Is Florida purposely hurting its children?

If Florida weren’t so intent on dismantling and privatizing
our public schools we could really do a lot of good for our children.
Northwestern University just completed a study that said class size helps and
helps a lot. Unfortunately Florida has gutted the class size amendment to the point
it is nearly unrecognizable.
We also know there is a teacher shortage and almost half of
all new teachers leave in five years but the Florida legislature seems to be intent
to do whatever it can to handicap the profession. Not only our Florida’s
teachers some of the worst paid in the nation but we have saddled them with
evaluations, tied to pay based on the junk science of Value Added Measurements which
the Department of Education even admits are wrong more than a third of the time.
Florida has also stifled creativity and put a premium on
teaching to the test. If we paid teachers a competitive wage and allowed them
to be creative and innovative and didn’t saddle them with an evaluation system no
one thinks is valid and a punitive test then immediately we would both attract
and retain more teachers.
Then there is poverty which Florida thinks it can fix by
ignoring it and blaming teachers for not being able to overcome it.  How about we helped instead by putting in
measures that mitigate poverty like smaller classes, a longer school year and
wrap around services for our neediest children.
Finally we need to stop siphoning off precious resources to charters
and vouchers. Despite advantages charters perform worse than public schools and
the system is set up so we have no idea how vouchers are doing.  That should infuriate everyone.

Florida could really do some good for its children unfortunately
almost everything we do does the opposite.

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