Violence in Duval County public schools

Instead of cutting taxes, Rick Scott should invest in Bright Futures.

Rick Scott has said he wants to cut taxes by 500 million.
Now before you get excited I hope you understand none of that money is going to
go to trickle down to you. Instead it will got Rick Scott’s friends and
supporters.
Well what if instead of cutting taxes for his friends he
instead invested in Bright Futures which has been slashed. 
Bright Futures allows many kids to go to college something
they might not be able to do otherwise and for other kids it helps assure they
don’t graduate overburdened by debt. This is a great thing for Florida and
helps strengthen our economy.
Quite often Tallahassee plays lip service to education saying
how important it is but then enacts policies that harm our children and limit
their access to a high quality education. Charters, vouchers, merit pay, odious
teacher evaluation bills and cutting Bright Futures all have detrimental consequences
to education in Florida.
If Rick Scott is sincere about wanting to help the children of
Florida, especially it’s poor and minority children, who are disproportionately
affected by slashing Bright Futures (and many of the other ed reforms too) then
instead of giving his friends and supporters a tax break he should invest in
their futures.

If he is sincere that is.

Four reasons why everybody should be against Common core (rough draft).

Endorsing common core is to endorse the high stakes testing
culture we have now. Somewhere along the way tests went from being a tool to
see how kids were doing to the whole kit and caboodle. Common Core does nothing
to eliminate or even tone down the testing which has sucked the joy out of
learning and teaching for countless students and teachers.
The Cost, despite what Pam Stewart says common core is going
to be expensive, estimates for Florida range from a couple hundred million into
the billions. Now undoubtedly some of those costs will replace costs we
otherwise would have incurred. Some of those costs that is and it should be a
huge red flag that the powers that be are not trying to clarify the expenses.  Most of that money by the way will be diverted
away from schools and classrooms.
Next it does not address the problem facing our schools
which is poverty. When you factor out poverty our children zoom to the top of
the international rankings. Common core does absolutely nothing to address poverty
and until we do all common core does is throw money down a hole, sorry make
that into the bank accounts of testing companies, who are the primary financial
backers of people like Jeb Bush who support Common Core.
Finally if Jeb Bush is for it you should be against it. Everything
he has supported from his A-F grading scale to charters and vouchers have done great
harm to education. He is a flim flam man who sends his children to exclusive
prep schools with small classes without high stakes tests while at the same
time sentencing our children to schools he would never send his kids to.  Furthermore since he was in charge of our
education system for 8 years he in effect is saying, I got it wrong with the
standards we had in place when I was in charge, I would like a do over, a very
expensive do over that doesn’t address our problems (poverty) and allows my
backers to get rich, sorry make that richer.
The problem with common core is not the standards and that
should not be lost on people.

The reason behind Florida’s A-F grading scale revealed.

This is about Indiana but it may as well have been about Florida. From the Diane Ravitch blog:

Jan Resseger here describes the eloquent case that Fort Wayne’s Mark GiaQuinta made against the A-F grading system.

Fort Wayne refuses to grade its schools by A-F because the board, of
which GiaQuinta is president, understands that it will stigmatize
schools attended by poor children but do nothing to improve them.

The A-F system was created to set schools up to fail and be handed
over to charter operators or to discourage parents so they would abandon
their school and seek vouchers.

There is no state where the A-F system makes schools better.

It is a tool of corporate reform, whose only purpose is to stigmatize
schools,  destroy the school community, encourage public officials to
abandon them, and hasten the cycle of decline.

Labeling schools A-F is not accountability; it is a ranking system that has no redeeming feature.

 http://dianeravitch.net/2013/10/28/indiana-the-injustice-of-a-f-grading-systems/

How does Common Core address poverty? Spoiler alert it doesn’t.

Trey Czar was on the radio program First Coast Connect and
was asked how Common Core addresses poverty and poverty friends’, not low
standards is the number one problem facing our schools. Mr. Czar said good
question, we have to break the cycle of poverty and education is how we do it.
Um okay, but rather than answering the question it seems
more like he twisted himself into a pretzel. Does common core take care of
hungry children’s bellies, or make neighborhoods safer. Does it give parents to
worried about how they are going to put food on the table the time and energy
to help their children out? Does it give kids more time to learn material and put
our best teachers in our struggling schools? Does it put into place social
workers and mental health counselors because why a kid acts up or does poorly
in school often has nothing to do with school?
The answer to all those questions is a resounding, no.
It does however siphon millions and millions out of the
classroom and into testing companies bank accounts.
The problem with common core is not the standards; it is it
doesn’t address the problem.