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Florida Student: "I am so sorry that this is happening to my beloved teachers."

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teacher gal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:50 AM
Original message
Florida Student: "I am so sorry that this is happening to my beloved teachers."
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 02:55 AM by teacher gal
More importantly, teachers across America are so sorry that this is happening to their beloved students.

This student's comment was written in response to the devastation to education (SB 736 enacted) taking place in Florida, as documented by Parents Across America in the following link: http://parentsacrossamerica.org/2011/04/whats-happened-... / The remainder of her/his message can be found in the comments section of the linked article.

Let there no longer even be any pretense that ed reform is about the children and strengthening public education on their behalf. It is about making darn sure public education does NOT succeed. Public education is not perfect but it is hated largely because it is public and because it stands in the way of billions ripe for the taking by profiteers.

Despairing not just for our children and their teachers but for our entire nation.

The best way to publicly shame our nation's leaders about the "merits" of merit pay would be to interview the nation's public school children.

Excerpts:



1) Teachers will have 50% of their evaluations based on students standardized test scores (FCATs).

This is effective immediately and impacts every teacher. Anyone who does not teach Reading or Math will receive a score based upon a calculation of all the teachers. So, to be clear, teachers salaries, their ability to be re-hired for one more year, their colleagues jobs and the opening or closing of your school itself all fall on the shoulders of that child taking that one test, that one day. Hows that for high stakes for the teachers?

2) This Merit Pay Bill was a moneyless bill.

Legislature admitted they have no money to fund the merit pay. (Yet they still claim they are rewarding effective teachers!)

3) New standardized tests will be created for every course taught- bill states 1,000 new tests to be created.

Important to note: The State does not fund the creation of these new tests. Each new test is estimated to be between $1M $1.5M. Taxpayers will be burdened with this mandate.


Lots more of this egregious legislation at the link.



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LooseWilly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:13 AM
Response to Original message
1. The ideological mindlessness is stupefying...
The most absurd part is "... Anyone who does not teach Reading or Math will receive a score based upon a calculation of all the teachers. ..."

In other words, in the administrative/legislative fervor to push "merit based" pay/accountability... they are making all teachers accountable to the scores of "Reading or Math" teachers. Art teachers... History teachers... Foreign Language teachers... Special Ed teachers... Science teachers... PE teachers (probably not coaches though... the folks that write these sorts of bills always seem to exempt the coaches)... their pay is to be determined by how well the Reading and Math teachers' students do on tests on a given day?... Brilliant!!

And there's no money to pay bonuses, even if the kids do score well.

And there's no money to develop the tests for the other subjects.

(And ... they're suggesting a standardized test for Art?... not even Art Historybut Art??)

Stupefying.

Did the legislators/school board have to pass a standardized test indicative of their knowledge of how the education process works before they were qualified to make any judgements on the subject?
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Reader Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 06:52 AM
Response to Original message
2. This is obscene.
But teachers put up with crap their entire careers. If they don't rise and stand up for themselves, who will?
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 07:01 AM
Response to Original message
3. Who will be "drafting" the new standardized tests for every course?
How are they qualified to know what criteria for each course is necessary?
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teacher gal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:03 AM
Response to Original message
4. Poor Florida
I believe this is where Michelle Rhee has newly relocated. Their governor is a good fit for her and the Billionaires Boys Club.
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teacher gal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:33 AM
Response to Original message
5. Off to work so giving this a kick before I go. nt
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
6. The 50 % number is familiar.
My district accepted a TIF grant. Under the current administration, to get that federal grant money, student test scores have to be a "significant" part of teacher evaluation AND teacher pay. My district is struggling with how to move forward without losing the grant dollars, since nobody, including most admins, support this. We were visited by "Mathematica," a supposedly non-partisan group working to bring VAM to the nation; they are hired by the federal government to oversee the TIF recipients and make sure they were complying with grant requirements.

We disagreed with them about "significant." They told us that "significant" meant at least 50%, as far as TIF was concerned.

RTTT or TIF; federal bribes for the destruction of public education.
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teacher gal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Yes, outright bribery
to force public education to bend to and be crushed by corporate will.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. And, at this point,
with budgets being slashed to ribbons, every district and state is desperate for cash to keep doors open, making those bribes mighty tempting.

:(
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teacher gal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
8. Lunchtime kick for public education. nt
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teacher gal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:20 PM
Response to Original message
9. Well, I gave this a morning kick,
a noon kick, and now I'm giving it a good night kick.

Very down about the savaging of American public education but the Wisconsin news has lifted me up. Who says the destruction of public education has to be a done deal? Just look what grassroots mobilizing did in Wisconsin.
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