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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Republican Representative gives his donor's pet charter school two million in tax payer dollars

Jason Fischer district 16 has some explaining to do.

These are irrefutable facts.

Gary Chartrand is responsible for bringing the KIPP charter school to Jacksonville.

Over the years Chartrand (and his friends and family) have given thousands of dollars to Fischer.

Fischer had a two million dollar grant given to the KIPP charter school.

Line 111

Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) Jacksonville (HB 2851) (Senate Form 1756).......................... 2,000,000 

KIPP is not in Fischer's district.

He voted for a budget that gave our school district just an extra 47 cents per pupil in discretionary spending. 

Those are all irrefutable facts.

This wasn't a bill either which most likely would have failed. No he just had the money inserted into the budget because that is how broken Tallahassee has become after twenty years of republican rule. 

Now some of you might be thinking why should I care what a representative in Jacksonville does, well there are a couple reasons, first that is two million in Tax Payer dollars, that came from all of us and second, his donor, Gary Chartrand is also on the state board of education, and let that sink in.

Chartrand the founder and benefactor of the KIPP charter school gave Fischer thousands of dollars and Fischer rewarded him with two million for his charter school.

Where outrageous it is just standard operating procedure from the republicans in Tallahassee who operate as if they are above the law.

Speaker Richard Corcoran’s wife is a charter school magnet and he joins a half dozen other legislators who either they benefit or their families benefit from public school kneecapping legislation.

The republican party is not leading us, they are lording over us as they enrich themselves and their donors and they do so at the expense of the teaching profession and public education and enough is enough.


Friday, May 25, 2018

The Human Face of the Republican Party’s disastrous education budget.

The Human Face of the Republican Party’s disastrous education budget.

Forty-seven cents, just forty-seven cents extra in discretionary spending, less than the cost of a stamp is all the republican’s in Tallahassee and Rick Scott allocated to education.

Callously, Tallahassee said districts can drop salaries of teachers who are already, when you factor in cost of living, are already the lowest paid in the nation, if they wanted to or they can eliminate staff.
Then when given a chance to rectify their grievous error and have a special session to adequately address education funding, overwhelmingly the republican legislators in the state said no.

Well friends now we can see the human cost of their cruel decision, as teachers all across the state are being surplussed.

From Action News Jax:

Action News Jax is hearing from angry local teachers who say their jobs are being cut so the district can save money.
Duval County Schools is looking at a $62 million budget shortfall next school year and is facing tough decisions on how to fill that gap.
Action News Jax's Courtney Cole spoke to a teacher who said not only does it impact their livelihood, it affects the quality of education.
"All of the sudden, my principal calls me in — and I’m thinking it’s to talk to me about how we’re going to do things next year … and she goes, ‘You're one of the ones cut’. The last thing I expected to hear,” Leisha Cowart told Cole.
She’s been teaching for more than a decade, but right now she teaches ninth and 10th grade honors English at Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology Magnet High School.

Cowart joins hundreds of teachers in Duval and thousands of teachers across the state who suddenly have no job security and who have had their lives uprooted and all because of some pathological hatred of public schools by the vast majority of the republican lawmakers in Tallahassee.  They however aren’t the only ones who will pay a price because even more children will too.

These surpluses will undoubtedly lead to some kids being in larger classes and having fewer academic options but do the republican lawmakers in Tallahassee care? No, because those children don’t attend charter schools of which over 330 have taken public money and closed or voucher schools that don’t have to have certified let alone degreed teachers or any recognized curriculum.  

Did you hear that? It was a yawn from the republicans in Tallahassee and it is unconscionable.

Thousands of teachers, staff and their families having their lives thrown into chaos and even more students kneecapped, this is the cost of people voting republican in Florida.    

Mrs. Cowart I hope things work out for you, it’s just too bad that your republican representative in Tallahassee could care less about you and your family.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Jason Fischer votes against funding public education

Sadly he was not alone as locally he was joined by Senator Aaron Bean and representatives, Byrd, Yarborough and Fant , which are all the republican members of the Duval delegation.  

Now you might be thinking didn't they already do this and the answer would sadly be yes but they were recently give a chance to rectify their terrible mistake. 

From Florida Politics:

 Two South Florida state lawmakers plan to ask the Legislature to increase the public education budget, which they say was insufficiently funded during the 2018 Legislative Session and anticipate a budget shortfall exacerbated by mandates passed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.

 Schools, the lawmakers claim, were blindsided by provisions in SB 7026, the school safety bill passed in the wake of the Feb. 14 massacre in Parkland.

The sweeping package appropriated $67 million to a program designed to arm non-teacher personnel in schools, resulting in an estimated $101.5 per-student increase to education funding. But the program is optional, and some of Florida’s largest school districts have already opted out of it. That’s led some to claim that the actual increase in base allocation per pupil is closer to 47 cents. 
Superintendents, as reported by the News Service of Florida, said in March that they would not be able to staff at least one armed person at each school, another provision included in SB 7026. The Times/Herald bureau reported earlier this month that nearly all of 23 school districts sampled in a survey indicated they anticipate a shortfall in funding.

“School Districts across the state are hurting,” Jones said in a prepared statement. “They are asking us to rectify this egregious oversight. We will not stand idly by as we see the integrity of Florida’s educational institutions crumble because our leadership fails to provide us a proper foundation to build Florida’s future.”

Instead of voting to rectify his mistake, instead of listening to the pleas of the superintendent and school board, and instead of standing up for his constituents, Fischer and the other republican members of the Duval delegation voted to continue to under fund education.

Hey parents, what do you think about that but before you answer remember he put two million dollars into the state budget for his mega donor, Gary Chartrand's charter school. The KIPP school is not in his district and it's doubtful many of any of the families that send their children there live in his district either.
Friends Jason Fischer does not represent the people of district 16, which has some of the best schools in the state which he consistently votes to starve, and never has. Isn't it time we replaced him and the other republican members of the Duval Delegation with representatives who are going to stand up for their constituents and pubic education? Isn't it?

To read more, click the link:

Tallahassee piles on public school students and teachers with testing, while giving voucher school teachers and students a pass.

Tallahassee loves testing public school students and teachers, voucher school teachers and students not so much.

Tallahassee has diverted billions from public schools to private schools that accept vouchers. That is billions with a B. This has occurred while they have simultaneously attempted to starve public schools but that’s another piece.

Teachers in public schools have to be certified which requires them passing a subject area test and a general knowledge test.

The general knowledge test costs 130 dollars the first time you take it and 150 dollars each additional time because I have no freaking idea.

The subject area tests costs 200 dollars the first time and again that is bumped up by 20 dollars for the retakes.

When I took my subject area test it was 56 dollars and I was able to use the CLAST a test given between junior college and university for the general knowledge test. I don’t remember what the fee was, but since I am not outraged, I can’t imagine it was that much.

For the last few years the state has been making plenty on the test as well.

From ABCNews Tampa:
 Over the course of the last year and a half, we’ve also shared how active teachers with proven records in the classroom were terminated because they couldn't score on the state's mandatory licensing exam known as the Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE). According to a spokesperson with the FL Department of Education (FDOE), the tests were made more rigorous in 2015 to better align with tougher student tests. Among the change to some of the tests included raising the score for passing.

In 2017, when we first reported the unprecedented failure rates resulting from the revised tests, a state spokesperson responded to our questions stating that the FLDOE "anticipated" the change in pass scores, adding scores typically "increase over time."

But more than a year after our initial reports and three years after the state implemented changes to the tests, we’ve discovered the latest pass rates still appear to be pretty miserable.
According to 2017 pass/fail rates, pass rates for elementary math (first time attempts) was 61% last year, up just hair from a year earlier but still down nearly 25% since before the test was revised.

Passage rates for General Knowledge math was at 57% for the third year in a row and Elementary Language Arts remained static with a 54% passage rate, new state data shows. These passage rates represents a twenty to more than thirty percent drop in passage rates since the test was made more rigorous in 2015.
The increase in failure rates on the exams have impacted virtually every level of Florida’s education system. We discovered through our emmy-award winning series of reports, local school districts are being forced to let go of teachers who are teaching with a temporary teaching certificate until they pass the test even if the teacher is deemed a highly effective teacher. We’ve also learned colleges and universities across the state are dealing with lower enrollment in College of Education programs and fewer graduates. Graduates of many education programs can’t get their degree until they pass the state’s licensing exam. 

This is all happening while teachers at private schools don’t have to take any test, be certified in any subject or even have a degree.

Both systems are paid for with tax payer money, how is this fair?

The state has looks at new teachers and on one hand sees dollar signs and on the other sees a way to continue to kneecap and harm public schools and the teaching profession.

It’s just not teachers that are caught up in this terrible system but our children as well. For years Florida has led the nation in high stakes testing and again these are tests that children who go to private schools that take vouchers don’t have to take.

These tests have huge consequences. Fail the wrong test in third grade and you don’t get promoted. Fail the wrong test in high school and you don’t graduate.  

Students who fail a grade are also more likely to drop out which leads to a whole host of problems.

From education by the Numbers

The already muddy research on whether it’s better to hold back struggling students or promote them to the next grade just got muddier. A new study ,“The Scarring Effects of Primary-Grade Retention? A Study of Cumulative Advantage in the Educational Career,” by Notre Dame sociologist Megan Andrew, published Sept. 26, 2014, in the journal Social Forces is an empirically solid analysis that adds more weight to those who say retention — what education wonks call repeating a grade — is ultimately harmful.
Andrew mined two large data sets in a way no researcher has done before and concludes that kids who repeat a year between kindergarten and fifth grade are 60 percent less likely to graduate high school than kids with similar backgrounds, and even 60 percent less likely to graduate high school than siblings in the same family.

This also disproportionately effects poor and mostly minority children too practically ensuring them a life time of hardships.  

The state doesn’t seem to care either as evidenced by them doing away with the PERT test as a concordant test to the algebra I end of the year test and yes that is dizzying.

School boards, city councils, parents, students and teachers all warned the state board of education that was a bad idea and would lead to thousands of again mostly poor and minority students not graduating, but the state board of education ignored them and not only did they eliminate the PERT test but raised the scores for passing as well.  

Freshmen entering Florida high schools this fall will need higher scores on alternative tests to meet graduation standards in math and language arts, under a new rule adopted by the state Board of Education.
School districts warned the higher test scores could prevent more minority students and students learning to speak English from graduating. But state education officials said the new “concordant” scores on exams like the SAT or ACT, which can be used in place of regular assessments, will bring those alternative tests in line with more rigorous education standards adopted in 2016.
But the board’s action came over the objections of a number of Florida school districts, which have questioned the impact of the higher tests scores on their graduation rates.
Kelly Thompson, director of assessment and accountability for the Seminole County school system, said half of the students who currently use the alternative tests to help the district achieve its 88.6 percent graduation rate will not be able to do that with the higher scores.
She projected it would mean 428 students, including 252 African-American and Hispanic students, would end up “without a high-school diploma because of a number on a test on a given day” once the new scores take effect.

Private school kids’ despite being supported by public money once again don’t have to take this or any other test.

Florida treats its public school teachers like cash cows, raising money hand over fist with expensive and harder certification tests that they are required to take while simultaneously not giving a damn about the debilitating effects of high stakes tests that their students are also required to take. 

Outrageously this happens while teachers and students who work and attend voucher schools, paid for with public money can go their entire careers without taking a test.  It is despicable how the state treats its public school teachers and students.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Tallahassee's recent devastating attacks on public schools and the teaching profession explained

Before I get going I think it is worth mentioning again that the republican party has been in complete control of Florida’s state government for over twenty years.  

It is hard to keep track of all the ways Tallahassee has attacked public schools just this year alone, I have attempted to list their biggest hits (sic).

Now the republican’s woeful under funding of education, which has seen them increase discretionary spending by only forty-seven cents has been repeatedly talked about and that right there should be disqualifying for them to continue in a leadership role but the truth is it is just the tip of the iceberg.

Perhaps their signature accomplishment this year was to kneecap teacher unions, calling for the decertification of unions that had less than fifty percent membership. Now you might say that’s a good thing, but the legislature exempted police, fire and prison guard unions, or you know the ones that usually support republican candidates.  

The bill, HB 7055 was also passed at the last possible second and is considered a train bill because it has numerous nominally related subjects which technically violates the state constitution if you care about those things. The republicans with the class size amendment, the proliferation of charter schools and inadequately funding our schools often show they don't care about the state constitution or the will of the people.

One of the things stripped from the bill at the last second was a proposal to prevent unethical profiteering from charter schools construction. Now let that sink in.

Next they gave a gift to private schools and that is students that attend them can now do dual enrollment for free. Now the state isn’t paying for it, kneecapping higher education’s tight budgets but they also have required public schools to continue to pay for dual enrollment.  

This bill is probably designed to funnel more kids away from public schools as was the raising and changing what qualifies as a concordant score for the algebra I end of the year test that is required for graduation.  Not only do students that take vouchers and/or go to private schools not have to take any high stakes test but the changing of the concordant scores is projected to cause thousands state wide not to graduate with a high school diploma effecting mostly poor and minority children.

I also don’t think it can be said enough that private schools that take vouchers have diverted billions away from public schools, they don’t have to have a recognized curriculum, and their teachers don’t have to be certified, have degrees and can even be felons.

All this is going on while the state makes it harder for teachers to get certified. The tests are now more expensive and harder to pass than ever. Why do public school teachers have to jump through such expensive hoops while teachers at vouchers schools just have to show up?

The man pushing all these measures the hardest is republican speaker of the house Richard “Dick” Corcoran, emphasis mine.  Mr. Corcoran’s wife Anne is a charter school magnet.  They used to say politicians could get away with anything unless they were caught with a live boy or a dead girl, well in Florida we can’t even approach that standard as Corcoran joins a long list of legislatures who are benefiting from public school harming and pro charter school legislation.

How charter schools are still even a thing is unbelievable to me seeing how over 330 have taken public money and closed leaving families and communities in a lurch. 330!!!!!

Corcoran isn’t the only politician who has conducted shady business to enrich somebody close to them. Jacksonville’s Jason Fischer snuck in two million tax payer dollars for the KIPP school in Jacksonville which is mega republican donor Gary Chartrand’s school. Um, even if you are a fan of charter schools do you think a rich donor should get millions extra for campaign contributions? Ugh.

Then there are the old standbys like Florida is one of the worst states when it comes to per pupil spending and its teachers are when you factor in cost of living the lowest paid in the nation.

Friends, what I want you to remember is most of above is from this year alone, while the assault on public education and the teaching profession has been going on for over twenty years.  

Shady behavior that rewards them and their donors, unfair, shortsighted and downright cruel bills, a history of attacking public schools and public school teachers, this is the legacy of the republicans in Tallahassee have and it is past time we said enough is enough.

Monday, May 21, 2018

It appears Republicans ended teacher protection out of spite.

In 2011 Governor Rick Scott signed the Student Success Act which among other things ended teacher protections which had been refereed to as tenure, but in actuality they only received after three years of effective service. Teachers could still be fired, it just meant that districts had to go through agreed upon steps before they did so. This was the very first bill Scott signed and was very proud to do so. Please remember that in November. 

“I am proud that the first bill I sign is this important legislation that will give Florida the best educated workforce to compete in the 21st century economy,” Governor Scott said. “We must recruit and retain the best people to make sure every classroom in Florida has a highly effective teacher.”

Gary Chartrand now on the state board of education went on First Coast Connect and said this was a great day for teachers and students alike. Unfortunately it turned out only to be a great day for those that want to dismantle public education and who don't believe teachers are professionals.

The premise behind the bill was that if the state ended teacher protections it would improve teacher performance. You know because people filled with fear and anxiety and who can't plan for the future do such a great job.

Also who is going to speak up, say no, or we should try this instead, when they know they can be fired at the end of the year for any or no reason? Fewer and fewer, that's who.

The legislature disingenuously said they thought the Student Success act would weed out poor teachers, but it had the opposite effect as it weeded out teachers who wanted things like job security. Who could have anticipated that if the sate did all it could to injure the teaching profession then it would lead to a teacher shortage, I mean besides everyone everywhere.

The bill also severely undermined the concept of seniority and doubled down on a complicated mathematical formula known as VAM originally designed to  identify reproductive trends in cattle.

Image result for vam formula

You know, teachers, cows giving birth, teachers, cows giving birth. Now veteran teachers can be surplussed based on their VAM scores and spoiler it won't mater that they often get the most challenging students because of their experience.

It also stripped bonuses based on education that had long been given. So suddenly in education, higher education was no longer thought of as a good thing. It also meant that teachers could now go deeper in debt by getting advanced degrees and be rewarded with, well the deeper in debt thing.

It put in a provision for merit pay to be phased in, and where I think this has several flaws perhaps the biggest is the state never fully funded it. That 47 cents per student the state gave Duval this year can pay for the raises of about 30 highly effective teachers. This year. Oh and it wasn't long before the state took three percent of all teacher's salary in a pension grab.

Florida's teachers when you factor in cost of living are the worst paid in the nation. Yep that should attract and retain a ton of teachers.

Florida lowest

So we fast forward to today when the Brooking's Institute said, We find limited and circumstantial evidence that Florida’s tenure reform slightly increased student test achievement in math and reading.

Sigh, emphasis me.

The Study went on to say:

Which students were more affected by SSA? Certainly those with teachers hired after July 1, 2011. But it is problematic to compare students with new teachers to those with more experienced teachers because experience itself is a factor in student achievement, and because student teacher assignments are not random. Principals hoping to protect new teachers from the law’s effects could have assigned them more high achieving students.

Experience is a factor, ya think? Well I would say the Florida legislature didn't but the student success act wasn't about student success, it was about kneecapping teachers and they did a hell of a job.

Friends it is time for a change while we still have a modicum of a profession left.   

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Teachers that vote republican vote against their self interests, and kids, they vote against kids too.

First I could care less about who you vote for dog catcher, city council or the mayor of your hometown. I myself voted for a republican candidate in the mayoral primary in Jacksonville in 2015, but if you are voting for a republican for governor and as a member of the state legislature you are voting against your profession and kids too, don't forget the kids.

Let me lay some knowledge on you. The republicans have been in complete control of the state government for over twenty years. That means they have been in complete control of education policy and we all know they have done everything in their power to starve and harm public education.

They have voted to enrich their donors, family members and for more than a few even themselves with the expansion of charter schools of which over 330 have taken public money and failed.

They have starved public education. This year only allocating an additional 47 cents per student to pay for increased costs and teacher raises and speaking of teacher pay, when you factor in cost of living, Florida teachers are the lowest paid in the nation.

They have funneled billions into voucher schools that don't have to have degreed let alone certified teachers or recognized curricula. 

They ignored the will of the people TWICE with the class size amendment in effect gutting it.

I could go on and on about how they have attacked public education and the teaching profession and by extension children. That is unacceptable to me and how somebody could be a teacher and continue to vote for those policies is mind blowing.

Now are all state republicans horrific and all state democrats saintly? No and I am looking at you Kimberly Daniels but if you are playing the odds your chances of finding a pro public education politician are a lot greater if you support a democrat.

It is like this, I rail against Teach for America all the time, but I know there are some great members  and I also know there are some professional teachers that have chosen the wrong field, but if I am playing the odds I want a professional teacher every time.

My republican teacher colleagues, you can be pro gun and anti abortion and vote democrat too. Reasonable gun restrictions are not confiscation and will keep us all safer. You want to keep abortions down? Well allow democrats to put in meaningful sex education, and provide family planning and birth control.

Look I get it, it isn't going to be easy. I thought Obama's education policies were dreadful and in 2012 I looked hard for an alternate but there wasn't one. The thing is if you care about the teaching profession, if you care about public education and the 2.7 million children that attend our schools, don't you have to look hard for an alternate to the republican party? Don't you owe it to yourself, and your family and the states children. Don't you?

It's time for a change.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Shopping is no longer a pleasure. The betrayal of Publix.(rough draft)

Can I still go to Publix if I support Public Education?

That is a question I never thought I would ask, though I have boycotted companies before. I haven't been to a Wall-Mart in about six years.

So if you have missed the controversy, in a nut shell the owners of Public have come out hard for Adam Putnam our current agricultural commissioner and candidate for governor.

From the Tampa Times:

The Florida supermarket giant Publix has given more money to Adam Putnam's gubernatorial bid than any other candidate since at least 1995 and likely for the entirety of the company's history.
Publix, the heirs to the company's founder and its current and former leaders have given Putnam $670,000 in the last three years — or enough money to buy 74,527 chicken tender subs.
No other Florida candidate has ever come close to that kind of subsidy from Florida's largest Fortune 500 company. Its most recent contribution, a $100,000 donation on April 30, was the largest, too, according to the latest campaign finance filings.

The employee-owned company has also helped bankroll a handful of well-connected business groups who have contributed millions of dollars to the Republican candidate.

This support has also gone both ways, Also from the Tampa Times:

In 2016, WFTS-Channel 28 discovered seven Tampa Bay area Publix stores failed health inspections. In those stores, food inspectors found rodent droppings, hundreds of pounds of meat and other food stored at unsafe temperatures, bugs and employees not washing their hands, according to the report.
Putnam responded the next day by pulling the inspections from the department's website and eliminating the pass/fail grading system.

He replaced it six months later with a new rubric. Instead of a failing grade, the worst rating issued now is "re-inspection required."
Wow, talk about pay for play and shady.

Many people are upset about Publix supporting Putnam because of his A rating from the National Rifle Association and I find this very troubling as well,but what I find equally as troubling is Putnam is a long time member of the republican power structure that has done all it can to kneecap public education.

High stakes testing, blame and attack the teachers, don't pay the teachers, starve our schools of resources and heap upon them one unfunded mandate and bad policy after another. Funnel billions to charters and voucher schools, paying off donors and ignoring the will of the people about class sizes are just a few of Tallahassee greatest hits. I could go on and on about the unfairness, dishonesty and hypocrisy that has come from the elected republicans in Florida who have been completely in charge of both branches for over 20 years, and Publix is supporting Adam Putnam republican candidate for governor. What the beep Publix?!? Who do you think has been buying your subs?

I love Publix too. When I was single I survived on their BOGO selections and every time I go I get a free cup of ice, so I can't express how disappointed I was when I found out they had picked a man who had helped kneecap public education and was unlikely to change if elected.

What does Publix think will happen if a democrat is elected? That they will outlaw BOGO items or maybe its they don't think they will have friends in high places that will continue to cover up their scandals.

Publix is like that old friend who you love but you found out was a Trump supporter and won't be swayed by any of his formerly disqualifying actions. They continue to defend the indefensible.

So what am I going to do? Well I used to be a Publix or bust guy but those days are definitely gone. I haven't decided if I am going to stop going but know this, shopping is no longer a pleasure.

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Tallahassee says our schools are over staffed and over funded. Who the %$#^ are these people.

As thirty-five democrats in the Florida legislature push for a special legislation to address inadequate school funding the republicans in the legislature pushed back and in cringe worthy fashion said our schools are over funded and over staffed.  

Before I continue here is a little context. When we factor in inflation, Florida spends less on its schools than it did in 2007 and if we factor in cost of living the state's teachers are 49th in pay. Florida even in good times has been at or near the bottom in education funding. Yet despite all that instead of doing the right thing the republicans in Tallahassee want people to believe everything is just fine. 

They and I am guessing they used tax payer money to do so, created a misleading add blaming union bosses and media allies for attempting to trick the public.

Here is the video but warning, don't watch while eating or drinking. 

Sigh, I guess the makers of the video think if they say union bosses their base will believe anything.

From the Tampa Times:

The ad takes issue with the "union bosses" and the media who "parrot" them in suggesting that education spending will rise by less than a dollar per student overall. Most reports have noted that the concerns have been that the amount available for unrestricted use was limited, particularly after lawmakers funneled large amounts into school safety.

But "working Floridians who pay for our schools are not fooled," the narrator intones.
"To those Floridians, if it walks like education spending, and talks like education spending and comes out of their wallet like education spending, then it's education spending."
The ad also takes to task districts it suggests spend too much money outside the classroom. It states that less than 55 percent of school employees are classroom teachers, with more than 1,100 social workers, 31,000 paraprofessionals, 22,000 secretaries and clerical staff, and 45,000 service workers in the ranks.
"That's why we put this $100 increase in per student funding directly into the classroom, bypassing the bureaucracy," the narrator says. (Much of the new funding is allocated into security and mental health services.)
She adds, "To them [bureaucrats], it's not about kids. It's about control."
Piccolo acknowledged that making such statement could be viewed as over broad, in that many districts do not face such concerns as too-high administrator to teacher ratios. But the goal, he said, is to get the message out that problems like this do exist in some large systems that need to control their spending.
The ad sparked discontent among some groups that were displeased that tax dollars might be spent to promote such "propaganda." The current House leadership has made several ads like this one, promoting its education priorities and taking to task its opponents.
Piccolo said the video came out of the House Majority Office, which like the Minority Office can do "more political things."
"The Democrats have the ability to do things like this too," he said. "They just don't."
Piccolo is right the democrats don't make misleading adds, they are just in Tallahassee fighting for adequate funding something the republicans don't care about as they attempt to starve our schools.
Let me break it down. The republicans in the Florida legislature are saying school boards and superintendents, teachers and the media all over the state are lying and for people not to believe their eyes when they are presented with statistics showing how woeful education spending in Florida is and has been. Everybody is a liar but them. 
Well who do you believe? The teacher with the ten year old car buying schools supplies for their children  or the republicans in Tallahassee who routinely ignore the will of the people and who routinely funnel money to the donors, those that aren't enriching them and their family members that is? Who do you believe?
We need a change. We need to elect people who will support the states teachers and schools.

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A Klan rally is more diverse than the Florida State Board of Education

Marva Johnson checks off a lot of boxes for the state board of education. She is a woman and she is black. Now if she had any education experience she might actually be qualified.

She however wasn't there this week as the State Board of Education voted to ratchet up concordant scores to the Algebra I test which will undoubtedly cause a drop in our graduation rates effecting mostly poor and minority students. 

This picture is from the Tampa Times and it doesn't do the meeting justice.

  The State Board of Education has six rich and white businessmen on it, and to say their combined education experience was lacking would be an understatement. These are the people responsible for creating and implementing education policy. I don't know if Marva Johnson missed the meeting to protest her "token" status, but I wouldn't be surprised. 

These men got theirs, what do they care if they hurt poor and mostly minority children.

The only woman in attendance, Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said,  Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said the board’s vote means districts will have to offer students better instruction and more options to relearn material but can no longer let them “get through the system through a loophole.”

You know because teachers suck and have just been going through the motions. Hey Florida to help teachers out why don't you pay them poorly, make their classes huge and not give them the resources that need (sic). Oy vey, Pam Stewart is apparently a terrible and uncaring human being as she casually dismisses the future of children.  

Come on Florida can't and shouldn't we be doing better than this?