Disaster in Florida: Thanks Sen. Thrasher

We have gotten through the pre-approval part of the refinance and HELOC for our Florida house. What’s really great about the refinance is that our monthly payments will be the same but we will pay the loan off 10 years earlier. Still waiting on the PA house refinance. The loan people for the PA credit union are swamped in applications.

Right about now I am feeling a bit burnt out on school. The one I attend at night and the ones I sub at during the day. This semester I am taking 4 classes, which is kind of a lot with subbing and family and my kids getting sick. Now that the weather is absolutely gorgeous, it is a bit painful to sit in class all day on Saturdays.

The other day I had a sad thing happen at the middle school I subbed at. Within the first 10 seconds of class, without any reason, one boy told me to “suck my cock.” This was sad because, due to school policy and the simple need to establish order in the classroom, I had to send the child to the Dean. How lame. What a dumb move on the part of this kid. It just baffled me that he would do something so stupid that would yield such permanent results on his schooling.

Plus, that day my son was home puking. I much would have rather spent my day cradling my boy in my arms than babysitting kids with foul mouths. I have seen inside the classroom of America’s educational institutions and I have to say, it is rather disappointing.

To top it off, on my way home from my evening classes, I heard about about a disastrous bill affecting teachers in Florida. The Washington Post Blog I linked (surprisingly, I cannot find anything in the NYTimes on this) doesn’t even do the disaster full justice. Basically, no tenure. Teachers who do not perform get fired. Performance measured by test scores of students. So much for getting rid of the FCAT. It has not been specified what scores exactly will be used. Is there a benchmark score that needs to be met? Will it be the AYP score for each child? What if you are teaching gifted students? They don’t make big annual gains since they are already scoring high to begin with.

This really encourages “teaching to the test,” which is something I thought the state was tiring of. Apparently not. And teachers of subjects that are not on the FCAT have the pleasure of also getting their jobs/pay increases dependent upon test scores. Only those tests don’t exist yet. And every school district will be responsible for making up/funding their own test. This is a real guinea pig educational system.

Years spent in the profession, as well as advanced degrees, will no longer impact a teacher’s pay. Also, the whole pension system is being re-done for all state employees. This, along with being told to suck a 7th grader’s cock, is a bit dispiriting for me.

Right now I am debating whether or not  I want to apply for an instructional position for next year or if I just want to continue subbing, build my work history and take some time to think about things. I will surely finish this program I am in at Santa Fe. But really, right now I just want to cuddle with my kids.

Last weekend was the festival @ Kanapaha Gardens...

...Saturday the weather was splendid, but I was in class all day....

....so we went, as a family, on Sunday...

...the day was cold and rainy. The kids wished we could have gone Saturday.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Disaster in Florida: Thanks Sen. Thrasher

  1. satyavati

    Basically, no tenure. Teachers who do not perform get fired.

    Wouldn’t this make teachers be like every other job on the planet?

    No guaranteed job regardless of performance? Don’t perform, get fired.

    That’s how the rest of the world has always worked, except on Wall Street, where you get big bonuses regardless.

    • sabjimata

      yes. and no. a teacher’s performance is only measured by how well their students improve on the FCAT. around here, that would be like firing a doctor if his patient;s (blood pressure, diabetes, etc) did not drastically improve year to year…regardless of what the patient does outside your office (smoke, eat gobs of cholesterol, never exercise). i’m not necessarily against no tenure, but basing all performance reviews on a bunch of 12 year olds annual test scores…on one test!…is bullshit.

  2. Kera

    Have you read the proposed rewrite to No Child Left Behind? I’d be interested to hear your take on it. Personally, I think all it does it change the names of things and shift stuff around a bit, I don’t see any substantial change.

    When I worked for the Pennsylvania PTA I sat on several committees that dealt with the unveiling and aftermath of NCLB. I also represented parents during the fight over the state’s proposed Keystone Exams. I always left the meetings agreeing that all the testing wasn’t the answer but at the same time how do you measure a student’s progress and whether they have learned the material? There’s got to be a middle ground, but no one seems to know what it is.

    • sabjimata

      I haven’t read the proposed rewrite, but I know the NCLB Act is itself a rewrite of a 1960’s act. It really impacts Florida because they have this FCAT test that is only a few years old and not really tried and true, like the CAT or Iowa Assessment. The stuff going on here in Florida seems to be signaling a shift towards the privatization of education. Honestly, since I want to teach, I try not to think about this kind of stuff too much because it is really distracting and there is not much someone like me can do. Wow, that just sounded so apathetic 😦

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