I hope Marion board member Ron Crawford wasn’t bowing to pressure and insisted on changing “high-stakes” to “extensive” in his board’s resolution on testing. It offers undeserved cover for Florida’s be-all, end-all test regime which prompted the state-wide movement. Moral justification for the “high-stakes” label exists in the fact that children’s test results affect adult’s jobs and school’s existence. Few examples of hyper-exploitation exist like this anymore.
At any rate, Marion’s board acted in the same spirit that the growing number of boards across the state. And its members are equally exasperated. Writes Joe Callahan in the Ocala Star-Banner:
Marion County School Board member Bobby James said he was disappointed when he heard Education Commissioner Gerald Robinson’s response to these resolutions. In summary, Robinson’s position is that school districts need to follow orders.
Robinson says the state Legislature passes the laws, and school boards need “to do what we are told,” James said.
Robinson’s arrogant assumption of power was an eye-opener for school board members across the state. You don’t tell elected officials that they will do as they are told. But Florida legislators have been passing laws that do just that. Local control no longer exists and legislators have even attempted to end their salaries. High-stakes testing and unfunded mandates are the instruments of their control.