Thursday, December 22, 2011

Seminole school leaders blast tax-credit scholarships

The State Legislature is currently in the back pocket of for profit education. Government Funded For Profit Education Centers are the direction the Legislature is aiming for. This means that if you have an experienced educator who asks for more money, you fire them. They cost too much.
If there is a cost to accountability, it is not done, as it takes away profit. People deciding the fate of education without any experience in the field is the same as lawyers making medical decisions for doctors. It is a ridiculous guise to advance the careers of several legislators.

Further response to the article: These scholarships will continue, under the guise of lower level students, the private and very soon charter schools will grow. This is the direction that the State of Florida is taking and unless the people stand against it, very little difference will occur. The travesty is that the people still believe that this is being done due to the failure of our schools. The other side of the coin is that the more money taken away from the local school toward a private one, the lower the standards will be at the public school. Its a government ponzi scheme and the public allow it to happen

Comments from the Following article: http://tinyurl.com/7cjke5r

Monday, December 19, 2011

We do need Higher Standards

To the People who don't understand Education. You don't learn just by listening to a teacher. You learn through a society and a culture teaching you, and reteaching over and over again. This society has moved toward a teacher can do it all. Very bad idea.
The embarassment in the posts so far is that the people making the negative statements are doing so due to their own ignorance of an actual system
The negative stigma of Unions has arrived thanks to Big Business who want to be in full control, just as they did in the 1700's. The FCAT is a measure which hurts from 3rd grade onwards, not just 10th grade, and once you are labelled as At-Risk, you remain with this label through school. This means you are given alot of special treatment and without the resources to evaluate you over and over, and have your family/culture help you develop, you tend to remain at the bottom.
Consider yourself now, and consider yourself if you had been told you are no good since 3rd grade. Mentally, it would be a huge detriment.
This FCAT may be needed, and I agree we need higher standards. Yet we need to implement properly, and we need to do so as a society and stop blaming groups for the wrong doing of society.
If we want to develop a future of education, the standards need to be higher, not just punitive. Start this at home, and finish it in the classroom at school, not the other way around.

http://tinyurl.com/74k8grm – Article posted on Orlando Sentinel “New FCAT scoring will mean 'blood on the table'”

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Continued Attacks on Education do not help

The following comments arrive from the article in the Orlando Sentinel
http://tinyurl.com/blfcpvd

In this article, the discussion arrives again at the conclusion that an institution is at fault. For the layperson, the continued yelling of failure means that failure must exist. A similar story could be made for the arrogance of politics. For every action, there must be corruption. Within education, the people that are given the power to educate others are considered to be experts within their field. My experience is that many great educators are experts within their field, or at least are close to being an expert. At the collegiate level, theory is taught.

If we consider theory, what we are doing is teaching people a model or models of how to do something. Within my own PHD program, I learned theories of conflict as taught to me by different professors who are experts at their own learned theory. If I am to complete my PHD and choose to deal with conflict, I do so by using all the theory I have been taught, and put it to work through trial and error. The aspect of attending college does not mean we are ready to teach, it means we are filled with the ability to teach. Learning to teach is done by trial and error, and the support of mentor teachers on campus.

The problem that is being felt throughout the field of education: Billionaires who have never taught, politicians who have no skills in education and business owners  who are not 21st century teachers are making decisions upon a field. These people need to step aside, and bring together a national consensus of direction. Rather than look upon educators in a punitive manner, lets review the proper methods for reaching students. If, as a society we want teachers to be 100% ready from day 1 then a miracle needs to occur. Each of the above mentioned people needed to learn how to do their job, and quite frankly, so do teachers.

I believe, that Education (Public/Private/College) needs to go on the attack and stop allowing for other fields to dictate what is being done. Share with education what you need to create a better environment for your specific field of business, yet stop dictating. Theory and Experience go hand in hand…

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fox News Debate Update 09/22/2011

Last night I had the honor of spending a few hours listening to the GOP candidates debate each other. These people were jockeying for position on the issues that face the American people, and to be very honest, most of them arrived flat. In my opinion, the issues that are being raised are extremely serious, and I continually heard that our biggest issue is President Obama.

Although I am not a huge fan of our President, I do respect him for the position he holds. This is a lonely position and one that the general people need to learn is not what it seems. The GOP candidates, in my opinion need to learn to be more honest with the American People. Obama manage to find his way into office offering HOPE, which he was well aware he could never offer. The candidates that were standing at the podium offered rhetoric and promises, that even they know, they cant keep. This in my mind is a problem.

Watching the candidates discuss the issues, I do believe that the Front Runner for this election is Mitt Romney. He may not be the most educated person on the podium or the funniest, I think this reward goes to Newt Gingrich. Romney was able to share his values, points and perspectives on the issues that were brought up. He may not be the favorite of the Tea Party, yet for the fact we need a true leader who the World can see as a leader, I still believe Romney is the front runner.
He came across to me as a conservative moderate, who understands (for the most part) what it takes to bring humor, respect, honor and intelligence to the office of the President. He is aware of the importance of Social Programs, and openly shared that there is a difference between social programs and socialism. He has also a more advantageous business plan that the other candidates.

As for people who could be vice president, in my opinion I heard many would like Herman Caine or Newt Gingrich as a running mate. I agree with the people I listened to on this issue.

Back to the Issues: In my opinion, something that the Debate showed us well is that the Economy and Healthcare are a serious issue for this country. I disagree with both parties in the idea of healthcare, and I do truly believe that we need a National Health Care system in which every Citizen is given Health Care. We already pay enough in taxes, and in this, I still say we need to offer this to the people. The closest candidate to this is Romney, yet even he noted that the cost of the Insurance is still on the backs of the employee and employer. We pay a hefty amount in taxes and if we were to remove the HMO issues of profit, we can easily cover the cost of healthcare. Obama did not implement health care reform, he pandered to the health care corporations and in the end, is forcing a mandate or fine in order to get people health care coverage. This was not shared, yet what was shared is that there is a problem. No solutions were offered

The Economy is in trouble. The Economy is sick, and America is in trouble. All rhetoric against Obama, yet still no solutions. One comment made by Perry and Reiterated by Romney was that the public sector unions are destroying our country. This is a Republican Tea Party standing and is false. Along the same lines, it was stated that the Public sector is now making more money than the private. This is False. The more I hear this the more I ask for proof. I choose to be a teacher, and with this choice, I choose lower pay, and very little retirement. The Unions have not bankrupted States. The States do this themselves. Are Unions all good, NO. If they are used properly, they use their skills to offer due process, since employers are known to be greedy and prefer elitist control, and would remove an employee for simple disagreement. There is a use for Unions, and they are not to bankrupt anyone. There is a use for Public sector employees, and they do not make millions. This argument needs proof…and until I see true data proof, I remain skeptical of these GOP candidates.
Continuing my issue is that the GOP did not address the issue of keeping companies in the USA. They want tax subsidies, yet how are we to keep companies doing business here. I am awaiting this argument. I heard a lot of comments about cleaning up the tax code and alleviating the stressors of paying tax, yet, to answer a comment Bachman dodged, out of every dollar, lets offer a flat tax. Society does not run without providing the services Government does, and in that, taxes are a necessary ideal. Pick a number and validate it, yet don’t say that a person can keep all their money.

My Final Note of the Debate: The Republicans are far from ready to make a run for this White House and Washington. They may feel that this election is theirs for the taking, yet the current President is an amazing orator..and the educated voter knows, that the best slinger of rhetoric wins. In this debate, I believe Romney came out ahead, and Gingrich made me think. Cain is a survivor and all the rest need to throw in the towel. Those are my thoughts and thank you for listening.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Why Education as a focus of my Dissertation

This year has been a roller coaster one for sure when it comes to Education. Although I know why I entered into education, I cannot say for sure how long it is safe for me to remain. Currently, the Status of Public Education within the United States is lacking in comparison to our World Competition. The top 5% of our students compete, yet the remaining students are so far behind.
In Florida, we are spending more time blaming teachers, and facilitating the need for more testing, that we are losing the focus of what is important. Where is the appropriate direction?

Regardless of Elementary, Middle or High School, the #1 cost to the State needs to be education. Shortly after that should be the assistance of our Collegiate System. Over the next year, I will be working to develop my dissertation so that it offers an appropriate model for education as I see it. For now, the proposal is to review the model of Global Standards in the world and how to facilitate those into the American Education System, and then to preview an appropriate system of standardized testing with a modern twist of data mining for direction.

The United States does need a direction for Education that we can take back the prestige of Global Education. WE have lost it due to Political and Business policies that are not working. There are professionals (teachers and administrators) that should be the ones government is turning to, yet they don’t. Therefore, I am going to work as closely as I can with as many professionals as I can to develop the proper model and after that..who knows. Keep listening…as I want more than 5% of our students competing on the World Stage.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Disenfranchised deserve a Voice

The field of education is under attack. This is not a new fight, or even a new concept, yet the whole field today is under a massive attack from governments, social classes and technology. Education has been intertwined within the field of politics, and it is within this role that various factors have become more affected than others.

This blog includes excerpts from a Research Document I have worked on which focused on the History of Education through a qualitative lens.
https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=19dLDtQ99evdnhLXzdLpwGxvFO8aB-H5KImEFCb_b5I0

History
The field of education as we know it today began in the United States in 1635. The two known schools of this time were separated by location, yet not specifically by social class. The first grammar school opened was in Boston, and in the South (Virginia) the Colonies opened there first public school. Both of these locations provided education to those that could afford it and had that those in attendance knew religion and the rules of the commonwealth. In 1936 Harvard is opened, and soon after the first law school arrives in Boston as well. The importance of these events is that they are our starting platform for understanding how education in the Colonies and further in the development of the United States leads us toward today.

The primary education of upper class children in colonial days included reading, writing, simple math, poems, and prayers. The primary textbook used was the Bible, and texts that involved in education were of religious or moral undertakings. As children grew older their schooling prepared them for their eventual roles in plantation life. While boys studied more advanced, academic subjects, the girls learned to assume the duties of the mistress of a plantation. Education was provided for white students only and was privately taught.

What we learn is that from the beginning there has been a separation of social class within education, which, as we develop further has become even more segregated in 2011. During the first national implementation of education, the United States once again developed a system grown from religion. At this time wealthy children had a tutor (always a man) who would teach them privately. Some boys went to grammar school and sometimes even college but never girls. Girls were given lessons on how to run a home. It wasn't even expected for girls to spend any of their time reading! Instead their mothers taught them how to cook, sew, preserve food, direct servants and serve an elegant meal.

Grammar Schools came into existence with the growth of middle-class businesses in the late 1700s. These business leaders had a demand for a secondary education that would provide practical instruction in many subjects, from navigation and engineering to bookkeeping and foreign languages. Students needed more than a basic understanding of survival, and business demanded people able to work coming out of school, rather than in the apprentice system. Religion moved aside for commercial topics.

This system was still designed expressly for white wealthy families who could afford to send students to private education.
After what I witnessed over the past five years of progressive movement in the field of Education through the political spectrum, I would have to now share that I believe that many would like to see the old ways return, and or are so upset that they ever went away.

As an educator myself, I truly believe that there needs to be a cultural change in education. This direction is not to close off education, and create situations of vouchers, or tax breaks or even break down education to Charter versus Public schooling. We need to see what works around the world, develop a national platform and truly create an American Education system that is open to all.

The concept of the Founding Fathers, Religion, and even traditional philosophy needs to grow and develop. Those afraid of change are going to remove the forward concepts that research opens for us. Remember, research teaches us that the planet has been around 8-10 billion years, and that the United States is only 235 years old (2011). There is a lot still to learn, and the most important lesson is that when culture does not adapt, then it crumbles.

Today (2011) everyone deserves the chance to receive a high quality education. Funded by the greatest country in the world, and taught by fairly paid, educated teachers who enjoy their career. Politics needs to be removed from the classroom, and parents need to have less control, and more guidance. Politicians who make rules need to be held accountable for actions to both the rich and the disenfranchised.

My final thought on this matter: Education is a word that alone tends to lean toward learning. As someone that has spent the past sixteen years studying the value of education, and working to understand why the disenfranchised remain this way. It is not refreshing to learn that education continues to create rifts between the social classes, yet through the use of real qualitative research, we will be able to understand how to reach people that are among the lower class within the field of education. Then, as the research is further developed, curriculum can be developed so that people of all socio-economic levels can be reached. Politics needs to step away from fast answers and move toward proper research. We all deserve quality change.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Education needs a new Culture

In discussing Education with a few people this week, I have come to realize why the Legislators around the country are blaming the system for being a failure.
There is a concept that Education is a professional career. Yet some of the educators that I have been speaking with spend time being less than professional

Someone has told me that it takes a village to raise a child, yet in the American system of life, the village is ignored in favor of individuation. Students share with me that it is more important to wear any clothes they want, act how they want, and speak how they want, rather than to become the best citizen they can be. This is not professional and this is part of the reason why Education is under attack.

Education never deserved to be degraded in this manner. Culture is part of a nation. The American population looks across continents and shares how smart, intelligent and focused other nations are, yet as a nation the United States does not want to change. Instead, as a nation it shares with its population that the students are not to blame, it's just the teachers. Rather than retool the whole system, as a nation we argue over what can be done for the lower class, and how they are part of the problem. The field of education blames the politicians, and when at all possible, continues to blame rather than accept that change is necessary.

Education needs a complete overhaul. This is nothing new. This has been said for many years, and yet every step toward change happens after five steps backwards. This is not acceptable. The American culture continues to attack education as if it was originally planned to be this way. The founding fathers did not have a guide to public education; therefore the people who are pushing this agenda are not stating a truth.
A culture can only change when the people who are involved in the positions of power are willing to accept that what has been done for X years is wrong. The system of education in the United States is blind to its own failure. I strongly believe that if there is going to be a true evolution toward the 21st century, then Politicians need to ignore the crying of the people, and the educators need to remove their bias of perfection, and they all need to meet in the middle.

President Obama states that he knows education is our future, yet we are not funding it. We are not developing new teachers and or considering the review of a global model. Education needs to be overhauled from the ground up. Education needs to focus on all students and not just on the lower 25%. Education is not how you get votes, it is how we open the mind of people and allow information to fill it.
My next post will include a Research Document I have written about the history of Education.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Modern Moderate Republican

My thoughts have been wandering to the different arguments I have heard about the Republicans and Democrats. It seems to me, that over the past decade or so, the concept of being a Republican or a Democrat has changed drastically. Today, I find myself confused as to why I call myself a Republican. I am certainly no Democrat, yet there are some aspects of these political parties that have become so dire, that I find myself confused.

So what exactly is a Republican?
Very quick History Lesson in Being a Republican: Founded in northern states in 1854 by anti-slavery activists, modernizers, ex-Whigs and ex-Free Soilers, the Republican Party quickly became the principal opposition to the dominant Democratic Party. It first came to power in 1860 with the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency and Republicans in control of Congress and the northern states. It oversaw the saving of the union, the destruction of slavery, and the provision of equal rights to all men in the American Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877. (Referenced from Gould and the American National Biograph)

Wow, so in other words the original republicans cared for the same things that today they want to remove, destroy and alter. This is important to know, because today, many people are focused on the history of being a Republican, yet they do not actually know what being a Republican meant. People in general follow what they are told to follow.
Being a republican did not mean being overly religious. Nor did it mean protecting the rights of the rich. Today, this is what it has become. The modern day Tea party, who claims it is representing Republican beliefs needs a very quick education in understanding what being Republican means.

In review of other blogs out there who are moderate Republicans and understand the concept of compromise, I borrow the following paragraph to stress my point.

The Republican Party and conservatism in general have been taken over by the hate-filled right-wing theist fringe elements. There was a time when the conservative movement and the Republican Party had leaders like Barry Goldwater, Dwight Eisenhower, William F. Buckley, John Anderson and others. I seldom agreed with these men, but I consider them to be political giants in our country's history. They weren't fueled by hatred for minorities and those with a different sexual orientation. They didn't think women should be second-class citizens. They honored the Constitution and tried to do what they thought was in the best interests of the people of the United States. Ted McLaughlin.
Some of you reading this may think, what is he thinking, the Republicans are doing fine the way they are, it is the Middle and the left that are out of their minds. Perhaps this is the guidance that has been offered yet the middle is going to be pushed to the left, since the far Right is dictating a new world without considering their ramifications. When we take a harder look at history and how this ends, we get Rome right before it fell, we get Germany under the leadership of Hitler and we get the United States in the manner it is being run today.


 

In my eyes, politics and political parties are meant to be used as guiding aspects of a government. Today in 2011, the Republicans are in charge of most States, the House of Representatives and have good representation in the Senate. With this much power, why are they accusing the Democrats of creating a broken system. The Tea party unfortunately is made up of people who arrived on the scene as knights of civil justice. They did not want a Black or Female President. They fought valiantly for Republican only government. Their words… smaller government. Perhaps I am missing something, yet in the States that are run by Republicans, it seems that more and more government is being created, not less. In Florida the Republicans have attacked Unions, Women, Education and all social services. Perhaps this is an opportunity to alter the nation for the better, yet the way in which a system has been designed, cannot be changed in one fowl swoop.

This is not a good sign for young Republicans like myself, who agree that their needs to be a balance between Government aide and Private business. One day, I plan to run for State house, State Senate and eventually the Senate of the USA. I desire to remain in the middle of the Republican Party and I desire to be able to work with people of all political credence. Honestly, this Tea Party needs to go away, and fundamentalism needs to be calmed. Fundamentalists in the 1950's and 60's were communists. What exactly are Tea Party people.

I am asking loudly for the Leaders of the Republican Party to please look at their party, and bring us back to prominence and respect. Republicans can win without destroying common sense, the common man and the civil liberties that helped to define America. Thanks for listening

Friday, March 25, 2011

5% of a Salary is politics only, Not truth

There is a lot of communication within the media today that is stating the State of Florida is over spending in the FRS system and that the people who are public employees are receiving something for nothing. Further, the rhetoric from the far right Tea Party followers is saying that it is time the public workers gave back for all the years they have taken.

If I may be so bold as to spell out the process for everyone. First and foremost, what the public employee receives is their base pay. Within the public sector, this base pay is less than their counterpart in the public realm. Then, many of the public employees receive their pension pay. This is not an optional amount of money, this is a simple percentage of their total pay, and it is placed into a fund. This fund is most often the State funded, Florida Retirement System (FRS). The employee is not able to access that money, and or use it until they formally retire and arrive at the State mandated retirement age. Further, many employees receive some form of a health care plan. Some receive full care; others pay a small amount into the system.

If I am to use this example for myself, I receive $42,750 per year for my pay. I then receive $4,081 for the year in pension pay, and another $5,700 for my health care. The Tea Party that is running Florida in 2011 may say that as a teacher of ten years, I receive $52,531. Yet this is not the truth. The truth of the matter is I receive a total take home pay of $42,750 before taxes.

The State of Florida would like me to consider that their plan is going to save us all money. In this plan, they will take my base pay of $42,750 and deduct 5% into the FRS. This means I will be paid $2137.50 less, or a take home pay of $40,612. If I am to add in my Insurance (if I am allowed to still receive this) I get a total take home pay of $46,312. In year one of this program I lose $6000. What is the lifetime accumulative total for my loss.

Once again, the people that are running the State are doing so without regard for the people that voted them into office, they are simply creating math to save themselves.

Today, Governor Scott stated that without saving the FRS we are sure to fail. There is not specific truth to this, yet he created numbers to prove it. To the members of the House and Senate: It is your job to maintain balance. You have taken the time to follow a party line of hard, very far right minded concepts, which, historically destroys the people. Anytime something leans too far over, the world will find a way to balance itself out, yet the results are often more tumultuous than what got us there.

First an education bill with unfunded mandates, then destroy Unions without any true reason other than due process, and now this. 2011 is not going to lead to a successful 2012 if, as Republicans we don't practice what we preach, and offer good government. It is time to lead properly, be fair and responsible, and don't follow a party line…follow the line of the people who voted you into office.

On a final note, this is how Rome Fell, and we are not Rome, we are Florida.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Chamber Comments are a Gross Misrepresentation

The following was a letter sent to the Florida Chamber of Commerce Tonight, after Reading the following link
http://www.flchamber.com/docs/NR_GovtUnionsTargetCentralFloridaLawmakerswithWisconsinStyleProtests_030311.pdf

Edie Ousley - and the Florida Chamber of Commerce

Good Morning to you. My name is Cade Resnick and I am one of those Central Florida Teachers.

As an organization, you should be ashamed of yourselves. I will assume, based on your e-mail, that you either don't have children, and or don't care about the Standard of Education in Florida for your children.

The Seminole County Teachers that gathered to share with representatives the need for a different type of Bill received the same type of arrogance from their leaders that you show in your organization.


 

Quite Frankly, it is groups like yours that do not help education in Florida become what it needs to be, world-class. I offer to you the same offer I make to all legislators.. an opportunity to leave your ivory tower in Tallahassee and come into my classroom. Become a teacher for a month. Rather than sit there and say that all we (teachers) want is money and power, come try it out.

Quite frankly, I know how the chambers work, and I know how many of you are struggling, so rather than fix your own house, you attack an industry that is designed to train the next generation. Shame on you.


 

I also realize that as a chamber you don't like Unions, yet in the case of Florida, and the educational establishment, you don't understand the purpose of the Union.
Last year, through SB6 the Chambers said that only Testing matters. If that is the case, then please accept all the FCAT students who the State Representatives have helped to create.

Last year, through SB6 the Chambers said that teachers are the ones failing our students. Then proceeded to incite the same type of anger toward the Teachers Unions.

There is a lot more to last year, yet let's start over fresh.

This year that chamber again says only testing results matter - so teachers become amazing and teach to a new test.


 

To the Florida Chamber and all the Legislators, we are not creating Widgets. Every Child is not the same and every situation cannot lead to an Ivy League education. Most teachers do everything they can to make a difference, yet some students dont want the help. No matter how many nuggets of knowledge a teacher shares, sometimes the child just does not want to learn. What then...where are the parents, the leaders, and most importantly, where are the systems in place to help a child who prefers automotive over chemistry?

As a chamber, if you want to help...then help..if you want to hurt..then carry on..but stop bullying. It is not appropriate.

Finally

As a chamber, make it a priority to send your business leaders into the classrooms. Send them in huge numbers and help to teach all the teachers how amazing you all are. Do the same for the students. Better yet, why not just help the students realize that the same children, who have parents in your Chamber..are not entitled to graduate, they need to work for it. After all you are all Republicans..and so am I

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A System of Change is necessary, Let’s do it now

What does it mean to be a teacher in 2011? The truth to this question is perhaps part of the reason our legislators are fighting so hard to re-design education.

In 2011, our students have become a cross breed of apathetic and mediocre. The fault of this is not simply the teachers; it is my humble opinion a fault of our individualistic nature. Parents are too busy to help out at home, and the social structure surrounding our youth is so devolved that for the most part, teamwork is removed in favor of a "Me" first mindset. When it comes to growing up, the teachers is placed in the role of responsibility to help foster growth for a child, and at this point, quite often a parent removes themselves from the process. Many parents believe they are doing the child a favor, by allowing a child to gain independence, when in fact the child needs the strength and guidance of a parent even more.

The role of the teacher should be to develop a child that is within their classroom to the best of the Childs ability. This concept is great, yet development takes a team, and as stated prior a pillar of this team has been misguided in its approach for development. Children often lean toward their parents for first support, and when/if that is not there, then their friends are next.
The problem with this process, is that it gets even more clouded as to the direct responsibility of a child, when we learn that a teacher is not normally in a child's top 5 of people to come to for help. Is this the fault of teachers, no, this is not their role. The older a child gets, the more the role of teacher becomes educator, and less supporter. Simply put, by the time a child is out of Elementary school, the function of a teacher changes extensively.

The role of an educator in elementary school is to facilitate the change and future of a child. Perhaps this is the environment that a teacher is most needed to be hands on. From learning how to adapt to change, read a book, workout math problems, understand logic and quite simply to learn responsibility is in the hands of elementary school teachers. In 2011, an elementary teacher is forced to do everything that was designed throughout introductory education, and add to it, test taking skills, competition management, technology abilities and at times hygiene. Not too bad if you have the time do all of this.

If a person is to believe elementary teachers have it easy, the middle and high school situations just get worse. The goal of education used to give people the knowledge they needed for their chosen career field. As children in our modern days advance, the aspect of education needs to be ahead of them. It is my opinion that the field of education needs to consider that middle school is a place to teach students to advance, and not just to hold hands and allow them to move on. Middle school was setup to help with emotional needs, while development of the teenage body occurred, while still learning. Today, it needs to redevelop into an institution that focuses on fostering learning as a priority. High school is another facility that is placating to the student, and not allowing for teachers to do their job.

What does all of this mean? Simply that in order to be a teacher today, there needs to be a redevelopment of education. To be a teacher in 2011, it really means to be a person bent to the will of an environment that is closed off to the advancement of our students, yet it loudly says that this is what it wants. The institution of education is designed to facilitate mediocrity, rather than be brave and aim to be the best it can be. Rather than pay for the service of an educator, the system in place offers minimal reward and expects more. As you read this, perhaps you say, wow another teacher whining.

This is not the case. In 2011, it is my desire to finally be the teacher I always wanted to be. I would like to be a teacher who has students that desire to read the material I give to them. I would like to have parents that help out by enforcing the advancement of their child. I would like to offer to my students the ability to reach all my notes online prior to entering my classroom, and then for them to be able to access their tablet to enhance their learning. I would like to be able to teach my students how to develop research papers, not just have to teach them from scratch….and above all, I want to do all of this despite how the legislators are treating me. To be a teacher in 2011, I feel it is important to know that technology is far beyond what we offer in the classroom and we need to adapt this to our skill set. For teaching in 2011, we currently test test test our students. What happened to learning? We need to change education and how we advance students. We also need to create a system that involves the community. Enough of this individual model which says that no Child Can be left Behind. There is nothing wrong with this statement, yet in 2011, we need to develop a community of education or this failed experiment will continue. Race to the Top..of what? In 2011 rather than pay teachers based on a test score, or fire teachers for the same reason, create a system which allows for the picking up of our youth, and developing them so that we are competitive in the future. We need a global model of education, and we need it now. If we wait till 2012 or further, we continue to leave everyone behind.

Education has a great opportunity for change now, let's make it happen. A teacher in 2011 needs to be developed as a portion of the system, not the sole person responsible for fixing a problem which began years before they ever met the child. I am ready to find a way to make this change…are you?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Discussion of SB 736

The Following comments are a correlation from reading the FEA Frontline Report, The Tampa Tribune and The Orlando Sentinel
SB 736 Has been drafted as a teacher quality bill, yet if you read the bill closely, it is really a loosely disguised bill of unfunded mandates.

If the Legislature truly wants to reign in education and get a chance to start again, then perhaps it does need to speak directly with people who are in the classroom every day.
At the meeting, one of the Senators (Nancy Detert) shared with the committee that it is her opinion "
districts haven't removed bad teachers, even though they could have done so under current pay systems. "We had a process. You didn't have the courage to use it. With more than 90 percent of teachers earning good evaluations, yet many students still struggling on FCAT, something is amiss, she said. "We've started to forget what business we're in. We're not in the employment business. We're in the business of moving kids from point A to point B," (Detert)

Comments to the Senator:
1 – The concept of bad teachers, versus students who do not want to learn is extreme. Perhaps you may want to understand that students need to want to learn, in order for a teacher to teach. I would like you to come and spend a week teaching in my classroom, give the information and a test, grade it, then go back to the Senate and make your comments. I have a feeling that your viewpoint will change.

2 – A good teacher does not mean a student passes the FCAT. Darvin Booth commented that we should seek out all the reasons, not just a teacher, as to why a student fails. I promise you, that socio-economic, parental involvement, and student buy in all matter when seeking success. If none of the above happen, there is little you can do. Much like a business, if employees won't work, you fire them, yet we can't fire students, so we keep trying.

3 – I believe you and others in Tallahassee mistake education for what it is not. It is in fact a business, yet it is not following the corporate model. You employee many people, and this is important, since your employees are working to develop our future. These developers are given the task at hand, yet they cannot throw out the bad/bruised apples, they have to try their best to mold them back to being a workable, saleable item when they leave high school. You openly state that the business of moving kids from A-B is the point of this legislature and ultimately this bill. This is not an educated comment, if I may be so blunt. Our Job is to get kids from where they began, toward a working person who can survive in the world when they leave school. In this matter, we are developing people, not widgets. It is important to note that, since every person is different, and wants a different outcome. Many teachers try their best, yet we need the help of students, administrators, parents and the legislature to develop our youth, not contention.

To the committee that moved the bill SB 736 forward, and to the rest of the Florida Senate: There are many aspects within this bill that are not developed for the longevity of education.
Some of you have been teachers in the past, yet are not in the classroom anymore. Contact local teachers who have a vested interest in the success of our State, and consider listening to what they have to say.
You have a bill in front of you, yet you are not offering a funding mechanism in order to facilitate the growth of teachers. Your merit play concept is a play on words, and you added Race to the Top this year in order to facilitate those concepts. You have not talked of how to fund merit pay, and since prior merit programs have failed, create a system that cannot fail this time, or don't create one at all.

Within this bill, you give the Counties a chance to create their own mechanism for testing, and then later on go on to say it needs to be State approved. Two years ago you set out to create end of year exams, if this process is to be equitable, then end of course exams need to be consistent. Education deserves to be the largest investment you make at this time, since it is our future you are investing in. Rather than shy away from dollars for the schools, enhance budgets and adequately fund the schools. Then further develop your testing method, and create a system that teachers can meet.
The FCAT is a problem since the measure changes every year. The Legislators keep making education more difficult since they, they do not understand the principle of the profession. Teachers are not in the job of lawyers, accountants etc, they are simply teachers who enhance a child's base knowledge. Could they do a better job, some can. Could they do more with less, I don't think so.

To all the Legislatures, and specifically the Senators that should read this, this is your chance to make a proper bill, and fund it. Rather than simply say that bad teachers need to be gone, create a system which allows for the great teachers to shine and for the bad teachers to receive the necessary training to develop. If they do not…create a mechanism to force them out. I remind you all, there is no tenure in Florida, so stop using that as a carrot for the public.

Finally, this is the Senate of 2011 to make a true mark toward the future of our State. Ignore what our Governor is offering, it is a failure. Be the future, and put your names on an amended bill that the field of education will be proud to work under. I am open to answering questions, and offer my classroom to any of you, at any time.

Thank you

Senate committee substitute bill at: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2011/...BillText/c1/PDF

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Test Scores don’t make a State – Community Does

In the State of Florida, and throughout the United States, the NCLB law forced State testing to commence. Through a given school year, students may take as many as 10 tests just to be counted as progressing. In Florida, NCLB has become a drastic failure, yet some might have you believe the scores say otherwise. A State Written test to grow the States reputation is easy to design and grade, yet these are not the scores we need to follow

In Florida, FCAT scores have shown a rise…go Florida, yet…Scores have remained very stagnant in the tests that count.
The scores that matter are SAT scores, since this is a nationwide test, ACT (Nationwide) and College Entrance exams. All of these have the remained the same or gone lower. The actual State comparison chart is disgusting. According to this chart, Florida ranks 44th in the Country is SAT results:
http://blog.bestandworststates.com/2009/08/25/state-sat-scores-2009.aspx


Perhaps we can compare on the National Standard of AP testing where we end up having an average pass rate of 41% across AP exams. Again embarrassing – especially when parents who are guiding these AP students toward college…are actually not participating at all. http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20101208/article/12081052

Anyone can work the FCAT to show growth, and this has been done. Writing is not better, nor is English or Math, we just say it is with manipulated data.
I am a public school teacher and the rhetoric remains, pass the FCAT kids and all will be good.
We need to change the whole face of education, and ironically, the measure we need is money to afford the proper technology, training, and more for the students and the teachers.
We also need parents to help enforce education in the State to make it part of the culture. Governor Rick Scott can take away or give (I know the legislature actually does this) to education; yet until we make education a piece of our culture, we will remain bottom of the barrel. And before people run around excited that Ed-Week says Florida is ranked 5th in education, we are not. Florida increased FCAT scores so much we moved into 5th through test differential. We raised the lowest performing students just that much.

To make a difference we need to become the difference, and when we do people who are refusing to work now will start, because the community will make it happen. Education is the future, let's make it work people (especially Politian's) or as a State we will remain in the hands of a Mouse.



Monday, February 7, 2011

With great Power comes – More Power?

Article in Response to Governor Scott's Financial plans
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/education/os-scott-budget-education-20110207,0,1070566.story

Governor Scott has been the responsibility to run our State as professionally as he can, yet at this time he seems more concerned with running our State into the ground.
If we take a close look at the comments that have been made on this day, by the governor himself, he seems to be dismantling government in the area's that Government has a say, and is creating a windfall of money for the Health Care industry.

Perhaps, when running for governor, Scott, purposely left out his plan of profiteering while in the Governor's seat, yet if that is his ultimate goal, he needs a quick lesson in political ethics.
Scott has a large learning curve into his foray of politics, and it the role of the Republican arm of our State Government to keep him in control. What was released today is an embarrassment.

Scott's mother openly shared that he went to school after living through the welfare system, and now, rather than help those in need, he is purposely destroying education. Education is one of the areas that as a State and Country, we need to invest more money, yet in Scott's mind we can rip apart the system and ignore our youth. We can then further remove professionals from the profession and yet our State can still foster growth. Embarrassing!

After Scott has taken care of education, he then feels it is within his control to rip apart social services. In some area's it may be ok to create a system of rules for which Social Services are rendered, yet we sorely need to offer these services to people within our State.
If we are to even consider this budget in any aspect, then our Governor should consider the long term ramifications of his State Destruction carefully. I do not believe there has been a governor removed for abusing their power, yet this has to be a gross misrepresentation of our State Government.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Teachers receive even less when Governor Scott gets on the Ball.

This commentary is in Response to Governor Scott's comments in regards to educators paying 5% of their pay into their pension.
Article Found here: http://tinyurl.com/4qrn6zx

Teachers are not private sector employees. We work for a mediocre wage at best, and in return we have a moderate retirement system. Asking teachers to lose 5% of their pay without openly stating that wages will increase year over year (State guaranteed Step system) I feel we are going to see more disgruntled educators in the State. 

Education does not see its profit in $ signs. Out investment arrives years after our students leave. Politicians today may want to balance budgets in this tough time, yet what we do today will have a lasting effect on our population. Taking 5% may be an immediate fix, yet what is the possible result in 20 years. Education is a noble profession, as are police, fire fighters etc. It is time the politicians stepped up to work with the profession, rather than try to re-design a model seeking some other type of financial return.

These comments were also shared with Leslie postal of the Orlando Sentinel

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What of the Future

The word education has a different connotation for all who hear it. For some of us, we cringe at the memory of school and what we were forced to do. For others it is a word that means continuing to learn the same thing over and over. For a few people, education means what it is designed to mean, taking the time to learn from someone/something that is able to advance you from where you are now, toward a new you when done.

In Florida, the political landscape is filled with people who have an opinion. This commentary is from one of those people, who too have an opinion. Yet, as I am a teacher who is educated and works tirelessly every day to try and force basic education into the minds of our future, I feel that what I have to say may be a little more on task than those that are not truly involved.

In the United States we have a failure of education. We fail to properly prepare our youth, and our young adults to be ready to move into a profession. The high school landscape works for some, yet for most of the people graduating high school today, they maintain an 8th grade ability level. Community College is now the thing, with our teachers pushing it as the cheaper option. Sure University is hard to get into, and even harder to stay when you arrive, yet if you are ready, then it should be easily manageable. Our foreign counterparts figured it out, why can't we.

Well the answer is simple, we are not being educated. Politicians want to blame teachers. Rich people agree with a privatization model, and the United States sits back and watches it all play out.
Good teachers are hard to find, and yes, some teachers are bad enough we need to remove them. I will say 1 out of 5 teachers need to be fired, yet the same can be said for every single business. Therefore it is not the fault of Unions. School systems need support; perhaps not as much money as they claim, yet they need to know that when students are not handling themselves correctly, they can get help.

Education is a personal issue, which takes a team to achieve. If a person does not want to be educated, that is their choice. The problem with this argument for teenagers is that they want more than they know what they need.
It is time for Education to be unraveled. My plan for dissertation and perhaps the rest of my life will be to draft a true working education plan that is competitive around the world and stops making excuses for all the people who want them.

America is spending too much time being politically correct to realize it has lost the fight for education and is now simply leaving its people out to dry. That is so sad…come on America..let's bring Education to the level it needs to be..#`1

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Less can be Best if Done right

Many of the people who run for office spend their time running, letting people know that they are going to make change. The passion to make change is a valid truth, yet for all of you that ran with this promise, you give the position of politician a bad name.
Change is something someone can do when they have the ability to do so. Politics is a game in which you are not the only player. The most common error a politician makes is entering the game without knowing what the winner receives. I had an idea of how different the closed doors of Pandora were before I entered my own race, yet even I, who am educated on policy and procedure, have had a 90' learning curve.
Politicians are sometimes caring, kind people who have taken a responsibility to help people. These people rely on the knowledge that others have given to them, until they win and have to sit down to learn the real goings on inside a political home.

It does not matter if you win a local election, county, State or Federal; there is a huge learning curve. We as people focus more on the policy makers at the Federal and State levels, who are the people making some of the biggest decisions. Yet, the truth is, at all levels, there are policies that were in place prior to the persons entering the new position, and the documents needed to show why these policies are in place and are now shown.

The reason I share this with everyone, is that we are almost at a time when the State legislatures starts to meet again, and again many of the same arguments from previous years are going to occur; Education, Pension and of course the dreaded Government employees. The press would have you believe that most of the people in the State of Florida work for the government and are paid excessively. The politicians and governor will have you believe that the State is bankrupt because of the inequities of a failing system…a failing Federal system that they had no hand in. This is not true.

The State of Florida is filled with idealistic politicians that have become part of the problem. As an elected official, it is my responsibility to listen to the, speak to the people, and to become educated by the professionals of each field that I am here to represent. That is my view of the role of a politician. My role is not to get re-elected, and I truly believe that most of today's politicians are out to get re-elected rather than do what is right.

There is a solution to our legislature this year, and that is to find a way to balance a budget and to bring powerful economic development to our State.
Take the time to create State Wide committees for Education, Pension Plans, Government employees and any other big ticket item. Make this a transition year, and allow the State to rebuild.
We elected a Republican governor, and Republican legislature…That means less Government…Do what is right all of you…less Government and more Home Based control.

More to come on all of this next week, with more detail…
See you then

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What of the Future in 2011

I am not a fan of make believe. Most of the time, I am the exact opposite. The reality of our lives is one in which we can hold to be real, and the imagination we hold is the fantasy we often wish we could hold onto.

In the State of Florida, in 2011, it is my opinion that many of our politicians are once again going to go on an adventure that is missing reality.
Knowing me, means you know the passion I have for education, and the balance I believe that education and business holds. Being a leader in both is important, and yet I feel that on the whole, the political system of today does not offer either. In the State of Florida, we have people who claim to be leaders, yet are being led for the sake of money and re-election.
Starting at the top, we have a governor who feels that redistribution of wealth is an important way of explaining appropriate education.
Really? So if you give a voucher to every student and say go where you want…how does this help to balance the standard of education in the State? Adding to this, the monies necessary are still less than 48 of our other States. Do yourself a favor, ignore Jeb Bush or Michelle Rhee..these people are not really revolutionaries, they are educational artifacts.

We have leaders in both the House and Senate that are already saying education needs to deal with the budget cuts. You keep cutting and expect more from the system. This is not the way to advance your State. It is in fact the exact opposite method. Today, in 2011, education needs a complete overhaul. In fact, education needed a drastic change many years ago, yet we do not have a leadership with the ability to do this.

We live in a technological world, and are teaching the same way that we did in 1915. We have students who need to work hard, yet we have parents who want to be nice. We have teachers who want to teach, yet cant because they can't push the students. We have a State legislature that wants results, yet it has no idea how to do it.

It is time to rip apart the whole system, take the best opportunities that a globalized system may offer and bring in true change. Stop blaming and start fixing. I am here to help if you are willing to re-create and re-design a system which is future focused.

Lets talk soon, before you make huge mistakes.