Monday, December 6, 2010

Fool Me Once, Shame on You. Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me

This afternoon I found a surprise a message from Sandra In Brevard, asking for a contact address. For those of you who don't know her, SIB blogged regularly during the last months of the Obamacare Debate.  From there she jumped into the ruckus that surrounded Florida Education Bill SB 6.  Last April. Charlie Christ vetoed SB 6.
While the Teachers were busy using the "poor me argument" Sandra was researching the laws cost, feasibility and impact on taxpayers....  The Proposal flunked, the taxpayers would have lost badly.  Now it looks like the geniuses in Tallahassee want to try and resurrect it...  and SIB is back,    
 As far as I know this is SIB's first blog since SB 6 was buried..
Fool Me Once, Shame on You. Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me
Incoming Governor Scott has declared that he wants to "turn much of his education campaign plan into law during his first legislative session this spring." His plan includes more choices for parents outside traditional schools and performance pay for teachers - i.e. SB6 - the Sequel. Last year, SB6 was Florida's version of implementing merit pay, or linking pay increases to student test scores. The poorly constructed bill, lacking substantiated fiscal underpinnings, yet including a new statewide new testing regime, did not slip unnoticed by constituents. Plain and simple, they wanted to hurry a bill through, fix it later, and then reveal how much the whole thing would cost. The public outcry led Governor Crist to veto the bill, who also led the way to capturing the much sought-after Race to the Top federal funding for Florida.

Governor-elect Rick Scott tagged Michelle Rhee for his education transition team as an unpaid advisor. Rhee recently resigned as school chancellor in Washington D.C. after a three year effort to improve the city's public education system and raise student test scores. In her first year alone, she closed more than 20 schools and replaced nearly three dozen principals. She fired 266 teachers who were identified as underperforming. Rhee implemented an evaluation system called IMPACT, which linked teacher appraisals to student test scores, which can be used to fire teachers who did not meet performance criteria. While controversial in her approaches, linking student test results and teacher performance is a national trend and exactly what the U.S. Department of Education is promoting. In spite of her hard work and tough approaches to improve test scores, notably D.C.'s test scores went down.

"She reflects what we hope to do," said Enu Mainigi, chairwoman of Scott's transition team. "What we particularly like about her is her proven track record implementing reform quickly."

Ok, so Rhee implemented reform quickly and what did the data show for that? Negative results. Why then is quickly implemented reform a positive move for Florida? When the Governor Scott's plan is published, I'll be looking for the cost impact first. More on the data collection movement next time. There's reason to keep informed.,0,6959557.story


  1. I would love to see a certain left-wing progressive-socialist teacher-blogger has to say about Michelle Rhee and the new anti-teachers union movie called "The Cartel" coming out this week. It's one thing to listen to her pathetic whine about how she can't make ends meet on a salary that is better than most of her fellow liberal posters who probably work for near minimum wage. It's another thing to think of the wasted money that she is spending on a college education for her children if they grow up with the same defeatist mentality that she exhibits in her daily wacky rants.

    I admire Michell Rhee's courage and message. Thank God, Florida is a "Right to Work" state.

  2. Understand your point, but SB 6 has an Indeterminate Cost.. that will exceed a Billion Dollars, There is no source of funding, and even if the State finds the Billion, unknown costs will be passed down to the districts. There is no standardization model for the standardized test, each district must pay for it's development costs.. the list goes on

    It's like Florida's equivelent of Obamacare... Pass a big bill and worry about wheter or not it will work, and what it will cost later...

  3. I'm old fashoned. There are some kids who want to learn and try.
    There are some kids who want to learn and don't try.
    There are some kids who don't want to learn and dont try.
    There are some kids who, unfortunately are ill equipped to learn.
    Unfortunately , we put them all together in a classroom, and expect positive results. Charter schools, that make parents participate are much more effective. Discipline is non-existent in most public schools, the teachers are often just baby sitters. Principals should be given the authority to hire and fire teachers and suspend or expel students, with protection from civil suits. Then you can hold them accountable. We don't need someone in Tallahassee or Washington to take control away from the people

  4. Damn Bud....

    You want to undo 30 Years of failed enlightenment, with something that worked for centuries

  5. Yes, SIB is back. I haven't written for months. It's hard work to blog, but this issue is significant. Bud makes some important points that I am likely to follow up on after the first of the year. SB6 was fiscally irresponsible and without a bottom line, i.e. how much the scheme the bill authors proposed would cost. It's important to watch what they propose this time around.

  6. Sandra.. good to have you back, really is.

    Like you I'm afraid all they're going to do is dust off SB 6... If the voters don't figure it out now... they're sure as hell going to pay for it later...

    Teachers; instead of pointing out how flawed the proposal is.. the teachers are going to start with the poor me routine.. something the public is getting tired of hearing.


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