When rolling out the Republican Senate's education reform bill in early May, NC Senator Pro Tem Phil Berger praised educational reforms in Florida as did the unusual brochure that accompanied the bill's roll-out. "We are following the reforms in Florida," he said.
Sorry to inform you Senator, but the reforms don't work. Newspapers all across Florida have and are running stories about the huge mess the reforms have caused Florida's K-12 and parents are up in arms, too. http://www.fundeducationnow.org/
The Tampa Bay Times, previously the St. Pete Times, says it time for it to be over. http://www.tampabay.com/...
"Children are crying, parents are obsessing, and educators are sweating."
Berger's Excellence in Public Schools Act establishes an A-F school grading system in North Carolina, too; a system in Florida that has created a $250 million dollar bonanza for a private testing firm. The Act also includes merit teacher pay, doing away with tenure and new reading requirements for third graders and more.
In fact, though slightly modified--most likely for a little political cover from angry Superintendents--Beger's reforms and other bills from last year and in this session all mirror the American Legislative Exchange Council's education task force agenda. A senate sponsor with Berger, Sen.Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson) is a member of ALEC's national education committee:http://alecinnc.wordpress.com/....
The Republican agenda includes: a slickly worded corporate tax give away for private school vouchers bill, attacking the State's teachers association, de-funding K-12 in favor of privatization, an open door to charter schools--even for-profit online charters--and denouncing the present school system which has recently accomplished the highest graduation rates on record.
For those not familiar with ALEC's education agenda, according to the Center for Media and Democracy, ALEC's education agenda encompasses a 20 year effort to privatize public education through an ever-expanding network of school voucher systems, which divert taxpayer dollars away from public schools to private schools. ALEC bills also divert public funds into private charter schools or for-profit internet schools. ALEC bills also allow schools to loosen standards for teachers and administrators, exclude students with physical disabilities and special educational needs, escape the requirements of collective bargaining agreements, and experiment with other causes like merit pay, single-sex education, school uniforms, and political and religious indoctrination of students.
The Orlando Sentinel: "With test data we cannot trust, a system that does not evaluate teachers based on what each teacher teaches and a complicated model that is not based on sound research, we are not only jeopardizing our teachers and administrators; we are also jeopardizing our whole public-school system, including our students.Berger's Excellence in Public Schools Act's brochure can't be trusted either. It's ALEC propaganda with a large dose of Jeb' Bush's educational leadership thrown in. Heads up NC: Jeb Bush to bring ALEC's "educational reform" agenda:http://www.democraticunderground.com/...
Too much is riding on testing data that cannot be trusted.
Bergers brochure states that NC's K-12 education received a D- on ALEC's report card. National magazines and the New York Times have debunked ALEC's report card. Not surprisingly, states that have enacted ALEC's educational reforms score far better than states that haven't.
Shrewdly, Berger's brochure uses Education Week's report cards as a resource; it shows that NC received a C+ in 2012, but neglects to state that Florida received a C+ from Education Week in 2012, too. Just a slight-of-the-hand omission by Berger; NC's K-12 must be bad and Florida's must be good in order to move the corporate agenda.
Florida Drops in National Ed Ranking: http://www.theledger.com/...
The Excellence in Public Schools Act passed the NC Senate this week and the House will take it up. The Republican leadership's latest ruse is for us to accept that now the House will consider passing Berger's education agenda in return for the Senate's approval of the House's budget. In other words, Republicans compromising with Republicans. Give us a break, we North Carolinians are not yet all flat-earthers, but that's exactly we we are headed if this legislation is enacted.
This diary is getting long, but I'm pissed.
I am puzzled by the lack of investigative reporting by our major newspapers, they have only danced around the edges of the true, for-profit, corporate agenda of the Republican-led legislature.
4,000 more third-graders than last year could be held back because of latest FCAT reading scores. - Tampa Bay Times
Billionaire privatization activists pushing neovouchers for NC.
Public Money Finds Back Door to Private Schools
Please raise some hell Kossacks and thanks for reading.
Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 1:48 PM PT: Not much hope in Raleigh, the Republicans are moving all the Alex inspired bills through committees fast. Still have not seen the major press put out an investigative story ...so disheartening.