The arrogance of Florida’s Jeb Bush’s education policy establishment reared its head in Tuesday’s Fort Lauderdale meeting. From Leslie Postal in the Orlando Sentinel:
Board member Akshay Desai, a physician from Tampa, said he was glad the state was able to “fend off” attacks from those, in his view, who are “trying to discredit” testing in Florida. He mentioned a certain “constituency” that does like testing, apparently a reference to Florida school boards approving resolutions that argued an over emphasis on standardized testing was hurting education in Florida.
”We have been able to continue to fend off the unnecessary attacks on the A+ system,” he said, adding that he thought Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson had done a good job answering those who have been complaining there is too much testing. “Keep up the good work,” he added.
What smug airiness. Unlike state board members, local school board members are elected officials – not appointed patrons. Desai’s dismissal of them as a “constituency’ is contemptible, but predictable. Jeb Bush – who appointed Desai – heads a self-important clique of anointed whose conceit for anything and anyone not in line with their dogma has become sickening.
Desai has already demonstrated his willingness to be part of the spin campaign to save the system he’ devoted to. He was the first to sign onto a “hold our ground” statement after this spring’s FCAT Writes debacle. Desai flip-flopped less than 24 hours later and voted to change the scale along with the rest of the Board. Perhaps he’d like to have this bit of spew back after yesterday’ news that the DOE was wrong on grades for over 200 Florida schools.