URGENT ALERT Competency Ed Bill Being Rammed through Senate Two Ways

March, 2016

URGENT ALERT: The corporate education masters and their foundations are so anxious to obtain the lucrative education and psychosocial data on Florida's children, that they are determined to ram through BOTH the stand-alone data mining, psychological profiling, career tracking bill, otherwise known as the competency based education pilot program, SB 1714 as well as the same language as part of a multi-part omnibus or 'crazy train' bill, SB 524.
When the stand-alone bill disappointingly passed the Appropriations Committee last week, we were still optimistic that there could be some common sense protective amendments as the author, Senator Jeff Brandes, had promised Senator Alan Hays in committee, before the bill went to the floor and a plan to pursue significant student data protection legislation next year.  Since the committee vote on SB 1714, we have found out that the language of 1714 has also been included in 524 and despite multiple efforts through this morning, there is no new amendment language as of this writing.   

Proponents of this bill keep saying that CBE is not computerized teaching via data mining, psychological profiling, and dumbed down low level workforce training skills. Yet here is an excerpt from an email from a Lake County mother describing the program in the Lake County Schools:

As far as personalized learning [CBE], it was presented at a school board meeting after several classrooms had completed or were in the middle of the pilot program. Chairs were replaced with Yoga Balls, different shapes of desk were purchased, classrooms were painted bright colors. They speak about "flipping the classroom" which means having the students view the lessons at home for homework and then coming into the classroom and doing the actual homework together with the teacher. Great concept in High School and some teachers already do this, [but the] huge hurdle is that not all the kids have access to view the lesson at home. On an elementary level using Stations is basically what they are doing. Most "excellent" teachers already use this concept and have been for a very long time.  Lake County's reality is that we do not have enough computers for a child to begin his day and end his day on one. We have not even fully engaged Personalized Learning in Lake and we are already facing an $8 million deficit[from what has been given in grants]. What some of us can not get over is at every meeting they approve more staff to take trips to "view" or "train" for personalized learning. It's to different locations each time? You can find below the latest news article in our local paper.
The Florida Legislature, the Bill Gates Foundation and the Jeb Bush's former Foundation for Excellence in Education apparently need some remedial education programs of their own.  Despite Bush's support for Common Core, data gathering and the behemoth federal education bill destroying his presidential campaign; despite Senator Rubio's support for an analogous massive data gathering bill for college students and the workforce decreasing his grade in the Common Core Report Card; despite the long record of failure for Gates education programs; and despite massive opposition to the data mining and psychological profiling of competency based education by many groups in Florida and across the nation, this pilot program appears to be on track to pass the Senate either later today, Thursday March 3rd or Friday, March 4th. It will then be reconciled with a quite similar, but not identical House bill. This bill is every bit as bad, if not worse than the data mining bill, SB 878, of 2013.

1)      Urge your senators to vote NO on both SB 1714 and SB 524. Contact information and a sample email are available at the United for Florida Children website and there is a summary of the problems with CBE with quotes and references HERE.
2)      Contact Rep. Ray Rodriguez, the House author of HB 1365 at 850-717-5076 and tell him you do not want the House and Senate versions to be reconciled.
3)      Express grave disappointment with the handling of this bill to Senator Brandes (850-487-5022) and tell him you do not want this bill to proceed
4)      If you are in Lake, Pinellas, Seminole, or Palm Beach Counties, let your school board know that you do not want them to continue or start this program as the case may be and that you do not want your child to participate if they choose to ignore you.
5)      If you live in other Florida counties, tell your board that you do not want this type of invasive, expensive and likely to fail program in your county.  


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