The Fatal Flaws of Rick Scott and Jeb Bush’s Tests: Florida Kids Aren’t College Ready


As former Florida governor Jeb Bush has been anointed king of kings on education policy and is now doing TV spots to save Rick Scott’s reelection bid, its only fair to include his name in such headlines. But the well-financed and well-paid  educrats who do his bidding twist high-stakes test data into multi-dimensional pretzels to assail public schools and demonize teachers. What better time is there than now for schadenfreude at their expense?

This just in, courtesy of Florida Times-Union reporter Denise Smith Amos:

Graduation rates are up and dropout rates are down at Florida’s high schools, yet six out of 10 seniors from the Class of 2014 were not ready for college, according to recent SAT statistics by the College Board.

The problem is worse among minorities.

Nearly 86 percent of African-American and 70 percent of Hispanic students in Florida scored too low on the SAT last school year to be considered ready for college. They likely would need remedial courses, which usually don’t count for college credit, the College Board says.

Scathing Purple Musings reported on this report here and a press release from FairTest’s Bob Schaeffer who was quoted by Amos:

But revising the SAT and giving free test prep won’t be a enough, predicts Bob Schaeffer, public education director of the anti-test National Center for Fair & Open Testing. He linked stagnating SAT scores to No Child Left Behind’s emphasis on annual testing in elementary, middle and high schools.

“SAT score trends show a total failure, according to their own measures,” Schaeffer said.

“Scores have declined since 2006 for every [ethnic] group except Asians. Doubling down on unsuccessful policies with more high-stakes K-12 testing … is an exercise in futility, not meaningful school improvement.”

The icky sweet, disingenuous rhetorical taunts of Bush, et al questioning teachers as to why they don’t want to be held accountable have come home to roost. A decade of your dominance of Florida education policy has created an FCAT generation of kids who can bubble with the best of them, but not much else. So Floridians are being asked to trust you and your College Board tool on Common Core and close reads now?

Many of the state’s top Democrat field people, bitter over Nan Rich’s dispatch by Crist in the primaries,  are sitting this one out. A flawed and easy-to-campaign against candidate like Charlie Crist is schooling you right now. And you even have benefit of a complaint Florida media who loath tea party supporters more than they do Scott and Florida republicans.

So what gives?

You’ve allowed the hand that feeds to marginalize you.  Rich guys like school privatization zealot John Kirtley and the once treasured, but tragically self-interested Chamber of Commerce invest against families whose kids attend public schools.  And every other public servant, too. You chose to ignore the reality that they are middle class families with middle class values, too.  For a party which whines how the other is one is the divisive one, you’re doing an awful lot of dividing. You’re school choice self-aggrandizements are only intended for voters who choose what you want them to choose.

About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
This entry was posted in Charlie Crist, Common Core, EDUCATION, FLORIDA POLITICS, Jeb Bush, Rick Scott and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Fatal Flaws of Rick Scott and Jeb Bush’s Tests: Florida Kids Aren’t College Ready

  1. OrlandoChris says:

    By far, this is the easiest voting decision I have ever made in my
    lifetime. Adrian Wyllie, you have my vote. Also, Bill Wohlsifer
    No on 1
    Yes on 2
    No on 3

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