The Florida Board of Education and Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran are holding their regular meeting in Polk County on July 17, 2019 at Polk State College in Lakeland. Citizens have plan to protest the Florida Board of Education and Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran – who are all appointed – for not making public schools, students or teachers their top priority. Following Corcoran’s performance at the Board of Education meeting in May, where he threatened Duval County and Superintendent Diana Greene with state takeover, it has become even more clear that we are witnessing an unbridled grab for power and an attempt to rob districts of local control.
Further, Corcoran visited Duval just days ago where he proceeded to insert himself into whether Duval County Public Schools should be approved to raise revenues through a half-penny tax referendum to repair schools that are in desperate need of attention. Commissioner Corcoran stated, “You can teach Plato under a tree. Building kids Taj Mahals is not going to change their educational outcome.” Describing the desire to fix crumbling classrooms held up by single beams as an extravagance just underscores how out of touch Commissioner Corcoran is. Certainly, the board of his own wife’s charter school, Classical Prep, would never consider tearing down their “Taj Mahal” building to teach students under a tree. Read Chris Guerrieri’s post here.
Polk County school board member Billy Townsend has compiled a list of questions we should all be asking of the Florida Board of Education. Read the full list here. We deserve answers from both Corcoran and the BOE for all of Townsend’s questions.
Here’s an excerpt:
- How is it that 70 percent of Polk students are supposedly “proficient” on the Civics test when 47 percent are supposedly “proficient” in Reading. A Civics test is a reading comprehension test. We don’t take it with pictures.
- How is it that graduation rates are up across the state at the same time that college remediation requirements are up?
- Florida has reduced inflation-adjusted spending on its schools by 23 percent since 2008. Why?
- Why is BoE indifferent to the teacher shortage?
- Why does Florida use gamed 1-5 “achievement levels,” rather than actual test scores to define proficiency and growth.
- Why has the BoE or Richard Corcoran never acknowledged Florida has the nation’s worst individual student test score growth, according to a Stanford University study?
- Do they understand the difference between proficiency and growth, as test score measures?
- Why do Richard Corcoran and BoE fear competition from public schools so much that they will not allow them 5 percent of the “freedom” that voucher schools have?
- Why do Corcoran and BoE think public school parents are too stupid to assess their child’s experience at a public school without a fraudulent school grade?
- Why do public school parents not receive the same trust and respect that voucher and choice school parents do?