Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Education Reform: National standards and national testing with no price tag

If the Florida legislature is sincere in their concern over money needed to fund schools, why are they embracing hundreds of millions of dollars diverted to testing initiatives? I was surprised that I knew nothing about the two national consortia involved in making a new generation of computer-based testing. I went looking for information and found Missouri Education Watchdog a credible resource.

This group was recently interviewed by the Heritage Foundation. Because this is another complicated event, I offered Katie Couric's announcement of the initiative in my last blog as a start. Today, I offer the Heritage Foundation interview as the next step in understanding the complexity of national standards and national testing initiatives. Please watch.

Florida legislative update: Senator Wise proposed a bill to eliminate salaries to School Board members. Salaries are currently based upon size of the district according to a state regulation and formula. Wise says his bill offers $100 stipend per meeting and the cost savings would allow districts to use this money for classroom instruction. SB7234 will be discussed in committee soon. According to the Orlando Sentinel article, this is not the first time Wise has introduced this idea and school board members are not pleased. Is this really about cost-savings or is it yet more of governmental overreach? On Wednesday, there will be a vote on SB1466/HB5101, which will likely lead to less availability of math classes after Algebra 1 and foreign language classes. How does this help prepare a workforce to compete in a global economy?

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