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Our Democratic President, apparently thinks so. The Minnesota state legislature believes in Florida enough to fly in Jeb Bush when there are only four weeks left in session, no jobs bills, no budget yet, and no redistricting plan yet. This Florida education system must be amazing. The GOP leaders who swept through our last elections think the Florida is the model to go with. Our Democratic President thinks Jeb Bush is the new National Ambassador for Great Education. I would like you to make up your own mind, and let us know what you think. I've provided the links to the fawning praise. More praise is not hard to find.

If you'd like to read about the other side, please join me after the break.

Bottom line up front:

If you want cheap, quick, and flashy you can go with any of the current reform superstars. You might have to cheat or change the rules to show gains though.
The real gains in Florida correlated with common sense, support of under-performing schools.

cross-posted at MNProgressiveProject

Jeb Bush leads a group called Foundation for Excellence in Education. The reforms the group trumpets are the free market strategies that are the current vogue in education reform. Performance pay, vouchers, grading schools, and more testing.
    The Minnesota GOP is cutting funding for all day kindergarten, one of the proven ways to get disadvantaged students ready for school before it becomes expensive and incredibly challenging. They are ready to replace proven methods with Florida market based methods.
    Historically, these market based methods require quick results. Education is hard work. It's complex. There have really only been two ways to get positive results from these market based adventures.
    You can use the Rhee turnaround method. Her prized, showcase school had so many wrong to right erasures that a statistician said it was more likely to win the Powerball Jackpot than the results were real.
    You can also try the Florida method. Just change the rules. You see, their much ballyhooed graduation rate increase comes with many caveats. The biggest caveat, is that students who are steered towards adult education programs are not counted against a schools graduation rates. Most of these students steered out of schools do not graduate or get a GED from their adult education programs. Simple way to increase your rates. Get rid of the kids who are not going to graduate. It is similar in Minnesota when, right about testing time, public schools get an influx of students that are kicked out of charter schools.
      Some of the biggest test gains, and admirable to be sure, came from minority and impoverished students. These gains coincided almost directly with Florida's Achievement Plus program. The Achievement Plus program funneled money, resources, training, and mentoring to under-performing schools. That program isn't talked about by the reformers. It is not flashy or quick, and it costs more.
      If you want cheap, quick, and flashy you can go with any of the current reform superstars. You might have to cheat or change the rules to show gains though.

Targeting additional resources toward increased management training and professional development among teachers dealing with the most difficult students to teach makes simple common sense. Helping schools and teachers dealing with significant problems in Florida by providing additional human and fiscal resources fulfills Occam’s Razor for the best explanation of Florida’s success over the past decade.

--Michael Martin

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Comment Preferences

  •  Florida is not a blueprint for educational (0+ / 0-)

    success. Our grad rate is very low. We spend less than other states and our graduates have difficulty passing a standardized test that checks for 8th grade competencies.

    Jeb is selling BS reform. Too bad Minnesota is buying it.

    If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

    by JDWolverton on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 07:46:22 PM PDT

    •  Our freaking President is buying it!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Jeb is barnstorming the nation with this drivel. Thanks for your local input. You're right, of course. Even with the graduation rates inflated by kicking kids out, they still rank 44th. Minnesota is about 3rd. Our achievement gap is criminal, so the story is more complex, but Florida is not the answer.

      •  I will say this in defense of Fl. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        compared to Ga they look like the Oxford of higher learning,  The drop out rate in Ga is over 50 percent and
        my kids love these schools.   They never loved Ga's.
        Don't know about other states but I do rate them  prettu high comapared to the Rainy Day statel

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it !

        by Vetwife on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 08:37:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The truth is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JDWolverton, Vetwife

          The truth is, most schools, anywhere, are filled with dedicated teachers working their asses off.  The difference is in the institutional support. Georgia is probably one of the worst places for supporting teachers and education. I'm glad your kids are finding a place they like.

          •  In the last two years or so (0+ / 0-)

            Ga has become even worse.  The teachers are either so frustrated they can't teach or they can't afford good teachers.  Whatever, the passion is lacking in that state.
            I am very proud to be in Florida schools.

            We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it !

            by Vetwife on Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 12:07:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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