What would they do with the JEA money if it was sold.

A plan, a plan, my kingdom for a plan. City Hall has basically demanded every detail for what DCPS would do with the referendum which is a fifteen year plan that involves 114k children, 14k employees, and 170 schools. When asked what they would do with the money from JEA if it sold, they said, oh you know we’ll figure it out. For #@%^s sake. It’s like City Hall isn’t even trying to hide how anti-public ed they are.
From Florida Politics,
He also sees undergrounding power lines and septic tank phaseout as good uses of proceeds, which are supposed to be over $3 billion.
Jordan Elsbury, representing Mayor Lenny Curry, said these were discussions for when proceeds were procured. The same holds for unfunded liability paydowns, he said. And another bill might be required even if something is passed her
Um what?!? Elsbury who thinks 18-1 is unanimous just said, we’ll figure it out when we get the money.
How much more proof do people need that City Hall was fighting against the referendum so our schools would crumble and their donors would get paid?
We are not being led, we are being ruled.
Image result for JEA

Governor DeSantis’s detail free teacher pay proposal

DeSantis who last year doubled down on the Best and Brightest bonus, which only a little over half of all teachers will be eligible for, is not a raise what teachers want and did little to ease the pay gap Florida has with the rest of the nation. So what does he do? he says trust me, help his coming. He will have to forgive me if I think actions are louder than words.


From WTXL.com


Florida’s governor might be proposing a boost to teacher pay before the coming legislative session.
Following Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, Gov. Ron DeSantis said to expect something “significant” with regards to teacher recruitment and compensation soon.

“I look around now and think teaching isn’t viewed as favorably as we’d like it to be with like young people coming out of college,” DeSantis said. “I’d like to get more people going into the profession.”

Florida’s teacher pay has been a big issue for education officials, worried about recruiting and keeping talent. When adjusted for cost of living— the state is ranked 48 for annual teacher salaries, according to a new report from WalletHub.

DeSantis didn’t offer many details on what exactly his proposal would look like, saying it’s being finalized. He did say it would operate within the state’s budget and to expect more details in the coming weeks.

Um two things, talk is cheap and it’s his party which has grossly underfunded education for a decade now so why should we believe anything he has to say. Especially since when you factor in inflation the state board of education this past August actually voted to cut funding.
This is my concern too, he may throw some nickels at teachers, but if its not really a raise it’s just more lip service on his part, but he is probably going to do so while expanding Florida’s disastrous school choice plans. What good is a few extra dollars for teachers if he burns our schools to the ground.
Until we see something that is different, we shouldn’t believe for a second that something different is coming.

The racial overtones of the attacks on Superintendent Greene

Let me make this clear, I am not saying these men are racist, I am how asking why when a white man was the super, one who arguably didn’t do as well as her, there were no such attacks.


Richard Corcoran,
In May at an incredible state board of education meeting state commissioner Richard Corcoran chided superintendent Green to give our schools to the IDEA academy, saying the district had failed it’s children.  He even said he wants the authority to take over schools.

https://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/2019/05/22/florida-education-commissioner-suggests-takeover-authority-for-long-struggling-schools/

Jason Fischer 
Jason Fischer, amends his J-1 bill from having an appointed school board to having an elected superintendent.


https://testing.gfordistrict3.com/2019/09/jason-fischer-turns-his-attacks-towards.html


Lenny Curry
The chutzpah of this guy as he has led the charge of the referendum, so DCPS can’t take care of its maintenance needs.


Mayor Lenny Curry says he’ll ensure problems facing Duval County … If your management (Greene) can’t fix basic needs like air conditioning, we will.”.
https://www.firstcoastnews.com/article/news/local/jacksonville-mayor-lenny-curry-accepting-email-requests-to-fix-classrooms-schools/77-5ab856ab-8f27-406f-92fd-034b11240d19

Jordan Elsbury, assistant to the mayor.
 

So Greene is a bureaucrat with little results, despite leading Manatee County and DCPS to its best graduation rates and to less than one percentage point away from an A district grade.

Then throw in Gary Chartrand the Ponta Vedra millionaire and puppeteer, who didn’t want Greene chosen to be super, for good measure

What do all of these people have in common? I think you can figure it out.

Let me make this clear, I am not saying these men are racist, I am how asking why when a white man was the super, one who arguably didn’t do as well as her, there were no such attacks.

Lenny Curry claims he knew nothing about the district’s AC needs.

Hoo boy, wow, okay, deep breath.

Yesterday in an obvious political stunt, Mayor Curry claimed he didn’t know anything about the district’s air conditioner woes when he offered to help. Now you should ask yourself, is he lying, which brings up a whole host of issues, or is he that uninformed which would be even worse.

You won’t have to wait very long, about a minute in, the reporter says he said, he had no idea,

https://www.news4jax.com/education/mayor-curry-offers-city-dollars-to-fix-duval-county-schools

There was a better video where you can hear him actually saying it but I couldn’t find it today. If I find it later I will switch it in

I googled, Duval County Schools, air conditioning, and there were literally dozens of entries from the beginning of the summer till today.

Here are just five.

https://www.news4jax.com/news/investigations/a_c-issues-impacted-41-duval-county-schools-on-1st-day-of-classes-work-orders-show

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190622/maintenance-woes-plague-duval-schools

https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/jacksonville/texts-reveal-numerous-ac-issues-during-last-2-weeks-of-school

https://www.firstcoastnews.com/article/news/education/duval-county-public-school-teachers-speak-out-on-how-schools-repair-needs-are-impacting-students/77-1151a092-f29f-403f-95db-92f4789d366c

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190624/its-easier-here-get-ready-for-fight-over-duval-schools

Is it possible that Curry could have somehow missed all this coverage? I would think no, but 4 months ago, I would have said there was no way a mayor and city council would fight against, jobs, schools, a city, stimulus, children, revitalizing neighborhoods, attracting businesses and slowing or stopping flight to the suburbs, too and boy was I wrong.

What Curry did was a stunt, pure and simple.

We have real problems and we deserve serious people trying to solve them.

   

The KIPP school is losing its luster

The State Board of Education met this past week at the KIPP school. A big feather in their cap as the powers-that-be gave a middle finger to DCPS but then something interesting happened. the Times Union which has been a big fan of theirs pointed out how they receive huge advantages. one of which was an extra 2.7 million dollars.

From the Times Union,

Charter schools, for all of their positive qualities, aren’t panaceas. It took Wayman Academy 17 years to earn an A grade. That’s not criticism, it shows the difficulty of providing education in high-poverty neighborhoods.
The KIPP schools, which have been lauded on these pages, use additional funding to support longer school days along with requiring parental involvement.
By additional funding they mean about 2.7 million dollars last year. Can you imagine what any other school could do with 2.7 million extra dollars? Now they use it for their lober school day, but can any other school dictate a plan or a schedule and then have the state and city find it? Oh that would be zero.
I would argue they can pick who they take and keep too another pretty big advantage and what have we got for that? A school whose grades are up and down more frequently than a yo-yo is what. then I would point out they have fewer free and reduced lunch kids, ESOL and ESE kids than similar nearby schools as well. 
People need to wake up at the KIPP school, thought to be Jax’s charter crown jewel, and I mean charter schools as well. 

   

The Times Union stops just short of calling Jason Fischer a liar

Former councilman and current charter review commission member Matt Schellenberg doesn’t.

From the Times Union,

So why has Rep. Jason Fischer proposed a state law that would allow a referendum on the subject of an elected superintendent? This would be a return to the bad old days when politics trumped educational credentials.
Fischer told the Charter Revision Commission that when he talks to residents in his district an overwhelming majority like the idea. But former Councilman Matt Schellenberg, who also represented the Mandarin area, said he has heard no such groundswell of interest…
…If educational performance isn’t behind Fischer’s proposal for an elected superintendent, what could be?
And that’s where speculation in the community is on overdrive.
Could it be an attempt to take over the school system by political power brokers?
Could this sudden interest in a radical change in the superintendent’s position be connected to having a black female as the appointed superintendent?
Fischer and proponents of this measure say innocently that it’s only meant to give voters more influence. That’s baloney.
Think about this friends, those same constituents he now says are overwhelmingly for an elected super are the same ones he said were overwhelmingly for an appointed school board just a few weeks back. Fischer lies as effortlessly as I breathe.
He’s doing what his masters on the civic council are telling him to do, no more no less.
You know I bet there isn’t much Schellenberg and I would agree on. In fact I have covered him a few times too and it hasn’t been good, but he would be so much better than Fischer who represents all that’s wrong in politics.
We have a state rep who lies, and is trying to harm our schools and city, on behalf of his donors. It’s disgusting and we deserve better.  

Why we shouldn’t have editorial boards (or politicians) should be in charge of education (draft)

This is why we shouldn’t let editors be in charge of education policy and we shouldn’t let politicians be in charge of it either.

DCPS and districts everywhere have a hard time staffing teachers in schools wracked with chronic poverty. The challenges there are great and the fact Florida punishes teachers and schools if they don’t reach some arbitrary standards doesn’t make things easier.
The Times Union’s editorial board said, if we can’t get teachers to voluntarily go to those schools, even after offering an extra 15k, then we should turn to Teach for America.
In case you didn’t know it, TFA takes non education majors, puts them through a six week boot camp and then into our neediest schools where they are supposed to serve two years.They are also the darling of editorial boards, and politicians. 
Some more things you might not know is the program is expensive, locally TFA charges 7k per recruit, DCPS own analysis say TFA teachers are substandard as a group when compared to other teachers and they exacerbate the teach turnover problem, sorry make that crisis and putting novice teachers in front of our neediest students is the exact opposite of what evidence says they need. How anybody anywhere thinks this is a good idea is beyond me.
Let me ask you a couple questions, would you put a band-aid on a bullet wound, the metaphorical equivalent of what TFA does and if you needed a professional for a job, would you settle for an ever revolving door of novices which is what TFA provides?
Instead of just throwing warm bodies into a classroom, how about we address the problem. We make classes at the schools mired in poverty smaller, we put in behavioral and academic supports, we give teachers assurances they will be allowed to grow even if their VAM score, a measurement created to predict the breeding rate of livestock but is now also used to measure teachers, isn’t what we would like it to be. Is it to much to ask we come up with solutions?
How about we address the problems which have teachers turn down an extra 15k. I think the reason is Tallahassee and editorial staffs aren’t interested in coming up with real solutions about education, but what do I know, I am just a teacher.
Well Times Union, how about you answer that one?

Scott Wilson is still waiting for the answers to those question

Despite meeting after meeting, and the release of the answers to his and the council’s questions, Wilson is still claiming his questions have gone unanswered.

This tweet isn’t from July or August it is from yesterday.

Is that first rate trolling on his part? Or maybe he just doesn’t understand the answers he got, because we all know he doesn’t understand how school districts work. Smith-Juarez met several times in her district which composes Wilson’t but since she didn’t meet at places he apparently wanted her to, that wasn’t good enough.

I have some questions for Wilson.

Does he know parents, the district and the teacher union’s are suing the city because of him?

Does he know that in addition to fixing the district’s infrastructure, the referendum would undoubtedly create jobs, give the city a stimulus, attract businesses, and slow and stop flight to the suburbs or you know, those things that most city councils fight for.

Then how does he sleep at night knowing he is fighting against the city’s schools and children, oh wait I know, he sleeps on pillows stuffed with civic council cash. 

Jason Fischer lies as effortless as I breathe

Jason Fischer spoke to the charter review commission last Friday where he talked about his constituents, re: Chartrand and Curry had been clamoring for an elected superintendent. Mind you these same constituents just a few weeks before were clamoring for an appointed school board which means if you think about it, Fischer was against elections before he was for them.
Mind you he was straight up lying, something I feel very comfortable saying. You see he doesn’t meet with constituents as evident by him not showing up to a meeting his office organized in August. Since that fiasco it’s been radio silence.
The crazy thing is, as corrupt as he is and as anti-democratic as his suggestion is, it may actually make it to Tallahassee.
From Florida Politics,
FP reached out to Duval Delegation members for their takes and found that Fischer likely won’t have a problem getting a second for his motion.
Rep. Wyman Duggan, a Republican likewise aligned with Curry, supports the measure.
“If the voters don’t want it, they will tell us,” Duggan says.
Duggan also notes that the “Duval Consolidation agreement and the Charter give the Legislature a governing role independent of the City Council.”
The Council was slated to vote in opposition to a previous version of the Fischer bill in committee last week; however, Duggan’s take is that the Legislature can move independently of input from local lawmakers.
Veteran observers can’t remember a time when a Legislature pushed a local bill without a mandate from the City Council. Despite the lack of public outcry (other than advocacy from unnamed “constituents” Fischer cites), this could set a new precedent.
Sen. Aaron Bean also backs the move. “If it passes,” Bean said, “Jacksonville voters will have the final say.”

Sadly, it’s not like bean and Duggan are much better than Fischer. Side note, the picture below is the one Florida Politics put up accompany the article. Not Fischer’s best look but I guess neither is attempting to screw over the city he is supposed to represent on behalf of his donors.
Mark Woods in the Times Union, also explained what a bad idea an elected superintendent is and even though he is probably the nicest man you will ever meet, Fischer’s disingenuousness.
From the Times Union,
Fischer initially wanted to do away with an elected school board and give the mayor the power to appoint the board. Then, a month later, after Mayor Lenny Curry came out against an appointed board but in support of an elected superintendent, Fischer changed directions and filed a bill to have the mayor’s political committee — I mean, the public — elect a superintendent.
“It’s clear to me that voters want more say about what happens in their school system, so it’s just a natural evolution of the conversation,” Fischer said.
Until this year, only three states allowed elected superintendents: Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.
Mississippi got out of the club, saying that starting Jan. 1 all local school superintendents shall be appointed by their local school boards. (In Mississippi, shall means shall.)
When Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed this into law, he tweeted: “This simple act of innovation is long overdue.”
So … Fischer wants to take a school district that narrowly missed an A grade last year and go to a system that Mississippi has abandoned, leaving 78 districts nationwide with it — many of them small and/or rural.
If we did this, we would be the largest school district in America with an elected superintendent.
A few years ago this came up in Alachua County. At the time, more than 90 percent of the Florida districts with appointed superintendents received an A or B — while 14 of 41 districts with an elected superintendent received a D.
This isn’t to say that having an appointed superintendent eliminates politics and gets the perfect leader. Or that having an elected superintendent doesn’t work in some districts. But to suggest this is the route for Duval to go — that instead of a search that extends far outside our city limits we should have a partisan election of Duval residents — doesn’t make sense.
It instead makes one wonder, as much does these days, about the games being played.
Did I mention Fischer lies as easily as I breathe and he doesn’t care about anybody but himself even if that means advancing his donor agenda which is bad for everyone but them? Just making sure.
Friends, we deserve better than Fischer and sadly I can’t imagine anyone worse.

Just who is on the state board of education, spoiler, its not pretty.

A couple things about this current group, first there are only six members as DeSantis hasn’t appointed a 7th member and the FLDOE site doesn’t have bios like it has in the past. I guess even they are embarrassed about the lack of educators on the board.


First there is Andy Tuck who doesn’t believe in evolution and who in the past has said that he would fight against its teaching is a citrus grower. Here is an older biography.


https://www.dms.myflorida.com/agency_administration/communications/partnership_for_public_facilities_infrastructure_act/member_biographies/andy_tuck


Then their is former chair Marva Johnson, a cable TV executive, here is a bio for her.


https://ballotpedia.org/Marva_Johnson


Next there is Ben Gibson, an attorney and republican political operative.


https://floridapolitics.com/archives/241536-personnel-note-rick-scott-appoints-ben-gibson-state-board-education 


 Then there is Tom Grady, an insurance executive, here is a little but about him from the Tampa Times,


  Former one-term state Rep. Tom Grady, a Naples Republican and friend of Gov. Rick Scott, has won Scott’s nod to sit on the Florida Board of Education.


During his brief tenure in the House, Grady was notable for billing taxpayers for flying on private planes owned by a campaign donor. He also pushed for tax breaks for some of Florida’s richest residents.


As interim president of Citizens Property Insurance, he also racked up large hotel and travel expenses on the state’s dime. During his short time there, he also created a new job for his former legislative aide.

https://www.tampabay.com/former-state-lawmaker-tom-grady-appointed-to-florida-board-of-education/2251924/

Michael Olenick is a constriction company executive,

https://www.dms.myflorida.com/agency_administration/communications/partnership_for_public_facilities_infrastructure_act/member_biographies/michael_h_olenick

You know because that’s the same thing, practically as working in education.

Finally there is Jacksonville’s own Joe York  who in May threatened Superintendent Greene, saying she should listen to the civic council if she wanted Duval to be successful.

https://testing.gfordistrict3.com/2019/06/state-board-member-threatens-dcps.html

He is an AT&T executive,

Not one of them has an education background and not one is qualified to be on the state board of education, not one, yet there they are because of reasons (money) dictating education policy. We would have a better and more experienced board if we would have put everyone who lives in Florida, nineteen million people, names in a hat and drew randomly.