They want the minds of our children.
They want to drive out creativity and replace it with conformity.
They want to numb the imagination of future generations of Americans so they can control us completely.
Florida's public school curriculum is based primarily on the FCAT with nearly eight out of 10 months of school spent preparing for these high-stakes exams. Students and teachers alike look forward to April when content-directed learning finally takes place.
Senate Bill 6 will eliminate these two months of real education by requiring end-of-year exams and basing teacher pay on student performance on them. Instead of teaching content, we will teach to yet another exam, drilling students at the expense of other instruction. Our livelihood will depend on it.
Forty years ago children were taught science, math, literature and writing, geography and history, art, music, theater, dance and physical education. Today curricular diversity is reduced to information required for a few tests, none of which result in a creative, complete education. Academic freedom has all but disappeared in the public schools. Under SB 6, creativity will vanish.
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/...
That is from a letter to the editor of the Miami Herald. The situation has become so dire that the teachers of Miami-Dade County are organizing themselves, outside of union sanctions, to call in sick tomorrow. That effort made the front page, since 380,000 students in Miami would be affected.
I started teaching in 1983, and I have watched this American tragedy unfold. Educators are kind, dedicated, and loving. We know our jobs. We are charged with the most important task in the world. We help form the future of our country, one young mind at a time.
And yet, we are demonized. American education has become the playground of big business and petty politics. We are the shuttlecock. They want to punish us, and they want to turn the children into mindless robots who cannot think for themselves.
By overemphasizing test scores, No Child Left Behind sounded a death knell for arts education and anything else that wasn’t tested, she now believes. It focused too much on basic skills to the exclusion of thinking skills. It did not require that states develop well-rounded, meaningful curricula and rather than raise standards, it lowered them.
That is Diane Ravitch. She is one of the foremost authorities on education. She helped create this mess, as one of the conservative Republican policy makers behind No Child Left Behind.
Now she admits she was very wrong.
The article is titled "Education has become a Search and Destroy mission, and teachers are the target."
I disagree. I think they are aiming for the minds of the children. The teachers are just an obstacle that needs to be cleared out of the way.
The schools will surely be failures if students graduate knowing how to choose the right option from four bubbles on a test, but unprepared to lead fulfilling lives, to be responsible citizens, and to make good choices for themselves, their families, and our society.
Who is behind this? The villains are legion. The mastermind of Senate Bill 6, the wicked legislation that threatens to cause statewide havoc in Florida, is Jeb Bush. He isn't even hiding that fact. He has purchased television ads and robo-calls against us. He stands to make $2.7 billion dollars over three years if the bill is signed into law.
And, ironically, he is destroying the Republican party instead.
They severely underestimated us. The teachers of Florida have put more political pressure on Governor Charlie Crist than he has ever felt. Newspapers are reporting 10,000 phone calls against the bill versus 71 phone calls supporting it. And that is after Jeb Bush started his robo-call campaign.
We will not let them kill the imagination of our children. We will, instead, destroy their chances in November. Including Marco Rubio. Yes, he came down on the wrong side of this, in public.
I am getting too angry for a beautiful Sunday morning. I need to take a walk and get some sky. I will leave you with the most entertaining writing yet about our struggle, and you can ponder the implications.
They will not kill the imagination of our children. We will not let them.
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.
— Julius Caesar IV, 3
This is the big enchilada, this is the revolution. The Republicans who run Florida's Legislature have won the greatest battle in their history — unless their own Republican governor takes it away from them. Therein lies a drama of its own.
In a climactic vote held between midnight and dawn Friday, the Legislature passed a sweeping reform of public education in this state, done on the fly.
Two birds were killed with one stone: the end of tenure for Florida public schoolteachers, and a requirement that teacher pay be linked to student "progress," to be measured by Measures To Be Cooked Up Later.
Two birds? No, three — for no matter how much they denied it, this was the ultimate Republican victory over a state teachers union that has been unrelentingly Democratic, if not the alter-ego of the Florida Democratic Party.
It also was the triumph of Jebism, a process started by the former governor Bush a decade ago with his foray into standardized tests and school vouchers. Like Caesar's ghost, he never went away. He is the alt-governor, the uber-gubernator, presiding from afar.
Please sign Alex Sink's petition and join us in our struggle.