Clips from the NPE Convention – Common Core Debate

I videotaped this while at the Network for Public Education National Conference. This is the Common Core Panel with Louisiana teacher, Mercedes Schneider speaking. She does an amazing job.

March 2, 2014


VAM made me do it – Florida’s teacher evaluation system #ForgiveMe @dianeravitch

I am thinking of ranking my pets by VAM scores.
I figure I will judge my dog based on the amount of cat litter I find on the floor and I will judge my cat by the amount of dog hair I find on the couch. To be fair, I will factor in variables like the number of frogs I find on our truck in a week and the depth of the hole the rodent in my backyard is digging.
Of course, I am not telling my animals exactly which factors will be judged… and I will be basing the amount of food they get upon the score they receive (minus 200 and divided by the coefficient of BS, squared).
What do you think? Will they love me more for giving them this opportunity?



VAM = FL Teacher Evaluation System: #HugeFail


Pic via


Why is NAACP promoting vouchers in FL ? We say NO – Separate is STILL not Equal. -Response to Rev Manuel Sykes, NAACP letter in Tampa Bay Times 6/14/12

It is difficult to counter an article written by a Reverand and the NAACP. For a moment, I was speechless.


I found my voice.


Here is my response / comment to the writer of the 6/14/12 article in the Tampa Bay Times entitled, Florida program gives disadvantaged a chance to succeed in school by The Rev. Manuel Sykes, special to the Times, Pastor of Bethel Community Baptist Church in St. Petersburg and President of the St. Petersburg chapter of the NAACP.


Rev Sykes, with respect, I am confused? 

I understand this document: “The NAACP resolution on charter schools – In a process established by the NAACP Constitution, this resolution was adopted by the delegates to the 101st Annual Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, during the legislative session in July, 2010. It was subsequently ratified by the NAACP National Board of Directors at its meeting on October 15, 2010. This resolution is now the policy of the Association, and is “binding on the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, the Officers, and all units.” 

Link to NAACP resolution:

But, I do not understand your opinion. I wonder how you support vouchers as a representative of the NAACP? As a public ed activist, teacher, parent, and Hispanic, I have many objections to vouchers and the privatization of public schools. I believe separate is still not equal, never was, never will be. 

It is apparent that the NAACP agrees, as evident in their above resolution.

Are you speaking for the NAACP with this opinion ?
Much respect and concern from FL

This is the news I usually see from the NAACP regarding vouchers. 

” RALEIGH – The North Carolina NAACP and representatives from several organizations gathered at the state legislature yesterday. They delivered an open letter to House Speaker Tom Tillis’ office that protests what they called the state’s regressive school voucher program. The letter states the ‘Stam plan,’ a reference to Republican lawmaker Paul Stam, would cause the state to lose much-needed revenue from the private sector. The plan gives corporations the option of diverting money they owe to the state to private nonprofits to finance private schools.” Video on link–others-protest-nc-school-voucher-program


I tweeted NAACP CEO Ben Jealous:

@BenJealous Public ed activist/teacher/mom here with a question: -> Is the NAACP in FL standing up for vouchers?


 NAACP Resolution on Charter Schools QUES: @BenJealous so why this now in FL? #Help


Excellent responses from Dr. Diane Ravitch

@gatorbonBC  Pulling the wool over the eyes of the gullible. No black or poor child helped when public sector destroyed.

@gatorbonBC @BenJealous Big money is pushing vouchers. Big money is not pushing civil rights issue. That’s the mask.


I am hoping to hear from the NAACP regarding this Tampa Bay Times article. We shall see.


Further reading: The voucher double standard on accountability, with a twist

By Sherman Dorn on June 13, 2012

“While I am no cheerleader for Florida’s accountability system, if we are asking students with disabilities in local public schools to take FCAT and for schools and school districts to be responsible for their outcomes,  it is a double standard to let schools receiving public funding through the McKay program to be let off the hook.” 

Shame on NPR – Never Underestimate The Power of Parents – National Resolution on High Stakes Testing

Response to article entitled, “Five Reasons the Anti-FCAT Resolutions Won’t Work” printed in NPR publication :

In my opinion, the premise of the writer’s opinion is flawed. The National Resolution on High Stakes Testing, written by parent organizations and endorsed by hundreds of counties across the nation, is not an anti FCAT resolution. It is a proactive resolution on the entire high stakes testing culture. It is proactive as it encourages parents to make their opinions known. Parents standing resolved with teachers, counties, and legislators will make a difference. I encourage parents and others to speak up on testing and seek more valid, well rounded forms of assessments. 

There is an assumption that parents are helpless… that they can not win.
That is not true. We vote our leaders in, we will vote them out. It is silly to underestimate the fierceness of a mother lion when protecting her cub. We will stand resolved against high stakes testing for our children/cubs. We will make a difference… with NCLB, RTTT, Common Core, or whatever unfunded testing mandate they name next.
I am confident in parents.
Try reading Dr. Diane Ravitch, instead.  Link to article here: When Parents Awaken, Game Over.