The Dilettantes: Looking at the Florida Board of Ed.
I often wonder how much people really know about the members of the Florida Board of Education. This group is not elected yet they make decisions about policy that affect students and teachers in the state. They have the ability to “pull the trigger” and raise requirements if too many schools get “A’s” on the state school grade scale. This group also selects the education commissioner.
This group has pushed the diversion of more and more money away from regular public schools towards charters, virtual schools, private schools and testing companies. I cannot list everything about each member but I thought people needed to know more about these apparatchiks.
Each member of the Board is accomplished in one or more areas. They have all done a lot of things in many fields. Let’s take a look and see if there are any patterns in the group. Let’s look and see what K-12 “on the line” experience they bring with them. I am sure we will see decades of teaching experience.
John Padget: The DOE website says he lives in Key West but “frequents” Europe and the Caribbean. He founded a private equity firm. Mr. Padget spent a year as interim superintendent in Monroe County. He is the holder of an honorary JD. Perhaps his greatest honor came from the Queen of The Netherlands- who made him a Knight in the House of Orange.
Kathleen Shanahan: Kathy is the CEO of URETEK. She served as chief of staff for VP- elect Cheney and for Jeb Bush. The DOE website says she has a distinguished career in many fields (not education).
Dr. A.K. Desai: Doc got his medical degree in India and is CEO of Universal Heath Care. Jeb Bush appointed him to a commission in FL dealing with higher education.
Barbara Feingold: Barb is VP of MCNA- a health care LLC. She is a former Speech Pathologist in schools but no classroom experience was listed with DOE. DOE also failed to list how many years she spent in that career.
Roberto Martinez: Robert is a lawyer who once was general counsel to Jeb Bush.
Gary Chartrand: Gary is on the Board at KIPP schools in Jacksonville. He is also chairman at a group called ACOSTA- sales and marketing.
Sally Bradshaw: Sally worked for Gov. Haley Barbour. She was an advisor to the Romney campaign in 2008. She served as a political advisor to G. H. Bush and was chief of staff to Jeb Bush.
And you wonder why FL is a haven for privateers, profiteers, and prattling politicians? By the way, this is the group that dithered as FL became a leader in child poverty and homelessness.
The mantra of this cabal has been to divert more money away from regular public schools and triple down on testing. The coming quadruple down with common core cements the shameful legacy of this group of dilettantes.