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
Competency based education (CBE), also called proficiency based education programs are metastisizing all over the country, including in Florida where there is a bill for a pilot program (HB 1365 Ray Rodriguez/ SB 1714 Brandes) They are the next step in converting America's education system away from academic education and towards psychosocially-based workforce skills in the vision of Marc Tucker of the National Center for Education and the Economy. The infamous 1992 letter to Hillary Clinton envisioned a plan:
"to remold the entire American system" into "a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone," coordinated by "a system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels" where curriculum and "job matching" will be handled by counselors "accessing the integrated computer-based program."
Here is a brief summary of grave concerns regarding competency-based or proficiency-based education
There is no agreed upon definition of competency-based education and great subjectivity of program elements
There appears to be an emphasis on low-level workforce skills and behavioral/psychological parameters instead of academic knowledg
The psychosocial teaching and profiling of students has many concerns related to privacy guaranteed under the 4 th amendment, freedom of thought, subjectivity and validit
Extensive data mining and sharing with third party vendors and the federal government without parental consent including for digital badges that results in much sensitive data being shared with third party vendors also without consent
Florida's data privacy law is based in the 40 year old, already weak federal FERPA law that has been gutted via regulatory fiat by the current administratio
Horrific data security for data housed by the US Dept. of Ed evidenced after two US House Oversight Committee Read more