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Value Added Model VAMASA Questions Use of VAM for Educational Assessment: The American Statistical Association (ASA), the largest organization in the United States representing statisticians and related professionals, has slammed the use of VAM (Value Added Model) for teacher performance evaluation. The ASA study shows VAMs, generally based on standardized test scores, do not directly measure potential teacher contributions toward student outcomes, and scores and rankings can change substantially when a different model or test is used. Explore the ASA study.

Koch BrothersThe Koch Brothers’ Plot to Transform Higher Education: The billionaire Koch brothers may rank among the biggest bankrollers of conservative causes and Republican campaigns. Their proselytizing of government deregulation and pro-business civics is increasingly targeted not just on lawmakers, or couch sitters in swing states, but at the hearts and minds of college students. Welcome to the campus of Koch Brothers Academy.

FEA VP Joanne McCall

FEA Criticizes Efforts to Revive Voucher Expansion legislation by Linking It to Proposal for Kids with Special Needs: FEA Vice President Joanne McCall testified before the House Education Subcommittee which is considering a newly developed measure that combines a massive voucher expansion with a proposal for students with disabilities. 
Listen to her testimony

Voucher Expansion: A Risky Experiment That Gambles With Taxpayers’ Money And Children’s Lives: Florida legislators continue to careen down a risky path as they seek to again try to shift hundreds of millions of dollars into voucher programs that have little to no accountability.
Read the response from FEA VP Joanne McCall.

School Vouchers Video Shows Voucher Advocates Revealing Their Strategy, Tactics and True Intentions: The goal in Florida, according to one voucher advocate, is to enroll 250,000 students. The target is to add a hundred voucher schools per year and provide funding to primarily religious schools teaching a variety of different religions. Watch the video.

Why Teacher Data is Flawed: FEA President Andy Ford, addresses the problems with Florida's Value-Added Value Added formula for teacher evaluationModel (VAM). In his Letter to the Editor, President Ford explains why  VAM results for teachers are meaningless. "The Florida Education Association has been warning lawmakers, education policymakers and parents about this method of comparing teachers since it was first enacted into law by the 2011 Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott. It’s even worse than we envisioned. When will our political leaders and the DOE stop chasing these flawed data models and begin listening..." Read more

'Cashing in on Kids'-For-Profit Education Exposed: The AFT and In the Public Interest have launched a one-stop Jeb Bush-Fact about For Profit Educationwebsite for the facts on for-profit education. The site profiles five Big for-profit charter school operators. The site identifies several issues that need to be addressed in charter school policy, including public control, equity, transparency and accountability.
Go to Cashing in On Kids.

Florida ESP Tells Congress to Support the Fair Minimum Wage Act:  Florida ESP Edith Kimball testified before School Support Staff Testify in Washington on Minimum Wage increasethe Senate Budget Committee, telling members the immense financial stress on families like hers would be alleviated if Congress were to raise the minimum wage. “For me, in my job, that would mean an increase of $200 more a month for my family. It could help me open a college savings plan for my children for their future.” Edith was joined by Madison County Education Association President and NEA Director George Williams.
Read about her DC trip.

This child is being forced to take the FCAT alternative

'Our Students Are More Than a Test': Has Florida taken testing too far? We currently take 20 school days out of the school year for testing. But it’s not just the number of days, it’s the obsession with testing taken too far. Severely disabled children are being forced to take an alternative version of the FCAT. Florida has gone too far! This testing madness also means too much teaching to the test, punishing even the very best teachers, students and struggling underfunded schools.
Read the release  |  Wattch the news conference and video clips
FEA Responds to Comm. Stewart's Letter on Testing Video


 

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Education Information That Matters to You!

Get Involved: Reclaim the Promise


Reclaim the Promise of Public Education Heart logo

"Reclaiming the promise of public education is about fighting for neighborhood public schools that are safe, welcoming places for teaching and learning. Reclaiming the promise is about ensuring that teachers are well-prepared, are supported and have time to collaborate. Reclaiming the promise is about enabling them to teach an engaging curriculum that includes art, music and the sciences. Reclaiming the promise is about ensuring that kids have access to wraparound services to meet their emotional, social and health needs."

..."The promise of a great public education for all children is under pressure from economic and societal factors outside school that make it much more difficult to achieve success within the classroom...."

.....American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten said all of these factors make this a "crucial moment when we must reclaim the promise of public education—not as it is today or as it was in the past, but as what public education can be to fulfill our collective obligation—to help all children succeed."

Excerpts from President Weingarten's presentation launching 'Reclaim the Promise of Public Education' 7/22/13....


Remarks of AFT President Randi Weingarten: TEACH Conference-July 22, 2013

Nationwide Poll: Parents Overwhelmingly Choose Strong Neighborhood Public Schools over Charters, Choice, Vouchers

Global Exploration for Educators Organization GEEO helps teachers explore the world and inspire students to gain a better understanding of different cultures. Spend this summer exploring with (GEEO) Global Exploration for Educators Organization, an organization providing affordable travel opportunities for teachers and ESPs. GEEO offers more than a tour by including  educational aspects to your trip. It's time to pack your bags and check out GEEO.
First Book: We read without thinking about the millions of youngsters who have never owned or read a book. Placing that first book in their hands can transform their lives. Reading can improve academic success. That's why we are asking you to participate in First Book. Register here: http://booksforkids.firstbook.org/register/?rgst=aft

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