Thursday, January 27, 2011

The baby's got the hammer, again

This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.  Will Rogers

The same can be said for Florida anytime the legislature is in in session.  For the last week Grumpy readers have been hearing about a scheme that has Tallahassee and Obama have teaming up to Data Mine our children, all in the name of education reform (off course).  That would allow them to

analyze information and make recommendations with the goal of aiding a person's decisions and improving quality of life."

Provide several different reporting capabilities for use by a myriad of stakeholders

From the politicians point of view, The Government knows everything it could ever want to know about a entire generation of future voters.  Everything from their basic IQ to their hobbies a well as a few things we might not want to discuss here.

It just got better, why stop with the kids, why not collect a little more information about their parents.  Representative Kelli Stargel wants the teachers to grade parents as well.  Remember, the school already ha a ton of information about students parents.  Their age, marital status, occupation, social security number, address, phone number and more.  A great deal of this information is certain to make it into the child's Microsoft Profile.  Why not categorize their parenting skills and add that to the kids profile.

There is another more immediate reason the idea is completely absurd.  It won't have any affect at all on the parenting skills of parents who "Flunk", but it will sure as hell piss them off.  The school and the school board will hear from every failing parent.  You couldn't pay me enough to answer phones either at schools or at the Board of Education for a week after report cards come out.

It may not be Politically Correct to say this, but the majority of the parents you'd expect to get "Flunked" or going to be same ones where police respond the most often to assault and domestic violence calls.  It doesn't take much imagination to figure out that the first thing some of those bad parents are going to do is pay a visit to the school.  Some of those visits will be ugly. 

Grading parents will accomplish nothing of value, it will lead to poor relationships in some cases. between entire communities and the schools, and it will strain already shaky relations between the BAD parents and the schools.  On a positive note, it will give a moment satisfaction to a few teachers, that satisfaction might end suddenly when they get confronted by a furious parent.

Everyone in every walk of life grades the people they have to deal with regularly.  Depending on your personality, the servers at restaurant you frequent might run towards you, or away form you when you come it.  The clerk at the local convenience store might mutter something to another clerk before they smile at you.  When you might leave your doctors office, the doctor might say something to his nurse about your great sense of humor... or he might say, at least I don't have to them again for a while.

Does anyone think Senator Wise or Representative Stargal would have the courage to tell individual voters exactly what they think of them?On another note Senator Wise seem determined to shove things through as soon as possible. He wants to end public input tomorrow.   He knows damned good and well people from from Central and Southern Florida can't just jump in their cars and take a ride to Tallahassee

But you can send emails

Mike Haridopolos

Stephen Wise

Thad Altman

Ritch Workman

I listed the ones closest to where I live, you can find yours here


  1. If you support the concept of Merit Pay for teachers or basing pay on student achievement, then you must also support the collection of data, and testing regimes. It all links together. To be clear, Wise is crafting the bill that legislates and defines Merit Pay for teachers. What do you want to see in a bill?

    Teachers have enough to do. There's no problem that this bill addresses. It adds unnecessary work for already busy teachers, more data, breach privacy, and shame a child based on a teacher's perception of parents and Rep. Stargal's criteria.

  2. Had a long talk today with a lady who makes her living trying to make Washington and Tallahassee's fantasies work in the real world. She's begining to think Tally has gotten worse than DC. That's bad, she's almost as conservative as I am.

    She didn't have any kind words to say about Stargal's bright idea either.

  3. Sandra basic data collection, using standardized tests has been going on since the 60's. Then it was no big deal. Now they teach to the tests, the way Wise is going about it.. sorta like the Democrats in DC Pushed Through Omamcare. Wise want's it to be his Big Accomplishment... He doen't care whether it work or not, as long as it's big, and has his name on it.

  4. I remember my Mom and Dad going to one of those parent night things at school...I was in the fourth grade. Up till that point I did really good in school...but I had developed an attitude toward the teacher.

    She was...for lack of a better word...very angry for being transplanted into the south by her husband.

    She and I did not exactly see eye to eye. For that matter...she didn't see eye to eye with most of my classmates. her words the heathen boys.

    I will say I lived up to that moniker with great delight. And in-turn received a straight F report card.

    My Mom and Dad had a rough year..and subsequent rough several years after that...I lost trust in the teachers...they were not nice ladies who were trying to teach me...they were not to be trusted.

    Trust between student and teacher is a hard thing to maintain...The ideas being promoted will do nothing but damage that trust.

  5. Capt, had two bad teachers, some that were pathetic and some very good ones.

    The bad ones, would still be bad. One was in second grade, she got fired for smacking a girls wrist hard enough with a yardstick to break it. The other taught Unified Algebra II and Trig, she consistently failed 80% of her students. Took them four years to figure out it might be her and not the 600 former honor roll kids she'd flunked over four years.

    The pathetic ones would probably do great now. If nothing else they could manage to teach to a single test.

    The good ones, wouldn't do so well now. They had some idea they were were supposed to teach kids how to use facts, not just memorize them. They didn't much attention to the curriculum.

  6. Public education has completely failed. I f at all possible,remove your children from public schhols. If you cannot afford private school. homeschool 'em. taldock

  7. Taldock, Thanks for comming by, always apppreciate your comments, and here, unlike Florida Today, they don't vanish.

    I've asked if any of my readers had first hand knowledge about home schooling.

    Black Eagle mentioned he's spoken to groups of young people in his travels, he said the most knowlegaible groups were home schooled. He's going to try and get some information.

    Space Coast Conservative told me she Home Schooled her sons, becaause public shools weren't good enough.... She's a tough lady, her boys probably would have consdered public school, recess.

  8. Grumpy - I am not all that up to speed on the situation in Florida, but have teachera aplenty in my family. My wife is now into her 34th year, and a daughter who was a HS Principal but due to the politics and paperwork chose to go back to the classroom. Naturally I am prejudiced, but when other teachers choose my wife or daughter to teach their children, I still feel there are excellent teachers around.

    I really do appreciate your's and Sandra's due dilligence in researching all this data.

  9. Marine, there's a teacher who post's on FT, who was thinking about adopting. If she did, she was going the private school route.

    Tennessee has at least one district that employee's one or more of Bill Gate's "Trained Administrators. I'm not sure where they're at on the Data Mining, I'm not even sure if teachers would be told about the practice.

    Can't say if some brilliant legislature your way wants teachers to make their opinion of students parents into a part of a child's electronic dossier.

  10. Dear Marine, I honor the work your wife and daughter do everyday educating the children in your community. Thank them on my behalf.
    I had a couple of not so wonderful teachers, but I also have had some not so wonderful bosses and co-workers too. By far my public education has served me well. Home schooling has a developed over the years, but it is not for everyone, particularly for working parents and for those who weren't so successful in school themselves. It is a huge decision. Florida requires evaluation, but parents have more choices than parents whose kids go to public school. Private schools are not required to jump thru all these hoops. This specific bill on grading parents needs to be stopped if it gets any interest in Tally. Wise this year, Thrasher last year - but I agree Wisemay want the feather in his hat this time around.

  11. Grumpy, Somehow I don't really see Tally and Obama teaming up on anything. Course you never can tell about politicians.


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