Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 79,894
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 79,894
Retired teacher who sees much harm to public education from the "reforms" being pushed by corporations. Privatizing education is the wrong way to go. Children can not be treated as products, thought of in terms of profit and loss.
From the Tampa Bay Times.
Computer problems shut down FCAT testing in Pasco, Hernando and elsewhere
Problems with Florida's annual FCAT test on Tuesday rekindled simmering concerns that the state isn't ready for its next steps toward full computerized testing.
Pearson has a history of problems with Florida testing as well as elsewhere in the country. But they keep getting contracts, keep getting richer on public money. Twice when I taught I had parents who had to hire lawyers to find out why their child failed the FCAT. I don't think they ever succeeded.
Here is more about Pearson's long string of problems in Florida.
Company causing late FCAT grades in Florida has history of problems.
This is from 2010, so the powers that be in education have known.
The testing company responsible for the delayed release of this year's FCAT scores has a history of problems — in Florida and across the country. Now, Florida education leaders fear their planned rollout of a new computer-based testing system is in jeopardy because the company, Pearson, is not prepared.
Accountability seems to extend only to public school teachers.
Pearson was invited in January this year to meet with President Obama and Arne Duncan at the White House. I guess no one told them it was not a reliable testing company.
Crossposted at Daily Kos.
Posted by madfloridian | Tue Apr 22, 2014, 03:56 PM (8 replies)
From the Tampa Bay Times this week.
Oil company drilling in sanctuary fined $25,000 for violation that could be fracking
The Texas company that stirred controversy by applying to drill for oil in Florida panther habitat was doing more with one of its wells than what its state permit allowed.
I didn't even know there was oil drilling going on in Florida. Guess I am very naive.
Corkscrew Swamp is located near Naples, Florida.
There's a whole lot going on in Florida in secret ways right now. One Tampa home builder did not disclose until closing that drilling rights beneath the homes had been sold already.
Home builder grabs drilling rights beneath thousands of Tampa Bay homes
But in January, when the young parents cracked open their closing papers, they noticed an alarming clause. Their home builder had quietly signed away the rights to the land beneath their home to its own energy company. It now had free rein deep below the surface to drill, mine or explore.
I believe the home builder has made some offers to back off since this was publicized. But it makes me wonder what else is going on secretly in this state.
Crossposted at Daily Kos
Posted by madfloridian | Tue Apr 22, 2014, 11:50 AM (1 replies)
From the Tampa Bay Times:
Florida charter school management company under federal scrutiny
The state's largest charter school management company has come under scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Education for potential conflicts of interests in its business practices, federal authorities have confirmed.
This is happening just as the Florida legislature is considering loosening laws to allow expansion of charter schools in Florida. One bill was to be voted on today. Have not yet heard the result.
The Education Department's findings come as the Florida Legislature considers a bill that could weaken school districts' ability to control business practices at new charter schools.
These charter schools have huge holdings and financial assets in this state.
From Daily Kos 2011:
FL's richest charter school company has close ties to state legislators, Bahamian retreats.
Academica’s achievements have been profitable. The South Miami company receives more than $9 million a year in management fees just from its South Florida charter schools — fees that ultimately come from public tax dollars.
More about their land holdings.
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas On a sun-drenched weekend in September, a group of South Florida charter school principals jetted off to a leadership retreat at The Cove, an exclusive enclave of the Atlantis resort. A Friday morning meeting gave way to champagne flutes, a dip in the pool and a trip down a waterslide. The evening ended at the casino.
All exempt from property taxes.
More at this link about charter school fraudulent practices in other states as well.
Posted by madfloridian | Mon Apr 21, 2014, 08:19 PM (6 replies)
This is courtesy of Canadian education blogger, Joe Bower. Overtesting is happening there also.
David Staples, the Wildrose and their war on teachers and learning
It is hypocritical for adults to demand students and teachers be held accountable in ways that they would not hold themselves to.
Posted by madfloridian | Sun Apr 20, 2014, 05:41 PM (12 replies)
You said I was ranting here.
"What good is that doing? I wouldn't listen to anything Newt has to say anyway. He's full of hot air, a liar and a cheat. I do believe tenure should not mean teachers can rest on their laurels until they choose to retire. They must adhere to the same protocol as everyone else all the way through. We've ALWAYS had testing. Unfortunately, the teachers are promoting students that should not be promoted."
Agreed about Newt. Perhaps you should tell it to Arne Duncan and President Obama who are putting his policies into play.
Tenure does not mean teachers rest on their laurels. They can be fired for cause. I am not sure what you mean about teachers "must adhere to the same protocol", so I can't address that.
Yes, there has always been standardized testing. BUT..it was always used to evaluate where the student was academically. It was used to make instruction better. Now it is used to hire and fire teachers and take the place of teachers' gradebook, student portfolios, and classroom work.
It is used to fail schools which are then turned into charter schools which usually are owned by private companies.
"I've met high school grads that can barely spell basic 2nd grade words"
So have I. But if you are only blaming teachers, you are way off base.
"And like Obama said, "It's not about me...It's about YOU!"
Unfortunately it IS about him now. These are his policies, his goals, his stated plans for public schools. He supports Arne Duncan 100% and seems to have no understanding of the harm being done by these policies.
By the way...if you're voting Republican, you're helping to put money grubbers in office. What do you expect? We've been trying to tell you....YOU'RE VOTING AGAINST YOUR OWN BEST INTERESTS!
If you ever read any of my posts before, and somehow I don't think you have.....you will know that my late hubby and I were Obama supporters and campaigned for him. Your quote is insulting to me and others who are criticizing his policies and not the man.
You would know I plan to vote Democratic, but that I will not donate as long as such devastating policies are in place.
Any public school teacher who votes Democratic in the fall WILL be voting against their own best interests. That is a fact. Insulting me does not change a thing. The Democrats are promoting the policies of Bush and Newt Gingrich. Arne took him on the road trip, not me.
Arne gave him respect he did not deserve, not me.
So go ahead, continue your insults. I have truth on my side.
Posted by madfloridian | Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:45 PM (1 replies)
It is so refreshing to see a Democrat having the courage to speak out about this harmful policy.
A Free Market in Schooling?
Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) is co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He sees right through the Obama education policy and recognizes that it is a continuation of George W. Bush’s failed No Child Left Behind.
Here is more from Josh Eidelson's interview with Grijalva at Salon.
“A self-fulfilling conflict of interest”: Charter schools, testing mania, and Arne Duncan
The privatization of education “began as driven by ideology, but now it’s getting momentum because of the financial aspects,” Rep. Raul Grijalva argued to Salon.
He calls for a hearing.
A whole hearing on testing, the culture of testing, and what it is producing for public education.
Thank you for paying attention to the outcries of teachers, Raul Grijalva.
There is no doubt at all now that Arne Duncan with the apparent approval of President Obama is fulfilling the dreams of Newt Gingrich for Free Market schools.
Newt Gingrich teaming up with Arne Duncan for an education road trip.
For the last twenty years, we have tried to improve education while accepting the fundamental principles of a failed system, guarded by the education bureaucrats and teachers unions. We must now transform math and science education or fall behind. It really is that simple.
Arne Duncan started off his time in office by threatening California if it did not comply with his wishes.
U.S. education secretary is expected to withhold millions of dollars in education stimulus money if the state doesn't comply with his demand.
Now that kind of high-stakes testing that overrides teacher judgement, daily grades, classroom tests, and student portfolios is taking over the country.
It is refreshing to finally see a Democrat speak out in a common sense way for public education. I hope Raul Grijalva does not get on our bad list now....because what he is doing takes courage.
Posted by madfloridian | Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:51 AM (71 replies)
Now that really hurts in my gut.
Elizabeth Warren, Howard Dean, and the progressive case for Education Reform.
There is even a video of Dean speaking out for charters school and denigrating public schools without considering all the in-depth causes for problems.
During a recent event at Castleton State College, Governor Dean described visiting a struggling high school in New Orleans where his son, a Teach for America Corps Member, taught. Dean was appalled by the poor education that many of the students were receiving, and realized that we need to do whatever was necessary to improve outcomes for those kids. And great public charter schools, he explained, should be part of the solution.
Opponents of education reform frequently try to frame the issue as part of Republican ideology. It’s a convenient political maneuver, for sure.
A shock? Oh yeah, a really big shock. Huge amounts of money and resources taken away from public education in one big move. A big shock indeed.
Public schools are for everyone. Charter schools are not. They need high test scores, so don't produce....you're out.
Posted by madfloridian | Fri Apr 18, 2014, 04:20 PM (8 replies)
and don't hold kids "accountable". He had high words of praise for Teach for America on Hardball, which shows he has not been paying attention to the voices of the public school advocates.
And this exchange with him.
Katie Osgood @KatieOsgood_ Apr 15
That is like slapping teachers in the face. Those are the worst of the very bad talking points from the "reformers", the "privatizers". To say to even imply that teachers do not hold kids accountable and have low levels of expectation for them....is (to use Dean's term) indeed IMMORAL.
At his twitter feed he says he will ban anyone who tweets to his twitter site. So that means I am banned Joan Walsh, Kattie Osgood, and a few hundred others who responded are banned from his site (or should I say his "sight".)
I mean why have a twitter feed if you don't want people to have discussions about what you say? Why bother? That's how you know who is responding and communicating.
Makes me think the "reformers" like Dean don't want to hear what the teachers have to say.
And that's a shame.
Here's some more of the very long conversation. He starts out with questioning the credentials of Diane Ravitch. Not a wise move on his part.
There are a lot of people on that thread. It should get the attention of some politicians who are not paying attention to educators.
Posted by madfloridian | Fri Apr 18, 2014, 12:11 AM (32 replies)
and losing our jobs."
These are the words of the teachers from a San Diego charter school in March on the loss of a fellow teacher. They were asked not to discuss the circumstances with parents or students. They decided to speak out.
Another great post from Anthony Cody at Education Week.
San Diego Charter Teachers: Bullying Contributed to Death of Colleague
At a San Diego school board meeting on Tuesday, March 11, dramatic testimony from teachers and parents uncovered serious questions about the way their charter school has been run. Harriet Tubman Village Charter School is known for high test scores, but the death of a first year teacher has contributed to a sense of deep concern. Maggie Kuhn, founder of the Grey Panthers, once said: "Dare to stand before those you fear and speak your mind, even if your voice shakes." The testimony at this meeting is riveting. And the discussion that follows is disturbing.
And the teachers spoke.
We apologize that we have not spoken earlier, as we are a staff that exists in fear of bullying, retaliation and losing our jobs.
Posted by madfloridian | Wed Apr 16, 2014, 11:29 PM (54 replies)
treated with respect.
Great piece by Anthony Cody at his Education Week blog.
Teachers: A Call to Battle for Reluctant Warriors
Subtitle: We just wanted to teach.
When I was drawn to teach in Oakland, I saw a chance to give students the chance to do hands-on experiments, to answer their own questions, and explore the natural world. On field trips to the tide pools I found out some had never even been to the Pacific Ocean, an hour's drive from their homes. I did not enter teaching to prepare students for tests. I wanted my students to think and reason for themselves.
I respect Arne Duncan as a basketball hero.
I do not respect him as the Secretary of Education. Very few educators do.
He has done a lot of harm to our public education system. Those of us who talk about it out loud are considered disloyal. Especially disloyal if we point out that it is bipartisan policy.
Good for Anthony Cody for this column.
Good for the teachers who are making their voices heard. And especially good for the parents who are joining the fray with their own voices.
Posted by madfloridian | Wed Apr 16, 2014, 12:06 AM (24 replies)