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Old 04-14-2010, 06:50 AM
 
1,468 posts, read 4,155,474 times
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The buzz seems to be Crist will sign it. Jeb Bush has been in his ear the last few days pushing him to sign.

Along the same lines, anyone ever heard about this?
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,647 posts, read 16,029,989 times
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Of course Jeb! wants the bill signed. I'm sure he's already got family members all lined up for $500 million consulting contracts as they try to develop progress standards for non-verbal physically disabled and developmentally delayed ESE kids.
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:38 AM
 
1,468 posts, read 4,155,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
Of course Jeb! wants the bill signed. I'm sure he's already got family members all lined up for $500 million consulting contracts as they try to develop progress standards for non-verbal physically disabled and developmentally delayed ESE kids.
This is a quote from a news story today

"Business and education leaders who support the bill staged a Tallahassee news conference Tuesday to urge Crist to sign the sweeping legislation, reminding him that he had advocated for merit pay in the past.

On the other side, the Florida School Boards Association — representing the state's 67 elected School Boards — sent a sharply worded letter urging a veto."


This was what I was talking about a few days ago. Picture 20,000 teachers marching on Tallahassee, but they are just too weak and without good leadership. "A sharply worded letter"? That is not how you win. I don't think the teachers have it in them to fight. It is probably too late now anyway. Who knows though, Crist may surprise them.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Central FL
1,382 posts, read 3,258,858 times
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Don't forget the companies who stand to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to develop the all the new tests. That alone is a staggering amount of new, unfunded spending. Where are school districts going to get that money? Why does each district have to "recreate the wheel" in crafting their own end of course tests?

I picture PE classes just sitting there in front of a blackboard memorizing sports rules and such instead of actually getting some exercise. After all, having the kids pass the test will be all that PE teacher is worried about.

As a former 1st grade teacher turned stay at home mom for now, I wonder how we can measure the progress of first graders. Are we going to measure reading, or math, or science, or social studies, or language arts, or essay writing? We teach all of those subjects. I don't want to see 6 year olds sitting for hours of scantron testing. It is NOT possible. At that age, a student may be able to choose the correct answer A,B, C, or D, but they might not be able to transfer that to the answer sheet. It would be a huge challenge just to teach how to take the test.

Even my best students had their off days. You just never know with the younger learners! How will we test kindergarten students? What about Pre-K? (4 year olds) The pre-K classes at the public schools are taught by certified teachers also, so I assume they would also have to show progress via "standardized testing"! I would love to see a 4 year old try to take a multiple choice test.

How will all of these tests be scored and by whom? Sent to some testing company? That means the tests will have to be taken way before the end of the school year so we have time for processing. (Like how the FCAT is given in March, a full 3 months before school is out, yet teachers are expected to cover ALL of the material before the test date!)

But most importantly, this is the WORST time ever to try this again. Schools are facing draconian funding cuts and the stimulus money runs out next year. What about the class size amendment? I doubt the funding issues will suddenly go away in the next few years.
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
1,881 posts, read 3,128,327 times
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I have an autistic child in public school with a fantastic teacher. How is his performance going to be measured, as a teacher of special needs children? The same way every other teacher's performance will be measured- test performance. Obviously these kids are not going to perform as well as kids in general education, so what will happen to this teacher? Will he stick around despite pay cuts? I hope so, but I wouldn't blame him if he didn't. So what does that mean for my son? Who is he going to be stuck with?

My other kids are in gen ed, and they have been informed by their teachers that if the bill is signed, all field trips will be discontinued, and the ridiculously small amount of free time that they get now will also stop.

So, HOW is this bill beneficial??

I really really hope and pray Crist vetoes it.
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:02 PM
 
1,468 posts, read 4,155,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magijasakymaro View Post
I have an autistic child in public school with a fantastic teacher. How is his performance going to be measured, as a teacher of special needs children? The same way every other teacher's performance will be measured- test performance. Obviously these kids are not going to perform as well as kids in general education, so what will happen to this teacher? Will he stick around despite pay cuts? I hope so, but I wouldn't blame him if he didn't. So what does that mean for my son? Who is he going to be stuck with?

My other kids are in gen ed, and they have been informed by their teachers that if the bill is signed, all field trips will be discontinued, and the ridiculously small amount of free time that they get now will also stop.

So, HOW is this bill beneficial??

I really really hope and pray Crist vetoes it.
You can read the bill and I am sure it will answer many of your questions.
As far as what teachers telling kids. They should keep the kids out of it. They don't need to be dumping guilt trips or fishing for sympathy. The kids have enough with their own lives and problems to worry about. I believe the teacher probably don't know what they are talking about themselves and also probably have not read the bill themselves.
What is the attraction of being in the dark and being afraid, I don't get it?
Wouldn't you rather know the bad news if it really exists, then just keep worrying.
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
1,881 posts, read 3,128,327 times
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I did read it. OK, honestly, I skimmed it. (So maybe I'm missing something. maybe)

As far as I can tell, it makes so differentiation between gen ed teachers and special ed teachers. Everything is based on test performance and I have never liked that. It does. not. work.

I don't know about the involving the kids piece. I have mixed feelings. One one hand, I agree with you. On the other hand, as they get older, they should be encouraged to be aware of what's going on around them, especially if it directly affects them. Perhaps the teachers should bring in a copy of the bill and talk about it from a non biased standpoint. But they don't have time for that. All they have time for even now is teaching toward the FCAT.
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Old 04-14-2010, 01:07 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,456,308 times
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While I'm against tenure (tenure makes it too hard to weed out and get rid of the burned out/bad teachers) I'm not sure that merit pay based on standardized testing is the right way to go either. I'd rather see bonuses based on overall student performance, which would factor standardized testing, attendence, drop-out rates, etc.

But even more important is fixing the WASTE in education--the crazy contracts with the educational publishing companies is a good start.
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Atlanta/Tallahassee/Chicago/Lakeland
478 posts, read 892,953 times
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Another example of "the engine is running but nobody is behind the wheel" Florida politics. Merit pay tied to the performance of a child has been proven to be good or bad depending on the individual at question. There are children (you probably grew up with some in your life) that had great teachers but did not take advantage of the opportunity and performed poorly. Is that the teacher's fault? Should a teacher be penalized for that? I guess common sense is truly uncommon.

What this is really about is providing less funding for public education by discrediting the same institutions in which this proposal is "supposed" to enhance through the new monetary reward/punishment system. Kind of like a back-handed compliment.

Why anyone would become a teacher (esp in Florida) is well beyond me. The pay is terrible, the hours stink and the worse part is most children will live a life where they don't retain most of what they've been tested on. Wait, that sounds like my collegiate career.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:36 PM
 
3,043 posts, read 6,839,806 times
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"In 1999, Neil Bush co-founded Ignite! Learning, an educational software corporation......

As of October 2006, over 13 U.S. school districts have used federal funds made available through the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 in order to buy Ignite's products at $3,800 apiece.....

A December 2003 Style section article in the Washington Post reported that Bush's salary from Ignite! was $180,000 per year."

Neil Bush - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


I can only imagine that Ignite is thrilled by the prospect of this passing (have to keep coming up with new product to please the shareholders...) I'd also be willing to bet he's making a lot more than $180k now!
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