Thursday, June 15, 2006

No Child Left Behind - Except In Florida!

A "War of Bushes?" Jeb vs George?

Nah! - Just a different view.

This morning's Tampa Tribune, and writer Marilyn Brown, exposes some profound differences between US & Florida State education ratings.

By State of Florida standards 75% of the state's schools rate an A or B grade.

By Federal standards 72% of the state's schools FAIL to meet their standards.


Governor Jeb Bush was ecstatic according to Brown: "In Tallahassee, Gov. Jeb Bush declared victory, skimming over details of schools failing his brother's federal measure.

'This is an outcome-driven process, and we are getting great outcomes....' Bush said."

What of the schools rated A or B in Florida, but failing to meet federal standards? Well the state, with agreement from federal officials, has labeled them "provisional" schools.

The problem is, the federal rules apply for any aid to be given Florida. The annual steps taken for schools still failing under the federal guidelines include:

Transfers available to students in schools not meeting federal standards....
Private tutoring of students in those schools....
Eventual take over by the state and operation by a Charter or private concern....

These levels take several years, but some schools in Florida are already into the required changes.

Meanwhile one official, Sam Whitten, Hillsborough County director of school testing, labeled the A-B schools which failed to meet federal standards as, "A Zero with a bow wrapped around it."