Is Best and Brightest Bonus Doomed?

dollar-726881_1280The Tampa Bay Times reported that the State Board of Education (SBE) Vice Chair, John Padget has called for eliminating the teacher bonus based on SAT scores.  The money for the program has been allocated in the budget, but the law has to be renewed this coming session.  Erik Fresen, who championed the measure is no longer in the legislature.  Pam Stewart, Florida’s Commissioner of Education, is looking at the impact of the program on teacher retention and will report back to the SBE.

Judge Supports Third Grade Opt Out Parents

justiceJudge Gievers ruled in favor of parents who claimed that their districts unfairly retained third graders solely because they did not complete the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA).  The ruling revealed gaping holes in district procedures and in law.  The arguments brought into question the reliance on the FSA to determine student competence.

 

 

 

 

Continue reading

The Silly Season Has Overtaken Us?

american-flag-1109393_640In today’s Tallahassee Democrat, Leon County Schools have been chided.  It seems the state legislature passed a measure allowing students to opt out of the Pledge of Allegiance.  The Department of Education said the district went too far by creating a form to do so and putting it in the Student Handbook.  The State is involved in a lawsuit over parent’s rights to opt their children out of tests, but it is OK to opt out of the Pledge of Allegiance as long as you do not tell parents?

What is that Shakespearian line:  Something is rotten in Denmark?  Should we be thinking about other things to improve our educational system?

NAACP Drafts Resolution for Moratorium on Charter Schools

clause-1462955_640If this resolution passed at the NAACP convention last week in Cincinnati is approved by the National Board in the fall of 2016, it will be a major event.  In this repost of the Cloaking Inequity blog, you can read the resolution.  It deals with racial resegregation, funding inequity, charter school mismanagement, lack of charter oversight, and the resolution calls for greater transparency in charter school management.

The NAACP views charter school policies and practices as a civil rights issue.  It is.

Detroit: Lots of choice, but no good choice

money-40603_1280The New York Times ran a story about Detroit.  The city is recovering from bankruptcy, but school choice has bankrupted its schools.  The story is told in human terms.  Your learn about a family trying to find a good fit for its four children.  They move from charter to charter, full of disappointment as hopes are dashed.  They are besieged by hype and gifts for recruiting, but the realities of too many schools from which to choose means that no school is very good.  This is a cautionary tale.  Detroit has the lowest achieving children in the nation.  Ten percent of its children graduate at ‘college ready’.

Michigan has less charter regulation than Florida.  Charters proliferate whether or not they succeed academically.  Eighty percent of its charters are run by for-profit companies. The fight with each other to get students.  By last winter, Detroit schools were bankrupt.  The legislature agreed to help, but it refused to support regulations to manage charter growth.

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.

 

 

Continue reading