Today's Tribune highlights current bills in our state legislature that would empower parents to petition to have a charter school take over a failing school if more than 51% of the parents sign the petition aka parent trigger act.
Passed last week by the Florida House, the bill would allow the parents of a failing school, one graded F by the state Department of Education, to petition the school district to allow a charter school to take over.
Such a petition would have to be signed by 51 percent of the parents at any failing school. Backers of the bill say only about 25 schools statewide would be covered by the changes; none of those is in Hillsborough County.
Hillsborough County school board member Candy Olson labels it a “solution in search of a problem that doesn't exist.”Unfortunately, the Trib did not have a followup question for Olson asking what is her solution to fixing “failing” schools. Perhaps even a follow up question on her solution for fixing “D” graded schools like Robles Elementary. According to the article:
It's backed by groups such as the Foundation for Florida's Future, chaired by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. It's opposed by groups including the PTA, the NAACP, the Florida School Boards Association and educators across the state.
It's a growing trend nationwide. California, Texas, Louisiana, Connecticut and Mississippi all have versions in place.The only local parent interviewed was the President of the PTA at Robles, but the PTA is an organization that is publicly opposing these bills. The President of the Classroom Teachers Association opposes the bills. Surprised? Where are more parents on this issue? Shouldn't the Tribune have interviewed more parents, how about the parents of children in the failing schools? Is this issue about the children and their parents having education options or about teachers and bureaucrats maintaining their monopolistic status quo with our tax dollars?
|Robles 2011 FCAT scores|
Candy Olson who is Chair of our Hillsborough County School Board also stated in the article:
No matter the outcome in Florida, Olson and others invested in the public school system say they feel as if they are being attacked.
“Some people think it's popular to beat up on teachers and schools,” Olson said. “There isn't an interest in fixing, there is an interest only in blaming.”
Interesting comment since Olson used a recent school board meeting to publicly attack a teacher who is opposing her in 2014 with an anonymous accusation.
Perhaps our local educators are “fearful” of the future. The tide is turning - innovation in education is coming and the school's of tomorrow may not look anything like they do today!