June 6, 2017
FSCCC has joined with five other groups to form Common Ground to work on the biggest issues in Florida education - The Tea Party Network, Fund Education Now, Florida Parents RISE, Opt Out Leon County, and Accountabaloney. Here are summaries of some of the bills we have been working on and our recommendations for them:
SB 926/HB 773 - The allegedly "fewer, better tests" bill doesn't eliminate any tests and actually means "fewer will pass" for academcially dubious reasons, plus it expands CBE. Common Ground and FSCCC strongly oppose this bill as originally written!
UPDATE! Video Interview of Dr. Effrem by Randy Osborne - status of bill after Senate Education Committee. The bad proficiency language was removed but with a duplicative study of achievement levels. Some good amendments like actually removing 4 EOCs and VAM, plus a paper and pencil option, and a study to substitute the SAT/ACT, PERT, AP, etc. for high school tests have all been added to SB 926 Please thank Senators Montford, Simmons, Lee, and Mayfield for their work on this!
SB 964/HB 1249 - This is an excellent bill that has strong legislative and organizational bipartisan support, including from Common Ground and FSCCC. UPDATE! While it is unfortunate that this bill was not allowed to move forward, some good elecments of it, like actually removing 4 EOCs and VAM, plus a paper and pencil option, and a study to substitute the SAT/ACT, PERT, AP, etc. for high school tests have all been added to SB 926 above. Please thank Senators Montford, Simmons, Lee, and Mayfield for their work on this!
SB 468/HB 757 - This well-intended effort to improve reading outcomes will only produce a "Baby Common Core" developmentally inappropriate and invasive pre-K reading and assessment expansion.
It also imposes an invasive ID number on 4 year old children and expands Common Core based reading on preschoolers with emphaisis on "every subject in the core curricular content," "technology to teach reading," and the "state adopted instructional materials."
Four Florida school districts are now or soon will be involved with competency based education pilot programs funded by the Gates Foundation - Lake, Palm Beach, Pinellas, and Seminole. Gates education programs have a long track record of failure and CBE programs result in data mining, career tracking, psychological profiling, and will harm the teacher-student interaction. See details HERE.
SB 926 by Senator Flores and HB 773 by Rep. Diaz (Summary HERE), deceivingly dubbed the "Fewer, Better Tests" bill, actually doesn't eliminate any tests and actually expands CBE to the entire state. This is especially unwise when Lake County, one of the pilot districts is strongly considering dropping the CBE pilot due to no improvement.
CONGRATULATIONS! Thanks to your activism and diligence to protect the hearts and minds of your children, SETRA, the Strengthening Education Through Research Act, with its plan to do social emotional research on our kids, was blocked for an entire two-year session of Congress and has not yet been reintroduced in 2017!