0

THE LIFE OF AMENDMENT 8 – You Thought It Was Over!

I apologize to my readers for this article being about Florida. However, since that is where I live and where most of the corruption and plans to destroy our children’s future’s originates, I hope that by informing you of the measures our legislature is taking in ruining our children’s futures – you will also take a long hard look at your state to see if you are becoming a ‘copycat’!  Amendment 8 to FL SB 1552!

Crayons

In 1999, Jeb Bush pushed through the legislature an “Opportunity Scholarship Program” that gave students in “failing” public schools state funding for tuition at religious and other private academies. Americans United for Separation of Church and State and other allied groups immediately challenged the voucher scheme in state court.  After years of legal wrangling, the Florida Supreme Court finally struck down the program in January 2006. The 5-2 court majority said vouchers violated a provision of the state constitution requiring a uniform system of free public schools.

Our new governor, Jeb Bush, stated vouchers will help parents rescue their children from chronically failing schools. If we have chronically failing schools, then the State of Florida and its legislators have failed to live up to what is expected by all Florida residents. A voucher allowing public money to be used in private schools defies the very definition of PRIVATE SCHOOLS. This money should be used to take all these failing and critically low-performing schools to a higher standard than we have today and get our legislators out of the BUSINESS of EDUCATION.

Jeb Bush reportedly was livid about the FL Supreme Court’s decision and vowed to press for a constitutional amendment, but he found it more difficult in the state legislature than expected. In May 2006, the proposed constitutional amendment fell short by one vote in the Republican-controlled Senate, despite a lot of hardball political pressure from the governor and his allies.

Bush then went for Plan B – after leaving office in Jan 07, he & his top advisers crafted a back-door maneuver to revise the state constitution and advance vouchers. They decided to stack the state’s 25 member Taxation and Budget Reform Commission  (TBRC) which meets every 20 years & has the power, by a two-thirds vote, to place initiatives directly on the ballot, bypassing the legislature and other governmental checks and balances.

Commission members were appointed by then governor Charlie Crist (Bush arranged with Crist to appoint Greg Turbeville, a former Bush policy director, the Senate president Ken Pruitt and the House speaker Marco Rubio who helped the scheme along by appointing Bush education adviser Patricia Levesque and other voucher fans). In all, “nine Bush-era acolytes with financial ties to voucher groups who stood to gain financially” were appointed to the Commission!

Bopsey Twins

Once again the FL Supreme Court stepped in and prior to the 2008 election, they ruled that the TBRC had exceeded its narrow authority of dealing with issues related to taxation or the state budgetary process in proposing the two initiatives and removed them from the ballot.

In the Spring of 2010, the Florida Legislature considered two resolutions (amendments) which, if passed, would have placed a ballot initiative similar to the TRBC’s Amendment 7 on the ballot. The legislation failed to advance beyond the Rules Committee in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

Now we are back to the table again and in the Spring of 2011, the Florida Legislature approved a resolution to place Amendment 7 on the November 2012 ballot. Amendment 7, similar to the church-state related constitutional provisions considered by the TBRC and the Florida legislature, would strip the Florida Constitution of its long standing church-state separation provision. The Amendment was designed to eliminate religious freedom protections currently in place in Florida and open the back door to taxpayer funded vouchers for private and religious schools. The Amendment would eviscerate protections in place governing partnerships between the state and private or religiously affiliated organizations, (possibly even permitting taxpayer money to flow directly to houses of worship). The Amendment is the first step towards permitting private school vouchers.

In July of 2011, Florida parents and clergy, as well as representatives of school administrators, teachers, and school boards, filed a lawsuit in Leon Circuit Court seeking to remove Amendment 7 from the November 2012 general election ballot.

The lawsuit made two claims. First, the plaintiffs contended that the language that will appear on the 2012 ballot doesn’t accurately describe what the amendment, if adopted, will actually do. In short, they argued that the ballot language was misleading. Second, the plaintiffs argued that the process set in place by the legislature for fixing misleading ballot language violates the separation of powers. The current law would have allowed the Attorney General to rewrite Amendment 8 if the Court had found it to be defective. The Plaintiffs argued that the Attorney General (a member of the Executive Branch) lacks the power to rewrite the language, as only the legislature can approve ballot language.

Judge Terry P. Lewis of the Second Judicial Circuit of Leon County ruled that the language that was slated to appear on the actual ballot to explain Amendment 7 was misleading and ordered Attorney General Pam Bondi to make the changes and hence, Amendment 7 came back as Amendment 8 in 2012. http://www.au.org/content/legal-challenge

But wait, vouchers have already been ruled as unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court stating they violated a provision of the state constitution requiring a uniform system of free public schools. However, Amendment 8 is focusing on vouchers to be used by PRIVATE and RELIGIOUS AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS!

http://www.redefinedonline.org/2012/07/floridas-amendment-8-is-not-about-private-school-vouchers/

Then in April 2014, the voucher hypocrisy of Jeb Bush supporter Florida legislators gave us vouchers despite the fact the voters in 2013 turned it down by a decisive margin and the FL Supreme Court had ruled it unconstitutional.

You see here in Florida it is not about the children, but “whatever Jeb Bush wants, Jeb Bush gets – sooner or later and by hook or by crook! Cons to this scam:

  • Private schools have little to no accountability requirements as to having certified teachers. Taxpayer funds should never be made available to private or parochial schools. (In the 2012 Voucher amendment, 2 of the 3 legislative writers of the amendment are Catholic).
  • The untruth passed through the halls of the legislature were that the parents wanted a push for STEM ((Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) when it originated within the Federal government. Teaching children science and history that is corrupt is not the way to equip them for the modern world unless the intention is indoctrination or you plan for them to be in the fields and factories anyway.
  • Programs for private schools are sometimes attractive to parents precisely because they are free of the innumerable unfunded mandates and endless testing inflicted on public schools. Parents are NOT checking with the private and parochial schools to see if they participated in the RTTT grant games and a good share of them did take money from the federal government which means CC.
  • And last but certainly not least, private school vouchers defy the Florida Constitution, which states that it is the state’s paramount duty to have a uniform system of high quality, free public schools. Corporate tax vouchers create a dual system that is profoundly unfair, dangerous and is intended not to benefit our children, but to fill the wallets of legislators and their corporate cronies along with filling another dream of Jeb Bush’s.

In a poll taken by Sunshine State News in April 2014 showed 55% of those participating were against vouchers, 42% supported and 2% were undecided. So again we must ask who is the FL legislature working for. With Andy Gardiner (R) now the head of the Fl Senate and a strong supporter of education privatization our children are in serious trouble.

One thing taxpayers must remember when it comes to education in Florida is that our system is set up that the governor in the end CHOOSES who will be our Commissioner of Education and APPOINTS the State School Board. Cronyism? Where else do you know that an APPOINTED state school board can overrule a district ELECTED school board?

Charters make up a disproportionate number of F-rated schools within the state and you never hear about all their failures and always with the excuse that they enroll students who have struggled in traditional schools and that they are in the low-income areas and were set up for failure from the start. I ask those parents if that is the right mentality to start a school with and is that what they are projecting to their students?

But then you have charters where they are earning A’s. In some cases, as with magnet schools, that’s the result of cherry-picking good students with motivated parents. Charter Management companies have even found ways to weed out the lower achieving students to help make their overall grade look better – yet it is the charter school which have all the unaccountability, uncertified teachers and in some cases uncertified schools themselves.

A warning to parents who are choosing the voucher approach to educate your child if they fall into the category of ‘English Language Learners’ (ELL). In the state of Florida there are laws in place that cover this in a ‘traditional public school’.

When your child goes to a school where vouchers are used for payments, all bets are off when it comes to these rules, and it’s because these schools are private and are not required to comply with state ESOL rules.

Another failure by our legislature is instead of insisting that students going to private schools with public money take the same standardized tests that public school kids take, the legislature would use public money to pay the Learning System Institute at Florida State University to do annual reports on the performance and learning gains of voucher students.  So they are going to use additional taxpayer money to ‘assess’ the performance of the children being school on the voucher system?

Now we are back to the Florida State Constitution which states ALL children must be treated the same! I do believe we have some laws suits floating around again!

So in essence children going to a private school by voucher do not have to take the FL standardized tests but a child with disabilities who are in alternate schools do. In case you aren’t aware, so are hundreds and hundreds of students who are classified as not liking school, truant, 1-2 years behind their peers, or just normally cannot pass a test.

(Yet the FL Statutes clearly states all testing is mandatory and Commissioner Stewart has stated there will be consequences for anyone not participating in the testing process. She however fails to tell parents what those consequences are).

These children are housed in traditional and charter school settings within normally un-used buildings all over the state never having to take another test, not show graduation rates, but we are paying for their bus transportation not only to school but to work. For you see these students are actually in ‘school-to-work’ schools – not technical schools just school where the most important agenda is them working in a McDonald’s, Burger King, car wash – not very often in an office and certainly not in training that would support them.

And most certainly do not call one of these school principals and ask any questions. Not only do they become rude and unaccountable, but in some cases will even tell you they don’t have to answer your questions and they send you to your district board to try and find out who is overseeing the program.

Now the current chapter in Florida’s charter/voucher corruption, the legislators are using the basic format of Amendment 8 from the 2012 election cycle and putting it in SB 1552.

With an ongoing Republican control in the Florida Senate and House, parents best start forming home school coalitions and tap into the ‘good’ teachers who have quit teaching because of Common Core and the antics in Tallahassee.

Parents it is impossible to make this stuff up and we must come together and stop this madness. I don’t care what your party affiliation is, your nationality, or your race – I care about the futures of our children.

 

2

Florida Using Undisbursed RTTT Funds To Settle Lawsuit!

Race To the Trough Well, well, well! Now the truth is going to come out! People of Florida have been led to believe that the State as a whole, could not opt out of Common Core Standards because FL had taken the money from the RTTT grant and it had been disbursed to the school districts. Our legislators lied to us!

Well – that is a truth and it is a lie! How can it be both? Because the 6 school districts that did get awarded funds from the Phase 2 grant which we found out was a drop in the bucket of that $700M dollars. What do I mean? I mean in the State of Florida’s report to the Federal DOE 2011-2012 (Florida Report Year 2: School Year 2011– 2012) clearly states they retained 98% of the funds because they knew the individual school districts did not have the funds to pay for this “boondoggle.” That would mean they held back somewhere in the neighborhood of $686M. Under “challenge’s” in the report “Although FDOE struggled with executing contracts in Year 1 and early Year 2, the focus is now on ensuring that the contractors are producing high quality “deliverable’s”. This is particularly important in Florida as 98 percent of the State’s portion of Race to the Top funds is budgeted for contracts. It is going nowhere near the school districts!

Now we find out the state, more accurately the Florida DOE and it’s Commissioner have been sued and are going to pay what they owe in that loss they are going to use the RTTT funds to do so. How can they do this? Because Bennett ask the brand new Department of Education Communications Director Joe Follick, (4-15-2013) if they could use that money and Follick in speaking for the state Department of Education, said the agency has determined that using the grant money for the settlement is allowed and Follick has refused to elaborate.

So who determined this is ok? The State’s legal eagle George Levesque? Another legal entity? Governor Scott? The state’s CFO? Maybe the FL State School Board who seems to have taken it upon themselves to approve the hiring of “throw-away Bennett” and approving the implementation of the Common Core Standards!

TIME FLORIDA STARTED ELECTING ITS COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION AND THE MEMBERS OF THE STATE SCHOOL BOARD!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Florida Using Federal Money To Settle Suit Over Website By GARY FINEOUT THE AP Thursday, May 23, 2013

TALLAHASSEE | Florida is dipping into federal grant money that was supposed to help improve the state’s schools in order to settle a bitter contract dispute. Education Commissioner Tony Bennett earlier this month agreed to settle a lawsuit filed against his department by a Tallahassee-based technology company.

The Department of Education is paying $1.25 million to Infinity Software Development. Infinity was hired to build a website intended to help students, parents and teachers master new academic standards.

But the deal ended acrimoniously with Infinity suing the state and the state terminating the contract. The money to build the website came from Florida’s $700 million Race to the Top federal grant, aimed at helping improve student achievement in the state. Before the contract was terminated, the state had already spent nearly $2.5 million on the project.

Joe Follick, a spokesman for the state Department of Education, said the agency has determined that using the grant money for the settlement is allowed. Follick refused on Thursday to elaborate. An Internet news operation, the Florida Current, reported Thursday the settlement had been approved.

The settlement not only includes a payment to Infinity — it also calls for the removal of the company’s name from a vendor complaint list maintained by the state. The president of Infinity did not return an email request for comment.

Florida’s effort to create the website as part of its education reforms dates back more than two years.

In early 2011, the state initially chose Microsoft to design and build the website. Infinity, however, challenged the contract by contending Microsoft should have been disqualified because the software company was unwilling to hand over ownership of the equipment and software to the state.
The state agreed to hire Infinity in July 2011, but it took until December of that year to sign a final contract. Emails obtained by The Associated Press showed that one point of disagreement was who should manage the contract.

Those emails showed that Steve MacNamara, then chief of staff for Gov. Rick Scott, was involved in a push to give the governor’s office the ability to resolve any disputes related to the contract.

Then-Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson in November 2011 wrote directly to MacNamara to protest “your desire to have another party manage the contract.” MacNamara told the AP last year that while Scott and Robinson met once to discuss the contract, he was “not involved in the negotiations” and left all discussions to his deputy chief of staff.

Months after the contract was finally signed, both sides were at an impasse. Florida officials complained that Infinity was behind schedule and had turned unacceptable lessons and tests in areas such as math, civics and biology. (Supposedly only math and ELA are supposed to be put into the schools at this time! krd)

Infinity in its lawsuit contended the delay in awarding the contract shortened the time to get the work done by 10 months and required the state to meet tight timelines to keep the project on schedule. Infinity officials maintained the department did not review the work in a timely fashion or failed to sign off on work done by the company. Infinity in September warned state officials about the problems and asked for at least $3.23 million to cover completed work. The letter stated that if lost profits were included, the total due Infinity was $4.5 million.

The bitter dispute leaves in limbo the fate of the Web-based system that was intended to provide practice lessons and tests for the standards that will be phased in for math, English, science and civics. The department said last year it would rebid the contract.

NOW – Education Commissioner Tony Bennett is mulling a reorganization of the state Department of Education http://www.news4jax.com/news/commissioner-may-reorganize-dept-of-education/-/475880/20243938/-/caacwd/-/index.html

I often wonder how much people really know about the members of the Florida State Board of Education. This group is not elected nor are they Educators yet they make decisions about policy that affect students and teachers in the state. They have the ability to “pull the trigger” and raise requirements or lower them as they see fit. This group also selects the education commissioner.

This group has pushed the diversion of more and more money away from regular public schools towards charters, virtual schools, private schools and testing companies. Why are the district superintendents (most of whom received no RTTT funds) and the district school boards supporting Common Core? Something is extremely strange about this whole thing!

How About A Quick Peek At 3 Of Our State School Board Members!

Kathleen Shanahan: Kathleen is the CEO of URETEK. The FLDOE website says she has a distinguished career in many fields (not education). She is a prominent Florida businesswoman with a long and distinguished background in politics and public service. She has held federal and state public policy positions of chief of staff for Fl. Governor Jeb Bush, chief of staff to Vice President-elect Dick Cheney, deputy secretary of the California Trade and Commerce Agency, special assistant to then Vice President George Bush, and staff assistant on President Reagan’s National Security Council. Ms. Shanahan currently is a board member of the Florida Council of 100, executive committee member of the Republican National Convention 2012, a fund-raiser for the Jeb Bush Foundation for Excellence in Education as well as being one of his “REFORMERS”.

Sally Bradshaw: worked for Gov. Haley Barbour and was an advisor to the Romney campaign in 2008. She served as a political advisor to G. H. Bush and was also a chief of staff to Jeb Bush.

Gary Chartrand: He is on the board of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund and a director on the board of the KIPP schools in Jacksonville, FL. (Charter consortium) He is also NOT an educator!

Is there a particular reason why the Florida State Board of Education has NO EDUCATORS serving on the board?

The mantra of this cabal has been to divert more money away from regular public schools and triple down on testing. The coming quadruple down with Common Core cements the shameful legacy of this group of dilettantes.

Additionally in the same report “RTTT Florida Report 2011-2012” emphasizes their 2014-2015 Charter School Plan “Florida is committed to supporting charter schools through its Race to the Top efforts. As such, the State has provided funding to encourage charter management organizations and charter operators to open 30 to 40 new charter schools across the State and provided additional funding to support a program for the development of
turnaround principals in charter schools, educator evaluations in charter schools, and CCSS and LIIS implementation in charter schools. Identified under Race to the Top and the School Improvement Grant as PLA, priority schools identified as part of the State’s approved Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) flexibility requests!”

“Florida is working with 17 charter school participants to provide training to aspiring turnaround principals. This work is being done in conjunction with the turnaround principal work (see Turning Around the Lowest-Achieving Schools). FDOE is in the early stages of its work with a vendor to provide training on educator evaluations in charter schools and is currently reviewing proposals from contractors to provide training on CCSS and LIIS implementation in charter schools.”

So if I read this correctly, Florida is using their RTTT funds to also pay individuals to train people to run Charter schools! Would we suppose they are part of the many Charter School Consortium’s also pushed by Jeb Bush?

You need to be asking the questions: “Why the big push for Charter Schools if all the schools in the end are going to have to go along with the Common Core Standards and the students to be robots?

Because – simply put – Charter Schools are part of the plan for the take-over of the Education system by the government! Never, ever forget the bottom line to Charter Schools – they use taxpayer funds and they are unelected boards which leaves Parents and taxpayers out the equation – you have no rights!

Now Florida Legislators and Powers To Be! Let’s be honest – just who are you working for? The children and teacher’s of Florida or those businesses and lobbyists who are packing your election coffers full as long as you “dance” to their “tune?”

Other Common Core States – you need to check out exactly what is happening in your states!

Stated in the report is what will be affected if we do not comply – section 80.43: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=086932763f55a79ee96960031ae55099&rgn=div5&view=text&node=34:1.1.1.1.26&idno=34#34:1.1.1.1.26.1.129.4

2

Jeb Bush’s Anti-Public School Rant!

jebbushfrownyListen to his words! His arrogance! Toting his young “glory-boy” son who is being groomed to be a George Bush III (his actual name is George Prescott Bush after his great-grandfather Prescott Bush – you know – the one who supported the Nazi’s against America during WWII) Jeb Bush took his tour to “Education Weary” Texas on Tuesday to push his for-profit Charter schools!

Scathing Purple Musings by Bob Sikes – Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his rising-political-star son, George P. Bush, urged Texas on Tuesday to dismantle the “monopoly of public education” (1) by dramatically expanding access to charter schools, embracing online learning and overhauling how teachers are evaluated.

But neither man offered any hints about his political future.

The elder Bush, who is often mentioned as a possible contender for president in 2016, told an education forum organized by the Texas Business Leadership Council, “I urge you to be big and bold, and if people get offended, so what?” (2)

“Politics can’t always be like mamby-pamby land,” (3) said Bush, who said America’s public schools have for too long been organized to best suit the “economic needs of adults” such as unionized teachers and school administrators, rather than students (4).

Floridians have always known that Bush feels this way, but he never dared dropping this kind of Hateorade in a place where a Florida reporter would hear it. Speaking in a state more red than a Radio Flyer, Bush knew this red meat would play well.

But Bush’s rhetoric is becoming easier to fact check and dismiss. Yesterday’s release of the prospectus from one of his top financial backers in Pearson, revealed which adults were having their “economic needs” met. The “monopoly’ that exists now is controlled by Bush’s cartel of backers.

What Jeb Bush showed is complete without some overplay of the Florida model? Bush didn’t disappoint:

Bush said that the Florida Virtual School, the nation’s oldest and largest vendor, now offers 400,000 courses via Internet, and 45 percent of Florida students currently are enrolled in charter schools, online classes or some other form of learning other than traditional public schools….
(5)

…and this

But Bush said public schools here and elsewhere have become “a public, unionized monopoly” and that the only way to weaken it is to expand school choice while tightening teacher evaluation standards and limiting tenure.

Bush probably left through the side door without taking questions like he did after parting the waters inside the Florida House two weeks ago. His act doesn’t work if he has to entertain tricky questions about the “imploding” of Florida’s accountability system that legislators are having to deal with next month. Nor does he want to admit that his hand-picked education commissioner, Tony Bennett, has been forced to talk Plan B on Bush’s Common Core Initiative that Pearson was going to cash in on with PARCC tests.(6)

He inflates the percentage of students enrolled in the options of his choosing without telling Texans that a plurality of those students are enrolled in an online class because he rammed through a mandate that required it for graduation. (7)

Moreover, a shocking number of high school students – victims of his test-based curriculum – are enrolled in online credit recovery classes which all are run by other financial backers of Bush. Most of the expansion of charter schools in Florida has been leveraged by legislative fiat that Bush’s foundation authored.

Bush’s reforms in Texas don’t enjoy the easy path that they do in Florida where he still controls the republican party.(8) Even in Indiana where Tony Bennett once ruled, Republicans are halting Common Core. Same story in Alabama. Bush twisted choice ideals to benefit his financial backers. But he doesn’t want states to have their own choices on curriculum. The jig is up on Bush’s choice for me and not for thee.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Diane’s Remarks:

(1) Not sure how Bush see’s our public schools as a monopoly when they have the local school districts, state DOE, State school board and the Federal government “overseeing”, funding and laying the ground rules for everything they do. I would agree the Federal government is trying to make them a monopoly with the Federal government in Charge but then Mr. Bush, it is your Charter schools that are supposed to be helping that long with their “unelected school boards.

(2) ‘Offended? I seem to recall 2 weeks ago Bush was whining and making up excuses for the report by “In the Public Interest” as to his relationship with the Florida DOE! READ

(3)”Politics can’t always be like mamby-pamby land” – POLITICS has absolutely no business in education – it is Bush who has put POLITICS squarely at the feet of our children using them as human collateral. Oh how I would love to be a fly on the wall when you monsters are gathered together talking about your deceit!

(4) Bush continues to claim his push for Charter schools is for the “good” of the children – I beg to differ with you sir – it is all about the financial bottom line of your backers and yourself. You could care less about these children or you would not be pushing CCS.

(5) First, Bush needs to check his own School Choice website – He stated 45% of Florida’s students are enrolled in Charter schools when by his own web site they state for the 2012-2013 school year there are 570 Charter schools in Florida with approx. 200,000 students. Now, the 400K figure might hold water in that he (Bush) got legislation passed in Florida to require students to take at least 1 Virtual class to be able to graduate (this would certainly help to implode Bush’s numbers but his calculations lead others to believe he has that many Charter schools and students) and anyone with a kindergarten graduation diploma knows that was to fatten the “pockets of Bush backers.”

(6) Common Core Standards are being pushed by Jeb Bush and all of his Chief’s for Change” – want to take a guess why that it?

(7) Florida Charter school truth – Businesses with a Vested interest in the Charter school scam will tell only one side of the story — their side. But if you asked the Parents of students from the closed Charter schools you will get another story. For starters, charter schools fail and close at an alarming rate. One of every five has failed to keep its doors open. Last year charter schools accounted for nearly 50 percent of the state’s F-rated schools, even though they accounted for only 11 percent of the total public schools. (Let us not forget, “in the beginning” it was Jeb Bush who said he was starting the CHARTER school racket because ALL PUBLIC schools were bad and failing at an outrageous rate – “we need to have more accountability”. Maybe we need more accountability from Mr. Bush and his cronies!

Put it another way: Charter schools are seven times more likely to fail.

Yet Florida politicians barreled ahead, bowing to Bush and vowing to pour more and more tax dollars into this flawed system — and now they’re talking about doubling the number of kids in charter schools. Apparently Bush’s idea of “accountability” is only for traditional schools.

At one failed venture — Imani Elementary in Orlando, FL — students lacked books, missed tests and basically lost an entire year’s worth of education as the school racked up debt of more than $400,000 and did not inform parents of the impending closure! Just where does the debt go when a Charter school closes – would you like to guess? Given the fact Florida’s charter-school law strips away many of the accountability requirements faced by other public schools, Mr. Bush is again speaking in “double-speak”. He stated that was why we need schools to be Charter schools! He will never talk about the “closed” Charter schools and when you mention Bush’s original Charter school start in Miami, he doesn’t even remember the name of the school – that because it is also closed!

Even when charter schools appear to have broken the law or failed their students with misuse of funds, lack of equipment, and uncertified teachers – they have multiple chances to improve or appeal, a process that can stretch for months or longer. And when local school boards want to close a Charter school, the Bush injected State School board always steps in and that does not happen. How is that improving the accountability or education of our children to sit in an F school for 2-3 years?????

How is your state handling a failing Charter school? Have you looked at the legislation in your state regarding Charter Schools?

Gov. Rick Scott and Republican legislators have tripped over themselves to blame unions, lazy teachers and bureaucracies. Yet, when charter schools fail, they don’t say a word. In fact, when then Commissioner and Jeb Bush Chief’s for Change Gerard Robinson toured Jacksonville about opening another KIPP school, he was asked by a reporter why he would consider opening another KIPP school when those already open were failing? Robinsons response – “we don’t use that as a consideration”!

On the other side of the coin their are some very good Charter schools, but the underlying cronyism and manipulation to force all public schools to become Charter schools “for-profit” is just plain wrong and needs to be stopped!

Bottom line is – who is “minding the store”? Certainly no one but the taxpayers!

0

Do Florida Lawmakers Revere or Fear Jeb Bush? How About Your State?

It is a well known fact in Florida that when former Gov. Jeb Bush says “jump” the Florida Republican legislators “JUMP”! (I again want to remind my readers I am NPA as of the last election) So What is the hold? Do they really agree with his ideas and ideology? Do they think they are going to get something for their support? They do get donations from all the various “Charter School Businesses? But aren’t legislators elected to serve the electorate? The people of their states? It certainly does not seem to work that way anymore in ANY state.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Few pundits have been willing to say publicly that the current chaos of Florida’s education accountability systems is of Jeb Bush’s doing. But Palm Beach Post writer Jac Versteeg has done just that this morning.

Jeb Bush 4 Former Gov. Jeb Bush has an undeserved reputation as an education reformer. Florida’s recent education progress has come not from implementing Mr. Bush’s policies but from cleaning up after them. (And cleaning they needed but Jeb Bush’s ideas are being fostered and aligned as “the best there is? He is NOT an EDUCATOR!

Mr. Bush has been visiting legislators in Tallahassee to talk about education policy. Get out the mops and buckets. Taxpayers also should reach for their wallets, since the former governor’s new big ideas involve transferring more public dollars to the for-profit companies behind him.

Mr. Bush’s biggest idea, enacted immediately after taking office in 1999, was to give each school an A-to-F grade based on student scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. That misuse of the FCAT continues. The test’s many shortcomings were even more serious when Gov. Bush initiated FCAT tyranny. The test covered only a few subjects, students took it long before the end of the school year, and half of elementary and high-school students didn’t even take it. Yet the entire school received a grade, on which parents, students and Realtors fixated.

(Added note here is that the FCAT forced teacher’s to “TEACH TO THE TEST” and the other subjects would be pushed aside. Parents have complained about that since the inception of the FCAT. Teachers hands have been tied. Does this sound like a man who is really interested in the education of our children?

I would like to pose the question – Has this been a set-up deal for the failure of public schools to give the big push for Charter schools. Failing regular public schools as the incentive to open Charter schools and push the support for Virtual education and the PARENT TRIGGER bill?)

…….In yet another revision to the grading formula Gov. Bush perversely and prematurely treated as infallible, Florida made FCAT scores count less in some school grades. Still, Florida in 2011 also required teachers to be evaluated based on FCAT scores, even if a teacher had no students who took the FCAT.

This is not “creative destruction.” It’s harassment, and it has created enormous ill will. Gov. Rick Scott’s frantic reversals in preparation for a reelection run — he has called for teacher raises not linked to the FCAT — show how unpopular Mr. Bush’s education legacy is.

With the FCAT writing test looming this week, a Palm Beach County school board member spoke for many educators when she lamented that “this is one test on one day that means more than it should.” But urging students and parents not to stress out is futile. Failing the FCAT still has out-sized consequences — such as no diploma.

Mr. Bush’s fans note that Florida’s education rankings and results have improved. The dubious rankings give Florida credit simply for having “accountability,” systems even if those systems are bogus. Improving test results and graduation rates are incremental and could have been achieved — and surpassed — more quickly without the turmoil Mr. Bush inflicted.

Now Mr. Bush heads several foundations pushing for a rapid expansion of charter schools and virtual schools. His Foundation for Excellence in Education accepts donations from private companies that would profit from lax new laws that Florida and other states are rushing to enact. The sort of careless “reform” Jeb Bush advocates will end up with taxpayers fleeced and students and parents cheated. He has a reputation for reform. He has a record of making messes.

Even as lawmakers look for a way out to prevent a train wreck – Plan B on Common Core Standards and PARCC tests with more tweaks to school grade formulas and teacher evaluations – Bush continues to be revered by them. Or is it feared? The former Florida governor controls the purse strings to Florida’s business community and speaks from the bully pulpit on everything. For a republican to oppose him is political suicide. Bush’s control of education policy coupled with his un-opposable political clout is a chilling and dangerous vacuum of absolute power.
by Bob Sikes www.scathingmusings.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Florida and her education system are nothing to be applauded and other states need to turn their eyes away from us for leadership along with its leader Jeb Bush. Dump the CCS and the lies being sent out by Jeb Bush and his supporting businesses who are getting rich off of the backs of our children.

One thing people may not know – Students who have failed the FCAT in high school and cannot graduate without passing it are given 3 attempts at it. Just what is that about?

0

Gov. Jeb Bush’s Environmental Legacy During Eight Years In Office

And you thought he was a good guy! So just what is it he is doing to Education? You think Jeb Bush is not a Progressive just because he has an R after his name?

THIS IS THE AGENDA 21 LEGACY JEB BUSH GAVE TO FLORIDA!

About 1.2 million acres of land acquired for preservation.

_Invested $2 billion of a committed $3.3 billion to be spent through 2010 on Everglades restoration.

_Acquired more than 210,000 acres of land for Everglades restoration, including some 36,000 acres of man-made wetlands that clean water through natural marsh filters.

_More than a million acres of farm land and natural areas converted to housing developments. (Fernandez Family and DERM!)

_Development continues to encroach on the edge of the Everglades. Environmentalists say the region needs a buffer zone to maintain restoration efforts.

_Passage of the 1999 Florida Forever Act to expedite land acquisition for conservation and preservation purposes.

_Congress becomes 50-50 partner with the state on its $10.5 billion Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, or CERP, in 2000.

_A 2003 amendment to the state’s 1994 Everglades Forever Act that, among other things, extended by up to 10 years to 2016 some pollution cleanup requirements for the Everglades.

_A $1.8 billion initiative called Acceler8 intended to quicken Everglades restoration adopted in 2004.

_Last year, the Legislature approves the largest budget for environmental preservation in Florida history – more than $1 billion.

_Passage of 2006 bill to purchase and protect Babcock Ranch, 74,000 acres of largely undeveloped land in southwest Florida. It was the largest-ever state purchase of land for environmental preservation.

0

Florida Children Collateral For Greed!

Not sure how to start this one as I am so angry. Some of us have realized the corruption and cronyism in Tallahassee, but we are just beginning to see how deep, cold and calculated it is! Using our children as Collateral in their schemes for “For-Profit” by continued enlargement of the co-ops between our education system, schools and businesses of all kinds with absolutely no input allowed by the local school districts or parents is unacceptable.

This is “taxation without representation.”

This Florida is the forefront of the Communist “school-to-work program of which the Charter schools promoters are pushing and now they have found a way to force it upon the local public schools with the blessings of our state legislators..

Today Don Gaetz, President of the Florida Senate (Jeb Bush lackey who serves on Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education) made the announcement along with John Legg, Senate Education Committee Chairman, (Jeb Bush lackey who also serve’s on Bush’s Foundation, writes and votes on Charter school legislation, owns a Charter school and works there) that they had today discussed the background and importance of legislation that will expand the current Career and Professional Education Act (CAPE) with a group of more than 30 representatives from Florida’s major businesses and business associations.

http://www.flsenate.gov/Media/PressRelease/Show/1392

During the meeting, Senator Gaetz outlined the creation and implementation of the CAPE Act, which was passed by the Florida Legislature in 2007, creating the first industry certification program in the nation for high school students. In addition, the group discussed current and future partnerships among businesses, industry, educators and policy makers, highlighting the importance of providing graduates with industry-relevant skills and certifications and delineating legislative steps moving forward.

Can someone please tell me what this has to do with getting an education curriculum that will get our kids graduated from high school? How many games do they intend to play with our kids? It is like they are in the middle of a whirlwind with all the trash they are throwing their way spinning out of control Or maybe now we are going to change the graduation goals and incentives!

I do wonder if the alliances they are making are better than the Burger Kings, McDonalds, cleaners, Domino’s and other food entities that they put in place for the Workplace Charter School Academy. Out of 44 business giving jobs to their 11th and 12th graders, 9 of the businesses are in an office or some type of business they might want to do for the rest of their lives.

Let’s face it – most businesses – heavy duty businesses do not want 16, 17 and 18 year old teenagers running around their businesses every day.

Do you see who is taking over the education of your children? Is there anyone talking to you about all this? I have to be honest some of us thought the CAPE ACT was buried because they have so many other things going on. We were wrong!

I want to also remind you that the Parent Trigger bill has also been re-introduced by Senator Kelli Stargel (R-15). I do not like playing the politics card but they are leaving me so choice. The Republicans in Florida are doing this – the Democrats for the most part are not happy about this legislation that is being passed. They keep giving this legislation “touchy-feely” names so that parents believe they have the best interests of their children at heart. Not so! Far too many games being played. Did anyone read the reports from www.inthepublicinterest.org regarding what has been going on between our state legislators and the Florida Dept. of Education.

This is what happens when one party has control over the other rather than being more balanced for such a long period of time. It is time the parents in this state form a coalition to take control of our children. If other states can do it so can we. Not everyone is playing the Common Core Standards game. There are a a lot of things going on here that has not come out of D.C. They cannot be blamed for everything. I put it squarely at the feet of Jeb Bush and all his cronies who believe the sun rises and sets on him no matter what it is.

0

The Bush Foundation’s “Air Cover” Hack and Flack Part 2

I want to thank Bob Sikes for allowing me to share any information he has gathered – it just let’s us get more to more people and that is the goal.

I never thought I would say this but I want to thank the liberal “usually doesn’t tell the truth” press for making sure this information gets spread around the country. Not that I think they care one way or the other about Charter schools or what is happening in Education around the country as a whole, but because Jeb Bush is a Republican they are going to grab it like a lollipop and “suck” all the dirt out of it they can.

The difference this time is this series is sharing the truth backed up with original e-mails and documents that “In the Public Interest” acquired to share with the country. They have been accused by the Republican side of being liberal hacks – but these documents are for real and I think that is what is bothering Mr. Bush the most. There is too much “dirty” action happening for it not to surface eventually!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Reporters across the nation are sifting through the emails which “In the Public Interest” released two weeks ago. It’s that drip, drip, drip you hear. Now this Associated Press story about contacts Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE) made with Oklahoma state education commissioner Janet Barresi, one of FEE’s Chiefs for Change:
Janet Barresi OK
An email from December 2011 indicates that the Bush foundation was heavily involved with the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s writing of the rules used to implement legislation including the new A-F school report cards, changes to the Reading Sufficiency Act intended to end “social promotion,” and online supplemental learning.

“Based on my work with your team, I don’t anticipate any issues getting approval from your board, but we are happy to provide any kind of air cover — op eds, tweets, letters to the editor, and even expert testimony at the board meeting if you need it,” wrote Mary Laura Bragg, director of state policy implementation at the Foundation for Excellence in Education, in an email to Barresi.

Other emails show that Assistant State Superintendent Kerri White sought assistance with Oklahoma’s application for a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act from Chiefs for Change and the Jeb Bush foundation and Bragg responded with a referral to John Bailey, whom she called, “our federal policy superstar.”.

Has Bragg tipped the Foundation’s hand? All of the emails that In the Public Interest acquired are from state’s where Bush, through his FEE, has recruited Chiefs for Change. His foundation continues to support Barresi with op-eds, most recently this from conservative writer Chester Finn. A former Florida Department of Education staffer prior to going to work for FEE, Bragg’s offer of “air cover” in the form of “tweets, op-eds and letters to the editor” reveals the Foundation’s propaganda template.

Bush’s FEE cannot exist without the idea that Florida’s education model is superior to all others. That idea became imperiled last spring in the aftermath of the 2012 FCAT Writes debacle and Florida was subjected to a massive spin campaign that was coordinated between Governor Rick Scott’s staff, the Florida Department of Education and the FEE. Scathing Purple Musings wrote about them here, here and here. The episode fueled a revolt against Bush’s FCAT and high-stakes testing regime in the form of resolutions from a plurality of Florida 67 local school boards. It eventually resulted in the resignation of one of Bush’s hand-picked Chiefs for Change, Gerard Robinson.

Does the offer for “op-eds” mean that FEE ghost writes, too? Observers in Florida have been pondering that question for some time. CEO Patricia Levesque can get her opinion pieces published in a major Florida paper anytime she wants. So can Bush, but the two know they cannot be the lone voices. In June 2012, then speaker-in-waiting Will Weatherford used talking points identical to those of Levesque in an op-ed as part of the FCAT Writes PR blitz. Bush loyalists John Winn and Kathleen Shanahan had similar op-eds published during the time.

Not all Oklahoman’s buy into the myth or the wisdom of Bush’s Florida model. More from the AP story:

Policy analysts and school officials called for greater public awareness about the situation and more caution on the part of state leaders.

“It’s very important to bring these relationships to light. We’re piling on accountability for students and teachers, but not for these private entities that are in many cases writing our education policies,” said Gene Perry, policy analyst with the Oklahoma Policy Institute. “These conflicts of interest are troubling because schools should be designed to educate kids, not make profits off of them.”

Jenks Superintendent Kirby Lehman finds the foundation’s influence on Oklahoma policy disturbing, given its powerful corporate backers. In the Public Interest reports foundation donors include for-profit companies such as the standardized test giant Pearson and education service provider McGraw-Hill, and K12, one of the nation’s largest virtual school networks that includes the Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy.

As Oklahoma’s previous testing contractor, Pearson was paid more than $24 million in recent years, according to a recent state auditor’s report, while McGraw-Hill was just awarded a contract that would be worth $28 million over the next five years.

The state is now in the third year of an $11 million four-year alternate testing contract with Pearson.

Lehman even questions why Oklahoma would be following the “Florida model” for school reforms when Oklahoma students outpace their Florida counterparts on the ACT college entrance exam.

In 2012, the average composite score in Florida was 19.8, compared to Oklahoma’s 20.7 and the national average of 21.1.

“Why then would Oklahoma emulate Florida by enacting the ‘(Jeb) Bush reforms’?” he said. “The answer to this question is far more complicated than a simple score comparison between states.”

Indeed. Floridians are used to Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE) picking and choosing data they like and would be sure to dismiss these ACT scores. In the past year they’ve brushed aside troubling remediation rates of Florida’s college freshmen as well as the state’s graduation rates. But they routinely tout Florida’s 4th grade reading scores as it justifies their 3rd grade retention stand, and anything else that preserves the Florida model myth.

posted by Bob Sikes February 17, 2013
http://bobsidlethoughtsandmusings.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/the-bush-foundations-air-cover-hack-and-flack/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Parent Trigger bill has also been introduced by Kelli Stargil one of the Florida legislators who received the most funding in the last election from the Republican Party of Florida and all the businesses involved in Charter schools and Choice. Once again we see the strong involvement of business and our Florida legislators in contriving what THEY want in regard to our children’s education.

0

The Education Bed Is Almost Full!

Bush and RubioWell, Florida’s glory boy stood in front of millions of Americans last night and told them he supports school choice and the vouchers, which in education language means – “I am also sleeping with Jeb Bush.”

Wow! I know the rest of the country is in love with this young, flashy, great speaker Marco Rubio, but have any of you talked to Floridians who helped him get elected? We certainly are not any happier with him than we are with most of the other senators and congressman who have been selling us down the river for the past 3 ½ years.

Have you forgotten that most of them signed the NDAA and the Re-Patriot Act and at the same time not listening to a word the taxpayers – the ones who pay their salaries said – begged, pleaded, almost cried – for them NOT to sign those bills and they said, “I don’t work for you – I am in control now and I know more than you do and I am smarter in general. So just go home, watch TV and let whatever will be – be.”

Are Floridians supposed to be excited and proud that because Rubio was given the “place” of responding to Obummer last night and now according to the press, that is the official announcement that Rubio will be running for president?

Are Floridians going to forget how many toes Rubio stepped on to get where he is today without a thank you, or I appreciate all you have done or just plain lied in the process.

And with Rubio’s national speech last night for School choice is that also the announcement that if he wins the Presidential race Jeb Bush will be the Secretary of the Department of Education?

Is there no way to keep Bush’s at home rather than creating havoc and deception all over this country? Bush needs to go back to the family ranch before he can do any more damage!

Rubio’s speech stated the “school-choice” bill he proposes would allow taxpayers to subsidize private-school education for poor kids. ONLY POOR KIDS? What gauge is he intending to use to determine who a “POOR KID” is? How many more programs are the working people of this country supposed to fund when we are out-numbered by the “non-working”?

Realizing the apparent close relationship of Bush and Rubio shines brightly as a way to enforce a voucher program similar to what Bush tried to get through in Florida the last election in Amendment 8. Bush has tried to get that imposed on the citizens of Florida since the late 90’s even to the point of the Florida Supreme court calling his supporters out for trying to get “around the rules.”

With what Rubio and Bush have proposed your tax dollars would be going to fund Private and Religious schools without any say on how the money would be spent because once again they would NOT be overseen by the “elected” school boards and that Ladies and Gentlemen is “taxation without representation”.

To further enforce how wrong this is, it has been openly proposed that businesses and foundations would come in behind the Federal $$ to give the added financial support for each voucher and now we are back to what we have been fighting against for years – “for-profit” schools creating “public-private partnerships”.

In his speech last night it sounded to me that Rubio was basically laying out a major theme for his Presidential campaign in that the conservative policies would be good for the poor and working class.

Someone please show me a CONSERVATIVE IN CONGRESS!

Let’s look at this with “clear eyes.” Jeb Bush was Rubio’s mentor when he was serving as a Florida politician. Rubio, not to my memory, ever voted against a Gov. Jeb Bush agenda/policy.

“It’s not about unions. It’s not about school administrators,” Rubio said in an interview. “This is about parents. The only parents in America who don’t have a choice where their kids go to school are poor parents.”

That statement is certainly not true because the Bush Foundations in their push for Charter schools all over the country using the voucher and choice systems target “low-income” areas all the time. Then if they fail they can turn around and use that as the reason for failure – “well what did you expect, we tried and we just never can get anywhere in the low-income areas?”

And unless I am in error, the vouchers are supposed to be used on a lottery basis as to prevent a student from being accepted because of their financial status.

This will not be an easy sell for Rubio with the current Senate since the Teachers Unions and Democrat’s in general are not supportive of these measures. All over America they have pushed back at Bush and his nonprofit foundations as it pushes for more school-choice legislation. They also do not support Bush’s alignment with Michelle Rhee’s “Student’s First” or “Teach America”.

Having Charter schools, school choice and vouchers becoming a Federal issue is NOT good. We need, as Americans, to get the Federal government out of the Business of the Education of our Children. It is unconstitutional and a format for nothing more than “monkey business” and following the Communist plan for the over throw of this country.

DO YOU REALLY WANT YOUR CHILDREN IN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS TOTALLY LEAVING OUT YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITY?

Before last night’s speech, Democrats had accused Rubio of supporting “extreme” budget policies that would cut social-welfare programs. I am sure the Dem’s will focus in on how his plan would certainly add to the National Budget and WE DON’T HAVE ANY MONEY! WHAT PART OF WE ARE BROKE ARE YOU NOT HEARING?

Rubio admits he doesn’t know how much the legislation could cost and I seriously doubt he cares as long as the legislation any politician presents is passed.

And Florida, the news has just broke that Jim Greer, former head of the Florida Republican Party, after all this time has pled guilty to all charges lodged against him WITHOUT A TRIAL and now Rubio doesn’t have that hanging over his head either.

“Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive.”

HUM!!!!!!!

0

Parent Trigger & the Money Changers!

Parent Trigger 3What is a Parent Trigger law? The proposals have varied from state to state, but they generally allow parents at any failing school, defined by standardized testing, to sign a petition to radically transform the school using any of four “triggers.” Parents can petition to: 1) fire the principal, 2) fire half of the teachers, 3) close the school and let parents find another option, or 4) convert the school into a charter school.

While the details of how the school can be “restructured” also vary from state to state, the charter school option is always present and actually the main focus. Charter schools are privately managed, taxpayer-funded public schools which are granted greater autonomy from regulations applicable to other public schools, ostensibly in exchange for greater accountability for results, but they have been criticized for uneven and mediocre track records.

Add to this the involvement of businesses in the Charter school “business” which in fact makes Charter schools not only “for-profit”, but also “public-private partnerships” .

Realizing the “goal” of the Charter school system is the “unelected” school boards of each Charter school. The “goal” and “agenda” is to do away with elected school boards. Think about that! With each Charter school having unelected boards and yet using tax payer $$ to fund the schools, that is “taxation without representation”.

“The Money Changers” – ALEC, Heartland Institute, Bill Gates Foundation, Jeb Bush Foundation x2, Michelle Rhee – Student’s First, Parents Across America, Pearson Publishing, Pearson Foundation, Koch Bros., K-12, Bridgeport Education, Rupert Murdock, Philip Anschultz, right-wing extremist , Eli Broad Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Parent Revolution Board chair Rica Orszag and original member of Bill Clinton’s “Global Initiative and so many more I don’t have enough room?

How do you go against this kind of financial control?

I have asked this question time and time again with no answer – “If all of you money mouthpieces think you have the answer to the woes of our education system, why are you not giving all that money to the public school systems to raise teacher salaries, repair schools, buy uniforms and musical instruments, putting more into scholarships rather than creating another division within our country to make a profit and in the process USE OUR CHILDREN AS BAIT?” Why are you not including educators when creating curriculum’s or rules and laws?

What they will not tell you or admit to is that Charter schools along with the “Parent Trigger” legislation is a communist “school – to – work” agenda. This offense against our children was first introduced in The Carnegie Institute Report on Social Studies in 1934. http://www.scribd.com/doc/32432452/Carnegie-Endowment-AHA-Report-on-the-Commission-on-Social-Studies

This study was funded to the tune of $340,000 by the Carnegie Corporation and at a 1934 currency rate exchange that was a great deal of money! Professor Harold Laski, the philosopher of British socialism, said of this report: “At bottom, and stripped of its carefully neutral phrases, the Report is an educational program for a Socialist America.” An important and revealing excerpt from Conclusions and Recommendations follows:

The Commission was also driven to this broader conception of its task by the obvious fact that American civilization, in common with Western civilization, is passing through one of the great critical ages of history, is modifying its traditional faith in economic individualism [free enterprise], and is embarking upon vast experiments in social planning and control which call for large-scale cooperation on the part of the people…. (pp.1–2)

…Cumulative evidence supports the conclusion that in the United States and in other countries the age of “laissez faire” in economy and government is closing and that a new age of collectivism is emerging. www.deliberatedumbingdown.com

Back to the “Money Changers” – The recent movie “Won’t Back Down” was meant to push ALEC’s “Parent Trigger Proposal”. For those of you who might not know what “ALEC” is – it is a group of major American corporations and right-wing legislators who craft and vote on “model” bills behind closed doors. These bills include extreme gun laws, like Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law implicated in the Trayvon Martin shooting, union-busting legislation, Arizona style anti-immigrant legislation, maybe your states Energy bill or sustainable development legislation and voter suppression laws that have sparked lawsuits across the nation.

They are kind of like the “hump” on the back of the Hunchback of Notre Dame! Or maybe something as simple as Lucifer’s Shadow! That’s how I think of people using our children for financial and communistic gains.

There are millions of dollars out there sponsoring ALEC by corporate funds being funneled through ALEC to “buy” votes. I was extremely happy to see Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, Kraft, General Mills, Mereck and Duke Energy among approximately 30 other sponsors withdraw their support of ALEC over what they called “the organizations extreme agenda”. ALEC’s support of the movie “Won’t Back Down” was the final straw that broke the camel’s back.

Don’t get too excited though because this tells you these corporations are leaning very far to the left.

In addition, Heartland Institute recently suffered an exodus of corporate sponsors after it launched a billboard comparing those who believe in the science behind global warming to the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski.

You can see how things are splitting even in the corporate world. The left leaning corporations are against School Choice, Charter schools and Vouchers not because they are bringing in a communist agenda and curriculums but because the Teachers Unions are against it.

Somehow the far right has gotten on this bandwagon of knowing what is good for our children and will “NEVER” admit they are pushing a Communist agenda and supporting the New World Order. But NEVER FORGET the left is also working on the New World Order – they just have different ideas on how to achieve it.

I am trying to help you understand you cannot trust either party in today’s world.

Example: Marc Tucker is the President and CFO of the NATIONAL CENTER ON EDUCATION AND THE ECONOMY. A socialist deeply in bed with the Clinton’s, Bill Gates, Rockefeller’s and other Progressive Socialists, wrote his famous letter to Hillary 7 days after Bill’s election in 1992 – http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/marc_tucker/

Tucker’s ambitious plan was implemented in three laws passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1994: the Goals 2000 Act, the School-to-Work Act, and the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act. These laws establish the following mechanisms to restructure the public schools:

1. Bypass all elected officials on school boards and in state legislatures by making federal funds flow to the Governor and his appointees on workforce development boards.
2. Use a computer database, a.k.a. “a labor market information system,” into which school personnel would scan all information about every schoolchild and his family, identified by the child’s social security number: academic, medical, mental, psychological, behavioral, and interrogations by counselors. The computerized data would be available to the school, the government, and future employers.
3. Use “national standards” and “national testing” to cement national control of tests, assessments, school honors and rewards, financial aid, and the Certificate of Initial Mastery (CIM), which is designed to replace the high school diploma.

Designed on the German system, the Tucker plan is to train children in specific jobs to serve the workforce and the global economy instead of to educate them so they can make their own life choices – “school-to-work”!

AND – School Choice, Vouchers, Charter Schools, Parent Trigger Bill, Parental Rights – all those names mean the same thing they are just loaded with other words meant to confuse you and they do!

This whole process of “dumbing down our children” has been a long, slow process with a firm foothold beginning in the early 1900’s. COMMUNISM is very patient – they know how to play the game!

“Your children’s children will live under COMMUNISM. You AMERICANS are so gullible. No, you won’t accept COMMUNISM outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of SOCIALISM until you will finally wake up & find that you already have COMMUNISM. We won’t ever have to fight you; we’ll weaken your economy until you fall like overripe fruit into our hands.” Nikita Khrushchev 1959

Added note: bottom line – the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, UNIONS AND BUSINESSES AROUND AMERICA ALONG WITH FOREIGN COUNTRIES/BUSINESSES HAVE NO BUSINESS BELING INVOLVED IN THE EDUCATION OF OUR CHILDREN.

It is the responsibility of the individual states and their parents – not Unions either but parents!

Who do you trust? Not a politician!

2

Does the FLDOE Work for Jeb Bush’s Foundation? Part 1

If you are receiving this posting and have been following me for very long you know I think there is a level of cronyism and corruption taking place in Tallahassee in regard to our Education system and in particular “Charter” schools. In addition, the connections between the FL. legislators, the FLDOE and Jeb Bush’s Foundations has come to the point of “out of control”. The Florida Legislature is in the process of trying to “clean” it’s house by writing a new Ethics Bill of which I stated the other day does not go far enough or deep enough.

Today the following information was brought out by a fellow blogger Bob Sikes on his blog “Scathing Purple Musings. I am happy to say we think quite a bit alike when it comes to the Education system in Florida or should I say “lack of Education”. The DC watchdog group “In the Public Interest” is doing a great job.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
jebbushfrowny← Bush Foundation “staff acted to promote their corporate funders priorities” – Posted on January 30, 2013 by Bob Sikes

Today’s release of emails from a DC watchdog indeed provided some troubling revelations. Among these were arranging travel and reimbursements for Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) staffers and examples of clear advocacies for their corporate donors. But more than anything else, the sheer volume of emails between multiple Foundation for Excellence in Education(FEE) staffers and state employees at the Florida Department of Education made the two appear almost co-dependent. So many policy questions and requests for data were made by FEE staffers to numerous FLDOE staff that one would more likely be left with the impression that the later worked for the former.

Most disturbing of these involved attempts to dictate policy and legislation. This from “In the Public Interest”:

In addition to sending an invitation to the FL state board of education to attend a press conference in support of parent trigger legislation, FEE staff were very much involved in legislation affecting the state’s school turnaround procedures, which include converting some neighborhood schools to charter schools. (Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson) emailed (Jeb Bush CEO Patricia Levesque) in December 2011 to review the Department of Education’s Differentiated Accountability Draft Legislation. Levesque writes, “I think we need to add a sec into this bill to give you/the department authority to set a state‐approved list of charter operators or private providers so districts can’t pick poor performers to implement turnaround. Also, you/State Board should have more authority to enforce a strict timeline for turnaround models.2” If Charter Schools USA, the for-profit operator, were included on the “state approved list,” it could improve the company’s growth potential.

And this involving Florida’s No Child Left Behind waiver:

Levesque made her and her team’s resources available in February 2012 to “help with any defense of Florida’s waiver, push back on Ed Trust’s report.” (Education Trust’s report, which rated each state’s NCLB waiver application, noted that Florida’s accountability system did little to address achievement gaps.) Chiefs for Change, another Jeb Bush-related education group, became aware of the report, because Paul Pastorek, who, as the former Louisiana state Superintendent, was a member of Chiefs for Change, attended a meeting about waivers at the Federal Department of Education as a representative of the Chiefs. New Jersey Education Commissioner Chris Cerf’s private response about the ratings to a representative from Education Trust was shared with Robinson by Levesque along with the note: “Did Gerard get his copy of their review? We would like to help respond.” Levesque and the Foundation were an integral part of the waiver process in Florida; at one point Robinson emailed a staffer saying “Please connect with Patricia as you did before to discuss our latest draft document. Also, take a look at a document she me about our waiver.”

It is clear that Levesque and her staff have been enlisting the assets of the FLDOE to support legislation they’ve crafted on behalf of their clients like Pearson and Charter Schools USA. Moreover, the never-ending requests for data reveal even more. FEE has been manipulating the FLDOE to conform to it’s agenda while using it as a tool to maintain the Florida Model Jeb Bush sells to state legislatures all over the country.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My added thoughts to this – I am not surprised it has surfaced and I am very grateful that it has. There is even more to come!

I would hope that you will read into these communications exactly what is here – the connection between the Florida Department of Education, Jeb Bush’s Chief of Staff Patricia Levesque and the Foundation for Excellence in Education’s manipulation or attempts to manipulate the legislation regarding Charter Schools in Florida and also the relationship s between the FLDOE, the Bush Foundations, Charter School and now Virtual School businesses and their “for-profit” “public-private” donors.

1. Gerard Robinson leaving the post as Florida’s Commissioner of Education “early” after reading this only endorses my thoughts that he found he was having to serve far too many masters and maybe his “ethical” side took over – we can only hope!

2. Florida now being graced with Jeb Bush’s Chief’s for Change “leader” as our Commissioner of Education and reading this information only makes me feel far more uncomfortable than I did before – especially when I know at least HALF of our State School Board is sleeping with Jeb Bush and his Foundations and have for some time in one capacity or another.

3. We have legislators who have been drafting policy to enrich the pockets of the likes of “Charter Schools USA” and their CEO Jonathan Hage and Mr. Hage being chosen as Florida’s “Man of the Year”. By the way – his children do not attend any Charter schools – his 4 children attend Pine Crest School, a private school at a tune of $20K per child, per year. He complains the closest Charter school to his home is 30 minutes away. (I still am curious as to how many of our Florida legislators send their children to Private schools).

4. Then there are the legislators drafting policy and putting into effect bills regarding Charter schools while enriching their pockets -Rep. Fresen, Academica; John Legg, Day Spring Academy; Rep. Seth McKeel, South McKeel Elementary Academy and Sen. Anitere Flores (Doral Academy.

5. How about the legislators who were as of 12/2012 (can’t say if they still are because Jeb Bush changed his web site) serving on Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education: Sen. Don Gaetz, Sen, John Negron, then Senator Thrasher and Rep. Weatherford.

Time and again the ethics have been overlooked and excused and I can tell you Patricia Levesque holds the same status and push in her job as does Valarie Jarrett in hers. These are very dangerous women who have perfected the ability of control and manipulation.

LevesqueIf Patricia Levesque comes calling put out the call “DANGER WILL ROBINSON, DANGER”! Maine’s Commissioner of Education Stephen Bowen might in the long run have been better off in making that call than the one he did to Patricia Levesque asking for her help in setting up Jeb Bush’s program in their state. Time will tell since he has been lured into the Levesque’s “spiderweb” and is now one of Jeb Bush’s Chief’s for Change also!

“Oh what tangled webs we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”

http://bobsidlethoughtsandmusings.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/bush-foundation-staff-acted-to-promote-their-corporate-funders-priorities/#comment-5436

http://www.inthepublicinterest.org/sites/default/files/0212%20ITPI%20Privatization_Report_f_0.pdf