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FL Board of ED(sic) Member Padget- insults and misleads

John Padget is a lucky man. Jeb Bush once installed him in office despite the objections of a locally elected School Board. Jeb is not a fan of public education or local boards, but that is another article.  Padget is a businessman with NO educational or teaching experience. Rick Scott appointed Padget to the Florida Board of Education(sic). Today, Padget claimed there was a “talent gap” in Florida. He even said we have a talent gap with other nations. This lie misleading statement is typical of a Jeb Bush groupie. What is he basing this on? Test scores are no indicator of economic power and the US is always highly ranked for economic competitiveness by the World Economic Forum. Where is this talent gap?  Why is Padget insulting American students, teachers and parents?

American students not living in poverty score at the top of the world on international tests so where is the talent crisis? Is Padget attacking kids who live in massive poverty and violence? We have more STEM graduates than jobs for them (see Rutgers study). We are near the top of the world in patents for new inventions per capita. Where is the talent gap Mr. Padget? The US dominates in STEM Nobel Prizes since World War II. Where is the talent gap?

The US does score at the top of the world for child poverty. See the recent UNICEF report. Florida school grades A or B vs. F- align almost perfectly by poverty levels (see study by DeCarlo).  Florida is a leader in child homelessness and poverty yet politicians like Padget continue to use our students as political pawns and school grades as political hammers. Socioeconomic factors have consistently been the overall leading factor in test scores. This is why test scores/school grades are used as political hammers – t0 continue a false crisis.

High school grades are also fake because schools are penalized for not enrolling kids in AP classes. Yes- that is part of the grade!  Graduation rates are inflated because that is part of school grades. Students can actually buy credit for about $300 and they can go to a computer program and make up classes in a matter of weeks!  Remember that %25 of Florida students have graduated on waivers- never having to meet the requirements others do. So much for high standards.

The accountability system is falling apart under its own corrupt weight and the FLBOE is in total chaos. They move the bar all the time. There are more A/B schools now because DOE has actually made it easier for most schools to get those grades. They also insert arbitrary penalties that can hurt you one year and not another. Remember, a lot of the tested population changes. Different students. I once saw a school drop from a B to a C because 49%- not 50%- of students made gains. WHAT  A  SCAM.  Today the Board almost approved a TWO GRADE DROP. Can you imagine an A school labeled a C school due to 1% ? It happens. This year, the one grade penalty is back. The political hammer.


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