The class size amendment sure gets no respect in Florida

The Florida Tax Watch is just the latest group to take aim
at the class size amendment.  The chamber
of commerce as well as Gary Chartrand and Jeb Bush have also criticized it
saying there is no evidence that says it works and that the money would be
better spent elsewhere.
First there is evidence that says smaller classes work, there
is however no evidence that says, charters, vouchers, merit pay and standardized
tests, their reforms of choice lead to better education outcomes and there is
even evidence that says merit pay does not work. Furthermore they are being disingenuous
saying the money would be better spent elsewhere. If the money wasn’t being
spent on smaller class sizes the money would not be spent on education at all.
The really maddening thing though is the same people that
criticize the class size amendment are the same people that point to Bush’s A-F
accountability system as why things have improved in Florida. They however don’t
like to point out that things like graduation rates have improved dramatically all
around the country including in states that haven’t tried to privatize their
schools with charters and vouchers and who haven’t developed an A-F grading system
or failed kids based on how they do on standardized tests. I saying that Bush’s
reforms have held us back has as much validity as them saying they have led to
our successes. In short there is no way to know.
Regardless what Bush, Chartrand, et al. refuse to
acknowledge is that most of the gains Florida have coincided with the citizen
driven class size amendment, the same amendment that they and the Florida
legislature have constantly attacked.
Finally I would just like to add, I would be a better
teacher if only I had five more students said no teacher ever.

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