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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Today's worst republican ever FLCFO Jimmy Patronis

 In between twirling his mustache and cutting an apple into slices with a knife, Jimmy Patronis, the state's chief financial officer and serial troll, tweeted below where he lets people know if you dare think differently from him and the republican party, you are on a list. 

First, did anybody else notice he could only come up with two things but wanted three, so he repeated the first thing twice? Aren't hate America and hate our nation the same thing? This reminded me of Rick Perry's oops moment. Patronis isn't one of our best or our brightest, but that doesn't matter to the republican party, which prefers nasty and angry to competent. 

Friends, he is saying anyone who doesn't believe the way he does must hate America when nothing could be further from the truth. However, he doesn't care because he gets to demonize his political opponents and slam a wedge between people. 

Somewhere along the way, republicans lost their way and decided hate and lies and vilifying people who disagreed with them was a winning strategy. Unfortunately, the people in Florida who reflexively vote R have proved him right.

Then there is Corcoran; I suspect if we weren't one of the most corrupt states in the nation, Corcoran would be behind bars. 

From Florida Politics:

Two Florida Department of Education leaders resigned in November after an investigation unearthed a plan to pursue a state contract for a company they managed.

According to an Inspector General report, the two leaders — Vice Chancellor of Strategic Improvement Melissa Ramsey and State Board Member Richard “Andy” Tuck — sent a proposal to the Education Department in November after it asked 25 vendors for quotes on a bid to take over operations at Jefferson County Schools.

In what smelt what experts call fishy, Corcoran resigned from the highest-paying state job (284k) a few weeks later.

Corcoran, by the way, had no business being the commissioner of education, just like he will not be qualified to run the New College, but once again, being qualified is superseded by fealty to Emperor Ron and being mean and nasty.

Rascists are going to be Rascists but why do Florida's taxpayers have to pay for it?

 Private schools that take public money already openly discriminate against LGBTQ and disabled children, and now there is more and more evidence that they are breeding grounds for racism too.  This would not be okay even if the public wasn't paying for it, but the fact they are makes it unacceptable. 

From First Coast News:

The Bishop John Snyder High School principal confirmed Monday that his administration is investigating racist Snapchat messages, with assistance from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Former professional baseball player Corey Wimberly posted screenshots to Instagram, of what appears to be a group message between the school's baseball players. He said his son, who's on the team, has been the target of racism.

Kids being kids, right? Wrong! Because you see taxpayers fund Bishop Snyder, from their website:

Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities (FES-UA) (Formerly Gardiner or McKay Scholarships) allows parents of students with unique abilities to personalize the education of their children. This would include any student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a qualifying documented disability from a licensed physician.  Many diagnoses by a physician qualify, including anaphylaxis, autism, intellectual disability, and other health impairments (i.e. ADD, Asthma, and Type 1 Diabetes). 

Additionally, all children in a family who have a sibling on the FES-UA scholarship, regardless of income, will qualify for a “Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options” (FES-EO).

Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES-EO) and the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program give parents the ability to choose a school that best meets their children’s needs. Eligibility is determined by household income. Dependent children of a reservist or an active-duty military member of the United States Armed Forces automatically qualify for FES-EO based on his or her parent’s service to our country, regardless of income

More information can be found on these state scholarships by visiting

Those scholarships are paid for with public money. You and I are paying for the hate that is allowed to grow and fester there as it is in dozens and dozens of other private schools that take publically funded vouchers. 

HB 1, the governor's universal voucher bill, will pump billions more into a system that is already allowed to discriminate; what could go wrong there. That was a trick question because there is so little oversite you could say there was none, so we will most likely never know. I mean, until the families realize what awful decisions they made and send their kids back to public schools, which something like two-thirds of voucher kids already does. 

What are we doing, Florida? How is this acceptable? 

Sunday, January 29, 2023

DCPS approves 1,330 books. Hundreds of thousands more still banned

Here is a link to the DCPS-approved book list. Once you open it, control F to see if books you think might be helpful to are approved.

Thirteen hundred and thirty books may seem like a lot, but when you factor in its for every grade, it looks worse, a lot worse. And then what about books just for book's sake so students can cultivate a love of learning? 

I graduated from Ed White High School, and we must have 10k books in our collection. Sadly that library, like many in DCPS, closed long ago. It was the classroom library where most kids, especially once out of elementary school, had that book that meant the world to them, given to them by a teacher who had their best interests at heart. 

Since education began, books in classroom libraries were vetted by the professionals, the teachers in those rooms, and nobody had a problem because we trusted teachers to do the right thing. Teachers did not change; what changed was the republican party found out they could make money off of education, but to do so, they had to destroy the reputation of teachers and public ed.

Teachers are not pushing sex on children or asking kids to switch genders. Classroom libraries are not filled with smut and inappropriate material either. Everything the republican party is telling you is a lie, and you should ask yourself who benefits from it because it damn sure will not be you or your children.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

DCPS doesn't care what you think about closing classroom libraries.

The district created a video explaining its book-banning process, err, sorry,  cleansing of classroom libraries, sorry new rules about books, and if they care about having to do so in the least, you can't tell from the video.   

Then because they don't care what you think, they disabled comments. Have a suggestion, comment, criticism, or even a compliment, and you can post it where the sun doesn't shine because you can't post them on youtube. 

So I have worked in the district a long time, and sometimes we will get training, and the district person, will try and make whatever slice of crap they are presenting sound awesome. I hate those training, and trainers hate them. Other times we will get trainers that say, look, I know it's more work, I know we should be doing better, but this is where we find ourselves. Now I don't like them much better, but I appreciate them. Guess what group the super and Paula Renfro fall into.       

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Republicans vote to give millionaires school vouchers paid for by you

My republican friends, as insurance rates skyrocket, health care becomes more and more unaffordable, and your paycheck doesn't stretch as far, do you want your tax money going to millionaires so they can send their kids to schools you could never afford? Well, your representatives do.

In Tallahassee today, house republicans voted to extend vouchers to millionaires because reasons. 


Not looking at income status at all, you know, because reasons.

These are the same people who tweeted don't let the rich, or anyone for that matter, get student loan forgiveness. 

And how much is this going to cost? The republican in Tallahassee say they don't know, but the reality is they don't want you to know, but if you thought, well, universal vouchers sounds like it is going to cost a lot, you would be correct.

Significant damage or the plan all along. 

From the Orlando Sentinel

The proposed expansion of Florida’s voucher programs would inflict significant “fiscal damage” on the state’s public schools, likely costing them nearly $4 billion within five years, according to a progressive state think tank. 

The House bill (HB 1) would wipe out income requirements in the state’s two biggest scholarship programs, now geared to children living in families of modest means, and aim by 2027 to offer state funding to Florida’s more than 152,000 homeschooled students, according to an analysis of the bill done by House staff. 

The result would be a steep cut in the state education budget for public schools, according to the nonprofit Florida Policy Institute, which opposes the bill. By the 2026-27 school year, Florida’s public schools could lose from $2.4 to $3.4 billion, depending on how many students enroll in the new program, and a year later about $3.8 billion, it found. 

I think the fiscal impact is enormous, and the drain from schools is enormous,” said Norin Dollard, senior policy analyst with the institute who crunched the institute’s preliminary estimate on the bill’s public school impact. 

Well, my republican friends, is this what you wanted? Because it is what we are all going to get. They don't care about you or your family; how much proof do you need?

Today's worst republican ever state representative Spencer Roach

First, he said the utter bullsh*t below. I don't want to say Roach is dumb, but he is at least 51 cards short of a full deck.


So the republicans in Tallahassee want to enact universe vouchers so any child in public school can get a voucher and go to a private school or not because their parents could teach them too. This is not about how catastrophic that would be; it's about how absolutely bad the republican party is. My Republican friends, you are not sending are best or brightest to Tallahassee.

Let's examine Roach's comments. The monopoly statement is manifestly inaccurate. Florida, according to Google, has 2,324 private schools, 712 charter schools, and 3,490 public schools. That's 3.036 charters and private schools to 3,490 public schools. The monopoly line is a canard republicans use because, like Roach, they think people can't google. Anyone who says it is either a liar or an idiot, or like I suspect Roach to be, both.

Then there is his statement saying kids in public education get an inferior education and are condemned to a life of government dependence. I couldn't find that anywhere. If anybody has a source, please let me know. Another lie, more utter bull sh*t it doesn't matter because the republican party has been in complete control of public education in Florida for 24 years. 24 YEARS!!! If there are problems in education, wouldn't they be responsible for them? 

The reality is there are problems, but most of them were created by the republican party, Roach, and I am sure it is lost on him; he said the republican party has no clue about what it is doing, and on that, I would agree with him. 

This is what we are working with; this is the party that wants to destroy public ed, and for what?  I will tell you for what, so millionaires can get vouchers but more on that later. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

What is the difference between manslaughter, rape, carjacking, and giving a book to a student some crazy parent might not like?

On the surface, it might seem like a lot, but as far as punishments go, they are exactly the same in Florida, if DeSantis gets his way.*

A third-degree felony in Florida is an offense punishable by up to 5 years in prison, a $5000 fine, and 5 years of probation.

It’s not just imprisonment, probation, or fines either, felons in Florida lose rights.

Florida law deprives convicted felons of certain civil rights, including the right to vote, serve on a jury, hold public office, and restricts the issuance and renewal of some professional licenses, such as real estate and insurance.

Now you might be saying felons can vote. Well, that was certainly the intent of the voters, but it hasn’t worked out that way because decades of one-party rule have made the republican party believe they can do whatever they want, and %$@# the law.

Here are some other rights that may be in jeopardy because a parent doesn’t appreciate “And Tango Makes Three,” the true story of two male penguins raising a chick - a book that has actually been taken off bookshelves in Florida:

From Smith and Eulo, attorneys at law

Consequences of a Third-Degree Felony Conviction
A felony conviction is something that will follow a person throughout their lives, and have ongoing effects on everything from education to employment to voting and gun rights.

Convicted felons may not be eligible for federal student loans, Pell grants and other financial aid. This inability to take advantage of educational and training opportunities can severely inhibit competitiveness on the job market, particularly if the person also failed to finish high school.

Convicted felons can struggle to find work, since most employers will want to know about the charge and take it into consideration when hiring. For promotions and higher-level jobs, a felony conviction can be a death blow to career advancement.

Most apartment buildings, and certainly luxury spaces perform extensive background investigations, and even a third-degree felony conviction can lead to a marked inability to secure adequate living accommodations. This ongoing result of even a low-level felony conviction can conceivably lead to chronic homelessness.

Voting Rights
Those convicted of a felony in the state of Florida are not eligible to vote until their prison sentence and/or probation time has been completed, and all fines, court costs and victim restitution has been fully paid.

Gun Rights
It is illegal in the state of Florida for convicted felons to own firearms including muzzle loaded guns, unless their civil right has been restored by the Clemency Board, or the weapon qualifies as an antique firearm under Florida Statute 709.001(1).

Okay, “And Tango Makes Three” may not send you to the big house. Still, there are plenty of age-appropriate books with age-appropriate themes that can, and don’t take my word for it; look at all the books that are either being taken down from shelves across Florida and the ones that aren’t allowed to be put up.

All so that some fascists can gin up their willfully ignorant base.

* There are a variety of crimes that are considered felony offenses in the state of Florida. These crimes include both violent and non-violent offenses.

In DeSantis Dystopia, teachers providing unapproved books is now included in this list of felony offenses.

DeSantis gives the constitution the middle finger over and over and…

These are just some recent examples. He removed a democratically elected prosecutor in south Florida, and the court ruled he violated the state constitution in doing so.

From the Associated Press:

 A federal judge ruled Friday that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis violated the First Amendment and the Florida Constitution by removing an elected state prosecutor, but that the federal courts lack the power to reinstate him.

Then there is the proposed massive expansion of vouchers and for this, let’s go straight to the constitution. This is what it says.

 Text of Section 1:

Public Education

(a) The education of children is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders. Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education and for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of institutions of higher learning and other public education programs that the needs of the people may require. 

Text of Section 4:

School Districts; School Boards

(a) Each county shall constitute a school district; provided, two or more contiguous counties, upon vote of the electors of each county pursuant to law, may be combined into one school district. In each school district there shall be a school board composed of five or more members chosen by vote of the electors in a nonpartisan election for appropriately staggered terms of four years, as provided by law.

(b) The school board shall operate, control and supervise all free public schools within the school district and determine the rate of school district taxes within the limits prescribed herein. Two or more school districts may operate and finance joint educational programs.[1]


Okay, where do we start? First, a hodge-podge of charter schools, voucher schools, and public schools all following different rules is not uniform by any stretch of the imagination. Then the school board has zero authority over vouchers schools paid for on the public dime, and only if you turn sideways and squint nominal control over charters. School boards have become so powerless they might as not exist, checks notes, oh that’s the governor’s plan? Cool, cool, cool.

So those are both blatant and recent violations, but then let’s look at his plans for teacher unions, not unions in general, mind you but just teacher’s unions. His proposals include:

 Andrew Pantazi of the Jax Trib, had a nice twitter thread about how his anti-union proposals violate the state constitution.

FL's constitution: "The right of employees, by and through a labor organization, to bargain collectively shall not be denied or abridged." Yet DeSantis plans to pressure teachers unions to settle CBAs by requiring districts to spend budgets  DeSantis wants to eliminate dues deduction, require unions annually notify members of costs, require teachers annually sign a form acknowledging right-to-work, prohibit "union work" on the clock, require 60%+ membership to collectively bargain, prohibit union speech at work.

Again, Florida guarantees a constitutional right to collective bargaining that "shall not be denied or abridged." Now only teachers unions with continual 60%+ membership (with members having to manually send checks instead of dues deduction) would be able to collectively bargain.

I haven't seen any news story that mentions the fact that Florida has a constitutional right to collective bargaining, which the state has had for ~80 years, approved by voters in 1944.

Florida's right-to-work law was a compromise that also guaranteed an unbridgeable right to collectively bargain. There are only two parts of the FL Constitution that grant a right that shall not be abridged: freedom of speech/press and right to collectively bargain/right-to-work.

In an RtW case, the FL Supreme Court said "anything which imposes a charge or expense upon the free exercise of a right, abridges it in the sense of curtailing or lessening the use or enjoyment of that right." Would adding these new requirements to collective bargaining count?

To answer Andrew’s question, they should count, but since it's Florida, the land where right is wrong, who knows?

The state constitution protects the right to bargain collectively. It is an absolute right, but once again, DeSantis says, $%@# it, I will do what I want. Is that what a governor is supposed to do? Thumb their nose at the state constitution? Or is that what a want-a-be fascist dictator does? 

All of these onerous requirements are intended for just teachers’ unions, by the way. Other unions that DeSantis likes will get a pass, and that alone should tell you all you need to know.  

Florida is called the sunshine state, but if this goes through, the fascist state will be a lot more accurate.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

DeSantis’s teacher bill of rights is a poison pill meant to destroy public education.

I get DeSantis thinks his followers will believe anything he says but the chutzpah of this fascist to think teachers, the very people he has been calling pedophiles and groomers, and making up one lie after another about, will. DeSantis is a huckster in an ill-fitting suit, whose whole schtick is you can full just enough of the people some of the time.  

Take his teacher's bill of rights. On one hand, he says, here is a little extra money, which would amount to about 1,223 dollars per teacher, and on the other hand, he says and all you must do is sacrifice the only entity which has been a check on his unbridled power and that has fought for teachers, and that’s their unions. That’s not even a pyrrhic victory that’s an unmitigated disaster for teachers.

Here is former DCPS school board member Liz Andersen’s assessment of DeSantis’s laughable proposal.

Via Twitter:

During today’s press conference, Governor DeSantis announced several education priorities for this legislative session. Notably, he touted a Teachers Bill of Rights that ultimately aims to take down Unions. Unions exist to improve the working conditions of Teachers & school staff, and to ensure that student learning is the priority of public education institutions.

Florida is a right to work state, no one is forced to join a Union, but Public Ed is stronger because they exist. Many employees choose to join Teachers Unions because they know that historically Unions have worked to ensure that their rights as people, & the rights of children to get a free, equitable, uniform, safe and appropriate education, are upheld.

Teachers’ unions have fought for things like tenure and academic freedom at a time when teachers were being investigated by political committees during the "Red scare". They have pushed back against low salaries and economic insecurity. When dress codes, policies, and contracts stipulated that “an employed teacher must wear skirts of certain lengths, keep her galoshes buckled, not receive gentleman callers more than three times a week and teach a Sunday School class," the Unions were their voice.

Other employee unions are clearly exempt from these attacks. In a time when McCarthy-era accusations of “subversion” sound all too familiar, & separate but NOT equal seems to be on the rise, it’s no surprise that the powers that be would try to take down the Teachers Union. By seeking to diminish teachers’ unions, Governor DeSantis is disrupting the system of checks and balances professional educators deserve.

If Governor DeSantis is really concerned about how teachers have been treated in Florida, he would understand that the teachers currently were hard won not by the state, but by teachers represented by their union. This attack on teachers unions is the opposite of "empowerment."

Everything she wrote is 100 percent correct and I would only change one thing, and that’s it’s a scam.

DeSantis doesn’t want to empower public school teachers, he wants to divide them. He wants to do so because he believes it will hasten the end of public education, so he can enact universal vouchers, something that may happen as soon as this year.

Then all he has to do is sit back and wait for all the conmen, charlatans, and hucksters like him to build capacity, to build enough private schools that public ed no longer exists.

The same guy that accused teachers of trying to get five-year-olds to switch identities and said they can’t be trusted to have classroom libraries, suddenly cares about how teachers feel? How they are doing? Give me a #&%$ break. No, he wants to destroy the last vestige of resistance there is because it will speed up his plan, and if he must throw teachers a few nickels to do so it's not going to matter because all of them are either going to be out of work or working for a private school in a strip mall for 15 bucks an hour.

DeSantis thinks his followers are dumb and thus far they have proved him right and he thinks teachers and public education supporters must be just as dumb, the thing is we have to prove him wrong, or in a generation, there won’t be anything left.  

Monday, January 23, 2023

DCPS is creating an enemies list of college professors

Just when you think things can't get worse, DCPS says hold my beer and goes even lower.  DCPS plans to create a sort of enemies list of college professors who cannot speak to students. 

A teacher sent me the following:

I run a National Honor Society at my school and I am now not allowed to invite local professors from FSCJ/UNF/JU/EWU to speak after school at club meetings until I submit their works to the district for review.

Um professors work has to be reviewed? is the district going to look up their journals and scholarly writings? Who is going to do that and I wonder what the turn around time will be.

Think about this, a club whose entire purpose for being is to get kids into college is currently not allowed to invite college professors to speak to them. Then in the future, these professors will have their work vetted by who knows who but who wants to bet only professors who lean far to the right will make the cut?

This is some McCarthy-level BS and please explain to me like I am a five-year-old how this isn't fascism.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

DCPS starts telling teachers to close classroom libraries.

First it seems like it is being done in a hodge podge fashion. Some schools yes, some schools no.  

This was forwarded to me.

So I asked on Facebook and twitter

DCPS teacher friends, have any of you been told to get rid of your classroom libraries/curtail them in any way? You can private message me. It's for a story, and I can keep names out of it.

And where some teachers reported no, many of the other resppnces were heartbreaking,

Here are a few I received and I have scrubbed them of names and schools because like usual teachers are afraid of reprecussions which is a totally different but just as heart breaking story.

Hey Chris. Saw your post about libraries. XXXXX in the district and didn’t want to write on the post, you know how it is. My principal must have received recent updates on the library situation because she was super nervous this week about it and asking XXXXX to check all the class libraries again. Not sure what the messaging is from the higher ups but the principals are really feeling it.

I will be packing up my classroom library on Monday. I just can't risk getting in trouble.

I also teach XXXX. We have been instructed to only use materials that are listed in the curriculum guide (which have been approved by the district). This hamstring approach is severely limiting our ability to have clear, quality instruction and provide differentiated instruction. There are zero instructional materials approved to use for my new-comer ell students other than a word to word translation hard cover dictionary. No videos, etc.

Good afternoon- I saw your post about classroom libraries- I would prefer to remain anonymous- I work at XXXX- I in the past have sent home bags of books so students could read for their homework book logs. I just took over a XXXX class & planned on doing this…. Until my principal said - I wouldn’t … we will have our official meeting during early release this week about the 3rd degree felony charges that can be brought against us.. I am curious if I can type up a statement for parents to sign - before I send home a bag of books- that will hold me and the school harmless- I just want to get books in the hands of young readers to practice reading- I am not trying to indoctrinate children- I’ve been teaching for over 20 years in this county- & good grief!! To see what is happening makes me want to get out!!!

My XXXX told me that this past week under the cover of the darkness of night all the Safe Space stickers were removed from the doors and classrooms of DA. She called me Friday and told me she was terrified. It is so sad to the authoritarian takeover.

We were told yesterday…all classroom libraries needed to be put away. The only books we can have are books that came with Benchmark Advance. We were also told that students could no longer check books out from the media center.

I cried in front of my kids as I collected my classroom library books from them to box up. You KNOW my love for books!

We got an email from our principal telling us to remove the books from our libraries unless they are from the curriculum or on the approved book list we were sent.

Supposedly Greene met with principals and advised them that they would lose their jobs if their teachers were reading anything controversial. We are (again, supposedly) waiting for some kind of additional step, either requiring media specialists to approve each book and/or having to electronically scan books to see if they are on an approved list.

insane at the elementary level. Many titles provided by the district are now banned for no more reason than “diverse characters.”

 Yes 😭 

Yes. Cover it up until they can decide how they are going to handle approving all of the books. All based on the house bill I believe. Many elementary schools don’t even have a media specialist right now to approve books. And honestly, who would want that job now?

So, yes the state sucks, yes the state is horrible and I don't think this would be happening if it wasn't for the slate of terrible laws the state has passed, but all that being said, the superintendent and school board are just as bad, just as culpable if they allow it to happen without speaking up. 

What will Greene and the school board fight for because it sure isn't teachers and students.

 The state sucks, yada yada yada. I can't say more than I already have, but they aren't the only ones.

A massive expansion of vouchers happened usurping the state constitution and local control, and Greene and the SB were silent.

Veteran teachers were thrown under the bus to increase the salaries of new teachers, and Greene and the SB were silent.

The LGBTQ community was attacked; not only were Greene and the board silent, but they doubled down.

The state decided to whitewash the teaching of history, and Greene and the SB were silent.

The teaching of AP African American history has been canceled, and Greene and the SB were silent.

Books have been banned, and at first, the super and board denied it was happening, but now Greene and the SB are silent.

Classroom libraries are being shuttered, teachers are being told to pack up their books, and Greene and the SB are silent.

Why are they there? Is it to gleefully whistle while Public ed is marched to the ovens? Seriously why are they there? Can somebody answer that question?

Also, can anybody tell me they aren't complicit with all the above, either? I get some people might think they feel like they have no choice,  but do you know that, or are you guessing? Hoping?

The super and board are supposed to fight for public ed, for teachers and students, even if it's hard, even if it's risky; that's their job. A job they stopped doing long ago.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

FLDOE equates protecting white frailty with teaching African American history. To the state of Florida, they are the same thing. (draft)

The nation was outraged that DeSantis two days after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, he ended the teaching of A.P. African American history in Florida.

To say Florida’s defense of the indefensible has been lackluster is an insult to lackluster things.

Oh Florida, I don’t know what is worse your policies or the angry 12-year-old boys you have defending them as I can only surmise that’s who tweeted from the FLDOE defending its teaching of African American history.

Whoever tweeted above probably some intern on their way to becoming a soulless drone obviously didn’t even look, because if you go to the link below mentioned above there is some about teaching African American History, but then there is this as well.

Gulp, not a lot about Jim Crow, Redlining, Tulsa and Rosewood (and many other) massacres, segregation, and @%$#ing slavery there. Nope, but an awful lot of the fragile egos of DeSantis and the republican party. 

They are saying with a wink and a nod, sure teach something, but watch what you do because we will be gunning for you if some random white kid is upset.

You know Florida has over 5k teaching openings, how the %@$# isn't it 15k with all the BS they put its teachers and students through?

Friday, January 20, 2023

Florida is poised to end classroom libraries.

Below is the new proposed rule about libraries in public schools. It won’t apply to voucher schools, and like many rules’ charters may be exempt, but in public schools, there the beatings will continue, and classroom libraries in those classrooms will become a thing of the past.   

 Can you imagine a teacher at a garage sale, flea market, or, heaven forbid, a bookstore buying books for their classes? Knowing they must get them reviewed before putting them out first and it's not like this will be an easy feat. DCPS has like 60 media specialists who already have their own jobs. Now let’s add checking thousands of classroom libraries, or anytime a teacher picks up a book to the list. It’s going to be a disaster, and kids will suffer, but the thing is, the powers that be already know this, in fact, they are counting on it. 

The Republican party has a pathological hatred of public education. I don’t know if it is because it is a female-dominated field or their unions dared ask for a living wage and benefits or something else, but after all, Tallahassee has pulled. Can there be any doubt? 

I mentioned it above, but people should know charters are exempt from just about every onerous law or rule passed, and there have been a lot, and voucher schools, paid for with public money, are exempt from them all. Don’t ay gay, voucher schools can say as often as they want, the WOKE act, voucher schools can teach whatever they want, WHATEVER! Now are they going to spend a lot of time on the horrible treatment of black and brown people, but more than a few are going to teach man and dinosaurs lived together, and slavery wasn’t that bad if slaves had Jesus in their hearts. 

Finally, we have over 5k teacher openings statewide; how is this constant disrespect and micromanaging going to play? My guess is not well, and a horrible situation is just going to get worse, or what they like to call their plan all along.  

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Ron DeSantis spits on the memory of Martin Luther King Jr.

 Two days after DeSantis tweeted this, 

two days after the nation paid homage to Martin Luther King Jr. he, by mandate, eliminated the teaching of A.P. African American history studies in our schools. 

From Rolling Stone, 

FLORIDA HAS BLOCKED the College Board from testing a pilot Advanced Placement African American Studies (APAAS) curriculum in the state under Governor Ron DeSantis’ “Stop WOKE” Act. According to a letter obtained by National ReviewFlorida’s Department of Education’s Office of Articulation said the curriculum “is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.”  

The pilot course, which has been tested at 60 schools across the United States, aims to expand the advanced coursework offered by the College Board into the study of the African diaspora in the U.S. The course has run afoul of DeSantis’ widespread ban on teaching “critical race theory” (CRT) in K-12 classrooms. CRT is an analytical framework that seeks to dissect the manner in which racism has shaped American legal theory and institutions. The concept has been co-opted in recent years by right-wing reactionaries to fearmonger about any and all discussions of race and discrimination. 

First, a pilot program is designed to work out the kinks to ensure it has educational value, not that I have any reason to think it doesn’t already. 

Can you imagine that? He basically said because he doesn’t like it, it won’t be taught. Can you imagine a biology teacher saying nope to evolution or a history teacher teaching slavery wasn’t that bad? Don’t imagine too hard, because those things and worse are being taught in Florida’s publicly funded voucher schools.  

This is my take. DeSantis has a binder of (women) things he thinks will own the libs and gin up his base, and every 15 minutes or so, he rolls them out. He has no ideas about solving the very real problems of out-of-control insurance rates, skyrocketing rents, affordable health care, or gun violence, none, none at all. He’s an empty suit, demagoguing instead of leading.  

We could and should be doing better. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

In September, DCPS denied they were banning books. It turns out lots were being banned.

This is DCPS, this is us, and it isn't good. 

From WJCT News, 

Duval Schools landed this week on a widely publicized list of districts banning schoolbooks, but the district contends the list is false. 

PEN America, an organization advocating for free speech, released a tally of books banned across the country, including more than 550 in Florida, the second-most of any state. Only Texas banned more. 

At least 175 of the books banned in Florida were in Duval County Public Schools, according to the report. Clay County Public Schools was shown with two banned books and St. Johns County with six. No other bans were found in Northeast Florida. 

PEN America, a nonprofit group representing writers and editors, defines a book ban as any action taken against a book as a result of parent or community challenges, administrative decisions or action threatened by government officials — regardless of whether the book has been removed or simply restricted. 

Duval Schools might disagree with that definition. None of the books on the list have been banned or challenged in Duval Schools, a spokeswoman told WJCT News on Tuesday. 

Fast forward to today and it turns out we have banned dozens of books. 

From Jax Today, 

Dozens of books the Duval County school district ordered in the summer of 2021 will never hit classroom shelves. That’s the result of an ongoing review after the district pulled almost 200 books this spring while the Florida Legislature passed limits on what teachers can say about race, gender and sexual orientation in classrooms and set new rules for purchasing classroom materials.  

After a 10-month process – delayed by staffing shortages, according to the district – 47 titles are being returned to the distributor. Twenty-six others will remain in storage, awaiting further state guidance.  

Among the rejected titles are a book about Martin Luther King Jr. intended for fourth graders; a biography of Rosa Parks for second grade classrooms; a first grade Berenstain Bears book about God; and multiple titles including LGBTQ+ characters and families. District staffers are sending the rejected books back to the distributor, Perfection Learning, for exchange. 

Books about Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa parks were banned. Books from Jewish authors and ones featuring queer characters were banned as well. This isn't being done by brown shirts in 1930s Germany. It is being done today and right here in Jacksonville, Florida.

Does any of this sound familiar, and I am not talking about the district being less than truthful, something they frequently are, see subs and staffing levels? 

The district has a credibility problem mostly because Greene has a credibility problem. The district doesn’t mind stretching the truth until they get caught, that is, and then it is radio silence. 

We should and could be doing better. 

Friday, January 13, 2023

What’s happening to the New College has been happening to Public Education in Florida for years.

 What’s happening to the New College has been happening to Public Education in Florida for years. 

People are rightfully outraged about the proposed plans to turn the new College, Florida’s honors liberal arts university, into the Hillsdale of the south. The thing is DeSantis has been turning Florida’s public education system into the Hillsdale of the south as for quite some time. 

DeSantis has appointed for right ideologues like Ryan Petty, whose hometown rejected him when he ran for school board and QANON conspiracy theorists like Esther Byrd to the state board of education. Neither of these people could get hired as a crossing guard, but there they are, infecting education policy.  There are no educators on the board, and it seems like the two requirements are being completely unqualified or being completely unqualified and haven donated heavily to republican politics.  

He expanded vouchers. Private schools that accept vouchers don’t have to have teachers with certificates or even degrees and can teach whatever they want, including BS like slavery was just African migration and people and dinosaurs lived together, along with as much Jesus stuff they can shovel down kids’ throats. Taxpayers are picking up the dime for all of it too.     

Don’t say gay and stop woke have had a chilling effect on teachers as their jobs have been threatened, and their retirements and liberty as well. 

Then Hillsdale does our civics curriculum. Imagine that. Florida has one of the best university systems in the country. Still, for its civics curriculum, it went to a far-right private college, known for rejecting things like title IX and far-right interpretations of history in Michigan, to write the curriculum. It baffles the mind.  

Bringing in trans-terrorists like Chris Rufo to radically change the New College is despicable and wrong. Still, it just joins a litany of education sins as DeSantis rewrites the age-old adage if you can’t beat them, pass some laws and legislate them into oblivion.   

From Media Matters 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has appointed right-wing activist Christopher Rufo, who rose to national prominence demonizing racial justice advocates and attacking LGBTQ communities, to the board of trustees of the New College of Florida. The appointment is all the more noteworthy given that Rufo lives in Gig Harbor, Washington. 

Rufo is a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute and has spent years attempting to inject bigotry and incorrect information into mainstream discourses about gay and trans people, drag queens, and the academic discipline known as critical race theory. Rufo is also a frequent guest on Fox News, including on Tucker Carlson’s prime-time show. 

“My ambition is to help the new board majority transform New College into a classical liberal arts institution,” Rufo tweeted in response to the news. “We are recapturing higher education.” 

Rufo has long wanted to exert conservative control over educational policy, calling teachers “political predators” under a pretext of curriculum transparency. Now, with a new formal appointment, he’s positioned to threaten the safety and well-being of Black and LGBTQ students at New College of Florida, a public liberal arts school with a reportedly significant gay and trans population. 

Recapture higher education from what? Getting a good education.