher shortage problem got worse

 First, I want to say, the state does public education and DCPS no favors. In fact, it often seems they are working to undermine public education. That being said, time and time again, when placed in a hole, the district's sole inclination appears to be to keep digging. Two years ago, DCPS raised starting salaries by nearly 6k, and are teacher shortage is worse than ever; one would think Greene would understand it's not all about pay, but nope, either she doesn't or she doesn't care.  

To mitigate the staffing crisis, DCPS seems to be employing two strategies, raising class sizes and involuntarily transferring people through the surplus process. Both strategies will join just raising starting salary as failures exacerbating staffing issues.  

Two years ago, when DeSantis proposed his payroll scheme, which robbed Peter, veteran teachers to pay Paul new teachers, I practically begged the super and SB to go on the offensive and to explain to people how detrimental this was going to be and either they didn't think t would be or like with so many other important education issues they chose to be silent.

Now I want to beg the super and SB to rethink this strategy which I believe will be devastating. The district cannot yoke teachers and work them insane amounts, and it can't force them to leave schools they chose to be at to go to schools they didn't. Sure, many teachers will sigh and go along, beaten by the system, but how many will leave? How many can we afford to let leave?   

I have been told our openings are closer to 700 than the 400 number they mention in the media, but we are approaching a tipping point with either number.

The district thinks that if they just throw money at the problem, the problem will magically go away, but if the past is prologue, we see the negative effects that just raising starting salary had, we should understand by now that money is not the only problem that needs to be addressed. 

Making teachers unhappy and giving teachers even more work is a losing strategy. If Greene doesn't get that, it's time to get rid of Greene. 

Friday, July 22, 2022

Charter school operator John Rood obliterates the spirit of campaign finance laws to support April Carney

 People on the right often ask school board candidates what they promised teacher unions that give them donations, and I always wonder what they could promise them? To pay teachers fairly, to treat them like professionals? Seriously what could they promise? Now with charter school operators, I can imagine what SC candidates promise them because charter schools are a business, and business is good for their owners anyways.  

That brings me to investor John Rood, the one most responsible for bringing the classical charter schools to town. He has obliterated the spirit of campaign finance laws and donated to MAGA darling April Carney 9 times. Oh, and the classical charters are run by homophobes and get their curriculum from arguably white supremacists and have done a poor job educating their students, but that's another story.

So if you or I wanted to donate to a campaign are limits would be 1k in the primary and 1k in the general. If you are rich, however &#%$ the laws, and donate as much as you want as John Rood has done.

9k from one guy, 9k from a charter school guy, 9k from a charter school guy who doesn't mind working with homophobes and arguably white supremacists.

I want to remind me that above is perfectly legal; it's how the system is set up. A system that benefits the rich and allows them unequal access; however, being legal doesn't make it right. 

April Carney and John Rood should have some explaining to do, and question number one is why they feel gaming the system and violating the spirit of laws is okay. The next should be if they are going to do it here, where else will they do it. 

 If you care about public education, if you have any concerns about the quality of charter schools and how they lack accountability and siphon money out of the system, please support Liz Andersen for the school board.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

School board candidates April Carney and Charlotte Joyce snub girls in foster care. Who are they here to help again?

Guess who couldn't bother to show up at the Delores Bar Weaver foundations panel discussion about girls in the foster and juvenile justice systems and their dropout rates?  Well, I guess from the title of this blog, you already know.

All the people running for office were invited, and many, including Liz Andersen and Tanya Hardaker, were there because it's an important and relevant topic, things it seems Joyce and Carney could care less about.

Honestly, and it's probably an unpopular opinion; I have never been a fan of DBW's edu-philanthropy. Not because it's not needed, but because I think society should have the resources to solve its problems and shouldn't have to depend on the ultra-wealthy, not because many of the causes she supports aren't worthy.

But let's talk about some of the things DBW has supported because, in the past, she has supported a who's who of republican want-a-be and some who made it politicians running for the school board. To say she leans right is not an understatement, so something like this should be right up Carney and Joyce's alley. Them not going tells me a couple things. First, it's DeSantis/MAGA or bust, and they don't really care about important education issues or interacting with potential voters. Remember, both of these ladies skipped the JPEF forums' too.    

Do you know one thing Carney and Joyce made time for? It was DeSantis's visit this past Sunday where he continued his divisive language and hit all the made-up talking points like CRT and teachers teaching kids to hate this country. His constant attack on teachers and his terrible education plans have led to this massive teacher shortage, and friends, it's a disaster by design.   

Teachers teaching kids to hate their country, wow, that's a big accusation, one I think Joyce and Carney should be asked to respond to, and may e they would if they went anywhere where the most challenging question isn't who was your day.

We can do better than Joyce, which is why if you care about public education, you need to support Tanya Hardaker.

Then it is just as important that we elect Liz Andersen.

Charlotte Joyce has been terrible on the school board and don't take my word for it, take the school boards

 Charlotte Joyce has been on the wrong side of every major Jacksonville education issue. She was dragged, kicking, and screaming to support the referendum. Then she has been against changing school names, masks, and the millage increase. Lastly, she supported the "Don't Say Gay' bill, bringing a swarm of homophobes, bored moms for spritzers, sorry liberty, and the chronically misinformed down upon the district. I have seen it, you have seen it, and her fellow school board members have seen it as well.

She was elected alongside Darryl Willie and Elizabeth Andersen. Andersen was vice chair in her second year on the board and chair in her third. Willie was vice chair his third and is the chair now; you might think it was Joyce's turn next, but nope, Kelly Coker Daniel is the current vice chair and likely chair come November. 

Every person on the board has been chair or vice chair at one point or another except for Joyce and Cindi Pearson, who is just in her second year.  

Her co-workers, her fellow board members, seem to have no faith in her ability to lead, and every vote shows they have no faith in her judgment too. It's time to send Joyce home.

 Luckily there is another candidate, Tanya Hardaker, and if you care about and support public education, she is the only candidate in that race. If you live in District 6, please vote for her; if you don't, encourage your friends to do so.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

The districts haphazard plan to raise class sizes and surplus teachers (draft)

 This story is developing. I have asked the district a bunch of questions, but they haven't gotten back to me. That being said, I feel like I have talked to enough teachers, school administrators, and even a district administrator that revealed the district's terrible, terrible plan.

Everyone knows the district has a teacher shortage, and to address it, the district has a two-pronged attack and spoiler alert, both put more on teachers' plates. First, the district will increase class sizes; bigger classes mean you need fewer teachers. Part 2 of the plan is to surplus teachers since classes are bigger and send those teachers to schools where raising class sizes didn't fill in all the gaps. I am told thus far, 31 teachers, including a handful of new ones, have been surplussed with more to come after yesterday's district budgeting conference.   

When school does start, the district will be able to thump its chest and says look, we filled all of those vacancies; however, they won't mention all it took was violating the class size amendment, overworking teachers, and treating them like they are just easily replaceable cogs rather than the professionals that they are.  

It's my belief that both of these parts of the plans will lead to even more teacher losses, and it's also my belief the district doesn't care.

Violating the class size amendment has a cost to it, a cost that Greene seems more willing to pay than to pay teachers, 

I want to be honest that after years of neglect, the state has put DCPS and all of the public ed in this very deep hole. Where we have over 700 openings, there are 9k statewide. I read an article that said there were only 2k graduating from teacher colleges too, but that being said, the district's solution shouldn't be to put more on teachers' plates and to forcibly move some around. When put in a hole, one should stop digging but unfortunately, DCPS always asks, where is the shovel.  

I support the millage increase; it is long overdue but and I keep screaming it to whoever will listen; a lack of fair pay is only half the problem, the other half is too much work, unreal expectations, and a lack of support and respect and the district's plan exacerbates all of these things. 

We could and should be doing better, but we sadly don't have leaders that are interested or capable of doing so.

When I learn more, I will share.

Superintendent Greene says there is no help coming from her

 So a few weeks back, the district started posting videos from teachers about why they were leaving or the trials and tribulations they endured. They put out the videos to rally support for the millage increase, something I wholeheartedly support and hope you do so too. The thing is, most of the videos were about how poor teacher working conditions are and how much they have to work and sacrifice, with very little tod o about income. I felt this was a mistake. So I wrote the district pointing out that where the millage increase and income were important, it was just half the problem, a problem their own videos exposed.

 Greene wrote me back, and her letter is below.

In the letter, she offered nothing in the way of what she would do to reduce stress and workload because, I guess, those things aren't an issue to her. The 700 district openings, however, tell me they are a huge problem.

In my 22-year career, I have known teachers who have left for more lucrative paying jobs, but I have known far more who left because of the lack of support, unrealistic expectations, tremendous workload, and stress, and these are things the millage increase won't help but Greene sure could if she wanted too. 

If she wanted to.

Mr. Guerrieri,

Thank you for your email. The point of the post was to inform our stakeholders that recruiting and retaining teachers is a challenge in part because corporations are now actively targeting teachers to switch careers. 

Regarding support for teachers and other staff struggling to cope with stress, we strongly encourage team members to take advantage of the free Employee Assistance Program. EAP services include confidential support 24/7 from a licensed professional counselor including six visits per issue. This support is available in-person and through telephone, text, video, and chat. EAP provides short-term assistance with stress and with other personal issues such as depression, anger, grief, family problems, substance abuse and more. Referrals are provided for additional treatment or special care. Additionally, EAP can assist an employee with work and life support for financial concerns, legal assistance, time-management, childcare, and eldercare.

In addition to EAP, employees have free access to the Headspace application which offers guided mindfulness activities connected to meditation, sleep, focus, and movement. At the Educator Wellness Conference in April, educators had an opportunity to engage in five breakout sessions focused on self-care and supporting youth. The Mental Health Matters monthly newsletter provides information about all these services along with resources and strategies for supporting self and students.

We also have technical support in place to assist teachers managing classroom situations that might lead to increasing levels of stress. These supports include:

•                  Providing training on CHAMPS as well as Guidelines for Success, classroom behavior support systems, to incorporate throughout daily rituals and routines to maintain instructional momentum.

•                  Assistance through professional learning communities to implement classroom structural supports to reduce classroom disruptions and attendance concerns based on data.

•                   Providing Foundations modules to assist with schoolwide movements to create an orderly and safe environment.

•                   Assisting teachers and school faculty and staff with utilizing Florida PBIS model critical elements schoolwide on way to achieving for schoolwide and classroom-based use.

Thank you for your inquiry, and I hope this gives you the background you are seeking both in the referendum education campaign and services available to you and your colleagues for managing stress and other personal issues. 


Kind regards,


Dr. Diana Greene

Charlotte Joyce betrays her voters for a seat at the radicals table

 In 2018 the republican party didn't want anything to do with Charlotte Joyce. Their candidate was Dave Chauncey. It was teachers and families who believe in and support public education who voted for her, leaving those people who just vote R no matter what to support Chauncey.

Fast forward to today, and she has given the middle finger to those people who actually elected her. Instead of meeting with parents and families, Joyce would rather meet with people like Raymond Johnson, a radical homophobe who recently called for the arrest of Superintendent Green for "reasons."

Worse than that, she has been on the wrong side of every critical public education issue since she was elected. She was against the referendum, the millage increase, and masks, which means she has been wrong, wrong, and wrong. She has shown lousy character and bad judgment and doesn't deserve another team on the board.

 Luckily there is another candidate, Tanya Hardaker, and if you care about and support public education, she is the only candidate in that race. If you live in District 6, please vote for her; if you don't, encourage your friends to do so.

Monday, July 18, 2022

SB candidate April Carney tells a lot of lies and half truths in 7 minutes (draft)

 If you have 7 minutes and a strong stomach, watch the video below,

She says she believes in transparency and that parents deserve to know what's in their kid's curriculum and when school board meetings are, well, friends, nothing is stopping anybody from doing so. Friends, these things are both widely and readily available. The only thing that might slow one down is the state changes the standards every few years. This year I believe teachers will be teaching to the sixth or seventh different test in the last 12 years.

She then talks about how children aren't taught to balance a checkbook; um, first, it's 2022; why would they but financial literacy is a school requirement. To be honest, I don't think she lied here. I think she is just chronically misinformed, which will become more evident as you watch the video.,literacy%20and%20money%20management%20course.

Carney then talks about how fiscal responsibility, a topic I think we can all agree is essential. On the one hand, she says the city is growing, but on the either, she says kids are leaving. The thing is, most of these kids are going to charters, and they are part of the public school system. They are paid through DCPS; the money they use to operate does not come from a separate entity. Look, I hate charters as they are currently done, as much as the next informed guy, but they are part at least where finances are involved of the public education system. Carney, it seems, is clueless about that fact. 

She then mentions money from the CARES act, money earmarked to take care of pandemic concerns, and says we should use that money to fix air conditions, and make schools safe, which is what the half-penny sales tax that she just railed against two sentences before is for. 

Friends, this is easy stuff anyone can spend a minute on google to find.

However, Carney either couldn't be bothered, or lies and half-truths were just easier for her.

Then the woke act, which she is 100 percent behind. She wants to stop the Marxist indoctrination going on in our schools, and she is going to help prevent it by getting rid of the office of equity and inclusion, you know because those things are bad. The mere fact that we have that office, like just about EVERY school district, has means kids are being taught critical race theory. This gobblygook of mad libs would wreck even a stretch Armstrong doll, but she says it all with a straight face and the clarity that only the seriously deranged could muster. 

I also find it offensive that this upper-middle-class white woman from the beach can be so dismissive about DCPS's seriously racist history.

We were almost decertified in the late 60s and had forced bussing for decades. 

I guess I shouldn't be surprised as she sends her son to the Cornerstone Classical academy, which has its curriculum provided by arguably white supremacists.

She finally says there is one race in this country: the American Race; um, what the $@#&?

The American race?

Mercifully the video ends as she starts talking about civics which, yeah, not good.

In a little under 7 minutes, Carney told a string of lies, and half-truths, and presented made-up assumptions as reality, which further proves she isn't fit to be on the board. The sad thing is that there are problems in education that need serious people to discuss and deal with them. Carney, however, is not one of those people.  

SB Candidate April Carney will go on the Steve Bannon podcast but not Melissa Ross/First Coast Connect

 The biggest reason is probably Bannon won't ask about Carney's involvement in the J6 insurrection, but Ross will.

I just have this nagging feeling that the F.B.I. thinks Carney has some explaining to do, some explaining she won't do for the local media and voters.

Anyhoo, Carney appeared on the Steve Bannon podcast; yes, that Bannon, who championed the insurrection and is about to go on trial for contempt of congress, but thus far, despite being invited to appear on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, she has refused.

If you listen, be warned, it's a steep pile of crazy.

This and Carney's refusal to participate in the JPEF candidate forum, where typically the toughest question is how was your day, show Carney has no intention of engaging constituents and the local media, and it looks bad, it looks really bad.

Sitting SB member Liz Andersen however, is more than willing to engage with people, and she will be on FCC today (7/18). 

Saturday, July 16, 2022

April Carney, SB candidate district 2, lives in a half million dollar house drives a 61k car and takes a tax payer funded voucher to send her daughter to private school

 Hold on one second as I clean up the milk I shot out of my nose. 

So let's get this straight, she lives in a half-million-dollar house, drives a 2021 61-thousand-dollar car, and takes a taxpayer-funded voucher, that is one that you are paying for, to send her oldest daughter to a private school, as she admits in the video the link below will take you to.


The thing is, this is the system DeSantis and his cronies have set up, where the wealthy and connected can take advantage of the public to pay for things they can obviously afford. It's perfectly legal but also incredibly unethical, and Carney gleefully admits to it. I am surprised she didn't wink in the video and call Florida's taxpayers suckers.   

Quick question, how can we expect her to get a good steward of taxpayer money when she doesn't have any problem paying the system to financially benefit herself. 

To see her financials, click the link below.

This is not how it is supposed to be.

Did SB candidate April Carney scrub her social media to avoid mention of her J6 involvement?

 I believe the answer is an emphatic yes, and her scrubbing her social media at that time media doesn't help her case. 

Even somebody as far right as her has to know trying to overthrow democracy was wrong, or more cynically, she thinks people learning about her participation would cost her votes. She could clear this up by just answering a few questions, and it's her refusal to do so, her "lies of omission." that point to her guilt or her consciousness of guilt anyway.

If she participated, she should admit it; voters deserve to know what type of person they are really voting for, not just the shiny packages they portray. If she didn't, which seems very unlikely at this point, she could clear it all up, but thus far, she has refused to participate in forums where the questions might come up or direct questions posed to her through her website.

So this is the thing, she scrubbed all her social media, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and heck, even Gettr, which I didn't even know existed, from October 2020 to March 2021.

Full disclosure, when I ran for school board the first time, I took down several pictures of me and beer, and by several, I mean a few dozen. I did, however, leave up all the pictures of me attempting to steal an election and overthrow democracy which was a grand total of zero. 

Carney may or may not have participated in an attempt to thwart democracy though the evidence, mostly her silence, is pretty damning. Her ignoring voters is just a cherry on top.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Was SB candidate April Carney at J6 and other bad decisions on her part

 Several people have contacted me about Mrs. Carney's participation in the January 6th attack on the capital. One even sent me images of somebody who looks a lot like her, if not her. Knowing her far-right politics, I thought her being there was a distinct possibility, so I asked, and then I asked again. You would have thought I was a JPEF candidate forum because, like them, I have gone ignored. 

Being in Washington D.C. on January 6th may show lousy judgment though sadly, if she admitted it, it might get her even more support from the far right, but unless she actually went into the capital, it isn't a crime, and neither is her ignoring potential constituents and voters, which she now has a documented history of doing.

The thing is, if Carney has nothing to hide, then why is she doing all this hiding.

I believe participating on J6 should disqualify anyone from any elected office; the bad judgment and the disregard for our rule of law are just too much, though I get it; to some people, it's a feather in their cap. Regardless though, she should let people know and either confirm these rumors or put them to bed, and her not doing so, along with her other actions, lead me to believe they may be true. 

Not answering questions, not showing up to forums, ignoring potential voters and constituents, and making the nonpartisan race political all show a habitual pattern of bad decisions, whether she attended J6 or not.

If Mrs. Carney wants to set the matter straight, I and many others would like to hear what she has to say.