I said in a post this morning that there was “a glimmer of hope” in Florida because the state board had upheld Miami-Dade’s decision to turn down three virtual charter schools.

But Florida parent leader Rita Solnet wrote to correct me. She attended the state board meeting, and she says the state board offered no glimmer of hope, as I thought, because the Puppetmaster was behind the curtain, pulling the strings. The state board overturned the decision of the Palm Beach County school board to reject four charter applications. It is startling to realize–as Solnet mentions below–that the city of Miami already has 122 charter schools!

Thanks to Rita Solnet for reminding us that nothing will change until there is new leadership in the state of Florida, leadership that is willing to stop the rampant privatization of the state’s public schools.

At that same meeting, the State Board of Ed over-turned Palm Beach County’s decision to deny applications for four (4) charters.

One must understand that Jeb Bush owns Miami. He runs the FL BOE. He controls the Ed Commissioner. The education staff are hand-picked loyalists of Jeb. If Jeb wanted the Miami-Dade charter approved, they would have been approved.

Did I mention that Miami-Dade already has 122 charter schools?  122!

I attended this meeting. I’m an optimist at heart. I missed the glimmer of hope.

Instead I heard impending doom.  A lengthy discussion on blended learning which is the Jeb Bush method of introducing more reliance on virtual charters. (ease them into it)

I heard scripted questions come flowing from board members with a purpose during a masterfully well-orchestrated Agenda..

I heard the Digital Learning speaker, Deirdre Flynn, discuss 270 students and 6 teachers in blended learning classes. (Oh, did I mention Flynn is Deputy Director for Jeb’s Foundation? No, the Board didn’t mention that either.)

I heard FL BOE member Chartrand request “a McKinsey study to see if we are doing this blended learning thing right.”  (Former McKinsey education leader, Michael Barber, is the Pearson Education Adviser.)

I heard BOE member Chartrand ask to inject language into a new vision/mission statement which specified “highly effective teachers” only.

Later I spoke at length with FL Commissioner Robinson.

No, not yesterday. I saw no glimmer of hope at the FL BOE meeting. Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings but yesterday was not a hopeful day. Yesterday reinforced how much work we have ahead of us.  Yesterday reinforced that we need a new regime at the top.