Florida’s New Teacher Evaluation System Proving Itself A Huge Failure – All at the Cost of our Kids #ChaChing

From Matt Reed, Editor of Florida Today:

“Somehow, 98 percent of teacher evaluations suggest we accomplished that, even though school grades dropped statewide … That’s not to say our students or our schools are failing. Far from it. It does show that one critical tool for improvement has not yet worked the way it should.”

My response:

Here is a no brainer … maybe it is not the teachers or the students.

Maybe, just maybe, it is the test? Hmmm?

If you got a ticket for driving 100 mph on a highway and you know you were only going 60 … you would go to court and the officer would have to show proof of maintaining and calibrating his radar.

I want to check Pearson’s radars (woops, I mean tests). Don’t you?

Florida parents … call, write FL DOE today. Ask to see your child’s tests and answers. You have the right. I bet you will find the answer you are looking for.

After all, the only growth Pearson Test Corporation is measuring is the growth of their profits. #ChaChing


photo via totallyfreedownload.net


Don’t just test … Don’t just teach #BeABadAss

I made this video for the BadAss Teachers Association.

Back in 67, the year I was born, there were some bad ass young folks speaking up all around the streets of America – the song in this video represented the resistance.

Today, those same bad asses are not just kids anymore; they are wiser and stronger. And, they have joined across the generations with so many on this superhighway we call the world wide web.

I am proud to be part of the awakening…

Again, it is about our kids. Teachers, parents, and students across the nation are carrying signs… STOP No Child Left Behind, STOP the Race to the Top, STOP the high stakes testing that is robbing our nation’s children, STOP the corporate pilfering off of our public schools.


“Stop, hey what’s that sound, everybody look what’s going down.”

Don’t just test … Don’t just teach #BeABadAssTeacher

Join  today:


bat 29000

TEACHER UNIONS = DEMOCRACY IN ACTION … Which word do they object to more? Collective ? or Bargaining ?

A reporter recently contacted me. He had seen my posts objecting to a Gradebook article that referred to legal agreements drawn up by our teacher unions as ‘side deals’ and ‘disturbing’.

Here is the Gradebook article:


I emailed the reporter this response …

I am just a teacher and a parent. I do not speak for the union, but I have followed SB6 and RTTT closely. FB has a sister page, Stop Race to the Top, that you might check out for more info on our objections to Race to the Top.

During Florida’s Memorandum of Understanding meeting, drawn only after a public outcry to be part of the process, the working group only had one day to work out a plan that would dramatically change Florida’s education of children. The plan was unfunded. Everyone knew the Race to the Top funds would not be sufficient to cover the changes. The original plan, SB6, also violated due process rights of teachers. So, our union top man, Andy Ford, worked hard to maintain our right to bargain collectively with regard to our contracts. Our local unions did the same. These are not shady side agreements; they are legal and necessary, and we thank our unions for protecting our livelihoods.

The federal Race to the Top is a carrot on a stick incentive race to reform state policies. The stimulus requires states to remove the cap off charter schools. The public education system will have to compete with charters, specifically corporate charters, who do not get held to the same rules of accountability that NCLB is requiring of public schools. This will lead to more public schools struggling and more money being moved out of the public sector and into corporate hands. Many of us object to the privatization of public education. We know that they can not do so when the employees, us teachers, are collectively protecting and bargaining, not just for our rights, but for the rights of our children. Thus, targeting our unions is an easy answer for ‘them’.

Unions are not backdoor thugs as some village idiots or our Washington reformers might make it seem … unions are collections of workers organized to protect themselves from corporate greed and unfair policies. Considering the current push to make corporate education the norm in America, we have never needed unions more.

I never heard back from the reporter … I hope the message got out.

. . .

unions = democracy in action

don’t let them convince you otherwise

. . .