Every recent special session of the Florida legislature has ended in unmitigated failure. Much has been written about taxpayer cost and unproductive bickering. What’s not apparent is that the public airing of controversial bill ideas is being pushed aside to argue about items such as district lines. Look for the 2016 session to end with politicians shoving reams of unrelated legislation into an eleventh hour “train” bill. There will be no proper vetting, no discussion or committee process. This will be the third year that such a bill will be used to pass a political agenda without transparency.
Florida’s A-F School Accountability high stakes debacle is underway. As the state clings to its FSA house of cards, determined to use flawed scores to unfairly label, sort and punish teachers, students and schools, they look ridiculous and mean. High stakes scores show that teaching to the test just isn’t working. Overwhelming evidence indicates that students and teachers are doing great work by other measures. Instead of addressing their school “reform” failures with humility, the House K-12 Committee plans to double down with proposed legislation to increase “remediation” and “interventions” for K-3 students, further narrowing an already rigid curriculum.