Question for The Ledger: Why is the personal academic history of a single kid at McKeel considered far more significant than the superb, state-leading performance of Polk State College students when they go off to attend 4-year universities? I guess you’ll have to ask Merissa and her editors. Because I have no idea. In any […]
I do apologize if this stuff gets repetitive; but it only gets that way because the war effort against traditional schools — and their teachers and parents and kids — launches a new missile seemingly every day. And over and over again, poor Merissa Green, whom I know and like very much, helps the shameless people fighting it.
So let’s look Merissa’s most recent story about state Rep. Kelli Stargel, R-McKeel/Grade Parents. Stargel doesn’t want the School District to create charter schools for “struggling students.”
Her objection, seemingly, is a moral one:
Language is a funny thing. Our use of it tends to trap us in shorthand that mismatches the object or concepts we are describing and the words we use to do the describing. We see useful current examples of this at home and abroad. The first is the word “charter,” as in charter schools. I’ve […]
Dear fellow members of the Lakeland Montessori community: There’s a parent at a well-known and well-regarded non-traditional school in Polk County whose honesty and courage I have come to admire deeply. This person knows who this person is. And it’s not important to ID him or her. Not long ago, this parent posted a piece […]
In tonight’s agenda packet for Budget Subcommittee on Higher Education was some information on Florida Polytechnic creation legislation (pdf) Here’s the pertinent page offered without commentary: Florida Polytechnic University – Creation Legislation Senate Higher Education Appropriations Conforming Bill 2012 The bill: • Creates the Florida Polytechnic University in statute. The new university is completely independent […]
Let me first stipulate that I am very happy for the people on the ground at Mulberry High and Lake Wales High and the other high schools that improved their school grades en masse. They did not make the absurd and dishonest world they inhabit. They did not ask for the meaningless labels applied to […]
Graffiti is a gang thing, right? Lakeland’s graffitti is rampant and distructive, no?
Wait until you watch the video below before you answer those questions.
I made a statistical case last week that wealthy schools, as a class, clearly underachieve on the FCAT in Polk County. This includes charter schools. No one has questioned my data or conclusions. And I’m about to show you that the identical pattern applies in Florida as a whole, when measured on a county-by-county basis. […]
What if I told you that the following are the top 10 of Polk’s 80 elementary schools: 1. Sandhill 2. Hartridge Academy 3. Frank E. Brigham Academy 4. Janie Howard Wilson 5. Alturas 6. John Snively 7. Eastside 8. Jesse Keen 9. Lake Shipp 10. Ben Hill Griffin Jr. And then what if told you […]
Regular School – .2(Regular School) + Special School > Charter School +/- Null Set Or something. This is the bizarre mathematical phrase we’ve come to in assessing the performance of Polk County schools. As considered in the ridiculous way we measure schools in this state, Lakeland High and Bartow High are the clear champions of […]
While working on a different post about FCAT scores, I decided to check if the great Sue Buckner, the finest principal in the history of Florida (go ahead, refute it) still ran Sandhill Elementary in Haines City. So I googled her name. What I got back, to my horror, was her obituary — a tiny […]
Late last week, a reader e-mailed to tell me I was “way off-base” in my criticism of Scott Lake Elementary’s push for charter school status. I had cited the school’s effort as another example of the class war sweeping through Polk’s schools, with charters used as the weapon of choice for wealthy parents who want […]
You may have heard the name Michelle Rhee. She became the cause celebre of in-your-face school reformism for her slash and burn tenure at the head of Washington D.C. schools. The people who lived there voted her boss, the mayor, out of office last year, and she quit in a huff, saying essentially, “You people […]
The Ledger filled itself with a ton of education news over the weekend–some of it fluff and some of it quite intriguing. For all the gushing over Bok Middle in The Ledger’s valentine to the Lake Wales Charter System — the students kayak, they use iPads, they hang out in adirondack chairs, meh — the […]
A few weeks ago, a University of Central Florida business professor caught 1/3 of his senior level “strategic management” class cheating on the mid-term test. That’s 200 of 600 kids in the class. What happened next is caught in perpetuity on video. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Consider me shocked, shocked, to […]
Seniors looking for challenges will want to contact the University of South Florida Polytechnic (USFP) Rath Senior ConNEXTions and Education Center. The center is offering classes on a variety of topics aimed at Lakelanders 50 and older. Most classes are $50, start January 25th, and are held at USFP. There are a pair held elsewhere […]
Presented inside is the full text of a news release from the Polk County Public Schools. Please take a moment to read it.
Want to know what the President plans to say? The White House released a summary. It reads in part:
The President will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens.
I noted the following in The Ledger’s account of the Chamber legislative wrap-up gala:
“We made the decision that K through 12 be held as harmless as possible during the budget cutting,” said Rep. Seth McKeel of Lakeland, who chairs and is on several education committees.
“Many of us broke with a pledge not to raise taxes to do that. We also took $3.5 billion in federal stimulus package funds. We could not have held education harmless without it, but that money runs out in two years,” he said.
Here we go again. First it was USF Lakeland changing to USF Polytechnic. Polk Community College wants to rebrand now that it will offer four-year degrees. We have the link and the options…