The so-called parent trigger bill will likely come to a vote in the Florida Senate on Monday. It has already passed the House.
The bill would allow parents to turn their community school over to a charter operator. Florida has more than 500 charter schools, many run by for-profit chains that contribute to legislators’ campaign funds.
The big problem for the bill is that no Florida parent groups support it.
The Miami Herald reports that a video is circulating that pretends to represent Florida parents but is likely a fake created by an out-of-state group. Similarly, a fake petition is also making the rounds. The question raised in the article is whether the phony endorsements come from the Walton-funded Parent Revolution of Florida or from Jeb Bush and Michelle Rhee.
Hopefully, an investigative reporter will get to the bottom of this deception.
Meanwhile, let’s keep fingers crossed that the Florida Senate listens to the parents of Florida.
Test scores are low at an elementary school in Tampa.
The state ordered that every one of its teachers be fired.
Even first-year teachers will go.
The school has been plagued by high staff turnover in the past.
The state’s answer to the problem of churn is simple: Make it 100%.
State officials are unable or unwilling to provide support.
They refuse any accountability.
The entire Florida State Department of Education should be fired, in hopes of turning around the department and bringing in educators who know how to help the schools for which they are responsible.
About once a week, I receive emails from an organization I do not know. It contains beautiful graphics claiming to rate different aspects of education. Usually I delete without opening, but this one caught my eye because it said it was rating the states.
The email says:
“Ever wonder how your state working to create a better education system? Please take a look at this infographic based on data from the State of Education: State Policy Report Card 2013. Feel free to share and discuss the infographic on Diane Ravitch’s Blog as you like.
“Like all of our educational materials, we’ve published this under a free-to-use Creative Commons license. All sources are cited in the footer but if you have any questions, or are open to a guest post on the topic, do not hesitate to get in touch.
(312) – 576 – 1575″
I did open it and found that it rated Louisiana and Florida as the top states in the nation for education policy. Ha! The state where Bobby Jindal and John White are handing out public money to Bible schools and for-profit vendors. And the state touted by Jeb Bush where the graduation rate is lower than that of Alabama.
I quickly looked to the source and realized that it was Rhee’s StudentsFirst, which ranked states based on criteria she likes, such as readiness to privatize and to eliminate all rights for teachers.
So, yes, I decided it was time to cite this info graphic on my blog and warn readers not to trust any of its slick packaging.
Last year, Florida State Senators failed to pass a parent trigger bill because not a single parent group in the state supported the bill. Parents came from across the state to testify against the legislation. They accurately saw the bill as a transparent effort to trick parents into handing their public school over to a charter corporation.
The bill comes up for a vote in the next few days. Jeb Bush and his surrogates are working hard to get the bill through this time. Senators have offered a flurry of amendments to try to remove some offensive features.
But Florida parents remain united in opposition to this blatant effort to enrich charter corporations.
Every Florida legislator should read the exposé of the parent trigger that was reported here by Yasha Levine..
Teachers in Florida are suing because they are being evaluated on the basis of students they didn’t teach and subjects they don’t teach.
This is manifestly unfair.
Imagine being fired because the scores didn’t go up in someone else’s class.
Let the lawsuits begin.
In time, the madness will end, and those who created it and perpetuated will be covered with shame and disgrace.
Bill Sublette is a former Florida state representative who is now chairman of the Orange County school board. He is a Republican.
In this excellent article, he explains how the parent trigger bill, which just passed in the Florida House, will allow charter corporations to grab neighborhood schools, public property paid for by local citizens. And once the corporation takes control, neighborhood children will have to enter a lottery to attend what was once their neighborhood school.
He asks the reader:
“Imagine you live in a neighborhood with a school your community has called its own for years. A school you and your neighbors take great pride in and in which you’ve invested substantial time and effort. A school you sent your own children to, and one which you hope your children will choose to send their children to.”
But then the political consultants arrive to collect signatures and sell your neighbors a bill of goods. Before you know it, the school is owned by a corporation, and you as a parent have no rights at ll.
Here is a true conservative, a man who loves his community and its history. He is standing up against the those in his party who flak for corporate interests.
In this article columnist Daniel Shoer Roth explains how parents at the Desert Trails school in Adelanto, California, were hoodwinked into turning their public school over to a charter operator.
Under the Florida proposal, charters can set their own rules for eligibility, and many students will be excluded from the school that once was their neighborhood school.
“Some local students will not meet the new strict admission rules. This includes students with learning disabilities and those in ESOL classes, as well as many racial and ethnic minority children. A number of surveys have demonstrated that there is a higher incidence of segregation in charters than in traditional schools. The excluded students will carry to their next school the same unsolved problems that contributed to the failure of the converted school, often related to poverty and a range of health and safety challenges.”
“The chain reaction from these student migrations subjects yet another school to low ranking and can put it on the conversion chopping block, too. It’s a vicious cycle.”
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/04/10/v-fullstory/3336512/the-dark-side-of-parent-trigger.html#storylink=cpy
Florida parents are united in opposition to a “parent trigger” bill that would advance the interests of charter corporations. Florida already has hundreds of charter schools, many of them run by for-profit corporations. Thus far, the Florida legislature has heard testimony from the California organization Parent Revolution (heavily funded by the pro-privatization Walton Family Foundation), but not a single Florida parent organization supports the “parent trigger.” It would be fair to call the bill the “Corporate Charter Enrichment Law,” because it will create more economic growth for charter corporations.
Florida parents are wise to what the game is.
The education industry won another battle in Florida, defeating solid opposition from every parent organization in the state.
The Florida House of Representatives passed a “parent trigger” bill, allowing unsuspecting parents to turn their public school over to one of the charter corporations that have–shall we say– undue influence in the legislature.
This is a big win for Jeb Bush, Michelle Rhee, and so-called Parent Revolution, funded by the Waltons, the Gates, the Broads. Parents like us. Regular folks.
The only consolation in this sordid affair is that parents are not stupid. The parent trigger was passed in California more than two years ago, and to date, only one school has swallowed the Kool-Aid. Desert Trails Elementary School was targeted by Parent Revolution, which sent in its paid organizers, gathered parent signatures, and after a series of court battles, won the right to hand their school over to a charter operator. But by the time the dust settled, only 53 parents out of a school with more than 600 children voted to choose a charter.
We will await to see the results of that famous victory. Walton, Gates, and Broad pumped millions into this effort to privatize public schools, and so far they have won only Desert Trails.
Wish someone had told them that a charter operator in that town lost his charter only a year earlier because of financial self-dealing.
Yesterday, I published a post about how critics were raising questions about Jeb Bush’s financial ties to certain corporations.
I linked to an article in the Tampa Tribune. However, the link was dead. The article had disappeared.
A reader found it. Not on the Tampa Tribune website but here, where it has been preserved for readers. A testament to a free society.