Walton County Schools

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by DaleDalbey, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. momofmany

    momofmany Beach Comber

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    Well I hope you are not encouraging your young people to go to college to become teachers since you believe that our county is dumbing down teachers by hiring young teachers on annual contracts. I don't know of any teachers who supported the STATE senate bill that our county is required to put into place. It is not a county issue...it is the state. The superintendent has nothing to do with it...like her or not.
     
  2. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    The superintendent is elected to lead our school system as is the board. Part of leadership is advocacy to our state and federal officials regarding steps necessary to improve outcomes in the local district. If the STATE (your emphasis) passed a bill that is bad for Walton County kids, I would hope the super indent would speak up for change instead of placing blame. As to parents of Walton County students, we are well within our rights to want the best for our children and to advocate for it on ant level necessary. We are also within our rights to ask our leaders to join in and cricitize them if we do not. I have noticed that every time someone asks a question or raises an issue about education, eventually a status quo supporter accuses them of being lazy and uninformed. Lastly, all of this stuff about teacher non-renewals does not address the issue. Graduation rates were bad before the law changed and are after. High school FCAT scores are low before and after the law.
     
  3. momofmany

    momofmany Beach Comber

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    Do you know whether the superintendent in fact did or did not advocate for teachers during the passing of the senate bill? Did you ask her what her stand is on this issue? And as for FCAT rates, that is just a small piece of education. Don't you think authentic learning is much more important than some grade? Remember the day when teachers could teach students, not teach a test. You have lots of concerns....but what are YOU willing to do to help bring change instead of placing blame and pointing fingers? Like I have said in this thread before...if you want change you must be willing to put aside the negative and work together for positive. We have great teachers and schools and we should be proud supports to bring forth a united change for the best interest of students.
     
  4. Voting ABC

    Voting ABC Beach Crab

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    The superintendent has been appointed a Board member to the Governor's board. So she can give her input all day, if she wants. When you accept money from the State, there are string attached to that money. The strings goes all the way down to the teachers. The requirements for this money, take time and effort away from the teachers preparing their lessons, dealing with disruptive students, and having to attending meetings during class time. Such money, has our students testing 4 additional times besides all the FCAT takes and retakes. When a teacher is out, a substitute is calling in - these people are warm bodies to "supervise" - they are not degree people taking to fill in for your student's teacher. Asking about DEA testing - this is for all grade levels. The first rounds of testing has just taken place. Our teachers do not have the uninterrupted time, like in the past, to teach our students like you think. If you want to know what is going on in the classroom - volunteer for a week with a teacher.... Walk in their shoes.
     
  5. Voting ABC

    Voting ABC Beach Crab

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    I want a superintendent who will visit the schools, not just when we need to "convince" people to vote for the mileage. I have seen Carlene once in 4 years at my school. We have had parents, volunteers, and teachers to talk to her about problems we are having. Letters have been sent to all the board members and her. Do you think she has dones anything to help? NO!!! She denies talking to anyone - they were not "creditable". She denies information delivered by our school board member. We have voice our situation and she continues to do NOTHING!!! Well, I say OUT WITH HER!!!! I want someone who will listen to my concerns as a parents, taxpayers and employee. These last four years have been a joke on Walton County! The new policy for the superintendent is if you screw up, you move up (to the little whitehouse). She is placing people who she has promised jobs to so she will get re-elected. I say NO!!! The north end took care of their job during the last elections - how about South Walton doing your job this election.
     
  6. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    I am very curious about the board's and Ms. Anderson's positions. My numerous emails and letters have never been answered. Don't presume to gauge my level of involvement based upon your impression of my perceived negativity. You have no idea what efforts I or others have made. You claim our schools are GREAT. Please share with me the metrics that you are using. If I am looking at the wrong ones, I would appreciate your wisdom. I am also curious about the positive change you mention. Based upon your posts, one would assume no change is neccesary, only praise for the best school system ever created.
     
  7. momofmany

    momofmany Beach Comber

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    Way to put it out there VOTING ABC! I agree that instead of bickering, and complaining in this forum or anywhere else, we have to move forward and support what is right. Our vote counts! My point has been that change will not happen until people DO something besides complain. We have great teachers and great schools. If people don't agree with how teachers and schools are operating the next thing to do is make a vote that will make a difference. They are bound by district and state policies and until things change at that level, they are just stuck doing what is expected. All this negative energy could be channeled to make positive change.
     
  8. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    MOM. You are putting words in people's mouths.
    I believe class size is very important but it has been proven and accepted by educators that teacher effectiveness is the most important factor. It is an item in the forefront of current education research news now.

    Also, there are few communities more committed to supporting education of children and especially their teachers than this one.
     
  9. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    You chastise others for stating opinion as fact shortly after stating that your children had the "BEST" teachers in the district. Facts are determined based upon empirical data. What empirical data are you using to determine that your children's teachers were the "BEST"? Perhaps the empirical standards you use could be incorporated into teacher evaluations and solve the debate altogether. I asked the question yesterday : are there any teachers in the Walton County system who have secured national certification? If the response is ...that doesn't matter....that is a valid opinion (not fact) and probably implies that none have met the standard and that there is no system in place to encourage it. Regarding your comment about voting...I started this thread and discussed it in my first post. Voting for change has been a constant theme from most of the posters. Glad to see you agree.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2012
  10. momofmany

    momofmany Beach Comber

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    Teresa, I have not put words into anyone's mouth, instead quoted each poster. If you meant to say something different, then perhaps the post should have been written more clearly. I do not disagree that the effectiveness of teachers is one of the most important factors...I do disagree however with those who think that teachers with a Masters degree are more effective and that Walton county should only focus on hiring teachers with higher degrees. I have seen teachers with doctorate degrees be by far the most ineffective of all. Is this always the case, no. But I believe it is very unfair for people to assume that just because one has a masters degree that they are more effective. It is all in how the knowledge of the degree is applied in the classroom to help all students. I think that all these post are running together....if complaining in this forum is supporting education and teachers, then perhaps some may need to reflect on how this is helping....looks like a bashing of teachers and schools to me. I am a proud parent of Walton County and volunteer my time in hopes to help teachers and schools. TOGETHER we can make a difference.
     
  11. momofmany

    momofmany Beach Comber

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    My children did have national board certified teachers, and teachers who obviously had outstanding teacher evaluations since they are all still employed in this district (if they made the choice to remain living in this district). Teachers do not look at National board certification as a huge incentive anymore due to the cost of renewal. Below you will see the cost and incentive for teachers....please note that South Walton schools are not schools with high needs/low performing.

    Per FLDOE: The state funded fee subsidy was eliminated by the Florida Legislature during their fall 2008 session. For the next application cycle, only federal funds allocated to the state of Florida will be used for new candidates. These limited funds have been allocated to each district based on its teacher population and will be assigned only to teachers who teach in high needs/low performing schools within the district. Each eligible candidate receives a fee subsidy equal to 50% ($1,250) of the NBPTS application fee. The candidate is responsible for paying the remaining portion of the certification fee and the non-refundable $65 application processing fee. To receive a fee subsidy, you must apply between June 1st and November 30, 2011.

    Through the amended Dale Hickam Excellent Teaching Program Act, legislation provides teachers, who achieve National Board Certification, up to a 10% annual bonus for 10 years, and an additional 10% to those who agree in writing to provide the equivalent of 12 work days of mentoring and related services to public school teachers within the state who do not hold NBPTS certification. Note: The mentoring bonus will not be funded by the state for the upcoming 08-09 fiscal cycle.

    Hope this information helps you see why many teachers in Walton county most likely have decided not to get the certification. They have not had raises in over 3 years and would have to pay full price for the certification. The cost of living has went up yet, they still make the same base pay. Very sad.

    School Accountability Report can be found here: http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org/default.asp

    Teachers must be doing something right.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  12. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    Thanks for the information. You are right, it is very sad. Elected leaders ( legislative and gubernatorial) blaming teachers, then taking away their resources. I want to be clear that I do not blame teachers as a group, but a system that gives them all of the blame, none of the credit and inadequate resources. I wish I had as much confidence that those teachers who stay employed are the best. I think some are the best, some are tenured and not going anywhere, others stay because they work for the lowest wage and save the district money.
     
  13. Thrilling

    Thrilling Beach Comber

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    Momofmany, you might be far too reasonable for this forum. Many (most?)of the posters here have preset agendas they are trying to advance. These agendas don't require an understanding of state and federal mandates that are imposed on districts/administrators/teachers because they want to assign blame to the superintendent for everything. Forget understanding the nuances of the issues facing today's educators, exploring multiple sides of an issue is useless to people who want to focus their energies on blaming instead. Reality doesn't meet their agendas, inflammatory statements do. Please don't bow to the crowd - keep posting your insightful comments.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2012
  14. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Looking at the bigger picture, let me throw another concern in to the fray. I just took a quick look at 2012 National Merit Scholarship Stats. The Panhandle as a whole is low performing (counties west of Apalachicola River). Of course more populated and developed areas like central and south Florida developed areas will have higher numbers, but it is sad that in 2012, there were only 15 semi-finalists from the Panhandle counties. Fifteen. Three were from Collegiate High School in Niceville and 2 from Niceville- with all the hoopla about their programs, they should have more than 5 total, IMO. One from DeFuniak (home schooled), 2 from Pcola, 1 from Ft. Walton, 4 from Gulf Breeze, 2 from Panama City.

    If you look at this list, there are schools with 15+ semifinalists- out of one school. Many districts have multiple schools that perform this well. And all we can get out of the Panhandle is 15? Shameful. And to me it points to a regional problem, not just Walton County. Traditionally, high performing schools always have a good number of semi-finalists, so it looks to me that there really isn't a truly high performing school in this area of the country. We need to be looking at the schools outside of the Panhandle and see what they are doing that is effective.

    The point I am trying to make is that a lot of the problems of Walton County schools are bigger picture issues, which won't be solved by a superintendent or a school board. I will be asking the candidates questions about what they are doing to look beyond Walton County and the Panhandle for innovative ways to bring our kids and teachers up, and the connections they can bring to the table to make these improvements happen.

    http://www.fldoe.org/news/2012/2012_09_12/semifinalists.pdf

     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  15. Jim Tucker

    Jim Tucker Beach Fanatic

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    You put words in Teresa's mouth. Perhaps you should read and think more clearly.

    Congrats on being a committed parent who is involved in his or her child's education. What some people call complaining, others call discussion. Hard to have an even discussion with a person on such a high horse.
     
  16. momofmany

    momofmany Beach Comber

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    And yet the question still remains unanswered....

    So you are saying that an experienced teacher would be effective in an overcrowded classroom with little support from parents and their community?

    And wouldn't call it being on my high horse, instead more like loud and proud of my schools! ;)
     
  17. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    To those who say federal/state mandates are to blame, I take offense. I do not agree with all parts of NCLB or FCAT emphasis, but all public schools are faced with the same mandates. Some systems manage them to success, others do not. Does Collegiate have the same mandates? Does Niceville? Of course they do. Both are considered top schools in the area. Do other excelling schools inside and outside of Walton County comply with the mandates? Of course they do!!! I do not "blame" people. I do, however, think they should be held accountable for their leadership.I will add one new thought to the conversation for purposes of feedback...While I see the advantages of school choice, I also see a drawback. Here goes....if parents can drive their academically advanced kids to Niceville or Collegiate instead of South Walton, do we create a self-fulfilling prophesy of South Walton being a failing school because the academically advanced go elsewhere? Do many parents decide SoWalton will never be good enough and are less inclined to "fight" for a better school because the choice to go elsewhere is easier? Does this create a high school that has a disproportionate percentage of academically challenged kids? I ask this because test scores from the middle school and Seaside are strong, but drop like a rock in the first year at SoWalton. Makes me wonder if the best students never get to SoWal in the first place. If this is the case, are there programs (charter school inside SoWal; IB school inside of SoWal) that would make SoWal a sough-after alternative to Niceville and Collegiate? Thoughts?
     
  18. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    Stella, I think the agenda most parents have is hope and fear. Hope that their children can be all that they want to be and fear the educational system is not structured to do its part to help in that success. This is not just a discussion for Walton County, it is happening in almost every school system across the country. Though we might not all agree with others' opinions, I very respectfully encourage everyone to avoid questioning motives.
     
  19. momofmany

    momofmany Beach Comber

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    Those are great concerns and I would be interested to know the answers as well. As for comparing okaloosa and Walton, keep in mind teachers in okaloosa are paid more and offered more resources. Also once all grades go COMON CORE perhaps we will see more uniform across the country to compare.I have seen on Facebook a group of people trying to work together to establish a charter high school for south Walton. I will look for that and repost the information for you to look into. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  20. momofmany

    momofmany Beach Comber

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    Check out South Walton Charter High School on Facebook. They just had a meeting a few weeks ago. Get connected.
     

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