Saturday, February 1, 2014

2-1-14 Scathing Purple Musings | Color me purple in Florida ALL Week

Scathing Purple Musings | Color me purple in Florida, red in Washington, dark sky-blue in Israel and public school in Education:

Scathing Purple Musings 

 Color me purple in Florida ALL Week

Florida’s “Orwellian” Common Core Cover-Up
From Florida Current reporter James Call: It’s not as Orwellian as making a person’s existence disappear from the public record but Winston Smith would recognize the maneuver. A Florida House committee on Wednesday will discuss a proposed committee bill that expunges the words “Common Core” from state law. The K-12 Subcommittee is working on a bill, basically a housekeeping measure, repealing term

How Rick Scott’s School Voucher Agenda Will Be Used to Defeat Charlie Crist
A Quinnipiac poll released late this week revealed that former governor Charlie Crist leads current governor Rick Scott by a whopping 12 points – 48 to 36. One in four republicans support Crist, too. Then there is this: The former governor holds a strong lead among independent, women, black and Hispanic voters, while Scott leads among white voters and Republicans. A 2012 Pew Research study found t

Mavericks Charter School President Frank Biden Says “We’re Going to Take You Down”
Scathing Purple Musings was pretty hard on redifinED editor Ron Matus this week for his charter school cheerleading, but he played it straight in reporting on a National School Choice event held on Coral Springs  Thursday. The part of this event that will be noteworthy to readers of this blog were the comments from Frank Biden. Thursday’s event also featured two high-profile figures in the charter
There’s a Chance for Pausing Florida’s School Grades
Tampa Bay Times reporter Jeff Solochek sought out the leaders of Florida’s legislative bodies to gauge their positions on the state’s school grade system. While Senate President Don Gaetz remains firm and wants no pause, House Speaker Will Weatherford sees things differently: Florida schools might deserve a pass on state grades this year, House Speaker Will Weatherford said Friday. “We know the cu


“Businessmen, Bean-Counters, Buffoons, and Bible-Thumpers Taking Over Florida Public Education”
Author, columnist radio and TV talk show host Stephen L. Goldstein lives in Fort Lauderdale. He has penned a blistering opinion piece for the Sun-Sentinel about those who have seized power over Florida’s education policy: Businessmen, bean-counters, buffoons, and Bible-thumpers have been taking over Florida public education; an ever-increasing gaggle of bozos is exerting more power over classrooms

JAN 30

The Dirty Little Secret That Discredits Florida’s Latest Charter School Miracle Study
I’m surprised that redefinED‘s Ron Matus bit on a charter school miracle piece in Jay P. Geene’s Blog and missed something critical to the veracity of the conclusion. But the new addition of the job title as  director for policy & public affair for Step Up for Students allows him to wear another hat. Writes Matus: Students who attend Florida charter high schools are more likely to persist in c
Will Weatherford Promises “Massive Expansion” of Florida Voucher Program
From Halifax Media Group reporter Zac Anderson in the Lakeland Ledger: (Rep. Will) Weatherford and (Don) Gaetz are continuing to push conservative-leaning education reforms, including more school vouchers and a greater focus on career and technical education that prepares students for jobs. But Gaetz noted that even President Barack Obama backed a jobs-focused approach to K-12 education in his St

JAN 29

So, Will Florida Use Tony Bennett’s Tests?
Maybe. Jeff Solochek reports that Tony Bennett’s new employer ACT Aspire has launched a website to get Florida to bite on their tests: With negotiations to become Florida’s test provider getting under way, ACT Aspire has taken the unusual step of launching a website to explain its benefits to Floridians. ACT Aspire is one of five companies hoping win the state’s lucrative contract for new standard
Common Core Tests “Jargon-Ridden Demagoguery” From “Testing Hacks and Their Rich Supporters”
So says history professor Terrance Moore in a two-part piece on Common Core tests that appeared in influential conservative website Here’s the whole paragraph which Moore wrote after unraveling a few Common Core test close-read text questions: So what have we learned through this examination? The first lesson is that all the promises of “college and career readiness” are empty slogan
What It’s Like For States Not Burdened by Common Core
Florida wisely dropped the legislature’s bad idea to require Algebra II last year only to have its education commissioner tweak Common Core by putting in Calculus standards, a math domain two levels above the course the state bagged the year before. Only in a state where education policy is dominated by a former governor’s foundations and the political might of the Chamber of Commerce would such a

JAN 28

Florida Republican Lawmakers Devotion to STEM Conflicts With Their School Choice Obsession
The nation’s supposed need for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) professionals drives much republican education policymaking in Florida. Governor Rick Scott turned a state college over to the influence of a state senator in the interest of graduating STEM grads. Mouthpieces for Common Core never stop lecturing about the need to prepare students to “compete in a global workforce” tha
Why New York’s Common Core Collapse Continues to Haunt Florida
Florida is a year or two behind New York implementing Common Core and its rigid high-stakes tests regime and New York’s rapidly unfolding collapse has gone beyond cautionary tale status. State superintendent John King was told by a legislator last week that the only supporters of Core left are “yourself (King) and the members of the Board of Regents” only two days before the state teacher’s union

JAN 27

How Come Florida Legislators Aren’t Talking About VAM and Merit Pay
Miami-Dade superintendent Alberto Carvalho made  the pitch to the state board of education last week that Florida must pause its multiple accountability systems: Carvalho said the proposal would make it clear which schools and districts were performing well and which were not. “There is a way of creating a transitional accountability system,” he said, “that includes a direct, legible and easily-un

JAN 26

Missouri to Use ACT Tests – Why Can’t Florida?
From AP reporter Heather Hollingsworth in the Springfield News-Ledger: KANSAS CITY — Missouri will begin picking up the tab for students to take the ACT college entrance exam and dramatically reduce the amount of time some elementary and middle school students spend taking state assessments. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has announced that the testing revisions will
Do School Voucher Advocates Really Want to Use Medicare as a Model?
Apparently Step Up for Students Patrick Gibbons does: We could “Medicarize” education by offering education insurance for every K-12 child. Let’s just call the program “Educare” and imagine it was passed under the Educational Premium Insurance for the Children Act, otherwise known as EPIC (because politicians love acronyms). Educare would provide coverage for 13 years of education. After the $150
The “Reguatory Creep” and “Bureaucratization” of Florida’s Education System
While Education Commissioner Pam Stewart is trying to save Jeb Bush’s school grade system with plaintive wails like “it’s not good for students,” she won’t have the final word if the legislature chooses to act. Gradebook’s Jeff Solochek writes: “All the options are on the table,” Senate Education Committee chairman John Legg told the Gradebook. “We’re going to have to make a decision during the se

JAN 25

When Will Florida Republican Legislators Apply the Ray Sansom Standard to Charter Schools Jobs?
In 2010, Florida republican House speaker, Ray Sansom, was drummed out of the legislature by his own party amid scandal that included his acceptance of a well-paid position at Northwest Florida State College. Will this be the year Florida republicans apply the same standard to legislators who work for the for-profit charter schools and help advance legislation which benefit them. Writes Miami Hera
Michelle Malkin Rips the Common Core – Chamber of Commerce – Pearson Triumvirate of “Venture Socialism”
Columnist Michelle Malkin was one of the first conservative voices to raise the alarm on Common Core. Now she’s In yesterday’s blistering take down  of the US Chamber of Commerce,  she referred to them  as “a politically entrenched synod of special interests” who no longer represent the best interests of American entrepreneurs, American workers, American parents and students, or Americans of any r