Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Teachers? Second-prize is a set of steak knives

TALLAHASSEE - Teachers, don't ever struggle with your progress. Okay?
Not for a single year, ever.

That's the take-away from this morning's session of the Florida Senate.

Begin the profession as experts. Don't be rookies. Don't act like a rookie teacher. If you are transferred to a more difficult assignment? Tough.

And in addition to the tightrope you walk with 35 some odd children of various backgrounds - because you now have 35 kids as opposed to 25 - you will walk a tightrope with your principal and the parents of your students, who can bitch at said principal enough, that they give you a failing evaluation. 

You don't like it? Hit the bricks, pal!  

Guess what? If the family has problems? If the parent is in jail, if the child sleeps on the couch of an uncle who drinks and may be molesting them, YOU are responsible for that student's performance right up until the moment the child finds out about a curious beauracratic technique known as "opt out."

But as far as you teachers are concerned there are no exemptions from this "system" because there is no "opt out" for your counties even if your district is doing well.


Because 111,000 students failed their grade last year, said Senator Stephen R. Wise (R-Jacksonville)
"Something is going on and we are trying to address it," said Senator Wise.

Not that parents being pitched from their jobs by the millions, or whole families being booted from their homes by bankers in a failing economy and the pervasion of hoplessness and drugs, have anything to do with all the aforementioned.

No because Senator Wise and the others think it's your fault!

You damned teacher, you! Your fault. And now the Florida Senate is coming to the rescue of these poor kids who are suffering within your evil clutches.

Rules governing school principals, having a bad principal? No, because this never happens, see?

But don't worry, "we're not going to just fire them willy-nilly," said Wise.
 Whew, thank god for that. First prize is a Cadillac El Dorado. Second Prize is? Steak knives?
Wrong on the first two counts, right on the third. Third place is you're fired.

"Teachers will all be rated on how well the students perform," he said.

Senate Bill 736, "race to the top" proposed by Senator Wise, is being modeled after a $100 million endowment to Hillsborough County schools, following their pilot program of the same name.

Senator Nan Rich (D-Venice) said hold up!

"If it's costing Hillsborough $100 million (Gates Foundation Money) how can we expect them to do this (in the other 66 counties) without funding to implement this?"

And she also said, "Why are we doing this now? There is no way the school districts will have the money to implement this"

But Wise had a homespun body-slam waiting for her. He sprung it like a trap! Wowie! Is he cool or what!

"Someone told me Stalin was dead and if we continue to stall we won't get nothing (sic) done," Wise said.

Wise equated the program to farming terms."Hillsborogh is almost the guinea pig," he said.

He had previously equated it to baseball, with principals, teachers, librarians, coaches and special ed and exceptional ed folks, sort of like interchangeable parts of a baseball team, and heck-fire, you got a standardized check list from the state - not that this doesn't pretty much geld the local school districts - and zap! You're good to go, one size fits all!

The really cool thing is it's working in Hillsborough - even though it's only been in place for a year - and we've attached Bill and Melinda Gates to it. Hey, you know Bill and Melinda? Great folks with oodles of cash so, how wrong can it be?

What are you a communist? Geez.

All reminds one of a great movie!

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