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So, a lot has happened in Florida in the last 4 weeks when we woke up to find that the State Legislature was quietly and quickly passing a disaster of an education bill. To recap, this is a bill that removes teacher tenure, offers one year contracts, gives no additional pay for advanced degrees, and penalizes teachers for students' poor performance on a subject test (that aren't written yet) in every subject area, for every student (regardless of ability or disability).

1st, there was a rally at the state capitol led by Crist and the Republicans to tout how great vouchers were.
2nd, the legislation sailed through the state senate.
3rd, Teachers, students, parents and concerned citizens rapidly organized FB groups, town rallies, interviews with local press, and thousands and thousands of calls, emails, and letters went out.
4th, after 22 hours of debate and no amendments, with staunch and overwhelming opposition from the public, the Florida house passed the bill.
5th, Jeb said Crist would do the right thing and vote it into law.
6th, Crist reconsidered.

But that's not the end of the story. That's not even the end of the introduction.

You see, Jeb, as we all knew he would, decided that his ideas for reforming education in Florida just deserved a national audience. It started on April 1 in Alabama, when he decided to play politics in Alabama's gubernatorial race. That's right, Alabama! We're gonna share him with you! Lucky, lucky you.

Here's the education "plan" being touted by the republican gubernatorial candidate in Alabama that was so good that Jeb just had to make a joint appearance over it. I've highlighted some of the more clever passages:

--- Reform tenure laws and offer financial incentives to teachers who perform well.
--- Bring charter schools to Alabama and expand existing reading, math, science and distance learning initiatives.
--- Find funding for career training programs and improve pre-K programs.
--- Implement stable education budgeting to prevent proration and give local school systems more discretion over funding.

--- Find an alternative to Alabama's current formula for funding schools.
--- Resist interference by the Alabama Education Association in community colleges.
--- Allocate resources to two-year college programs that provide training relevant to state industries.
--- Modify teacher certification requirements to allow industry professionals to teach high school career-tech courses.
--- Enhance the role colleges and universities serve in attracting industry.
--- Develop long-term plans for colleges and universities and reinvest in higher education while making sure funds are used efficiently.

Jeb's like a whack- a -mole: you just never know where he's gonna pop up. Where to next, ol' boy? (Maybe in Arne Duncan's education policy?)

The scary thing is that to the average person, this stuff sounds reasonable. "Use funds efficiently", "find funding", "improve pre-K", "allocate resources". Yet, there are no specifics because the only way to do these things is to cut teacher pay by enacting draconian teacher penalties for poor test scores. They're certainly not going to raise taxes.

In the meantime, I say we stop this profiteer in his tracks. Crist is hearing us. PLEASE contact him. This impacts all of us, because if it passes in Florida he will take it on the road.

PLEASE call and email Gov. Charlie Crist TODAY and let him know to VETO Senate Bill 6/House Bill 7189. They have had very nice people answering the phone and taking down our messages, so we need to be sure to be polite.

Call:  850-488-7146
Call campaign office: 850-907-1218
Fax: 850-487-0801
Email: charlie.crist@myflorida.com
Snail mail a post card with "VETO SB6":
Office of Governor Charlie Crist
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

Originally posted to Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 06:31 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (34+ / 0-)

    "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

    by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 06:31:06 AM PDT

    •  If you could only pick one thing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rian Fike, msmacgyver

      about this to criticize, what would it be?

      Whenever I'm having trouble understanding a problem I like to start with the main beef and go from there...

      "The government has got into the hands of the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy." -- Woodrow Wilson

      by DickMacgurn on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 06:36:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They did not include teachers in the planning. (20+ / 0-)

        My second thing?

        It funnels 2.7 billion dollars from the classroom into the testing industry:

        http://ecologyofeducation.net/...

        That's Jeb Bush's game.

        "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

        by Rian Fike on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 06:41:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Alright you got me there. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ahumbleopinion

          Screw the testing industry, what we need are more and better teachers, smaller classrooms, and some innovative teaching techniques like what Gates is doing.

          You won me over with your #1 beef :)

          "The government has got into the hands of the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy." -- Woodrow Wilson

          by DickMacgurn on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 06:44:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, the testing industry (9+ / 0-)

            is behind this. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they were the ones that wrote the language in the bill.

            The salient points in that article:

            However, during the next three years districts are required to allocate 5% of their budgets for development of the measures used to assess teachers in order to reward them.

            Code: Development of standardized tests.

            This 5% amounts to $900 million dollars per year siphoned from our already cash strapped districts and funneled to private companies.  Over the 3 year development period, that amounts to 2.7 billion dollars!

            Let me repeat that: $2.7 billion from our schools — our classrooms  –  channeled to the testing industry.

            At a time when districts are forced to eliminate programs and services due to budget cuts, teachers are paying for supplies out of pocket, and students must share textbooks because there are not enough for everyone, the legislature is mining schools to help companies profit.

            There is a gross warping of education policy going on in Florida.

            And of course, the Hillsborough county example of teachers and legislators working together. And of course the fact that the Obama administration specifically stated that Florida didn't win the Race to the Top grant because its unions were not involved in the writing of it.

            "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

            by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 06:57:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Let them design the tests for those (0+ / 0-)

          who presume to run for public office.  If some public servants are evaluated in this way, let's have all of them undergo the same.  Test scores should be public, and low scores have to leave.  Talking to you, Sen. Inhofe.

        •  and doesn't jeb's brother neil (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          deMemedeMedia

          have quite a stake in the testing industry?

      •  The top thing would be (11+ / 0-)

        tying teacher pay to student performance on a single subject-area test. It's important to note that these tests have not been written yet, will have to be written by each district in each subject area so it's a huge unfunded mandate for the districts, and how do we know the tests will be written well? Not to mention, there are so many outside variables on how well a child does or doesn't do on a test. Lack of parental support, high absenteeism, sick, hungry that day, doesn't feel like taking a test that isn't tied to their grade, or just doesn't have the aptitude. The tests are going to determine 50% of a teacher's salary.

        Combine that with no tenure, one year contracts, and no additional pay for advanced degrees (which are required to teach in many subject areas) and that becomes a real disincentive to teach.

        But back to the tests, it penalizes teachers who teach special needs kids, or who teach in low-performing schools, or just don't teach the cream of the crop.  

        "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

        by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 06:43:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Again with the test... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          phonegery, Wendy in FL

          If they're gonna revolve a system around testing then I want to see the tests in advance and they better damned well be scientifically formulated with ample proof that they meet the educational objectives.

          "The government has got into the hands of the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy." -- Woodrow Wilson

          by DickMacgurn on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 06:47:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right....they don't care about no stinkin' (6+ / 0-)

            "scientifically formulated" stuff.

            The FCAT brought the Bushes and other corporate sponsors such as McGraw-Hill millions and millions of dollars. This is all about that.

            "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

            by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 06:51:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yikes, a quick scan of my book archives (0+ / 0-)

              shows I've been sending my money to McGraw-Hill for decades. What happened there? Again with the profit motive? They know they'll sell more books so education standards for our kids don't matter anymore?

              Okay, I'm riled up and pissed again, time to go to work. I can't go to work unless I'm pissed off so always stop by for a little inspiration. Thanks y'all...

              "The government has got into the hands of the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy." -- Woodrow Wilson

              by DickMacgurn on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:13:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Heck, I've got tons of friends that (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                phonegery, o the umanity, DickMacgurn

                work for McGraw-Hill. I almost wrote a textbook for them until the project funding died.

                It is what it is. We live with what McGraw Hill provides us in the way of FCAT. The graders are another matter...

                But, it's the politicians that allow them in the door in the first place.

                "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

                by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:17:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's a sickening trend that's been going on (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  phonegery, o the umanity, LookingUp

                  for longer than I probably know about. Is there a good book that tracks the history of this kind of corporate takeover of law making? A book by McGraw-Hill perhaps?

                  "The government has got into the hands of the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy." -- Woodrow Wilson

                  by DickMacgurn on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:22:01 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  LOL! Oh, the irony.... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    o the umanity

                    Perhaps...

                    What's intriguing in all of this is that you have to understand the textbook industry and what they're going through right now.

                    eBooks and Open Source Books are huge threats. California, if I recall correctly, just decided not to buy any more non-open-source textbooks for their public schools. That's a HUGE loss to the Pearsons, McGraw-Hills, and Cengages of the textbook industry.

                    They have to make it up somehow.

                    Looks like their looking to testing to fill that gap.

                    "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

                    by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:35:45 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  The Bush Family has a controlling (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wendy in FL, o the umanity, Mike08

              interest in the education of American children...

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              In 1999, Bush co-founded Ignite! Learning, an educational software corporation. Bush has said he started Austin-based Ignite! Learning because of his learning difficulties in middle school and those of his son, Pierce.[5] The software uses multiple intelligence methods to provide varying types of content to appeal to multiple learning styles.

              To fund Ignite!, Bush raised $23 million from U.S. investors, including his parents, as well as businessmen from Taiwan, Japan, Kuwait, the British Virgin Islands and the United Arab Emirates, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Documented investors include Russian billionaire expatriate Boris Berezovsky, Berezovsky's partner Badri Patarkatsishvili, Kuwaiti company head Mohammed Al Saddah, and Chinese computer executive Winston Wong.

              In 2002, Neil Bush commended his brother, George, for his efforts on education as President, but he questioned the emphasis on constant testing to keep federal aid coming to public schools: "I share the concerns of many that if our system is driven around assessments, pencil-and-paper tests that test a kid's ability to memorize stuff, I would say that reliance threatens to institutionalize bad teaching practices."[6]

              As of October 2006, over 13 U.S. school districts (out of over 14,000 school districts nation-wide[7]) have used federal funds made available through the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 in order to buy Ignite's products at $3,800 apiece.

              If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library? Lily Tomlin

              by msmacgyver on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 08:02:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The problem is (6+ / 0-)

            that the test is the MOST important thing.  Already, Florida is a hostage to testing which penalizes schools where the children do not perform as well as at the schools where the children peform well on the test.

            The test is not being used as a diagnostic tool to identify weaknesses in subject matter. The test is being used solely as a way to penalize (or reward) the schools.  Now the test is going to be used as a way to penalize teachers.

            Any rational person knows that students from more affluent families, in which there is parental involvement in the schools, are going to perform better overall.  By using the test to penalize poor performance, it is already penalizing students from poorer economic areas.  Now it will be used to penalize teachers who teach the poorer students.  This is the most devasting thing to happen to equality of education in Florida.

            It is a purely discriminatory means to separate the haves and the have nots.  And now it is going to basically eliminate the best teachers from the public school systems.  Add to that the vouchers for private schools, and what we are moving toward is the systematic dismantling of the public school system in Florida.

            For the record, I am not a teacher, nor do I have any school age children, but I am a Florida resident and I care about the quality of education in this state.

            "in the wake of Sept. 11, a frightened nation betrayed one of its core principles -- the rule of law -- for the fool's gold of security." Leonard Pitts

            by gulfgal98 on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:34:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you. This affects ALL (4+ / 0-)

              Floridians regardless of whether they are teachers, parents, etc.

              Failing schools hurt our economy. Failing schools increase crime. Failing schools mean that the human rights of our children are not being met.

              This is everybody's fight.

              "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

              by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:37:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I think Crist will veto this bill (0+ / 0-)

      How would Faux & Foxes cover this story?

      by surfdog on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:47:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And then he will become an Indep. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mike08

        He can't veto the bill and beat Rubio in the primary. He's gotta be spending this week deciding if he has a better chance at the Senate seat by voting for the bill and trying to beat Rubio in the primary (which he won't) or veto the bill, and pull a Lieberman, and ride to victory in November on a populist meme?

        "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

        by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:55:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Doesn't Jeb Have an Education Testing Biz? (6+ / 0-)

    I've heard Hartmann reference that I think.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 06:36:40 AM PDT

  •  No Teacher Left Employed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hatdog, phonegery, Mike08

    If this is enacted Florida is going to experience a teacher shortage much worse than in the rest of the nation.

    •  If this happens, it won't just be in FL (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike08

      Look at what is happening in NJ, look at what is happening in Alabama.

      "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

      by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 06:52:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What new teacher would want to teach there (0+ / 0-)

      after this?

      •  Teacher teach because they love to teach (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wendy in FL, LookingUp

        regardless of the F-ed up system they have to work in...

        "The government has got into the hands of the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy." -- Woodrow Wilson

        by DickMacgurn on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:14:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But everyone has to draw the line somewhere (0+ / 0-)

          like when 50% of your salary will be tied to test scores.  Advanced degrees, certification, and number of years teaching will no longer improve salary.  Contracts  will be renewed annually based on test scores.  Lack of improvement on test scores will result in termination and revocation of certification.  These tests have yet to be designed.  They will cover every subject.  Students will perhaps not be very invested in them because the tests won't effect their grades.  But they will determine 50% of salary.  Now try to buy a house or support your family.

  •  The business model should never be used (8+ / 0-)

    as an education model.

    Much of the business model is based on the idea that people will only work harder for more money.  But most teachers already work nearly as hard as we can, unless we give up on family lives.  The people who go into business are typically motivated in different ways than those who go into teaching.

    As a teacher, I seldom think about what I'm getting paid.  I don't obsess about pay day and often I'm surprised when the monthly check comes around.  Most of the time I can't tell you what I'm getting paid.  If I was told that I would make another $1000 or $5000 or even $20000 if I worked harder or if my students did better, it would make little difference to what I do.

    In fact during those times in the past when I did think about how administrators viewed my teaching and tried to impress them, this led to poorer teaching.

    There are ways to improve education in the U.S., but merit pay isn't one of them.  It is in fact counterproductive, as it leads to less cooperation among teachers and less enjoyment of what one does every day.

    To put it simply, if we are thinking more about money than about students, we have the wrong emphasis.

    "Trust only those who doubt" Lu Xun

    by LookingUp on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 06:57:00 AM PDT

    •  Agree completely. My parents (6+ / 0-)

      were both the same way as teachers. In fact, they both took second jobs at times so they could "afford" to keep teaching.

      So pathetic how we treat our teachers in this country.

      And your point about merit pay...excellent. Yes, in the research I'm doing for my PhD that is the one thing that keeps popping up: teachers that collaborate with one another are serving their students the best. Why do we want to pit them against each other?

      "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

      by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:01:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Really? Money doesn't motivate you? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phonegery, LookingUp, DickMacgurn

      Imagine that!  You must be the only one who... No, wait, wait... Actually here's a book I read that describes exactly what you're saying:

      http://www.amazon.com/...

      Everything we think about what motivates us is wrong, the whole carrot/stick theory is misapplied.

      •  That's a good ass book... seriously... n/t (0+ / 0-)

        "The government has got into the hands of the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy." -- Woodrow Wilson

        by DickMacgurn on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:15:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm motivated by enjoying what I do. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wendy in FL, Renie, Mike08, DickMacgurn

        I couldn't afford to work if I didn't get paid, but in planning how I'm going to work with students on any given day or in longer range planning, what I might get paid just doesn't affect my planning.  As indicated in the book by Pink that you link to, thinking about money while trying to accomplish something gets in the way of creativity.  Of course those teachers who don't get paid enough to get by have no choice but to think about money, and this has to hurt their ability to do their best work.  This means that to improve teaching, the first thing to do is to make sure that every teacher gets a living wage.

        It is something about the creative process itself that is motivating.  Then there is the thought that in a sense, as a teacher I am among the most powerful people in the world in that I get to help young people to become better at the things that they want to do.  That's a major thing to me.

        When I started teaching someone asked me why I didn't do something where I could make more money.  My reply was that to me working with students is like living in color and everything else was like living in black and white.

        "Trust only those who doubt" Lu Xun

        by LookingUp on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:27:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is a disaster and an opportunity (5+ / 0-)

    The teachers' unions are being assaulted, and the teachers are being assaulted.  This is the culmination of the 46 year attack on the teaching profession that began with the 1964 Coleman report.

    Teachers can go one of two ways.  They can hunker down or they can propose their own reforms.  I think that the second one is a better approach.

    I have no suggestions, except that the teachers unions and teachers need to think of ways to coopt this change meme.

    I am a nativist, and that is a progressive position.

    by numberzguy on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:01:21 AM PDT

    •  I think many of the republican teachers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LookingUp, Mike08

      in FL are waking up to what there party is about. Many went to Tallahassee to attend committee meetings and testify. Universal, overwhelming opposition in those rooms to kill the bill. This came from not only teachers, but principals and even superintendents. Did the Florida House listen to the overwhelming voice of the people? Nope.

      Some of the teacher comments on the FB page for "Stop Senate Bill 6" are interesting. Republican teachers devastated because this action is a Tallahassee power grab. Upset because their voice wasn't heard. There are even a group that want all the teachers to switch their party affiliation TO republican so that they can vote AGAINST Crist in the primary if he vetoes the bill -- you know, to reward him against Rubio.

      I'm like, duh...people...he ain't gonna be a Republican if he vetoes this bill. He's already gonna lose that primary. If he vetoes the bill, he's gotta do a Lieberman, and ride moderate and dem and teacher support to victory in November. Plus why on earth would we want to swell the ranks of the Republican party precisely when we're trying to send a message to the Governor that their politics aren't working?

      "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

      by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:07:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry - correction (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mike08

        They want to vote FOR Crist if he vetoes the bill. As a reward for what he did for teachers....

        "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

        by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:09:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I understand that the FL H/S are Repub (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LookingUp, Mike08

        But there must be more vulnerable and less vulnerable ones.  Is there targeting of these vulnerable ones?

        This is simply horrible.  My wife, who teaches French, is less concerned about tenure, as long as SOME protection is retained.  For instance, a modification of tenure to have 5 year contracts, instead of lifetime tenure.  But the penalizing of additional education?  This is appalling.

        I am a nativist, and that is a progressive position.

        by numberzguy on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:17:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The targeting for defeat in Nov. (0+ / 0-)

          will happen after Crist does what he's going to do. We're all sort of waiting with bated breath for that first (besides calling, emailing, etc.)

          There will be an accounting. For sure. Fortunately, while I have the distinct displeasure of having repuke Vern Buchanon as my US rep. I get to have Keith Fitzgerald as my State Rep, and HE ROCKS!

          "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

          by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:29:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are in ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wendy in FL

            Tampa / St Pete, FL-13.  My 100-YO great aunt lived there until she died about 2 years ago.  Nice area, although too many republicans.

            Buchanan should be in prison.  What is he doing out causing trouble?

            I am a nativist, and that is a progressive position.

            by numberzguy on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:46:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sarasota/Bradenton, actually. (0+ / 0-)

              Buchanon is....just awful. And yes, too many republicans here. Although we have committed democrats here, very environmentalist folks that really support public education.

              "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

              by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:48:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Hillsborough and Pinellas were blue (0+ / 0-)

              for Obama

              How would Faux & Foxes cover this story?

              by surfdog on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:51:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sarasota was SO close... (0+ / 0-)

                I mean, it was like 149 votes or something like that for McCain. Obama came here a week before the vote and we filled a 10,000 seat stadium with 12,000 people with only two days notice that he was visiting. On a weekday.

                Now, the city of Sarasota did vote for Obama. No surprises there. Pinko libs in the city of Sarasota. ;-)

                "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

                by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:54:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  There are many others (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mike08

        Wendy - there are about 100,000 Career Service State Employees who received no raise for 3 years now getting a 3% pay cut (which would have been on top of the 2% last year) and there are hundreds of thousands of City & County Employees who are in line to get their pensions whacked along with about 600,000 retirees in the FRS.  

        If the anger were properly harnessed the Republicans could be driven out of Tallahassee in droves this fall.

        •  Agreed. What they are doing to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mike08

          the firefighters' pensions is just criminal.

          We need to harness the anger and vote them out.

          "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

          by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 09:19:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  More of a disaster than an opportunity IMHO.. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wendy in FL

      "The government has got into the hands of the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy." -- Woodrow Wilson

      by DickMacgurn on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:25:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As a concerned citizen in Florida (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phonegery, Wendy in FL, Mike08

      I see little opportunity in this.  The teachers have not been listened to, those in the public who understand this are upset, but the bottom line is that the legislature is overwhelmingly Republican due to district gerrymandering and they could care less.

      This is simply another step in the systematic privatization of Florida whhich began under Jeb Bush.  FCAT, the current test in Florida, has already seriously damaged education in Florida.  IMHO, the latest bill is another move to kill the public education system.

      "in the wake of Sept. 11, a frightened nation betrayed one of its core principles -- the rule of law -- for the fool's gold of security." Leonard Pitts

      by gulfgal98 on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:41:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am working on a school paper right now (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tinfoil Hat, phonegery, LookingUp, Mike08

    in which I cite Charles Murray. This noted right-wing pundit co-authored "The Bell Curve," and one of his big themes is "the proper education of the ruling class." You know it already: there are white people who are really intelligent and everything, and the resources for educating them, shouldn't be squandered on the masses.

    When Murray was writing about "the ruling class," he had the Bush family in mind :) I know he did. Two perfectly loathsome parents. Five kids, and the 3 or so I know anything about are parasitic drains on society. That includes your governor Jeb.

    Thanks for the diary.

  •  Indoctrination???? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tinfoil Hat, hatdog, Wendy in FL, Mike08

    "Modify teacher certification requirements to allow industry professionals to teach high school career-tech courses"

    If "industry professionals" was substituted for "politicians" and "career tech" substituted for "social sciences" wouldn't everyone be screaming about INDOCTRINATION?

    Can you imagine teaching our children the corporatist doctrine?

    Just because someone has knowledge of a subject doesn't mean they can teach. Teaching is a skill that requires much more than being a subject matter expert.

    •  Exactly. I've hired college faculty (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, hatdog, phonegery, Mike08

      over the years, and believe me...the "Just because someone has knowledge of a subject doesn't mean they can teach" is so true.

      On the flip side, if a teacher can inspire students to learn, they will be motivated to create knowledge (the constructivist learning model) and it matters much less what the teacher was credentialed in. My mother was an education major who never got more than a Bachelor's degree. She ended up teaching middle school science to gifted children. She told the principal who hired her (this was way back in the 1970s), "I've never taught science before." He said, "But you can learn it! What I care about is that you can create excitement to learn in the students. That is teaching. You can learn the science. I can't teach you how to teach. I'm hiring you because you can inspire students to learn."

      And boy, did she. Numerous awards and teacher of the year designations later, she is retired after 41 years of teaching. I recently talked with a student that had her back in the late 1970s. He now works for USAID. He has his Masters from Columbia. He says that my mom was still the best teacher he ever had.

      "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

      by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:26:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Career-tech courses? (0+ / 0-)

      If that means computer scientists teaching computer courses; acountants teaching accounting, etc. I don't see what the problem is.

      Legalism: strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit

      by Catte Nappe on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:39:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It could mean that, certainly. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mike08

        But, truly, just because someone has the credentials to teach a subject area, doesn't mean they can teach. I've hired college professors who were outstanding economists and were total sticks in the classroom.

        It's just the language that is a bit nerve-wracking. How are they going to change certification requirements? Will it do away with the need to have teacher training? Just a thought...Thanks for your comments.

        "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

        by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:43:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Competencies (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wendy in FL

          The competency to teach accounting is not automatically conferred on someone who is an accountant, of course. Hopefully of any number of accountants who might be interested in teaching there would be some way to identify those who are also able to teach effectively. And I agree that there needs to be some level of training on how to operate within a classroom and school environment.

          That said, my comment was mainly due to the hyperbole of "corporatist indoctrination"

          Legalism: strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit

          by Catte Nappe on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:50:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Does this circle back around to the Al Sharpton (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike08

    Newt Gingrich partnership

    Sharpton was on TDS earlier in the week mentioning something about working with Newt.

    Arne Duncan, Al Sharpton, and Newt Gingrich Join Forces
    August 17, 2009 11:46 AM ET | Zach Miners | Permanent Link | Print

    In an effort to push cities to fix failing schools and highlight the Obama administration's programs to reform public education, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and civil rights leader Al Sharpton will join Education Secretary Arne Duncan on a tour of cities later this year.

    The trio will visit Philadelphia on September 29, New Orleans on November 3, and Baltimore on November 13. More stops, including a rural site, will be added as the tour progresses. In a conference call with reporters yesterday, Duncan said the cities were chosen both for logistical reasons and for what they can show about school reform.

    "These are cities that have real challenges but also tremendous hope and opportunity," he said.

    Interviewed on NBC's Today show Friday, Gingrich and Sharpton were asked how they had agreed to work together on education in light of the many differences they've had on other issues.

    Afghanistan:Graveyard to empires-It's not just a bumpersticker

    by JML9999 on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:30:21 AM PDT

    •  Yuck (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999

      There's two people who are not going increase my comfort level by being spokespersons for education reform. What is the administration thinking?

      Legalism: strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit

      by Catte Nappe on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:35:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't understand what the administration is thi (6+ / 0-)

        Thinking when it comes to many of their ideas regarding education.  How sad that the Democrats seemed to have embraced the Corporate/Republican plan to bring the corporate model into the educational system.  After the economic meltdown I find it hard to believe that anyone can keep a straight face and say that the American business model should be an example for how anything should be run, much less our nation's schools.

        •  It's the right wing meme that is winning (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mike08

          At this point, unless the teachers find a way to fight back and get in front of the "accountability" wave, bad things will happen.  The union "status quo" is not going to be maintained, IMHO.  The unions need to rethink things.

          I am a nativist, and that is a progressive position.

          by numberzguy on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 08:08:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, the unions do need to change (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mike08

            I think they're so busy busting their asses trying to save pay and benefits for their members that they don't necessarily have the resources to take on the corporate assault on our education system.  Still, it frustrates me that they seem to be stuck in seeing the political system as it was 10+ years ago.  They could definitely be doing more to try to frame the debate.

    •  A lot of blacks blame teachers for inner city (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      J Brunner Fan
      Hidden by:
      cacamp

      failed schools.

      There are plenty of failures in inner cities, but the teachers are not the problem.  There are powerful cultural issues that mitigate against school success.

      The charter school movement is proving to be a disaster, however.  Many black thieves and criminals are establishing charter schools with no school board to oversee them.  Then they loot the public treasury, use inside deals, have deals where they own the buildings that the school that they run rents, and the whole thing is a huge conflict of interest in which education is not occurring but people are getting very wealthy.

      I am a nativist, and that is a progressive position.

      by numberzguy on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 08:06:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  boo (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cacamp

        No need to go there.  People from low income areas have reason to be angry.  They should speak up about the quality of their schools.  We need to make people our allies and get their help to improve education instead of encouraging division.

      •  why be racist about the problem (HR'd) (0+ / 0-)

        This is one of the dumbest comments I've seen, not to mention racist to its core.

        Many black thieves and criminals are establishing charter schools with no school board to oversee them.

        and this following racist stupidity isn't backed up by ANY facts or sources..

        Then they loot the public treasury, use inside deals, have deals where they own the buildings that the school that they run rents, and the whole thing is a huge conflict of interest in which education is not occurring but people are getting very wealthy.

        fucking KKK mentality.

  •  Thanks for the info tipped and rec'ed nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wendy in FL, Mike08

    LeBron James is worth way more than any Wall Street Banker.

    by J Brunner Fan on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 08:22:24 AM PDT

  •  The Teachers have to Save Schools and what I mean (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro

    is we have lost the media, we have lost the parents, and we have the religiously insane in the south who shout the loudest and support Jeb Bush and his cabal.

    The teachers are in the spotlight, and they should start holding parents accountable. The teachers have some power and can make some real noise, beyond their great work towards messaging Crist.

    They should start documenting or taping kids and parents who are difficult. Start FAILING kids in mass whwo deserve it, or threaten teachers as reported, and demand media attention to all the little snots and their bigger snot parents.

    Show them there are consequences for not respecting teachers who are one of our nation's most valuable resources.

    Teachers are about to take a hit no matter what, so they should take the risk and push back hard on one of the biggest problems and hold the parents accountable.

    I know it is risky, but man we have to start holding self absorbed American idiots accountable.  

    I don't see any other way, cause even if they win this round, it won't stop the onslaught and Bushies will come after them again and again.

    Man this makes me mad, and we have to find a way to stop these wingnut maniacs.

    Augghhh!

    It is our money they want, so let's not give it to them. - Mean Mr. Mustard

    by Mean Mr Mustard on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 08:45:05 AM PDT

    •  That is certainly (0+ / 0-)

      a possible way to solve some of this problem.  I have to think more about it but I agree that the teachers must do something.  It seems to me that there must be a lot of grief before anything gets resolved and the teachers could bring it all to a head by using these ideas.  The hidden cog in the wheel of success is the administrations.  The school district I live in has a terrible group of people running the school.  Teachers should flare up against them too.

  •  My niece's math class is taught by a student (0+ / 0-)

    because the "teacher" doesn't know the subject very well. He picks the brightest students to teach the lessons. My niece, a straight-A student, helps teach the class. The students grade each other's homework. To be fair my niece says the teacher takes attendance and assigns homework. The teacher still gets a pay check and so does the principal. So Jeb's reforms won't stop teachers from finding creative ways to work the system.

    Support good reform not a political party blindly.

    by Eposter on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 08:50:20 AM PDT

    •  That stinks for your niece. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike08

      Unfortunately, this legislation won't mitigate that problem, but probably enhance it. Unless you have teachers in there that want to work with kids, you're going to have a situation where teachers pawn off responsibilities because honestly the job is not worth it for the pay if you're not passionate about it.

      "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

      by Wendy in FL on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 09:20:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Apparently it is worth it for my niece's teacher (0+ / 0-)

        by the way this is happening in a rural white community in northeast Ohio, not exactly rough duty compared to what teachers face at some inner-city schools.

        Support good reform not a political party blindly.

        by Eposter on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 09:38:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, this may be a strategy (0+ / 0-)

      In many classes that I took, the teacher assigned each student to teach a section. You had to learn the section, discuss it with the class, and ensure that others knew the material.  The instructor did not do the teaching.

      This was in college of course, not high school.  

      If, however, this is a senior-level class, there may be a reason for this strategy.

      I am a nativist, and that is a progressive position.

      by numberzguy on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 09:46:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My niece made it clear the teacher doesn't know (0+ / 0-)

        the subject. She is very ambitious and she thinks it is wrong to have a teacher who doesn't know the subject. You can fool parents, but not kids. I am sure there are plenty of excuses ready to cover up for this sort of thing.

        Support good reform not a political party blindly.

        by Eposter on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 10:00:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I read something the other day (0+ / 0-)

    about special needs teachers being replaced with para's, which to me just doesn't seem like it could be possible...
    anybody know anything more about this?
    or is this just nonsense? would appreciate some clarification from someone that is more familiar with the Florida bills

    Goldman Sachs broke in my house and ate all of my food...

    by aarons55540 on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 09:38:47 AM PDT

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