It’s Teacher and charter school appreciation week, guess which one Florida really appreciates.

The week of May third is teacher appreciation and charter
school appreciation week and that right there should tell you how important
education is. We have to cram everything in together because the other
fifty-one weeks are apparently claimed.
Florida doesn’t really seem to appreciate its teachers. At
the height of the recession they took three percent of their salary and now
that things are much better they have not given it back. The legislature has
required teachers to be evaluated using a complicated formula that no expert
thinks we should be using called VAM. It doesn’t take into account poverty and
a recent report revealed that even if students do perfect or really well it can
still count against a teachers evaluation. Then teachers hired after 2011 have
no work protections and can be fired at the end of the school year for any
reason or none. Finally Florida’s teachers continue to be some of the poorest
paid in the nation. All of this has led to teachers leaving the profession in
droves.
Florida however does seem to appreciate it’s charter schools
as year after year the legislature finds new ways to send even more money to
them. They do this despite the fact over 270 have failed leaving families and
communities in lurch, as a group they perform worse than their public school
counterparts and more and more are run by for profit management companies, the
political connected owners of charter Schools USA and Academia are getting
really rich. Furthermore most of the charter schools that are doing well have
set up shop in affluent neighborhoods draining resources and hurting the
schools already there. I guess what’s not to appreciate.

I often feel Florida has it backwards.

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