Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Class Size is more than Just a Number

In the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper today, I was reading the response to the class size amendment.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/education/os-class-size-final-rules-04-26-10-20100426,0,4415874.story

There are at least 2 problems within this system that need to be addressed

Issue 1 = As stated by Rick Collins, ""Is it the best situation for students? Is it the best situation for parents? Is it the best situation for teachers? The answer to all of those, in my opinion, is no," said Collins."

Mr. Collins may or may not have been in the classroom, yet either way, I offer the business community a classroom example, for their understanding. You call a meeting and 5 people show up, easy to control and get your message across. Perhaps when 10 people show you get a similar response. Where is the tipping point within a meeting? I might suggest you try this experiment and realize it is easier to work with fewer people and build a product than it is to work with more. 30 people in a meeting = disaster. You have no idea how each person feels and to receive feedback will be from only half of the recipients at best. Lowering class size is a similar example, which Mr. Collins and others do not understand. It is best for teachers, students and learning as a whole. The only aspect in this system that is best for all is that there is no money being passed down from the legislature, and they are forcing the counties to scramble. This is the fault of the legislature and not of the education system who is being blamed.

Issue 2 = Education and Government are not a good mix at this time. Education receives government monies, and is handled as a non-profit organization. Each County follows the rules and does what it can with the resources it receives. The Legislature reviews a budget as if it were numbers and not in the mindset to help the people of the State. If I were a member of the Legislature, I too would worry about re-election, and my position within the political realm. Yet, I do believe it would be my obligation to do what is best for the people. Right now, the Legislature is doing what is best for re-election and not for the people; especially the people who cannot vote. We are talking about creating smarter, well educated people coming out of Florida schools. It is time for the Legislature to grow up, and be part of the cure, not the cause of the disease.

The class size amendment needs leaders to handle it and push it forward, not arrogant financial mouth flappers who have no true idea of what public education involves.

Being an advocate for change in a positive manner leads to many hard roads, yet walking those roads matters. The voters need to be informed of all the consequences of this class size option, and not just hear the rhetoric of how bad things are.

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