It is Time to Talk about ESSA

child speakingThere is the law, and then there are the regulations to implement the law.  Some say the new federal Department of Education proposed regulations for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) overstep the intention of the law.  They create more stringent rules about testing and accountability than the ESSA intended.  The Florida Department of Education has put out a call for your input about the regulations. You have until July 22, 2016 to respond.  Responding in a meaningful way takes some thought.



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School Board Official ‘Bought’?

money-40603_1280When is it a conflict of interest for a district school board member’s campaign to be financed by a charter school management company and its associates?

The Tampa Bay Times reports that one third of a Hillsborough school board member’s 2016 election campaign is financed by the charter sector.   Contributions to local school board candidates from charter advocacy groups is becoming a national strategy.  Is this democracy in action or something more sinister?  The issue is complicated by questions about the meaning of public education.





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Education Bills Passed in 2016

legislation1Some of you have interest in particular education legislation.  Here is a list of what was passed in the 2016.  The school choice and principal autonomy bills passed.  I have not reviewed all of the others, but if you would like to see one, just google it e.g. “SB 0012 Florida 2016.”

The topics are varied and include health, mental health, social problems, students with disabilities, Bright Futures and transportation.  Some funding bills passed as well.  Nice that so many of the really destructive bills did not make it.

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The Legislature’s Education Train

by Paula Dockery

locomotive-60539_1280Paula is a syndicated columnist and member of the Florida LWV Board.  She wrote a column summarizing the Florida legislative session.  I extracted her description of the process in developing education policy this year.  I personally thought of it as a ping pong match.  She uses the analogy of a train.  This train kept criss crossing the tracks.  Enjoy her description.

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What Did NOT Pass this Session

FAILED1We know a long train of education proposals passed this legislative session.  What did the Florida legislature NOT pass?  The Tampa Bay Times produced a quick summary.





  • Computer coding will not replace a foreign language requirement.
  • Best and Brightest bonus will be funded next year but not made permanent.
  • Nationally normed alternatives to the FSA did not make it.
  • Constitutional amendment for a statewide charter authorizer failed to pass.
  • Elected Commissioner of Education was rejected.
  • School recess and changes to reading instruction did not pass.

We will review what DID pass tomorrow.


Florida Education on Trial

justicePublicity for the Florida Citizens for Strong Schools trial has begun.  The actual trial starts March 14th.  Here’s an extensive report with pictures:  Florida Education on Trial.  Take a look.

The arguments are outlined.  The people are identified.  When the actual trial starts, we will be sending out daily snippets on highlights.  Much depends on this trial.  Hope you tune in.

Senate Session has overlapping Education Bills

legislation1SB 524 has the same improved charter school management provisions embedded in HB 7029.  See line 1447 in HB 7029.

HB 7043  relates to performance standards for higher education, and it includes the Best and Brightest program.

The Senate is meeting this morning.  7029 was put on temporary postponement at about 11am.

The LWVF supports the improvement in charter school management in these bills.