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School Choice: The Hidden Dangers! Must Be Watched Videos!

It is essential that parents and parents-to-be fully understand what is happening in our education system and to fully understand what “School Choice” means to them and their children. When every education system offered (public, charter, voucher private/religious) must be aligned to a certain set of standards, that is NOT a choice.

Again I want to remind you this slow shift in the control of your children through their education has been around for over 100 years. This is not a PARTY “D” or “R” thing, both are involved. What you are seeing is a “pass of control” if you will, from the “unions to the corporate” cronies or from one group of “bad guys” to another group of “bad guys”. Understand none of them are your friends.

This is “SKILLS-BASED EDUCATION”! So you ask what is the difference between skill-based education and knowledge based education.

SKILL-BASED:  This form of education is more about teaching our children “WHAT” to think and it centers around developing and applying specific skills that can then be used to obtain the required knowledge for the workforce. From a teacher’s point of view, it changes the way lesson planning is done. Whereas before the focus would have been on how they could teach the class about a certain topic, skills-based learning means that the focus is now on how that topic can help the children to develop and learn certain skills. In other words, “dumbed down education” and this is where you get 2+2=5 or whatever a child wants. The goal is for the child to be able to justify their anser not so much as if it is correct.

ACADEMIC/KNOWLEDGE BASED:  Teaches a child “HOW” to think and to build upon the knowledge that the pupil already has. There are clear learning objectives set out which link to the activity undertaken, helping the child to see how their existing knowledge will help them to complete the task. For teachers this can mean having more one on one time with pupils to talk through how they are finding the task/subject and giving any additional help they may need. This can seem time-consuming but it will ensure that all pupils are engaged and learning during the lessons and that they will all succeed.

These videos will show you and go into more detail about behind the “double-speak” words which are being used in regard to education/school choice:

PRIVATIZATION:

Understood Meaning:  Allowing a true and free market to work i.e., private schools

Hidden Meaning:  Cronyism in the form of Public-Private Partnerships

SCHOOL CHOICE:

Understood Meaning:  A parent can choose from a wide range of different schools and options

Hidden Meaning:  Parent’s can choose from a narrow range of schools deemed acceptable by the government with no real choice

EDUCATIONAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS:

Understood Meaning:  A tax-free savings account into which parents may place their own earnings to use for the education options they choose from for their children

Hidden Meaning:  Entitlement programs in the form of vouchers subject to total government control

ACCOUNTABILITY:

Understood Meaning:  That the system (teachers, school boards & government) are answerable to parents & taxpayers

Hidden Meaning:  Answerable to your State and through the ESEA Federal government bureaucracy

LOCAL CONTROL:

Understood Meaning:  Local school districts are setting policy

Hidden Meaning:  The state determines a narrow range in which school districts may have a narrow range of pre-selected options

COMPETENCY:

Understood Definition:  Proficiency in an academic area

Hidden Definition:  Skills-based emotional and psychological training to be used in industry (utilitarian)

“Educating” the Workforce:  The Lie we’ve Unwittingly Embraced:

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4

Keep in mind that foundations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Walmart Family Foundation, ALEC, and others have invested deeply and supported BOTH Common Core and Choice/Vouchers.

Example: Education legislation just passed yesterday by Florida includes:

Praises from Jeb Bush and his lapdogs; critics are referring to it as manipulative and detrimental to traditional public schools;  the 278-page bill eliminates a section of Florida’s often-criticized, 2011 teacher merit-pay law; changes standardized testing rules; mandates 20 minutes of recess for elementary school children (exempting charter schools); expands a controversial teacher bonus program and provides new bonuses for most teachers for the next three years.

It also provides financial incentives for successful charter schools to open in neighborhoods with struggling traditional public schools and demands that school districts share some tax money with charters.

Gov. Scott’s $82.4 billion budget is a less than 1% increase from the current year. It includes $20.4 billion for PreK-12 schools, or $7,221 per student, about a $25 increase on the current year, the smallest jump since Florida began to climb out of the recession. House Speaker Corcoran’s push to use $200 million to entice charter schools to compete with chronically failing public schools and another $200 million to pay teachers bonuses based on SAT scores made the cut. (Keep in mind NO ONE will answer a question about the fraud and corruption going on within the Charter school system, not even if any of the money is being paid back or if anyone is going to jail.)There was a great deal of conversation surrounding transparency regarding the closed-door negotiations. But then the lack of transparency in Florida is nothing new since our legislature has for several years received a D or F in that area.

When called on the closed-door meetings, House Speaker Coocoran stated, “Under Article III (of the state Constitution), we have that right, and I’ve said it to you guys from the beginning: One of my biggest criticisms coming in as speaker was, we’re the body closest to the people, the Legislature. And what we’re going to do is, we’re going to go out there and we’re going to grab that authority.” Whew, he certainly sees himself as important. They change everything else in the Constitution, why never the bad things?

Lawmakers also approved legislation on Friday that would increase funding available to students under the state’s de facto voucher program and strengthen protections for expressions of religion in public schools.

Again all this entitlement and lack of oversight in regard to Charter schools with our legislators owning or being associated with Charter schools and at the same time writing and voting on Charter school legislation.

Our State colleges also took a $30.2 million cut, but then the amount being paid to college professors is enough to blow a person’s mind. The amount of debt our children graduate from college with is inexcusable. Take UCF, now the largest college in the country just gave their coach Scott Frost a 300,000 annual raise. The American Athletic Conference coach now earns $2 million per year after one season on the job.

 

This forward movement to control our children through education is controlling every aspect of government at this time. Parents was to fix it is to STOP re-electing these same old pieces of legislature bull and get some new blood in and if they defy us, then move them out too. They are re-call measures you know!

 

 

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Cold Calculated Screwing with Our Kids!

On Friday, March 6, a Tampa Bay Times reporter actually called a spade a spade. His article was right on regarding how these State Superintendents/Commissioners of Education and State School Boards are messing with our kids. The article addresses Florida kids, but from what I have been reading, this article reflects back to what is happening all over America.

Parents are waking up and realizing you are using them as collateral – “future collateral” – for the corporate public private partnerships and cash cow donations to the pockets of legislators. Read and see if this fits where you live. Time to start calling them out and removing them – elected or governor appointed.

YOU ARE MESSING WITH OUR KIDS LIVES

Crayons

The Real Error Message on Florida’s Computers

by Daniel Ruth

Perhaps it is because the state is governed by a walking motherboard that so many apparatchiks in Tallahassee’s bureaucracy seem to think of the populace as automatons who bleed algorithms.

How else to explain the indifference to Florida’s schoolchildren and the unemployed who have been treated as if they were Orwellian cogs doing the bidding of Tallahassee’s grand and glorious sigh tech wizards of faux pas.

In recent years, Florida’s high priests of education have hammered away about how our little dickens need to be repeatedly tested to make sure they are reaching Socraticesque heights of brilliance and classroom accountability.

But that same degree of accountability doesn’t extend to the very agency responsible for the assessment — the Florida Department of Education, which deserves a dunce cap for its ineptitude in ensuring that if you are going to subject school children high-stakes testing, you darn well better make sure the kiddos can actually take the exam.

Last week, eighth-, ninth- and tenth-graders were supposed to take an online state-mandated writing test. But when many of the little munchkins attempted to log on to school computers to begin the exam, their gizmos locked up. Some students were kicked off the system in the middle of the test, answers were lost and still other pupils received inexplicable error messages.

Widespread technical problems plagued at least 36 counties around the state, including Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco. Who cooked up this cyber practical joke? Hackers Without Borders?

It all could have been easily avoided, had only a tone-deaf Tallahassee not decided to go all “Harry Potter’s” Severus Snape. For months the state’s school superintendents had warned Education Commissioner Pam Stewart that her department’s transition to a new testing regimen was too rushed, that the state’s schools had not had time to properly implement the software for the computerized testing system. And they were ignored.

While Stewart claimed everything would be fixed, the glitches persisted.

If Tallahassee’s geniuses were truly interested in measuring student achievement rather than merely crunching numbers to create a false sense of classroom accomplishments, the Parris Island of testing would be suspended until students were assured they don’t have to worry about also having to contend with the cyber gremlins plotting against them. Fat chance.

“You’re always going to have implementation issues,” Senate Education Committee Chairman John Legg, R-Trinity, sniffed. But Legg and Stewart are ignoring the disservice they are imposing on the state’s students, whom they expect to academically and emotionally prepare for high-stakes testing, only to be told, “Sorry, the computer crashed. Come back tomorrow, or the day after that, and be prepared to go through this all over again.”

How fair is that? How can test scores from students under the additional pressure of being jerked around by state computers remotely be regarded as a reliable academic measurement? If students are expected to arrive for a test fully prepared, why isn’t the Florida Department of Education under the same mandate to have a test ready to take? Too much to ask?

Apparently so.

At the same time the Department of Education’s hamster was working overtime on the treadmill to keep its computers running, over at the oxymoronically titled Department of Economic Opportunity, out of work Floridians would be better off filing for unemployment benefits from a loan shark than expect much help from Tallahassee.

A state auditor general’s report has issued a damning indictment of DEO’s computer problems associated with its $77 million CONNECT website, which is supposed to help unemployed Floridians file for benefits.

The auditor general lambasted DEO for: requiring applicants to use their Social Security numbers to log on to the CONNECT system; mishandling some 408,356 claims; permitting 20,535 potentially ineligible claims to be paid because of dubious safeguards; consistently entering wrong data into the system; overpaying some claims; and having almost zero accountability controls in place.

Other than that, everything was fine.

But that didn’t stop DEO’s executive director Jesse Panuccio from sitting on the scathing report for weeks until he could release it in a late Friday afternoon document dump in the vain hope no one would notice he oversees Tallahassee’s answer to a Third World bus system.

What do these two stories share? When Florida’s most vulnerable populations — its schoolchildren and the unemployed in dire need of assistance — turn to their state government for help, all they get in return is, “Error Message: Invalid Proper Value.”

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/ruth-the-real-error-message-on-floridas-computers/2220373