Thread: Campaign Platform
05-27-2012, 10:04 PM #1
As I talk with people about my candidacy for the House District 5 seat I am frequently asked about my platform. So I am publishing my platform beginning with point 1 which deals with education:
Education reform is desperately needed in Florida . It is imperative that we restore control of our schools to our local elected school boards. Tallahassee has made a travesty of educating our children with the ongoing emphasis on tests and the seizure from the local school boards of the issues of teacher compensation and evaluation. Recently they proved that the test scores and our children’s education is nothing more than political fodder when they cynically lowered the FCAT standards because too many children were not proficient and parents around the state were outraged. Why raise standards if you are going to lower them when politics gets a little hot? The so-called Student Success Act was nothing more than a power grab by Tallahassee and does great damage to our public schools and the teaching profession. The idea of tying a teacher's job performance evaluation and compensation to how children perform on a test is misguided and will lead to teachers leaving Florida if not repealed.
It is also important to properly fund the Class size amendment. Twice the people of the state have voted to make this a priority. We should arrange our budget so that the people's desires are met without raising taxes.
We must immediately remove the state from the education equation, deemphasize FCAT and other tests and restore control of compensation and evaluation of teachers to the local school boards. My first priority is to introduce bills to make these changes.
05-29-2012, 09:19 AM #2
While I agree with restoration of operation of the schools to the local school board, what is your methodology for determining the learning level of students if not the FCAT?I think of government as the Mafia without the moral authority or predictability. Ron Hart
05-29-2012, 11:49 AM #3
There are many achievement tests and placement tests available. Plus the teachers themselves know if the student is learning the material. The problem in Florida is not the test itself but the emphasis that is placed on it and how the state uses it for things besides determining the learning level of the students.
05-30-2012, 06:06 PM #4
From what I hear local school districts have control of local schools. What's needed in public education is for school boards to be in charge of the superintendent and not the other way around. The general rule all over the country is for school boards to hire superintendents. In Walton county, the school board is a rubber stamp board. My understanding is that only three states even allow elected superintendents. It's my understanding that the best teachers aren't being hired either. But I'm sure that's because budgets don't allow for the most experienced teachers with graduate degrees.
05-31-2012, 10:09 AM #5
ricky bobby is right about the election of the school superintendent. That should be the responsibility of the school board with input from parents and teachers if so desired.
A word or two about best and most experienced teachers. Absolutely no latitude is given for hiring teachers without the proper tickets mostly created by unionization. A quick example, but only one of many. Many military personnel and others have taught courses, prepared lesson plans and generally could be excellent teachers and have advance degrees in their particular field. Because of the stringent criteria necessary to teach our youth, they are prevented from doing so even though in many cases they would be as or more qualified than those appointed to teaching positions. This is one reason so many parents have turned to home schooling. Many can and do, do a better job than the public school system.I think of government as the Mafia without the moral authority or predictability. Ron Hart
05-31-2012, 10:40 AM #6
I taught for more than 20 years in schools where most of the teachers had graduate degrees. In Florida about 25% of our teachers have masters degrees or higher. In Walton county the number is less than the state average.
05-31-2012, 09:17 PM #7
Andy you have a great point. The standards need to be adjusted for real life experiences.
06-01-2012, 12:07 PM #8
Most public employee unions don't look after the interest of their members. I'll bet a lot of experienced, well educated teachers would rather work for less than what the union demands, but I suppose the union feels that a teacher is better off being unemployed than to work for a reduced salary. What is needed in Florida is what they've done in some states like Wisconsin. Right to work states seem to be doing a lot better than collective bargaining states. Republicans love to rant about being so conservative, why can't the legislature, with a super majority in both houses work to make Florida a right to work state?
06-01-2012, 12:37 PM #9
As of 2011, only 11.8% of the workforce was Unionized, of that somewhere in the neighborhood 38% were public sector members.
I know I know, its the Unions Fault
Last edited by Bob Wells; 06-01-2012 at 12:50 PM.
06-01-2012, 01:07 PM #10
How many teachers in Walton county public schools and the teachers in the other 66 counties don't belong to the union? My understanding is that teachers become members of the union as soon as they are hired? That's right to work?
06-01-2012, 02:11 PM #11
Not necessarily so, they all are considered to be in the bargaining unit and are represented by the Union with regards to wages, benefits and working conditions. Example of this a majority of the members where I work are members of the Union, we have a few who do not belong and pay no dues but enjoy all the benefits that are negotiated. I suspect this is also the case for the teachers. Where did you receive your understanding? From someone who is a teacher or did you read it in a magazine.
Just so you didn't think I pulled it out my A**, that is from the State Of Florida.
We also encourage new employees to join our Union when they are hired.
06-01-2012, 03:11 PM #12
Some of the teachers I know said that when they were hired, they were told that they became members of the union and they weren't given the opportunity to opt out. If that isn't the case perhaps they were misled when they were hired. Maybe someone who works in the school district could clarify it. My father once worked in a plant in another state and he was "given the opportunity" to join a union. He told me that a guy tried to pressure him into joining but he declined. You sound like you might be the type person that encountered my dad back then.
06-01-2012, 03:53 PM #13
I taught school for more than 20 years. I taught 4 years in Walton county and I don't recall being given a choice. I taught in Alabama for most of my teaching career but we didn't consider AEA to be a union and we weren't pressured to join.
06-01-2012, 05:00 PM #14
Ok Annie, did you pay dues?
06-01-2012, 05:10 PM #15
06-01-2012, 06:08 PM #16
06-01-2012, 07:57 PM #17
06-05-2012, 09:33 PM #18
I respect what unions have done for their members over the years. But I taught because I love teaching and I wasn't in it for the money. I went to school, earned my bachelors at 21 and then got my masters and have taught my entire adult life. In 2010, I was cast aside like a piece of tissue paper and notified on the last day of school that I was being non-renewed. I applied for more than 50 openings that year and more than 25 last year with no consideration. One problem is that with my 25 plus years experience and my masters, I'm not allowed to work for an entry level salary and I offered to do so. From my vantage point the main problem with public education is that the best teachers available arent' in the classroom any more. When the economy tanked, so did the tax money and the school districts were too shortsighted to adjust until it was too late. Tallahassee is part of the problem but the local district surely hasn't demonstrated that it has a solution.
06-06-2012, 09:53 AM #19
Tallahassee is a big part of the problem in education. So is Washington and the locals have a part as well. From my discussions with local educators one of the big problems is that local school districts are afraid to hire/retain those with experience or advanced degrees that do not have a renewing contract. The reason is that the new pay standards passed by Tallahassee have automatic raises for highly qualified teachers. That sounds good, but most districts cannot afford them and so they hire new teachers for open positions that they can afford. So the law discourages retaining/hiring highly qualified teachers. The local school board has the responsibility but less and less authority to make improvements.
06-07-2012, 04:17 PM #20
Aren't the individual school districts taxing authorities? In 2006 when I was hired, my property taxes were double what they are now, but property values were higher. Tax revenue pays for for running schools doesn't it? Can the legislature fix the decrease in property tax revenue? With the class size law, more teachers are hired for lower salaries which equates to less experienced teachers. My big problem is that I'm not allowed to work for a lower salary thanks to collective bargaining. Are you going to fix that if you're elected to the legislature, Mr. Glidewell?
06-07-2012, 10:29 PM #21
I am not arrogant enough to say I can fix it but I can say I will try. You should have a right to negotiate with your employer what your wages are.
As far as taxes the legislature does set part of the property taxes, the minimum local contribution. The school board has the responsibility but no authority. The legislature could raise the tax that they are responsible for but I would think raising taxes is unlikely.
06-08-2012, 07:14 AM #22
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