booksareenough

The Power of Free, Self-Selected Reading

Why is Florida giving Utah over $5 million to field test AIR assessments?

Field testing an assessment on a vastly different population than the acutal testing population is an odd decision. Some might say it invalidates any cut scores that are set. We already know that cut scores are political tools and mean little. Do you know why Florida is not field testing the new FCAT -called AIR? There is not enough time to field test. Let me tell you what is happening. We are already testing almost EVERY day until the end of the year. This madness started April 7th. When is there time to field test? Today I have students who must take the state required ePat test as well as the required FCAT test. Oh, did I mention they must take the mandated FAIR test too? I kid you not. Some students got passes to go take THREE different tests today. These same students have EOC tests over the next 30 days. I forgot to mention AP testing. None of these tests were made by teachers- the ones who know their kids best and how to evaluate them. Standardized testing is a politcal-economic shell game that only testing companies, politicians and computer companies win.

Around Florida, school libraries are being closed to accomodate testing. Schools have been forced to buy laptops to keep up with the increased testing. Students test on laptops which displaces other classes.

THERE IS NO TIME TO FIELD TEST ANYTHING. WE CANNOT EVEN TEACH.

Florida is testing hell. In previous posts I showed how Florida NAEP scores have stagnated and fallen behind the average. I have also shown that as Florida increases testing- lessening teaching time- NAEP scores drop and gaps widen. I could care less about ANY standardized test result but for those who do- take note.

My only question…

Will Florida give Utah the FIVE MILLION in unmarked bills?

Krashen (once again) Sets Record Straight on Reading (with Common Core connection)

This is the best hour you will spend all year if you care about bringing kids into the community of readers. The research is clear. Are we going to continue to punish kids with skills practice, computer programs and interrogations? Or are we going to let kids become readers? Common Core is part of the problem- but just the continuation of a long road to killing off the love of reading. We have known for decades that kids who are avid readers do better in school and on any given standardized test. The research here is powerful but will not make billions for testing companies or computer companies.  

Sadly, our poor kids are really harmed since they lack the access to books and time to read them. Our schools are harming ALL kids by denying them the RIGHT to be readers. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSW7gmvDLag

 

Erik Fresen’s Charter School lie- symptom of deeper problems

The Florida Democratic caucus should be livid over the lie Erik Fresen told about a waiting list of 100,000 people for charter schools. Fresen has deep charter school ties as do many of the neo-segregationists in the Florida GOP caucus. Just follow the likes of Uncle Seth McKeel, Slick Willie Weatherford and Big Daddy Don Gaetz to get a flavor for modern day Jim Crow. 

The Democratic caucus has offered a flaccid response that is all too common for them. 

The deeper problem is that the lie was not covered in the media. The deeper problem is that the Florida Department of Education (sic) is hostile to public schools and a champion for private and charter schools. 

The goal is to make our public schools so unpleasant and test heavy- that people want to flee (can you say vouchers) to private schools, where teaching occurs on a regular basis and they do not test 80-100 days a year like public schools. 

Of course this means the “choice” mantra is also built on a wall of lies. 

The one thing that the Florida Legislature and DOE will not do is give all schools the ability to control what happens from day to day. The politicians need a hammer and the unaccountable apparatchiks and knaves at the DOE need to keep their jobs. 

Duncanvilles

In the early 1930s Hoovervilles dotted the outskirts of many cities in America. Today, we have Duncanvilles. Duncanvilles are test prep centers- formerly called schools. They are most prevalent in poor areas. The rich get rich and the poor get test prep. In the meantime- in between time- ain’t we got fun?

Any “needy schools” in wealthy areas Mr. Duncan? 

Florida Charter School Silly Season

Let me tell you one of the games charter schools play. When they realize a student will not graduate- they withdraw them and send them to the local public school. 

With about 40 days until graduation I got 3 seniors who have little, if any, chance of graduating. All 3 come from the same charter school. This is how charter schools boost graduation rates and school grades while creating a negative impact on local public schools.

I am happy to work with these three students. Charter schools have no accountability. They do as they like. 

 

 

 

 

 

The Florida Hispanic Milagro. Or not?

Originally posted on booksareenough:

One of the latest ploys by the Jeb Bush foundation and Florida politicians is to promote the idea of a Florida miracle for Hispanics in achievement. It is an election year and they are trying to dupe folks again. There have been headlines like “Hispanics in Florida Lead the Nation.” I almost did a spit take when I read that one. Why? I know the truth.

Since Florida has increased testing and choice- NAEP scores have stagnated and gaps have grown in some areas. I wrote about this earlier and you can find it in the archives. Let me focus on Hispanic students in this post. Let’s look at NAEP trends since 2005 when we saw a massive increase in choice and testing take hold.

Are Florida Hispanic students leading the nation or being crushed by massive testing and segregation caused by choice?

8th Grade Math- The average increase of…

View original 121 more words

Stunning Privacy Abuse by Florida District and The College Board?

In February one Florida school district signed up all 11th graders to take the SAT- without their permission or the permission of their parents. The results have been out but students cannot get their scores. The district will not send a list out to schools and the College Board did not provide a list of scores to schools. The school district gave The College Board a ton of tax dollars for this farce. Do these scores belong to students or the district? How can a district register all students and never even tell them the test is optional. We all know the SAT is meaningless but this story borders on criminal. The district gets scores before the kids? That sounds illegal.

The Florida Hispanic Milagro. Or not?

One of the latest ploys by the Jeb Bush foundation and Florida politicians is to promote the idea of a Florida miracle for Hispanics in achievement. It is an election year and they are trying to dupe folks again. There have been headlines like “Hispanics in Florida Lead the Nation.” I almost did a spit take when I read that one. Why? I know the truth.

Since Florida has increased testing and choice- NAEP scores have stagnated and gaps have grown in some areas. I wrote about this earlier and you can find it in the archives. Let me focus on Hispanic students in this post. Let’s look at NAEP trends since 2005 when we saw a massive increase in choice and testing take hold.

Are Florida Hispanic students leading the nation or being crushed by massive testing and segregation caused by choice?

8th Grade Math- The average increase of scale scores in the nation was 10. Florida is at 10. Leading the nation? Good Lord. Georgia is up 18.

8th Grade Reading- The average increase of scale scores in the nation was 10. Florida was up 9. Leading the nation? Good Lord. Georgia was up 13. 

4th Grade Reading- The average increase of scale scores in the nation was 5. Florida was up 9- the same as Missouri. Florida a leader?

4th Grade Math- The average increase of scale scores in the nation was 5. Florida was at 5. Leading the nation? Good Lord. Georgia was up 6 and Alaska 7. Missouri was up 12. 

For all of you lying about Florida and trying to use kids as pawns- STOP. 

Florida School Grades Have a Purpose

School grades are a way politicians mislead the public and push a privatization agenda. Ever see a “failing” school in a wealthy community?  This is about power, money and a hatred of public institutions. School grades also allow old school segregationists to peddle the soft racism of “choice.” Questions?

Florida Testing Crazy Train Picks New Conductor

Pam Stewart and the rest of the knaves at the Florida Department of Education just announced that the American Institutes of Research have been gifted $220 million in tax money over the next six years to develop more assessments to test kids to death. Florida blogger and teacher Bob Sikes recently noted that AIR has received over $35 million from Bill Gates. 

Does anyone realize the swindle that the mountebanks at the Florida DOE and legislature are perpetrating?

First, Florida erased the name “Common Core” from documents and replaced it with “Florida Standards” despite the fact that they ARE the Common Core. In another Orwellian move, DOE now claims to be creating a new tests to replace FCAT but they sound just like the PARCC tests.  Based on the comments from Pam Stewart in her press release- the new tests will be PARCC with a new name. What an incredible scam!

Note that Stewart did not mention how much time these tests will take or how much computer infrastructure spending will be needed each year. She also failed to mention the required diagnostic testing. High schools test between 70-100 days to meet the requirements set by the legislature and DOE. My school has already spent 36 days giving state required tests and will be testing almost every day for the rest of the year (starting April 7th.)

The most common phrase you will hear in schools next year will be, “How do we prepare kids for the new tests?”  Of course, the legislature wants this. This is how they sell vouchers. They want to make public schools look as bad as possible and then offer “choice” to go to private schools- where teachers are trusted, testing is done 5-10 days a year at most and there is little (if any) test prep. Why can’t we all have that freedom?

The DOE, legislature and Board are determined to turn public education into a hedge fund.

Florida is once again confirming that between the “new” tests and the current EOC exams- schools are still little red test prep factories.

 

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 712 other followers