Remember what I said about time consuming research, last night around 9:30 she posted a comment with a link to a pretty damning article that I suggest everyone read:
Inside the multimillion-dollar essay-scoring business
Talks about how the Test Companies Actually grade tests that determine the future of students, schools and even school systems. Soon if the legislators have their way, the reach of the test companies will go much farther. I read the article and suppressed the sudden urge slam my fist against something. The article featured a company call Pearson. that was the company that screwed up Florida's FCAT scores last year and left tens of Thousands of Florida 3rd Graders with otherwise good report cards wondering all summer if they were going to fourth grade or not.
Think back to when you were that age, would you have wanted that hanging over your head all summer? It's incredible, a honor roll report card is not enough to outweigh a single Tallahassee mandated test, administered and graded by a company that might be engaged in questionable practises.
This morning I found Sandra had sent me another email around eleven last night. She'd been wading through the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES STAFF ANALYSIS for HB 7019, and found the :
FISCAL ANALYSIS and ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT, it's on pages 15 and 16 and reads like this
A. FISCAL IMPACT ON STATE GOVERNMENT:
The bill does not have a fiscal impact on state revenues.
See Fiscal Comments.
B. FISCAL IMPACT ON LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
The bill does not have a fiscal impact on local revenues.
See Fiscal Comments.
C. DIRECT ECONOMIC IMPACT ON PRIVATE SECTOR:
The bill does not have a direct economic inpact on the private sector
D. FISCAL COMMENTS:
Florida’s $700 million Race to the Top grant is funding implementation of most bill requirements. DOE will allocate at least $69 million in grant funds to improve teacher and principal effectiveness.82 Grant funds will be used to assist school districts in the development of new educator performance evaluations; test item banks; student learning growth formulas for subjects tested on statewide assessments; and growth models for district-developed assessments. DOE will provide assistance to school districts in developing or acquiring assessments for subjects and grades not tested on statewide assessments, including:
Resources for districts to develop test items for "hard to measure" content areas, such as physical education, fine arts, and foreign language. Test items for core content areas such as math, social studies, science, and language arts for subjects and grades not tested on statewide assessments; and A technology platform to provide districts with secure access to high-quality test items and tools for the creation and administration of student assessments.
Additional resources may be necessary to maintain a test item bank or platform at the conclusion of the grant period, which is the end of the 2013-14 school year.83
Since 1999, school districts have been required to measure student performance on educator performance evaluations using statewide assessments and, for subjects and grades not tested on statewide assessments, local assessments. During the next three years, the grant will provide funding for the development of assessments in most subjects.
The bill establishes new priorities that must be met by school districts when determining educator compensation; however, it does not require school districts to expend any new funds on adjustments and supplements if funds are not available to do so.
Not exactly relaxing reading
I'm not exactly sure how you change an entire Education system and claim it will have no fiscal impact on anything.. Just changing from store brands to name brands when you're grocery shopping has a fiscal impact at the cash register. Here the State is telling us we'll go from our existing system (chicken thighs) and upgrade to the best available (Whole beef tenderloin) and it will have no effect.. Bullshit, and this line. WTF???
The bill establishes new priorities that must be met by school districts when determining educator compensation; however, it does not require school districts to expend any new funds on adjustments and supplements if funds are not available to do so.How do mandate someone do something, and then toss in a clause like that. Early this morning I emailed Sandra, who'd been researching this stuff until really late last night, and asked her what she thought it meant. She answered before heading off to her real job;
They are trying to answer the mail on costs by a little double speak. The bill mandates compliance. Given budget cuts and more to come, sounds like an unfunded mandate or reallocate what you have to meet the legislation. The DOE will supplement.....they will? Tax if you need but it is not a state mandate to tax.What she didn't find was a price tag, no one in Tallahassee is willing to mention what this will cost.
Clear as mud.
Suffle the cost around, a little slight of hand, keep the suckers focused on what they might win, so they don't think about what they're losing