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Posted by madfloridian in General Discussion
Thu Mar 03rd 2011, 01:29 PM
By doing so he is seemingly continuing to endorse Jeb Bush's education policies. He has pushed the education agenda of George Bush as we know, but this is the worst of times for him to openly appear at a Miami school with his brother.

Teachers in many states are rallying to protect their right to collective bargaining. They are being treated like second-class citizens.

I am with Valerie Strauss on this issue. It is a poorly timed, poorly thought out thing to do. It sends a message to teachers who are fighting for the continued existence of public education...that the president is not really that concerned about them.

Yes, it is a tag team.

Obama's mistimed Miami school visit -- with Jeb Bush

At a time when Wisconsin teachers are protesting to keep their collective bargaining rights, President Obama is traveling to Florida to share a stage with former governor Jeb Bush, the king of corporate-driven, standardized test-obsessed school reform that devalues teachers and their unions.

What a tag team.

Obama is scheduled to speak to the students and faculty of Miami Central Senior High about the importance of out-educating the competition to secure Americaís future. (Thatís highly unlikely, with states cutting billions of dollars out of school budgets and with a reform agenda that is focused on expanding charter schools, assessing teachers based on studentsí standardized test scores and the like, but never mind.)

The new education bill is moving through both houses quickly in Florida, and this time there is no Governor Crist to veto it.

Obama is appearing in Florida as state legislators move toward passing legislation (Senate Bill 736, HB 7019) that:

* Ties at least half of a teacherís salary to how well his/her students perform on standardized tests

* Prevents consideration of many advanced degrees and special training to be considered in determining a teacherís salary

* Eliminates tenure for teachers hired after the summer of 2014

* Requires the creation of new standardized assessments for all courses, though it doesnít suggest where the money will come from to pay.

Pushing Rope blog reminds us of just a few of Jeb Bush's education fiascos.

Pushing Rope

Bush said last week he did not think Darwin's theory of evolution needed to be part of the state's public school science standards, according to an account in the Miami Herald.

"I think people have different points of view and they can be discussed in school," Bush said. "They don't need to be in the curriculum."

That's amazing.

Bush was the first governor to use school vouchers. The voucher program was a scam. Instead of parents getting a tax-paid public school education, the politically connected Dyslexia Research Institute lobbied for legislation that made parents pay $5,000 fees. The Dyslexia Research Institute was getting $5,100 of state voucher money and $5,000 from parents for every disabled pupil. The school's director at that time was Patricia Hardman. A court case found that Hardman had no education background or training.

Bush tried to defeat the already passed years ago class size amendment.

Bush attempted to defeat the class size amendment. After the amendment was approved, Bush attempted to have voters remove it from the Florida constitution. Reducing class size isn't a cure all for education. It will make classes less unruly and give teachers more one-one-one time with students. Bush is against it is because he isn't committed to making public schools better.

I am finding that this visit on Friday is giving me a hopeless feeling. Teachers in Florida are busy planning a March 8 protest to stand up against the very policies that are being pushed through the legislature with Jeb's foundation firmly behind them. It angers me.

One more quote from the WP's Strauss.

So, at this point in time, when teachers in Wisconsin and elsewhere feel besieged, Iím wondering why Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are flying to Florida to be with Republicans who have been part of the attack force. Why, when teachers are fighting for union rights, does the president decide to spend time with anti-teachers union school reformers?

While Wisconsin and Ohio teachers and firefighters and police are having to plead to save their rights, the president should not be appearing with Jeb.

There is such a thing as too much bipartisanship.

This is a bad decision.
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