Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director
Note: All emphasis in quotes is added and an online PDF version of this document is available HERE.
1) SB 1714 presumes district-wide implementation of the CBE program well before the results of the pilot program are in (see lines 39-41).
2) According to the Gates Foundation website, there is Gates grant money for this type of program in Lake ($7 million) and Pinellas Counties ($3.3 million), but not for Palm Beach and Seminole. Will state or country taxpayers or both have to pick up the slack to fund these expensive, technology-driven programs?
3) The Gates Foundation and technology based education programs in general have a long track record of failure This pilot is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that also gave $100 million to Hillsborough County to reform teacher evaluation and pay with the county required to bring in additional $100 million, but the county's cost rose to $124 million and the program is being dismantled after largely failing.
Los Angeles wasted $1.3 billion on iPads for every student that were to be loaded with Common Core software that was a Gates-Pearson joint effort that were utterly unusable and resulted in FBI investigations for bid rigging.
Baltimore is embarking on a similar misguided $270 million endeavor where the superintendent took a consulting job with a related company after awarding that company a large contract
No evidence that either teaching or assessing online works and some evidence that it does not given the recent news that PARCC assessment scores were lower for those students taking the tests on computers than those taking them on paper. We are also all aware of the many significant technical problems with AIR in Florida and numerous other states.
Before moving into the Race to the Top and Common Core effort, the Gates Smaller Read more
Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush discussed Common Core during an interview with Education Next. Below is my response to his statements:
EN: You have been a steadfast supporter of the common core, even when others have become increasingly critical. Why? What do you say to critics?
JB: I support high academic standards. Period.
KRE: If you support high academic standards, then why do you support Common Core? They are untested; not rigorous; not internationally benchmarked; developed by one key architect who admitted the major authors were "unqualified;" admitted by another key architect to be inadequate for STEM majors in four year universities; admitted by the US DOE, the National Association of State Boards of Education, and other major groups to teach "social emotional learning," "mindsets,"" behaviors;" and are declared by 500 early childhood experts, as well as many content experts and psychologists to be developmentally inappropriate.
JB: High academic standards are a basic element of reform. Yet, across the country, state standards have been abysmally low for too long, evidenced by the fact that 75 percent of high school graduates are not fully prepared for college or a good paying job. A recent study by the American Institutes for Research compared state standards with international assessments and found the difference between states with the highest and lowest standards was the equivalent of three to four grade levels.
KRE: There is no evidence that statewide or national standards improve academic performance. Since the passage of the Improving America's Schools Act and Goals 2000, started by your father and completed by President Clinton in 1994, NAEP scores have either been stagnant or fallen.
According to research by the Cato Institute, the U.S. does both better and worse on international achievement comparisons than nations that have national Read more
This video of Florida Senator Alan Hayes (R-Umatilla) speaking to the Lake County School Board shows more of the many and severe problems with Common Core and how developmentally inappropriate and confusing Common Core math is for children and for their families. Perhaps if more legislators had to do math by these ridiculous methods, Common Core's demise would be hastened. We thank Senator Hayes for his willingness to take a stand. (Senator Hayes' speech starts at about 6:30)