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.