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RTTT Money Should Be Rejected in PB County

The School Board in Palm Beach County is considering approving a request for federal bribe money with more strings than a bowl of spaghetti. The RTTT application will not go to teachers. The district will spend millions on “technology” (DATA systems), testing (common core assessments), and a  few more things. Let me address each part of the request and show why and how they are wrong-headed.

Here are the core areas that the money will go to – according to the district…

1. College and career ready standards (Common Core) and assessments
2. Data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals with data about how they can improve instruction
3. Recruiting, developing, rewarding and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most
4. Turning around lowest-achieving schools

Here we go with a brief look at each!

1. College and career ready standards (Common Core) and assessments

*As we know, assessments do not equal college or career ready. Evidence is clear on that.
2. Data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals with data about how they can improve instruction

*A lot of money spent on computer DATA systems and more paperwork. We have enough of this already. I can get all the DATA I need with a cost of ZERO dollars. The district already spends millions on this and there is NO shortage of DATA.
3. Recruiting, developing, rewarding and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most

* Is this merit pay? Why not just pay teachers the step increases they have been denied for several years?
4. Turning around lowest-achieving schools

* ALL- let me repeat- ALL of the low performing schools are in high poverty and or high crime areas. What in the name of Zeus will this RTTT money do to fix the real problem of massive poverty?  Palm Beach County is at 25% child poverty yet the district administration and Board throw money to consultants, testing companies, and technology.

We are bereft of any common sense and leadership. The district continues to proceed from their default position of  the “no evidence model.”

The Union should reject this folly and refuse to go along with the status quo.

Time to get the pitchforks ready friends…

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