Tag Archive | "Florida Department of Education"

Investigation

What Will Happen to FLDOE Investigation of K12 Inc When Tony Bennett Arrives?

Janaury 6,  2013

Originally published: January 1, 2013

By: Bob Sikes – Scathing Pruple Musings

A glimpse at John O’Connor’s StateImpact review of 2012′s top stories reminds readers of the ongoing investigation of online education giant K12 Inc by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) for irregularities in Seminole County.

State investigating K12 — In September we told you the Florida Department of Education was investigating K12, Inc., the nation’s largest online education company.

Emails between K12 officials and teachers suggested the company had asked teachers to sign off on Seminole County students they had not taught. The emails raised questions about whether K12 was using teachers properly certified according to Florida law.

We also told you how K12 service plans include student-to-teacher rations of 275-to-1 and how school districts have found problems with a network of online charter schools tied to K12 applying around Florida.

The story broke in September, only a month after then education commissioner Gerard Robinson resigned. At the time the FDOE investigation began, no one could imagine that the next education commissioner would be former Indiana state superintendent Tony Bennett. The FLDOE has been silent on the investigation, but Bennett’s appointment brings a clear conflict of interests.

The media is only beginning to realize that Bennett brings baggage with him from Indiana. Gradebook’s Jeff Solochek picked up on my look at the state board of education members who hired him and also donated to Bennett as a Indiana candidate for office.  Bennett received several other contributions from education corporations who do business in Florida which he will oversee as education commissioner.  One of those conflicts has arrived. K12 Inc  made two $5000 to Bennett’s campaign,  once in 2011 and again in 2012.

The FLDOE will have to wrap up its investigation and announce it’s findings of K12 Inc before Bennett assumes control of the department in two weeks. If not, the investigation will need to be turned over to another department. To do otherwise will bring critical scrutiny to not only Bennett, but also upon the state board and an embattled FLDOE that doesn’t need the drama.

Orginal article: http://bobsidlethoughtsandmusings.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/what-will-happen-to-fldoe-investigation-of-k12-inc-when-tony-bennett-arrives/

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Florida_Dept_of_Education

Has the Florida Department of Education Become a Propaganda Arm of the Education Reform Movement?

December 3, 2012

December 1, 2012

By: Bob Sikes – Scathing Purple Musings

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the hacks at the Florida Department of Education would quickly respond to a U.S. Department of Education report which found Florida graduation rates to be, well, abysmal.  It took four days. Lets compare the two reports.

On Monday, Gradebook’s Jeff Solocheck wrote this of the federal report:

The new federal comparison, from 2010-11, doesn’t paint a pretty picture for Florida. For all students, Florida’s graduation rate was 71 percent, lower than all but five states (Alaska, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico and Oregon) and the District of Columbia.

The state’s rates for minority groups were lower than the total — 69 percent of Hispanics and 59 percent of African-Americans. In comparison to other states, Florida’s Hispanic graduation rate surpassed that of 17 states and D.C., while its African-American graduation rate was better than five states and D.C.

Orlando Sentinel education reporter Leslie Postal wrote this yesterday:

Florida’s high school graduation rate for 2012 was 74.5 percent, an “unprecedented” jump from the previous year, according to the Florida Department of Education.

The graduation rate — calculated using a new federal formula — is 3.9 percentage points higher than last year’s rate 70.6 percent. That is the largest, single-year increase since 2003, using the federal calculation, the department said.

State officials said they were delighted, particularly with the hikes in graduation rates for black and Hispanic students, who have lagged behind when it comes to earning diplomas.

Florida’s graduation rate last year, however, was among the lowest in the nation, according to federal data on most states. Based on 2011 data, Florida’s rate of about 71 percent was better than that of only five other states.

The state’s high schools have been waiting for their grades for eight months, yet the FDOE was able to churn out this past year’s graduation numbers in the matter of hours. How convenient.

Meanwhile a one time charter school owner turned charter school bureaucrat quickly generated favorable data for state charter schools. On November 15, StateImpactreporter John O’Connor wrote of UCF professor Stanley Smith research which concluded that the state’s charter schools were not performing as well as public schools. Just six days later, Adam Miller, the FDOE’s charter school director released a contrary report.

Read rest of article:: http://bobsidlethoughtsandmusings.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/has-the-florida-department-of-education-become-a-propaganda-arm-of-the-education-reform-movement/

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