You may be lucky enough (or unlucky enough) to hear Jeb Bush boasting about the “Florida miracle.”
A useful contrast to his spiel is the story of this teacher in Florida, who is leaving a job she loved.
She didn’t want to leave, but it became clear to her and some of her colleagues that the politicians had taken control and squeezed the joy out of teaching and learning.
The politicians “came up with grandiose-sounding programs, such as “No Child Left Behind,” which instead dragged entire schools down. As the schools sank there were calls for more standardized testing and accountability.
“Instead they ended up forcing schools to “teach to the tests,” all but eliminating any subjects not directly on those tests.
“In Hillsborough, money from the outside was used to set up a system of teacher evaluations. That system became a punitive method of penalizing teachers with evaluations that are inconsistent, unfair and, at best, subjective.”
Hillsborough County was one of the recipients of funding from the Gates Foundation to measure its teachers and come up with a new evaluation system. Did it work? Ask this teacher. Excuse me, ask this ex-teacher.