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Sun Apr 14, 2019, 06:33 PM

Florida: Graveyard of American Public Education, By Diane Ravitch

-"Florida: The Graveyard of American Public Education"- Remember that Betsy DeVos points to Florida as a model. Common Dreams, Diane Ravitch Blog, April 13, 2019. Florida has the worst education policies of any state, and it is about to get even more destructive, more ignorant, more backward. ~ The post was written by Kathleen Oropeza, Parent Activist in Orlando. *Excerpts:



Jeb Bush started the descent into the swamp of ignorance. Now the torch is carried by Ron DeSantis, who wants to arm teachers, expand the state’s voucher programs to include middle-class families with income up to $100,000 a year, reduce the power of local school boards so they can’t block new charter schools, and undercut public schools. *Oropeza writes: “Pay attention, because what happens in Florida usually shows up in the 30 or so other states under GOP control. Step one for DeSantis was to stock the State Supreme Court with three conservative judges. DeSantis also charged the Board of Education with appointing Richard Corcoran as State Commissioner of Education. Corcoran was the architect of the “school choice” expansions."

The DeSantis voucher became SB 7070/HB 7075, the radical Family Empowerment Scholarship Program. Funded from property taxes, this is a dangerous co-mingling of the already thin dollars designated for Florida’s district public schools. "These vouchers go to unregulated private schools that maintain their right to discriminate against certain students, charge more than the voucher for tuition, teach extreme curriculums, and are not required to ensure student safety or hire certified teachers." This dramatic expansion of private religious school vouchers, once meant for low-income recipients, is morphing into a middle-class entitlement program for families of 4 making close to $100,000 a year.

DeSantis wants to double down on the awful policy of providing bonuses, instead of raises for teachers. FL teacher pay ranks 45th in the nation. DeSantis supporter, Rep. Kim Daniels continues to insert religion into public schools this session by sponsoring HB 195, model legislation from ALEC-like Christian Nationalist Project Blitz. Daniels, a Democrat, passed a 2018 law requiring “In God We Trust” to be displayed in public schools. This year Daniels is pushing Blitz legislation requiring public high schools to offer a religion class that teaches only Christianity.”

Another bill allows schools to withdraw any book that is “morally offensive.” Expect to see demands to remove a lot of “morally offensive” classics by authors such as John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Harper Lee, and Mark Twain. “Another bill, HB 330 by a sponsor of FL’s Stand Your Ground law, seeks to revise curriculum standards and force public schools to teach “science” theories such as creationism and alternate views to subjects such as climate change.” Florida is indeed a model: a model of kakistocracy. Look it up. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kakistocracy

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/04/13/florida-graveyard-american-public-education

~ "All they need is one solidly ignorant generation and Fascism will win." - CD Comments Thread Winner

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 06:43 PM

1. Florida, It would give me

great satisfaction if members of the Democratic Party and others disgusted with rumpette, began to protest in Florida.

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Response to saidsimplesimon (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 06:49 PM

4. Can't disagree with that, and time is critical

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 06:47 PM

2. This is one example of why FL has such a bad reputation amongst

Dems. I try to keep an open mind about FL but I just can't. Two of my friends are moving there this month and I got a bad feeling when they told me this news. As a former teacher I read this and want to
My mother went to school there for only one year in the 40s and she was taught that The South had won the Civil War. I have the feeling things haven't changed much since then, especially after reading this.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 07:00 PM

5. I could not live in Florida.

Based on the close final vote for Democrats running for office in Florida, I remain an optimist on the potential to awaken minorities, Latinas and the poor related to supporting the Democratic Party and its candidates. Just closing the vote margins sends a message to Repubs and Rump. just my opinion

My rump voting brother spends his winters there, he will return to Michigan soon. His support for IT has really put our relationship on a more distant, infrequent contact trajectory.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 06:48 PM

3. Just my impression: I lived in FL during Jeb's years and it seemed like the charter school

thing became most energized. Those of us on DU seem to think Trump is the problem.....and yes he is a problem....but the groundwork was already laid. I have been married twice. Both school teachers. I know that is a very small sample, but they both hated Jeb's complicity in harming the public school system.

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Response to dameatball (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 08:11 PM

6. Many players are involved in 'school reform'/privatization sorry to say

since Reagan's bogus alarm, education crisis publication, "A Nation At Risk" (1983). It was Shock Doctrine 101 and afterwards came charters and for- profit efforts by the Bush Bros., the Waltons, Rupert Murdoch, and many others working to dismantle the proud American education system. Clearly a broadly educated public is dangerous to the operation of authoritarianism. The groundwork for much of what's going on began years ago I agree.



"A Nation At Risk," 1980s Driving Today's Ed Reform.' The document set off panic in a once self-satisfied nation and launched a movement to transform the public education system. A generation later, its effects are powerful. The excoriation of American schooling is what most people remember, but its actual legacy is ingrained in public education today. https://hechingerreport.org/report-1980s-driving-todays-education-reform/

MoJo. Jeb isn’t the first Bush to take up the education reformer mantle. When George W. Bush ran for Texas governor in 1994, he campaigned on school reform to highlight his “compassionate conservatism.” And brother Neil Bush founded an educational software company in 1999 that ultimately raised $23 million from investors, including his parents. The company, Ignite Learning, sells purple multimedia machines known as Curriculum on Wheels, or COWs. School districts, lobbied heavily by Neil, used No Child Left Behind money to buy the equipment during his brother’s administration. In 2006, Barbara Bush donated money to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund—with the mandate that it be used to buy Neil’s products for several Houston schools that had taken in Katrina evacuees. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/10/jeb-bush-digitial-learning-public-schools/

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Response to appalachiablue (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 08:22 PM

7. Unfortunately a former congressman of mine and now retired was on the NCLB wagon

George Miller of California. He was on hand for Dumbya's signing and was a strong promoter of charter schools and education deform. I had moved by then, so he wasn't my rep any longer. But, I knew him through my father and told him what I thought of it in 2003 when I saw him
His response boiled down to 'we had to do something'. To which my response boiled down to, 'We have an overpopulation of kittens and puppies, so throwing them in boiling oil to kill them' is something
We've crossed paths three times since then and haven't spoken ever

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Response to rpannier (Reply #7)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 09:07 PM

8. The path of school privatization esp. in advanced states like CA

in the last 20-30 years is disheartening, but many people have recently become more aware and engaged, esp. since the publicized teacher walkouts of the last few years- a very encouraging development.

US public school dismantling and attacking is unhealthy and unwise on so many levels, for kids and families, communities, school staff and the nation. It suits a certain philosophy and ensures huge profits to apply in recruiting and influencing major politicians and groups for the 'crusade' (BS faux crisis)- Miller, the NAACP and plenty of others. Glad you expressed your views to him and maintain the position.

(Educ. Week, 2014). U.S. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the House education committee, a key author of the No Child Left Behind Act and a powerhouse on K-12 policy for decades, announced Monday that he will not seek re-election to Congress after this term. It's hard to overstate the impact that the retirement of Miller, first elected to Congress in 1974, will have on the future of federal K-12 policy. He was one of the first Democrats to embrace policies like charter schools, merit pay for effective teachers, and a robust role for the federal government in accountability—http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2014/01/major_education_reform_advocat.html

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 09:19 PM

9. They've done a swell job ruining this country, haven't they?

As Rove said, give him/bush an ill-educated and church-going electorate.

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Response to elleng (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 10:45 PM

12. ON a roll...

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 09:25 PM

10. I had to read this thread because just yesterday I was in a grocery line to checkout...

and the woman in front of me was having a personal conversation with the cashier that I overheard. The cashier was telling the customer that she had moved from Florida because she had three school aged children, and the public school system in Florida was absolutely awful.

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Response to llmart (Reply #10)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 10:47 PM

13. Glad she's aware and they left, but what a shame for us all. The

privatization-plunder of American public resources has to end...

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 09:27 PM

11. Back when No Child Left Behind was being passed,

people who actually read what was in the bill said that it was designed so that by about 2015 or so essentially every school would be a failing school. It's come pretty close to that in many places.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 05:43 PM

14. Right on target unfortunately. Reports of dysfunction are

mounting for charters and chains in many states. Poor kids and all. NCLB what a racket, Michelle Rhee and Co.

- ProPublica, 'For Profit Charter Schools Bill Taxpayers for Empty Desks,' USA Today, Oct. 7, 2017.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Last school year, Ohio’s cash-strapped education department paid Capital High $1.4 million in taxpayer dollars to teach students on the verge of dropping out. But on a Thursday in May, the storefront charter school run by for-profit EdisonLearning was mostly empty. In one room, vacant chairs faced 25 blank computer monitors. Three students sat in a science lab down the hall, and another nine in an unlit classroom, including one youth who sprawled out, head down, sleeping.

Only three of the more than 170 students on Capital’s rolls attended class the required five hours that day, records obtained by ProPublica show. Almost two-thirds of the school’s students never showed up; others left early. Nearly a third of the roster failed to attend class all week.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has championed charters and for-profit education, contending in Congressional testimony that school choice can lower absenteeism and dropout rates. But at schools like Capital, a ProPublica-USA Today investigation found, the drop-outs rarely drop in—and if they do, they don’t stay long. Such schools aggressively recruit as many students as possible, and sometimes count them even after they stop showing up, a practice that can generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for empty desks...
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2017/10/05/profit-charter-schools-bill-taxpayers-empty-desks/714433001/


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