Tag Archive | "Scathing Purple Musings"


Skepticism for SB736 in the Florida Senate

Skepticism Over SB 736

January 24, 2013

By: Bob Sikes – Scathing Purple Musings

Rick Scott told FOX News host Neil Cavuto after SB736 was past, “It’s going to be great.”

Not so much. Changes are already being considered. Bush Foundation CEO Patricia Levesque wants to add student surveys into the calculus and is floating the idea around. Senate Education chairman John Legg has said his committee will be considering changes to the bill. The committee’s vice chair was more poignant. This from Travis Pillow in theTallahassee Democrat:

State Sen. Bill Montford, a Democrat from Tallahassee, has a broader range of concerns with the law.

He said placing new teachers on one-year contracts for the rest of their careers undermines their job security and could make it more difficult to attract new people to the teaching profession.

“The damage it’s doing we won’t see until five, six years down the road, when we don’t have the good qualified applicants coming into teaching,” Montford told the gathering of school administrators.

People may not take jobs in education for the money, he said, but “there’s limit to how far people will sacrifice.”

This is at odds with something else Scott said after SB736 was passed. More from Pillow:

“We must recruit and retain the best people to make sure every classroom in Florida has a highly effective teacher,” Scott said in a statement after signing the bill at a Jacksonville charter school.

Just how much Scott has become embarrassed about all this is unclear. It turned out that the KIPP charter school he signed the bill earned an F. The chairman of that KIPP school, Gary Chartrand, was named by Scott to the Florida Board of Education. Chartrand now is state board chairman. The first roll-out of SB736 this year turned out to be another disaster. The hearings in Legg’s and Montford’s committee will provide more fireworks.

Meanwhile a legal challenge to SB736 is underway in a Tallahassee courtroom.

Read original article: http://bobsidlethoughtsandmusings.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/skepticism-for-sb736-in-the-florida-senate/

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Prickly Bush Foundation CEO Responds to Mississippi Parent Advocate

January 21, 2013

By; Bob Sikes- Scathing Purple Musings

Nancy Loome, the executive director of The Parents’ Campaign, sure got underneath Patricia Levesque’s skin. The CEO of Bush’s foundation wrote this in response to Loome’s December 31 editorial in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger:

As executive director of The Parents’ Campaign, Nancy Loome has a responsibility to provide accurate information to the public.

She failed to do that in her editorial,http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013301020017″>”Public education for sale? Big money pushing charter school legislation.”

Loome’s statements about Florida and the Foundation for Excellence in Education were misleading at best and require a response.

Loome correctly notes that Florida has made strong academic gains by investing in education reform.

But then she writes: “Yet, Florida’s most vocal ‘education reform’ advocates, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, attribute Florida’s success to school choice.”

Given that I’m the Foundation’s CEO, that baffles me.

At no time has the Foundation promoted choice as a cure-all for public education. In fact, we clearly say that there is no single silver bullet policy to improve education in our country. We support a comprehensive reform agenda, which is outlined on our web site and which our chairman, former Gov. Jeb Bush, discussed in an August speech in Jackson.

School Choice is part of that comprehensive agenda. So is a strong focus on early literacy, rigorous academic standards and coursework, strong accountability measures, an expansion of digital technology in the classroom and policies that attract the best and brightest into the teaching profession.

Loome seems to think we are involved in some nefarious plot to promote a corporate takeover of public education in Mississippi. She notes that members of the Foundation have made multiple trips to Mississippi.

Loome must hold significant sway in Mississippi, otherwise Levesque would have remained silent. The point-of-view one which she realizes exists throughout Florida, but has never felt the need to respond. Why now?

Read article: http://bobsidlethoughtsandmusings.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/prickly-bush-foundation-ceo-responds-to-mississippi-parent-advocate/

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