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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.

 

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Charter School Gravy Train and the Total Ruination of American Education by Treachery Part 2

Then comes an even warmer New York City day in August when the investors have all gathered in a tiny private club in Manhattan so eager to hear about the next “cash cow”, and education consultant Rob Lytle was happy to oblige.

Rob Lytle Parthenon GroupLytle, his suit neatly pressed to honor a king stated proudly, “Think about the upcoming rollout of the new national academic standards for public schools. If they’re as rigorous as advertised, a huge number of schools will suddenly look really bad with their students testing way behind in reading and math. And private, for-profit vendors, (Public Private Partnerships) (PPP), selling lesson plans, educational software and student assessments will be right there to provide it.”

Before we go any further, maybe we should take a look at Rob Lytle. He is employed by the Parthenon Group and is the Co-Head of the Education Practice Department along with Karen Khemka. Lytle states he has led client engagements on general strategy, performance improvement, and investment due diligence across a broad spectrum of educational organizations.

In reality, “a guy who likes to play with the big business boys and is joined by Public Private Corporations involving them in co-businesses using our children as their ‘human collateral’”. Their words, not mine.

Lytle goes on to tell them to imagine what this could mean for their “bottom-line”. IF these new standards are as rigorous as advertised, the schools are all going to look bad and they’ll need help quick. And we can be right there to provide it.”

 You start to see the entire ecosystem of investment opportunity lining up. It could get really, really big.”

 And indeed, investors of all stripes could just smell the big profit potential in public education. They could already hear the “cha-ching”!  They were like a bunch of high school boys getting ready for their first prom visualizing their evening expectations.

Never ever forget there has been a massive national and international organized plan to privatize education which has been in the process of being implemented over several decades. Billionaires such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie, Broad Foundation, Bush Dynasty and the Pearson Corporation among others, have infiltrated hundreds of governmental bodies including school boards, city and county councils and other sections of our local, state and federal government.

You don’t think former President Johnson pulled the original ESEA out of his hat do you? Then there’s George H.W. Bush first talk about Charter schools and volunteerism to be used toward a student gaining their diploma.

Ever since the Carnegie Foundation put out their 1934 Report on the Commission on Social Studies things regarding education have been headed down a slippery slope.

“The True Goal of School Choice by Charlotte Iserbyt is extremely telling!

The goal is to turn the education system into a for-profit center worth tens of billions of dollars while at the same time turning our kids into “worker-bees” for the factories and fields. They can spout all they want to about 21st Century College and Career Readiness and fancy acronyms like STEM, but if this were true then why in the world would our children be learning Skinnerian Outcome Based Education through the CCS and at the same time masquerading that Charter/Choice is the better road to take.

Charter, Private and Parochial schools are using the CCS – so ask yourself, what is the point of all this?

FutahHave you all forgotten we have foreign Gulen Charter schools in this country with the blessings of the U.S. State Department and they are also funded by YOUR tax dollars? What is wrong with American parents to think it is “kool” for their kids to attend an Islamic school when they are not Islamic and to allow their child to travel to Turkey for 4-5 weeks during the summer for private indoctrination?

Has everyone lost their minds?

Parents and school administrators all over the country think it makes them special to be associated with the International Baccalaurate program. Never mind the school district don’t care they are spending millions upon millions of dollars on this program with no superior results. Most parents are not even aware their tax dollars are being used to pay for the program nor do they care. And they certainly are not looking at what the program is subtlety teaching them. Try looking up GAIA for their Science.

The U.S. State Department also has allowed the UN/UNESCO proprietary curriculums to be implemented in our schools and there is even less control of these programs in the Charter schools.

There are also criminal elements of which have been allowed and encouraged politicians to personally benefit from using their public positions to profit from their votes and actions. http://youtu.be/JAeRbh1KVkg

Lytle states the K-12 market is tantalizingly huge! He states:

“According to the NCES the U.S. spends more than $591B a year to educate kids from ages five through 18. The entire education sector, including college and mid-career training represents nearly 11% of the U.S. gross domestic product, more than the energy or technology sectors.

Traditionally, public education has been a tough market for private firms to break into – fraught with politics, tangled in bureaucracy and fragmented into tens of thousands of individual schools and school districts from coast to coast.

Now investors are signaling optimism that the “golden calf” has arrived. They’re pouring private equity and venture capital into scores of companies that aim to profit by taking over broad swaths of public education.”

WOW! ‘If I were a rich man, yubby, dibby, dibby, dibby, dum’!

The very simple fact is the education system did NOT even begin to fail until the Federal government got their hands on the education of our children. They touch nothing they don’t ruin. Public education is not broken. It is not failing or declining – it is the curriculum, standards and object of controlling our children’s lives that has failed and the “reformers” looking to manage everything for their share of the “pot”.

Might I add it is these intrusive market-based “reformers” that have allied themselves with those who have long sought to destroy public education who are the monsters here.

All this has caused exactly what you would expect. With the transfer of public funds to private management companies/groups, and the creation of thousands of deregulated, unsupervised, and unaccountable charter schools it has opened the public coffers to profiteering, fraud, scandals and exploitation by large and small entrepreneurs. All with the encouragement of almost ALL elected legislators.

A conference at the NY University Club billed as a how-to on “private equity investing in for-profit education companies”, drew a full house of over 100 attendees.

You can be sure your children are headed for real problems when your state passes legislation to cover every “nook and cranny” of the public-private dealings in your state – especially if they are given carte blanche as they were in Florida.

Do you for one minute think these corporations care about your child’s success or failure in education or anything else for that matter?

In the venture capital world, transactions in the K-12 education sector soared to a record $389M in 2013, up from a mere $13M in 2005.

Do you realize that is a 3,000% increase in 6 years on the backs of YOUR children? This figure is expected to reach over $788B by next year.

And what do you get from the business world if you fight back? A nasty letter from the CEO of ExxonMobil to the governor of your state threatening to take their business elsewhere!

The rise and growth of the for-profit education industry has some really hard hitters on their side. They seek out different ways to sell products to schools and school districts, selling a variety of programs to match the Common Core Standards, even writing lucrative deals for charter school properties, data mining and investing in various Charter School Management Companies.

The goal for them:  an education revolution in which public schools outsource to private vendors such critical tasks as teaching math, educating disabled students, even writing report cards, said Michael Moe, of GSV Capital, a Silicon Valley type investment firm from Chicago which invests heavily in education start-ups including Knewton Inc. and Avenues, a New York–based private for-profit school with plans to expand into a global chain. (Tuition for the 2014-2015 year is $43,400 plus another $2,200 for snacks, athletic uniforms, and lap tops, etc.) Before and after school programs and transportation are optional). There is no doubt that you can make a lot of money in the business of education.

I know this article is about Charter schools, but it is also about the $$ flowing around our children like a cold cloud. I hit pay dirt today. If you have followed my postings these past few years you know I name names and two of my favorite names are Jeb Bush and Chris Whittle. And this will end back up in Charter schools.

Chris Whittle, Chairman and CEO of Avenues, is best known for his founding of the Edison Charter Schools in 1992 (now Edison Learning).  Now I know where a good share of his funding came from.

Whittle who presents himself as a “mild-mannered” genial man with his bow-ties and cardigan sweaters, is in fact a troublemaker who has had the reputation of getting himself swallowed up by hornet’s nests since his first business venture right after college. I’m going to stick to the one regarding Edison Charter Schools – also one of the first Charter school failures.

In 1989, Whittle Communication tanked and problems were uncovered having to do with the company’s accounting (they hadn’t paid state taxes dues) and Whittle was described by auditors as grandiose, profligate and self-deluded. The assets were split up, liquidated and their massive headquarters sold.

In 1991, with Whittle Communications still hanging on by a thread, it was re-named the Edison Project (or Edison Schools Inc., or Edison Learning – they were changing so fast) and began his first education involvement as a for-profit education management company. The initial idea was to create a network of 1,000 newly built private schools within a decade, but as the privatization drive picked up steam, he saw an opening in simply managing existing public schools for local governments. Charter Schools – he is a personal friend of Jeb Bush!

Making the circle of friends included the involvement of Tom Ingram (campaign manager and chief of staff to former TN governor and U.S. Secretary of Education from 1991-1993, Lamar Alexander), Benno C. Schmidt, Jr. (co-founder of Avenues), John Chubb (political scientist from the Hoover & Brookings Institutes), and Chester E. Finn, Jr. (assistant secretary of education to former presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush). Originally founded around the idea of school vouchers, Edison primarily contracted with school districts on the basis of performance partnerships, alliances, and charter school establishments.

The company never posted a profit and in 2001 the share’s reached $36 and plummeted another 95% in 2002 promoting a management buyout.

Roger Milliken, an 87-year-old textile and chemical mogul was rumored to be considering bailing Whittle out. Whittle was embarrassed for being known to being courted by a notorious right-wing radical with news stories and editorials saying Whittle’s business plan was to depend on “old fashioned panhandling”.

Christopher Byron, an old friend of Whittle, noted all of Whittle’s business failures and his inability to generate profit. He went on to remark that Edison’s business plan in reality was nothing more than relying on philanthropy and would be “inherently” nonmarket based. Elaborating on the charge of “panhandling,” Byron wrote:

What else would you call it when a NASDAQ listed company, which is presumably in business to make a profit, cannot even sell its service to nearly 20 percent of its clients, let alone make any money for itself thereafter, without first soliciting the indirect support of various philanthropic foundations around the country?

At the same time Byron was showing how Whittle was failing to operate Edison truly like a business, others were highlighting exactly the different ways “for-profit” schooling was rendering public schools unaccountable by subjecting them to the whims of the market and lack of transparency.

To paint you a clearer picture, Edison under the leadership of Whittle, had by September, 2002 accumulated $276.3M in debt dating back to 1996 plus another $61.8M in losses prior to 1996.

Chris WhittleAlso in 2002 as Edison was scrambling for capital, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Edison was settling a claim for misrepresenting corporate income to investors. The investigation revealed Edison had been counting “state” to “teacher” payments as company income despite the fact Edison never received that money. Edison failed to disclose that as much as 41 percent of its revenue that year consisted of money that it never saw, a sum of $154 million.

There is far too much to try and share with you about this company and the deceitful practices of Chris Whittle. I think you get the picture. His charter schools around the country were beginning to break their contracts giving their reasons as finances and lack of performance.

Kenneth Saltman who wrote a book about the Edison Schools stated: “what is happening is Edison had failed to achieve both its original mission and its financial goals”. The original mission was to privatize public schools through voucher schemes.

That turned into running public schools through performance contracting.

Edison, which was eventually made private in 2003 in a buyout facilitated by Liberty Partners on behalf of the Florida Retirement System and the three pension fund trustees, then Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist, Florida Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, and Florida Governor Jeb Bush. This involved using the pension investments from the state’s public school teacher’s pension fund. The trustee’s tried to ward off objections stating “that would be playing politics”.

Make no mistake – this deal was financed with retirement funds of Florida teachers and other state employees against their loud and hardy protests. The Public employees and their unions had absolutely nothing to say about the deal and Whittle came away from this deal with a promised $600K per year and a bonus worth nearly triple his base pay!

All the protests made to Bush by teachers, federal employees plus retirees fell on deaf ears. Even Florida Education Association spokesperson Mark Pudlow said that Bush “has had a strong privatization agenda.”

The wheels of the money go round and round, round and round!

This is a political/business game! Politician’s pass the legislation in favor of the management companies so they can make more money and in turn the management company gives the politicians more money so he in turn will present more legislation making the management company’s job easier for them to make more money so they can give more to the politician to then again!

Whittle and Edison are not unique. There are scandals galore in all forms all over the country. You should be checking on the Charter Management companies in your state and make every effort to protect your children. There are far too many charter schools failing for numerous reasons which far exceed regular public schools and who is paying for all this manipulation – your children!

 

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SO WHO IS MIKE HUCKABEE – A Traitor to Children?

The surfacing action of Huckabee to start “putting out feelers” as to his presidential electability is certainly an issue to look at with his involvement with Jeb Bush and Huckabee’s support of the Common Core Standards and now – doing a total turn around on his national weekly Fox show.

It appears that Huckabee is better suited to politics than being a man of the cloth. Ministers are to be held to a higher standard – I am not saying it is right, but it just goes with the occupation or calling. Huckabee is a player of words and I would put him into the new class of “New World Evangelists” who refuse to address the direction our country is taking to ruination.

He is a lot like Rick Warren having even attended seminary at the same time and the same place as Warren.

HUckabee 5We now know that his speech to the Council of State School Officers (CCSSO) was worded very differently than his announcement on his Fox show. Not only that, it appears the governor has also learned “double speak” lately.

At the CCSSO meeting Huckabee urged state education officials to get rid of the “Common Core” name because it has become “toxic.” Hum! However, Huckabee intends to continue to support the standards and it would appear this is the case as he is still listed on Jeb Bush’s Common Core site as a supporter. And – why was Huckabee invited to speak to the CCSSO?

“Rebrand it, refocus it, but don’t retreat,” Huckabee reportedly told CCSSO members. This of course is what some states are doing especially Florida. Florida lawmakers, Governor Scott and Commissioner of Education Stewart have all said they want to delete “Common Core” from official documents and replace it with the friendly sounding “Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.” Supposedly by changing the name of the standards everyone will forget they are the grandfather of the Common Core and the complete ruination of our children’s education.

In Florida, the Sunshine State Standards, adopted in 1996 became the Common Core State Standards in 2010.

This past November, Joe Follick a spokesman for the FL Dept. of Education stated, “Given the input that the state has taken and the changes that are likely to be made, “it would be disingenuous to call them common core standards”.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) used an executive order to strip the name “Common Core” from the state’s new math and reading standards for public schools. In Iowa, the same standards are now called “The Iowa Core.”

Tea Party members and others have argued that the standards amount to a federal intrusion in education, while supporters have tried to make the resistors believe that the development of the standards was spearheaded by governors and education officials.

Just the fact the president and Arne Duncan were ready and waiting on the sidelines with Race To The Top (RTTT) grants to the states shows the Federal intrusion. The grants from RTTT pushed the states to agree to share all their information on our children, their families and the teachers to the huge data mining system. All of this done BEFORE the standards were written and without any state legislation being passed authorizing it.

Back to good ole Huckabee! In June, 2013 Huckabee came out swinging in defense of the CCS. He sent a letter to lawmakers in Oklahoma, urging them to support Common Core. “Like many of you, I’ve heard the argument these standards ‘threaten local control’ of what’s being taught in Oklahoma classrooms,” Huckabee wrote. “Speaking from one conservative to another let me assure you this simply is not true. States and local school districts will determine how they want to teach kids, what curriculum to use, and which textbooks to use.
Hucktobee
You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time. Huckabee is no conservative. His gubernatorial record shows that.

His lack of understanding the full scope of this “infection” – standards are to be used as the goals to reach and the curriculum is what is used to gain those goals is irresponsible. With the likes of Pearson and every Tom, Dick and Harry company out there writing curriculum to align with the standards For Profit – there is no escape from this but total elimination.

All of Huckabee’s remarks are like a playbook from Jeb Bush’s Foundation.

We can ask the question why did Huckabee choose to agree with the likes of Jeb Bush and his cronies rather than the American parents who had bothered to do their research! Why did he choose to ignore people like Professor’s Sandra Stotsky and James Milgram, but instead decided to follow the like-minded support of David Coleman, Linda Darling-Hammond, Bill Ayers, George Soros and Jeb Bush types?

This causes one to wonder what Huckabee got for his initial support of the CCS and now apparent continued support! Backers for a presidential run, monetary? He certainly could have done his own research!

cHILD aBUSE 4Huckabee’s “epiphany” mirrors that of others who have suddenly realized that it was not just a few unimportant people who are concerned about CCS; but instead, the parents and taxpayers of America, from all parties, no parties, no particular occupations or races – but our nation as a whole realizing the danger of having the Obama administration indoctrinate our children into the social justice agenda through Common Core Standards – using our children as “Human Capital” to become involved in public-private partnerships is not only despicable, but Progressive to Socialistic.

The selfish and inconsiderate support of this planned damage against our children cannot be explained or excused – now or in the future! We are talking about a former governor here that supported Bill Clinton’s “School-To-Work Act”. He also appears to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing!

Put your money away boys – you will not win this battle! Parents will!

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Orlando CCSSO Common Core Secret Meeting Part 2

Pam StewartFor Florida (you can fit your state in here) it is very obvious the powers to be intend to go ‘forward’ with ‘no changes’ to the CCS as Commissioner Stewart has stated. I just wish she would be an ethical person and remove herself from the Jeb Bush Foundation or let him pay her salary since most of us feel that is where she gets her instructions from.

My mother taught me a long time ago you can never serve 2 masters at the same time, at least not effectively or ethically. Which master are you serving Commissioner, the children of Florida or Jeb Bush? Do you have children? Have you read the Common Core Standards?

Let me be clear – no changes are in the wind other than the changing of the Florida CCS name and Stewart claiming she is coming up with 40 changes to pacify the objectors. The problem is the objectors to the CCS know that by agreement no one can offer more than 15% changes and even then they will not be included in the testing portion – so what is the point other than phony appeasement?

Stewart is on the hot seat with the Florida Legislature because she told them she could get this under control and she has not. She is out of her league, the FL DOE are do nothing chair setters and the legislators have no intention of doing away with the Common Core Standards for Florida.

You see in Florida our current and past 2 Commissioner’s of Education were serving multiple masters or at least they were supposed to: the governor, legislature, District Superintendents, State and District School Boards and most of all JEB BUSH – least of all the parents and children. Tough role to pull off!

It appears Stewart has carried through with fulfilling Scott’s Executive Order regarding PARCC testing. It does however leave Florida operating within the consortium since nothing has been mentioned about leaving PARCC altogether. Florida has turned over its fiscal agent (money manager) responsibilities is all.

The next question should be “who is going to put together our tests to replace the PARCC test this spring? Pearson? Heaven help us! Maybe ALEC can do it! And why hasn’t there been a review panel with parents included in this process? Teachers?

I find it interesting that this country has focused so much on continual ‘teach to the test’ and constant testing when a good share of the countries we are supposed to be aligning to don’t test for years at a time.

This writer believes that so much of this is centered on money – using our children as Human Capital for their profiteering game.

They continue to talk about STEM so why not schools just for STEM students and leave the rest of the kids to pre 1965 Classical education? Which by the way got us to the moon and back along with being at the top of the heap in education at the time. What happened? The Federal Government got involved in education and everything was downhill from then on.

We don’t need more money for education – we need a curriculum that is right, teaches what our children need to know and is out from under the will and authority of the Federal government.

You see our country has become so focused on that college piece of paper, yet the graduates still don’t have anything in their heads because they have turned to mush. A large majority are going to college for the ‘fun’ not the education – they don’t have the basics.

I have found over the years “hands on training and respect” get you farther and make you smarter than thousands of $$ to the college loan rackets – money again! In fact if you want to make money today start a business around education.

And Rex Tillerson (ExxonMobil) – with his threats – most parents who love their children believe he should take his ExxonMobil threats and go back to Texas and swirl in their oil with the Bush’s who also seem to be making a good deal out of the business of Education. Never forget, it was Daddy Bush as president who really got his hands into education and laid out the groundwork for Bill Clinton along with Marc Tucker and their Communist education takeover.

Our state legislators need to begin thinking about our children, use their heads instead of their wallets and get our children out of bed with the Federal government for as we all know anything the Federal government touches turns to _ _ _ _! The legislators and school officials might even try reading the standards if they can read!

At the FL School Board meeting announcing the appointment of Pam Stewart things were not all rosy. Discord among board members as to the implementation of the CCS were very apparent. I for one don’t understand why if implemented, CCS are not being done on a gradual 1st grade in 2014, 1st grade in 2015 and so on – not plunk it down right in the middle of their education.

Outgoing board member Kathleen Shanahan blasted department leaders for not giving clear direction on the new Common Core State Standards and delaying a decision on what exams will replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests.

“The commissioner (Stewart) is fully in support and not wavering at all,” added Chairman Gary Chartrand. “I think we move forward.”
Chartrand
The debate led to a tense exchange between Shanahan and Chartrand, who defended Stewart. “Do you see the timeline issue?” Shanahan asked.
“We can’t go back in time,” Chartrand replied. “We had a commissioner change, unfortunately.”

The new timeline troubled Shanahan, who pointed out that the education department would have just six months between making the decision and the start of the 2014-15 school year, when the tests would be launched.

Board member John Padget: “Those of us on the board that have had the privilege of having large private organizations realize that with a change of this magnitude, there are always hiccups.” Our children’s futures are a HICCUP?

Chartrand himself is dancing to his own tune with his involvement in the Kipp Charter schools.

And of course the Madam of the Jeb Bush Foundations Patricia Levesque, who always has something to say for job justification stated, “the organization was speaking up now in part because of where the state stands in putting the standards in place”. Now? The Jeb Bush Foundations have been running all over the country for years pushing the CCS agenda.

“This year is when every student at every grade level is going to be exposed to Common Core,” she said. “Exposed” – do you mean like a virus?Rick Scott 5

Here is another question for you to ponder. Why do you think Jeb Bush is pushing the CCS and Charter/Choice/Vouchers all at the same time when all public school students are supposed to be taught under the CCS?

Florida’s Governor Scott, Commissioner, Legislators, State School Board and District Superintendents are dancing to the tune of Jeb Bush, along with those having a seat at the Bush Foundation, plus the likes of Chester Finn (Fordham), George Soros, Sen. Lamar Alexander (cradle to grave control), Craig Barrett (Intel), Rex Tillerson (ExxonMobil) Achieve , Edward Rust (State Farm), Condoleezza Rice, Carnegie Foundation, GE, and far too many to list. Oh, and let’s not forget David Coleman and Arne Duncan along with the president of the CFR Richard Haass who also sit on the Bush Foundation.

Time to clean up our state – to start supporting officials by actions not party, or being led around by a leash.

Floridians Against Common Core Education (F.A.C.C.E.) has ask the Gov. Scott on more than one occasion to take a further step in cleaning up the legislative apparatus in Tallahassee to include insisting that Pam Stewart, Mary Ellen Elia (Hillsborough Superintendent of Schools), and Fl. legislators John Thrasher, John Legg, Joe Negron, Erik Fresen, Anitere Flores, Don Gaetz, Kelli Stargel, and Will Weatherford remove themselves immediately from serving on the Jeb Bush Foundation for Excellence in Education. Never, ever a response from his office.

One last thing! For you to read and ponder The Republican Party of Florida ‘Oath of Party Loyalty and Ethical Conduct’ statement! I believe they are basically the same in all states. Do you believe our elected officials show you the same respect they do to the PARTY?

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GET OUT THE KLEENEX: A Teacher’s Story

To My Students: ‘I Love You and Believe in You’
December 13, 2013 re-posted from http://bwcentral.org

Kris NeilsonTo My Students,

I did not return to the classroom this year and I want to apologize. I am truly sorry for having left you. It was the hardest decision I have ever made. I want you to understand why I left. It had nothing to do with you. I still love you and believe in you. You are still amazing and you can do anything you want to do. I did not give up on you. I left to fight for you.

I saw you struggling with Common Core skills. Even with the new curriculum from the district, no matter how I broke it down for you I could see you didn’t understand. I saw the frustration on your faces. And when time ran out and we had to take the county’s test (on the county’s schedule), I saw the tears roll from your eyes. You failed. I saw you missing school more days than normal. I saw you with long sleeves covering up the cutting scars on your arms. I saw how the sparkle in your eyes dimmed. I saw the small bald spot on your head where you had pulled out your hair. And it wasn’t just in my class. You hated going to math. You came early everyday for homework help, but it didn’t make any difference. You still could not understand.

I want you to know none of this is your fault. It is not you. I know the school, the county and the state call it “rigor.” That is a horrible word. Look it up in the dictionary for me. Rigor is for dead people. You are not failing because it is too hard. You are not failing because you are not working hard enough. You are not failing because of your teachers. You are failing because Common Core was not written by teachers. Common Core was not written to help you. Let me explain why this hurts you so much.

Your brain, as it develops, can only learn certain things at certain times. Common Core is trying to force you to learn things your brain is not ready to learn. Researchers for decades have found that the things Common Core requires you to do are impossible until you reach high school, at the earliest. No matter what your teachers do to get you to learn it, you aren’t going to be able to. There is nothing wrong with you. Your brain was designed perfectly. Common Core standards were not.

Common Core was written by businessmen trying to make money off of you. You and your learning are a grand experiment in corporate profits. If you fail at school, if your teachers fail to teach you, these corporations can sell more books, workbooks, tests, software and technology to schools and even to your parents to try at home. None of it will work. These same businessmen want to convince states to let them and their companies take over your schools. Your parent’s tax dollars would then go to these companies. Over $600 billion is spent on education every year in this country. This money should go to your education, not to private companies. It is very similar to what was done to prisons several years ago.

Common Core is the first time in the history of this country that a privately written and copyrighted plan has become public policy. There is no research to back it and it has never been tested. Politicians are pushing it because these corporations are giving them money to push it.

When I left, I met with members of your Board of Education and told them what was happening. They ignored me. I went to the local newspaper and they ignored me too. When I spoke to the state Senate education committee they dismissed me as a political nut job. When I came back to chaperone your fall dance I was told I was “no longer one of you” and I could not come in because of my position on Common Core. Ghandi once said, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.” We will win. We will win for you and every student after you. This is not political. This is for the future leaders of our country. These corporations don’t want to teach you how to think.

It is time for you to talk to your parents. Help them understand that opting you out of state testing will protect your personal information as well as stop the data that is being used to unfairly judge you and your teachers. Schools where more than 80% of kids have been opted out are cancelling these stressful tests that measure nothing. There is a new test coming to replace the CRCT, which is why politicians like Governor Deal and Superintendent Barge want to keep Common Core. Have your parents demand a portfolio of your work be kept and that your hard work be used to decide if you should go on to the next grade, not a random test. Any test not written by and graded by your teachers should never be allowed in the classroom.

Please do not worry about me. I am strong and people have called me worse names and banned me from much better places. Standing up for what is right is not always the easy thing. I knew that when I left my classroom. I have 32,000 other teachers from all over the country who are standing with me. I have education experts and child psychologists standing with me. I have politicians standing with me. I have famous authors standing with me. And the group is growing.

Just this week I got an email from Judy Blume, author of famous children’s classics like Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Blubber, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, Forever, and Tiger Eyes. She shared with me that she was a horrible test-taker. She is very grateful that she is not in school taking the kinds of tests you are taking. Can you imagine how horrible it would be if our favorite authors gave up because they could not do well on standardized tests that meant nothing? I don’t want to find out.

Talk to your parents and let them know what is happening in your classrooms. Every time you take a test or a survey, tell your parents. Be brave and keep making me proud. You can be anything you want to be. I am always here for you.

Mrs. Meg Norris, Ed.S.

7th Grade (former) teacher

Georgia

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BUSINESS AS USUAL!

Not that any of us are surprised, we can see that Tallahassee is operating in the “Business As Usual” mode when it comes to the Common Core Standards. You notice I leave out the word State because that is part of the deception – state led!  More like a “State In Chains”.

Pam Stewart

One day before the public comments were scheduled to end, Florida Department of Education officials continued the trend set by Commissioner Pam Stewart and Race to the Top coordinator Holly Edenfield stating that the Common Core standards are not expected to change significantly and that implementation will proceed “full speed ahead”. hOLLY Endfield

Are we surprised? How long has it been since Tallahassee has listened to the people of Florida about anything?

Given that Pam Stewart is STILL sitting on Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education with her removal no where in sight and the recent announcement that Jeb Bush would be supporting Gov. Scott for his re-election bid, I am sure the parents of Florida are sleeping better at night!

Who is Pam Stewart? Former Florida Chancellor of Education who was never quite good enough to be the Commissioner of Education when there was a Jeb Bush Foundation for Excellence in Education “Chief for Change” available. Too bad she can’t get out of Jeb Bush’s hip pocket she might make a good Commissioner.

You really should take the time to check out all the “reformers” sitting on the Foundation – some of them will amaze you!

Found Excellence in Edu

And Holly Edenfield – she is the Project Manger overseeing the RTTT department and she was responsible for overseeing the writing of the Florida RTTT Grant applications. From Ocala, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science from Florida State University and a Master of Education degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from the University of Florida.

Ms. Edenfield (Radcliffe) was a senior company member of The Tallahassee Ballet from 2001-2006, and danced notable roles in The Nutcracker, Beauty and the Beast, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream among others after working for 3 years for the FL Dept. of Educ. Now she is back at the Dept. of Education.

We need to be sleeping with our eyes and ears wide open. The mass deception being perpetrated in Tallahassee is probably the largest in the country. With a large Jeb Bush legislature and Gov. Scott taking orders from “himself” – nothing being done is for the people and certainly not for the good of our children. Not only that, most of the people involved in this “ruination” of our children’s future’s may or may not have Education degrees under their belts, but they have never taught in a classroom nor do they really know what is needed to educate our children.

They also had to be very sure the national media regarding the Scott endorsement got in the national news wires. And not one word about Education! Quoting Scott’s supposed accomplishments in the area of employment was a “safe” agenda.

Scott and BushI have posted on this blog before about Scott’s use of Enterprise Florida,  and the business back door deals he is making with foreign governments and businesses around the world including Communist China and their $90M into our Charter schools.

Are these really jobs for Floridians or foreigners under the new Green Card law?

Scott and Edu 2

Does the deception and back door deals never stop in Florida?

The latest Tallahassee mouthpiece sent out to try to appease the public was Mary Jane Tappen, K-12 Deputy Chancellor, who stated:

“I want to first speak about our Standards Professional Development. We’re talking about the Common Core Standards in English/Language Arts and Mathematics. Our school districts are implementing these standards K through 12 this year. As you know, blended course descriptions are available on CPALMS, which I’ll talk about in just a minute. In grades 3-10, our teachers are implementing those blended course descriptions, which include the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Sunshine State Standards that are going to be assessed this year on FCAT 2.0 for the last time.”

“We are moving forward with the new more rigorous standards. So, if anyone is hesitating or worried about next year, the timeline has not changed. We are moving forward and we will have new course descriptions for next year and … new assessments. To support your implementation, all of the work that you’re doing at the local level, many of you have participated in our summer institutes.”

Mary Jane TappenJust who is Mary Jane Tappen? Before replacing Pam Stewart as the Chancellor of Education she was the Deputy Chancellor for Curriculum, Instruction and Student Services. She is the one that got credit for the idea to post a digital link on the internet for parents/teachers to go to preview instructional materials before they are adopted.

Obviously no one listened as many parents and the Textbook Action Team of Florida in 2010 began screaming bloody murder over the amount of Islam addressed in our World History books. The personal responses we all got was the local school boards putting blame on the FL Dept. of Educ. as to the school book choices and the FL Dept. of Educ. putting the responsibility on the local school district’s. Fine job Ms. Tappen!

From my personal experience with the FL Dept of Curriculum & Instructional Materials, Ms. Tappen is doing no better job at this one as Chancellor than she was in her previous position.

Now the Governor! Just what are his intentions? He responds to no parents – no inquiries! He believes he doesn’t have to – I guess he thinks he is above reproach. The parents of Florida are here to tell you, you are wrong. You do answer to us – the oath you took says so! So if you cannot abide by your oath the first time in office, why do you think we would want you back – because you have Jeb Bush’s endorsement? Think again!

You write an Executive Order with a lot of words that have come to mean nothing. You don’t show up at your own called events – you are refusing to listen to the parents of this state and things according to Ms. Stewart “are not expected to change significantly and that implementation of the CCS will proceed “full speed ahead”. It is suggested Governor that you go back to your previous job!

cHILD aBUSE 4So what are the parents of children in Florida supposed to think? We are being ignored and with all the reports coming in from physicians, psychologists and brave teachers we know the Common Core Standards are hurting our children.

For this writer I believe it is time to call “a spade a spade” and that is the Common Core Standards is a form of “Child Abuse”. Anytime an individual intentionally hurts a child in any form it is Child Abuse.

Our only recourse may be the ballot box in the next election and we need to seriously begin looking at that and preparing.

JUST SAY NO
TO FCAT 2.0!

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FL Dept of Education & the Parents!

I present to you a wonderful writing by Dave Miller, a strong Florida Conservative explaining his experience in learning about Common Core from the so to speak “Leaders” of Florida!

My experience learning about Common Core from Education Leaders; Pasco County & Florida by Dave Miller October 7, 2013

nclbSeveral months ago I had the opportunity to present concerns about the Common Core Program to the Pasco County School Administration including school superintendent, Education Vice President and a member of the school board. One of the groups I belong to invited them in to hear about our concerns. My 25 minute presentation consisted of two parts and I explained this at the beginning of my talk. The first part described what we knew about the program and the second described our concerns based on what we knew. The presentation was politely listened to however it was clear by their comments that they had no clue about what is really going on with the Common Core Agenda, that they had already signed up for the program and did not want to know anything else – they had been brainwashed.

Then two months ago State Senator John Legg was a speaker at the Central Pasco Republican Club so I went to hear him talk. He said very little about Common Core and basically talked in circles; the only comment of significance that I can recall is him saying that “not all students will go to college”. He did not elaborate as to who would decide which students would and which would not go.

scandal 3Next I went to hear then School Chancellor Pam Stewart speak at the Republican Club in Tampa and she also praised Common Core but when I questioned her about the changes to Federal Privacy Laws allowing dissemination of student and family information, she seem to be completely unaware. However despite this lack of important knowledge for someone in her position, she was then promoted to Commissioner of Education.

Charter Choice 2Last month at a later meeting of the first group, John Legg was the invited Speaker. John Legg is a Florida State Senator and Committee Chairmen of the Education Committee so he is someone who should know what is going and we thought we could learn more from him. (John and his wife also own a couple of Charter Schools which of course is a conflict of interest for him.) John showed up with several copies of the standards and after wasting time rambling on about his religious upbringing he took questions but just kept talking in circles, pointing to a copy of the standards and saying that if we don’t like them show him what part we don’t like. He refused to give direct answers to questions causing one member to walk out and at one point he said to the audience “you know I don’t have to be here”. He also refused to allow an audience member who had travel far to hear him speak, speak. It was truly a disgusting performance and an inexcusable display of behavior for a public official. – Basically he refused to participate, public be dammed.

Next I went to hear School Superintendent Kurt Browning speak at the Wesley Chapel Republican Club two weeks ago and he spoke about the fact that Common Core was created by 48 states (which is just not true), that it is not a federal program and for people to not believe what they hear or read on the internet. This was his primary message; to not believe anyone else, just believe the government -and to think that he is responsible for education of all children in Pasco County. He talked about a few educational issues, about the need for critical thinking, how different students learn differently, and about competing in the Global Economy, but really gave no specifics about Common Core. He did mention however that he is going around Pasco County talking to groups to ‘promote’ the program and dispel incorrect information, and he handed out a color glossy brochure to the audience; not sure who paid for this. He took a few questions at the end but stopped when I raised my hand.

Before the meeting I did get a chance to personally speak to Amelia Larson and among other things reminded her that Pasco is graduating students who cannot read and write script and yet the administration is saying that they need higher standards. I asked her that if they can’t seem to teach students to the current standards which have been analyzed as being about as good as Common Core Standards, why did she think changing standards would help? She did not have a good answer for that; just talked about all the wonderful changes they are making and also that she did not think students needed to learn to write even though this left-right brain and hand-eye coordination skill has been taught for hundreds of years.

Apple wormsSo that’s where things are right now. Governor Scott has temporarily pulled Florida out of some involvement in PARCC, the group that Florida signed up to for the creation of the Federally Funded Test, and has directed the Commissioner of Education to have three hearings around the state, the first being in Tampa on October 15th at an inconvenient 5:00p start.

My advice to everyone:

Jeb Bush, his Private Charter School Organizations, and the $700M RTTT Grant seem to be driving the agenda. I have seen the videos of Jeb leading the Common Core effort and he makes it sound good. In addition the Florida Republican Party seems to be infested with ‘Bush Boys’ supporting him, so be careful and don’t go out into the bush alone….and you don’t have to as there are many websites to get information from so you can investigate this yourself!

Change Agent ManOtherwise just imagine what teaching could be like in the future; lessons scripted for each session, student doing assignments on their digital devices while ‘Master Teachers’ walk around with clipboards checking to see that the instructor (former teacher) is following orders and students are learning to adopt the proper attitudes and beliefs to be good Global Citizens as defined by the United Nations –or not do well on the assessments. This is just one scenario that might happen if you don’t get involved.

From the Editor of this Blog: This is the type of experience most parents/taxpayers are having in relation to the Common Core Standards. Unfortunately Florida has lost all control of their legislators as their allegiance is very apparent to be to Jeb Bush and his Foundation. “Whatever Jeb wants – Jeb Gets”!

Your state may be having some of the same problems – I certainly hope not. We have 2 State School Board members, 1 District School Superintendent, and several legislators along with our Commissioner of Education sitting on the “Reformers” slot of the Jeb Bush Foundation For Excellence in Education and the other legislators seem to not see anything wrong in that.

I believe their behavior is in fact partially because they know they are wrong and certainly will not admit it and the only place we are going to have to hold them accountable is at the ballot box.

This attitude in theirs in relation to the Common Core State Standards is in the same league as the legislation they passed on Sun Rail after the taxpayers voted against it twice in the majority – and they voted to put it through anyway.

You can bet your bottom dollar Representative Debbie Mayfield R- Dist 54) will be treated as Paula Dockery was when she stood up against them. Time to be sent to the broom closet but I would prefer it was all the other legislators since they are not LEGISLATING but RULING! Their actions are not much different from Obama’s only the title is different.

The arrogance of the Florida “powers to be” is out of control especially when it comes to all forms of education – most have not a clue what they are talking about!

Disclaimer: As always if you find anything I have posted to not be factual, please contact me and I will gladly review your information. I spend hours researching for my posts and try to be as factual as possible. truthneducation@ymail.com

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From The Frying Pan Into The Fire!

Gov. Scott recently fed the parents/taxpayers of Florida a bone in regard to the Common Core Standards (CCS) leading them to believe he was going to “shut down” the CCS in regard to the implementation of those standards in Florida.

You see, he is looking at us with the same disdain as those who have had a hand in this “game” of “dumbing down our children” by a bunch of non-educators for personal financial gain. Referring to our children as “Human Capital” is all we really needed to know.

Jeb Bush on his new website www.highercorestandards.org suggests it is the Republican Party who is against the CCS because some of the Exe. Committees in Florida and the National RNC came out against the CCS because of the Federal intrusion. In fact, truth be known, there are plenty of Democrats and more to the point Conservative parents and teachers who are against the CCS. Keep the parties out of it.

Scott placing himself in the same league as people like Sen. Lamar Alexander, Chester Finn, Bill Gates, Jeb Bush, Craig R. Barrett (former CEO/COB of Intel Corp.), Louis V. Gerstner, Jr (former Chairman & CEO IBM) who have no actual regard for the welfare of our children should be called into question. These so called leaders are using the education of our children to build up their coffers and this should show every parent in the state of Florida we do not need Rick Scott as a returning governor. We do have cause to wonder from time to time where some POLITICIANS allegiance really falls!
Three Education Idiots
I didn’t say I was endorsing Charlie Crist! What I am saying is we need to be looking at the strongest, true supporter of the welfare and future of our children to be the next governor of Florida.

Scott issues an Executive Order and everyone gets excited that he is stopping CCS in Florida. What he did was merely acknowledge he was withdrawing Florida from PARCC, stated he was going to hold 3 hearings for public comments, look into finding someone else for testing, and acknowledged concerns regarding the Federal overreach and the data collection of psychological attitudes and beliefs.

Floridians Against Common Core Education (F.A.C.C.E.) as one of the very first Florida groups to gather in hundreds upon hundreds of parents and taxpayers, informing them of the dangers of the Common Core Standards, we are very disappointed in the governor’s once again idea of hearings/summits. Current Commissioner Stewart has issued a statement that “basically the standards will essentially remain as they are with very few cosmetic changes up to that little gift of 15% for changes. Also as far as we can tell, absolutely nothing has changed in regard to PARCC.

We are finding the constant manipulation by the administration in Tallahassee is not to be trusted. Everything being done is to show us they already have a pre-determined goal in mind and there is NOTHING you or I can say that will ever change their minds.

CORE  4Be careful – the next knife he plants in us will be an agreement with CORE XLR8, the corporation from India which is showing a profit in the billions selling formative assessment and learning management solutions for the CCS. They have already bought into several American education systems with offices all over America.

CORE will also provide a state the ClickerCenter which is CORE ECS’s student response device (i.e., clickers) software and management application for CORE XLR8. Adding ClickerCenter to your CORE XLR8 program will allow you to support test administration with clickers. Assessments can be printed from CORE XLR8 and handed out to students, or projected on a screen in the classroom for test administration with their assigned clicker. An assessment summary report can be generated to review the student responses after administration is complete.

Student’s responses from the clicker are transmitted to a receiver in the classroom. Responses are then transmitted to ClickerCenter as they are entered, allowing you to monitor each students progress during the administration. Once the class has completed the assessment, the scores can be submitted to CORE XLR8.

In acknowledging his concerns, does that mean if a sweet talking representative from CORE talks to Scott, convincing him into using their assessment system we are off and running again tracking our children’s psychological responses? CORE also provides a range of psychometric and assessment related functions.
CORE Psycho
More about CORE in another posting!

What Scott did not address was just as important as what he did. He did not remove our participation in the CCS, remove Florida from the PARCC consortium, prevent future testing to be based on the CCS, stop any and all testing and data collection of psychological attitudes and beliefs and limit any and all collection of data of the student’s performance which includes association with iBloom, or remove any and all curriculum and textbooks using the CCS.

F.A.C.C.E. ask the governor to take a further step in cleaning up the CCS legislative apparatus in Tallahassee to include insisting that Pam Stewart, Kathleen Shanahan and Sally Bradshaw of the FL. State School Board, Mary Ellen Elia, Hillsborough Superintendent of Schools, and Fl. legislators John Thrasher, John Legg, Joe Negron, Erik Fresen, Anitere Flores, Don Gaetz, Kelli Stargel, and Will Weatherford remove themselves immediately from serving on the Jeb Bush Foundation for Excellence in Education.

We cannot emphasize enough how important it is for the taxpayers of Florida to break up the level of cronyism in Tallahassee. Somehow “they” have gotten the idea “we” work for them instead of the other way around!

Florida is in a bad spot right now always stating we are leaders especially in education. Well, to the country it certainly doesn’t look that way when outside groups do “proof positive” of the cronyism in Tally in regard to the Jeb Bush Foundation and our Dept. of Education and the above mentioned individuals. “In the Public Interest” uncovered through FOIA over 1K e-mails between the two.

Are we supposed to believe our legislators and State School Board members who are sitting on that board have more allegiance to our children than Jeb Bush? Then governor, you have forgotten that those educated in this country prior to 1965 and the Federal governments overtaking of the education system received a really great education and we are the ones watching you now.

The ethics of what has been happening in Tallahassee over the past 6-10 years in regard to our legislators and the Jeb Bush Foundations are unacceptable. It has increased tremendously since the push for Charter/Choice. Recently Bush stated, “that when it comes to overhauling public education: “You’ve got to go big or go home.” We suggest you go home!

ShanahanNow, Scott is replacing Kathleen Shanahan on the State School Board – not because of sitting on Jeb Bush’s Foundation or that she has served the Bush family in the political arena for the past 30+ years, but because she brought to your attention something you failed to do – attend your own called EDUCATION SUMMIT. Of course he had the President of the Florida PTA who was there supporting the CCS with the Gates Foundation $1M as an incentive in the PTA national coffers.

What Scott failed to do was invite true educators and parents. Scott has shown such a dis-respect for them, but then they are only the ones who pay the bills.

Now in his next brilliant move, he removes Kathleen Shanahan from the State Board of Education and replaces her with a wet behind the ears semi-educator from TEACH FOR AMERICA (TFA)? Is this a Bill Gates Foundation or Jeb Bush manipulation? They have managed to push other non-educators into positions they are ineligible for.

Rebecca LipseyWho is Rebecca Fishman Lipsey? She states she is a life-long educator at the age of 32. Wow! Let’s take a look at her life-long education experience.

Graduated from the Univ. of PA with a degree in Psychology in 04; attended Bank Street College of Edu. 04-06 for her Masters and during the same period was teaching for Teach for America in the NYC schools. Two years of actual teaching since in 2006, she became a Program Director for Teach For America, but she is a life-ling educator!

Let’s take a quick look at Bank Street College of Education. It was founded by Lucy Sprague Mitchell as the Bureau of Educational Experiments (BEE). They were deeply involved in the creation of the “Head Start” program along with the National Education Assoc. which created the Educational Policies Commission (EPC).

As addressed in the History of the Bankstreet College of Education, educator Lucy Sprague Mitchell and her colleagues, influenced by revolutionary educator John Dewey and other humanists, concluded that building a new kind of educational system was essential to building a better, more rational, humane world.

John Dewey! Scott, who recommended Rebecca Fishman Lipsey to sit on the Florida State School Board?

BankstreetThe Bureau of Education Experiments (BEE) also founded by Mitchell and her husband, stated their purpose was to “combine expanding psychological awareness with democratic conceptions of education. With a staff of researchers and teachers, the Bureau sets out to study children–to find out what kind of environment is best suited to their learning and growth, to create that environment, and to train adults to maintain it”. CHANGE AGENTS! Anyone still believe education is not BIG Business?

Scott, in case as a non-educator you are unaware, JOHN DEWEY was a professed MARXIST. His colleague’s would state, “Deweysim is the genuine fulfillment of Marxism”!

How about Karl Marx and the Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto? Number Ten states: “Government control of education; free education for all children in public schools; Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form and a Combination of education with industrial production”. Do you suppose President’s Johnson, Clinton and Bush 43 did their fair share of implementing the above which included Marc Tucker’s great “School To Work Act”!

According to the Teach for America web site it states: “Millions of students growing up in poverty lack the quality education that will allow them to succeed . . . Teach For America works to eliminate this injustice by finding, training, and supporting individuals who are committed to equality and placing them in high-need classrooms across the country.”

Currently the TFA website states Florida has their teachers not only in Miami-Dade but Jacksonville. Watch those test scores go down! What does TFA look for in “teacher” quality? Well, according to this page it says nothing about having been educated to be an educator. By attending their five-week (that’s a #5) summer training program these young college graduates are “ready, set, go”! Compensation isn’t bad either!

With the push for the use of TFA employees, now I understand all the changes in the Florida Teacher Certification process.

We can surmise then the teachers working in the “low-income” schools in Miami-Dade school district are lacking in experience, knowledge, quality training, unfair, and non-caring according to the propaganda TFA puts out.

Oh, and never forget your tax $$ are already paying TFA teachers from the yearly payments by the Federal governmentcurrently $18M a year! But Education Secretary Arne Duncan proposal to merge that funding with other programs, if approved by Congress, would make $235 million available for initiatives to recruit and prepare teachers for high-need schools. In case you are not aware – in pro CCS language, high-need schools are “low income schools”. Unfair distribution of funds!

Miami DadeNot surprising that Lipsey ended up in Miami since the Miami-Dade school system seems to think that hiring Teach For America teachers is much better for their children then solidly educated TEACHERS. This is proven on their application for the Phase 1 Tier 2 Race To The Top Grant Application.

You see, in case you are not aware, the way Teach for America works is in the spring each year, they wander into colleges and universities around the country looking for “recruits” to train. They don’t have to have gone to college to be a teacher just that they are graduating and have not been able to find a job.

Governor Scott, have you ever heard of Vladimir Lenin’s quotes “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted” or “Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever”.

It has become very apparent that those in charge of Florida’s education system are extremely lacking in knowledge and ability to carry out a most important charge. The need to find qualified individuals who have no political homage or debt and whose ONLY concern is the future of our children needs to be the main priority. For myself, I have found trusting those in charge in Tallahassee or in the Federal government to not be qualified.

Florida and her education system is in serious trouble. The apparent financial profiteering at the expense of our children is very apparent. Governor Scott, you can fix this with the right guidance and leave yourself a great legacy.

Parent’s every day ask yourself the same question – Why is Jeb Bush, his Foundations and Cronies still pushing so hard for Charter/Choice? I have told you enough times and now it is time for us to tell them to get out of the business of education and leave our children alone.

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!
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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

4

Call Them What They Are – Worms Milking the System!

applw worm 2Time and time again we find these “worms” slithering around in the name of “improving” the education of our children. Their latest attack on our children is coming under the name of Common Core (CC) and it is so filled with these worms by their endorsements and greed that it and everything they touch is “rotten to the core”.

We can only hope the gig is up on Michelle Rhee and some of the other cronies who have their fingers in this massive “take-over” of the education of our children. The Washington, D.C. test results Rhee used as the Holy Grail to base her empire on were fraudulent. The adults cheated and Michelle Rhee and her successor and Teach for America buddy/alumni Kaya Henderson, Chancellor of the D.C. public schools, covered it up.

I hope you know what Teach for America is!  It’s Wendy Kopp’s organization that takes newly graduated college student’s whether they are Education grads or not, puts them through 5 summer weeks of training and then trades them off to various school systems to be placed in low-income areas for bottom line pay with parents expecting their children are being taught by an educator. Another scam!

Parents should be paying attention to all the buzz over the publication by independent journalist John Morrow of a secret memo that says nearly 200 D.C. educators may have cheated on standardized tests in 2008 when Michelle Rhee was schools chancellor.

You see, these profit mongrels usually don’t care if you find out about their little deeds because usually no one pays any attention and if they do nothing is done about it. They continue to manipulate the system and play games with the futures of our children.

Maybe all the blood-thirsty, selfish, NWO people could just all move to Antarctica and leave the rest of us alone. But then again sometimes the cover-up is what gets them in the end. All that’s left now are who else goes down as a result.

At some point the media will start pointing all this information out and maybe, just maybe, parents/taxpayers will begin putting all the “duck’s in a row” and know once and for all they have been HAD at the expense of their children and their wallets then scream “HALT” – Enough is Enough!

Now the whole thing is just one big lie, and one of Jeb Bush’s Chiefs for Change may have been part of the cover-up according to John Morrow:

The erasures stayed buried for years. The official who had spotted the problem, Deborah Gist, urged Rhee to investigate and has kept quiet ever since… Five months after she had informed Rhee of the widespread erasures, Gist resigned to become State Superintendent in Rhode Island. Rhee now publicly praises her efforts there too. Gist soon will be asked by the Rhode Island media why she kept quiet but she is Jeb Bush’s third Chiefs for Change to run into trouble within the last year.

This list of Bush “Reformer’s” as he calls them is a “Who’s Who” all the way from the President of the CFR to multiple Florida legislators.

BennettFlorida’s new Commissioner of Education, Indiana’s throw-away Tony Bennett’s list of campaign contributors is troubling enough – filled with high rollers set to make millions off of the Common Core boondoggle – Bennett is also facing criticism for $1.7 million worth of high-tech equipment he purchased through his former chief of staff. Meanwhile, the implementation of the Common Core Standards that he championed in Indiana under the direction of Jeb Bush is being opposed by the Republican National Committee and we would like to add a growing band of those in Florida and around the country.

A three page sales agreement for a total of $1.7M of taxpayer dollars shows an order placed for dozens of pieces of high-tech equipment; soft-ware and services sold by California-based Cisco Systems, at the time of the purchase employed Tony Bennett’s former chief of staff.

All Indiana seems to have to show for this expense is 2 window blinds at $1500 each and 2 $6500 high definition desk top videoconferencing units, which, as of last week, didn’t mesh with the department’s broader telecommunications system. The purchase was finalized 3 months before Bennett lost his election and Florida’s State Board of Education patted themselves on the back for hiring Indiana’s ousted Commissioner.

“It’s frustrating”, a top aide to first-year Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz stated. “It’s just frustrating because it seems there wasn’t a lot of thought put into the purchase. A lot of tax dollars were spent on something that we don’t know how to use, and we don’t even know if it’s needed.”

Do they have classes for these Jeb Bush lap dogs or does all this maneuvering and ripping tax payers off come naturally? I’m glad you ask because yes they do! Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education even pays for some of the Florida DOE employees to attend his yearly summit’s. This event will again for the 5th year in a row pull in all the deaf and blind people that believe their association with Jeb Bush will further their careers, give them power or make them rich.

Now we have wind that Jeb Bush’s newest “Chunk for Change” not only is a non-educator, but along with the manipulation of NM Governor Martinez who brought Hanna Skandera to NM to be secretary of public education, she has put NM in a very bad place and angered some of the NM senators who failed to confirm her appointment before the end of session.

If NM senators are smart they will bite the bullet and vote to send Hanna Skandera packing before they wind up like Florida and have  the Jeb Bush Foundation for Excellence in Education running their education system and their legislators.

Senators need to hold Skandera accountable for her failure, and particularly her proposal to manipulate school grades to mask the degree to which schools are not doing enough to help the students most in need of improved instruction.

Did  Ms.Skandera and others playing this “ruin our children game, take the course at  Teach for America on  “How To Cheat the Taxpayers and Ruin Your Education System All At the Same Time” presented by Michelle Rhee?

During her unconfirmed tenure, Skandera has displayed remarkable distrust of New Mexico parents, teachers and school administrators and disdain for state laws and traditions. Now, thanks to Washington, we know that she is incompetent.

Upon arrival, Skandera disbanded the state advisory councils on Indian, Hispanic and bilingual education. She fired dozens of employees in the Public Education Department and brought into New Mexico highly-paid temporary consultants, one of whom lamented that NM student assessment rules did not permit English-only testing. She also sent $800,000 of state funds appropriated for Indian education to Teach for America, which devoted one percent of the money to recruit and train Indian teachers. (Looks like Skandera got her training from Ms. Rhee also!

NM Senators need to hold Skandera accountable for her proposal to manipulate school grades to mask the degree to which schools are not doing enough to help the students most in need of improved instruction. Her idea is a cunning deception to produce an illusion that her policies have brought about a dramatic improvement in school performance.

They might also take the opportunity to use Skandera as an example to parents/taxpayers to stop Jeb Bush from trying to manipulate the states and their education plans and standards to agree with HIS idea of what education should be all about.  He is after all a NON-educator himself, although he does know how to spend other people’s money and also misappropriate it.

jebbushfrownyFlorida should never forget his involvement in the $4.6M Florida Savings & Loan scandal in the ‘80’s along with ripping off the Florida Pension Fund to bail out his friend  and owner of the failing Edison Charter school system while still Florida’s governor.

And people talk about him running for President! I know there has to be someone much better in America to run for that office!  Americans also need to remember the Bush family is Progressive and NWO!

Does the RNC realize or even care that all these businesses aligning themselves to push the Common Core “for profit” are all buddies of Jeb Bush and Bill Gates? Moreover, do they realize that coupled with Rhee’s scandal, Common Core gobbles up a lot of work done by republican dominated legislatures across the nation and that their unimpeachable champions have been Bush and Gates?

Florida’s choice of Tony Bennett for Commissioner of Education giving Florida it’s third in a row “Chief’s for Change” in that position, should give cause for reflection to parents and taxpayers as to the motive and intent of the UNELECTED Florida State Board of Education because here, once again it represents cronyism.

You ask how does that fit? Well, with the head of this group being the President/CEO of KIPP Charter schools Florida and 2 other board members having no less than 20-25 years behind them in supporting the Bush family through being campaign workers, Chief’s of Staff, fund raisers and a number of other positions, one can only wonder just how objective they can be and to whom do they owe their allegiance.

A good case for urging Florida’s legislature to re-think their position and make the office of Commissioner of Education and the State School Board elected positions making them accountable to the taxpayers – you know, the one’s whose money they spend so freely!

Since Florida is always mentioned in the press as the state to “take their lead from” I suggest you re-think that thought as it isn’t really working out well for the people of this state and that certainly includes the children.

We can only hope and pray the future influence of the Bush-Rhee-Gates dominated education reform machine be put under a microscope and fall away before our legislators are allowed to ruin our children with the Common Core. American parents and taxpayers should earnestly hope so. Maybe the end of this continual worship of Jeb Bush and all his lap dogs is near.  We can only pray and maybe we will get lucky and it will take down Bill Gates and his cronies too.