Breaking down Florida’s Quality Counts grade. Sometimes good news is not good news. (rough draft)

Education week ranked us 5th in the nation up
from 11th last year. Florida 5th! That’s amazing and
awesome, take that all you naysayers we’re amazing. Oh wait a minute you think
I should look behind the numbers instead of just reading the headline? I should
take the time and do the research before I celebrate? Why would I do that, I’m
from Duval County where one ataboy wipes out a thousand ahhshits.

Since you insist I will take a few minutes.
There are six categories:
Chance for Success, we received a C and were ranked 34th.
Okay, our schools are in the bottom half of the nation, that’s not so great,
but it could be worse right? We could be Alabama or Mississippi.
K-12 achievement, we received a C- but there is good news
here, we were ranked 12th. It seems like the whole country is doing
pretty poor. Yay we’re the best of the worst!
Standards Assessment and Accountability, and if you guessed
we excelled in giving tests then give yourself a no-prize, we received an A and
were ranked 4th, it’s just to bad all these tests haven’t led to
more chances of success for our kids.
Transitions and Alignment is the other category we excelled
in receiving an A and being ranked 4th. Which begs the question how
great is a comprehensive plan if it leads to such poor chances for success and
academic achievement? Somebody at a higher pay grade will have to answer that
one.
Next we got a B for our teachers, which translate to a
number 4 rank nation wide. You would probably have no idea teachers here ranked
so high if you looked at their treatment at the hands of the legislature and
governor. 3% pay cut, value added evaluations, teachers aren’t professionals
and neither their experience nor education matter, anyone? 
Finally we got a D+ in finances and a 39th place
ranking. Cheap, cheap, cheap and according to Ed Week this makes us one of the
best values around, it’s just to bad many teachers have to get second jobs and
live in fear of illnesses, flat tires and the Mondays through Thursdays before
payday.

Let me ask you this, if your kid brought home 2 As in
his electives and then 1 B, 1 C, 1 C- and a D+ in his core classes, what would
you think? Would you think he or she was 5th in the class?

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