Saturday, January 28, 2012

The baby's got the hammer, again

UPDATE: Round 2 - Wise and Stargel bring the same bill back, filed in November 2011. The Parent Involvement and Accountability Bill requires quarterly grading of parents.

The Legislative Analysis reveals:
1) This system will have impact on costs, but those costs are "indeterminate".

2) This bill qualifies as an unfunded mandate. How the schools will pay for all is undefined. The legislative analysis lightly treads on potential costs to counties. Will this mean a tax hike?

3)The "evaluation data" collected will become part of the student's permanent record and protected as confidential using FERPA guidelines.

The blog below was written last year and remains relevant today.

This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.  Will Rogers

The same can be said for Florida anytime the legislature is in in session. For the last week, Grumpy readers have been hearing about a scheme that has Tallahassee and Obama have teaming up to data mine our children, all in the name of education reform (off course). That would allow them to:

  • Analyze information and make recommendations with the goal of aiding a person's decisions and improving quality of life."

  • Provide several different reporting capabilities for use by a myriad of stakeholders

From the politicians point of view, the government knows everything it could ever want to know about a entire generation of future voters. Everything from their basic IQ to their hobbies as well as a few things we might not want to discuss here.

It just got better, why stop with the kids, why not collect a little more information about their parents. Representative Kelli Stargel and Senator Stephen Wise want the teachers to grade parents as well. Remember, the school already ha a ton of information about students parents: age, marital status, occupation, social security number, address, phone number and more. A great deal of this information is certain to make it into the child's Microsoft Profile. Why not categorize their parenting skills and add that to the kids profile.

There is another more immediate reason the idea is completely absurd. It won't have any affect at all on the parenting skills of parents who"Flunk", but it will sure as hell piss them off. The school and the school board will hear from every failing parent. You couldn't pay me enough to answer phones either at schools or at the Board of Education for a week after report cards come out.

It may not be Politically Correct to say this, but the majority of the parents you'd expect to get "Flunked" or going to be same ones where police respond the most often to assault and domestic violence calls.It doesn't take much imagination to figure out that the first thing some of those bad parents are going to do is pay a visit to the school. Some of those visits will be ugly.

Grading parents will accomplish nothing of value, it will lead to poor relationships in some cases between entire communities and the schools, and it will strain already shaky relations between the BAD parents and the schools. On a positive note, it will give a moment satisfaction to a few teachers, that satisfaction might end suddenly when they get confronted by a furious parent.

Everyone in every walk of life grades the people they have to deal with regularly. Depending on your personality, the servers at restaurant you frequent might run towards you, or away form you when you come it. The clerk at the local convenience store might mutter something to another clerk before they smile at you. When you might leave your doctors office, the doctor might say something to his nurse about your great sense of humor... or he might say, at least I don't have to them again for a while.

Does anyone think Senator Wise or Representative Stargal would have the courage to tell individual voters exactly what they think of them?On another note Senator Wise seem determined to shove things through as soon as possible. He wants to end public input tomorrow.He knows damned good and well people from from Central and Southern Florida can't just jump in their cars and take a ride to Tallahassee

But you can send emails:

Mike Haridopolos

Stephen Wise

Thad Altman

Ritch Workman

I listed the ones closest to where I live, you can find yours here

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