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FEA rallies in the Capitol courtyard for public education.



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FEA: What are voucher backers so afraid of?

TALLAHASSEE – Backers of Florida’s voucher schemes are back in Tallahassee today for their annual display designed to increase their access to taxpayer dollars to support private schools that are largely unregulated, don’t have to follow the state’s academic standards, don’t have to hire qualified teachers and don’t have to prove to the state that they are using public money wisely.



 

 

“For more than a year, voucher groups have been demanding FEA drop a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the tax-credit vouchers. What are they so afraid of going to the courts to ensure this voucher scheme is legal?” asked FEA President Joanne McCall. “Let’s let the courts decide this once and for all. We’re not dropping our legal challenge. Click here to read more.

 

Joanne McCall elected FEA President!

Nearly 1,000 delegates attending the Florida Education Association’s annual Delegate Assembly have elected longtime FEA Vice President Joanne McCall as the organization’s new president.

McCall succeeds Andy Ford as FEA president. Ford served as the head of the teachers union for the last 12 years – and McCall was vice president of the group for the same period. McCall taught as a speech language pathologist at North Sumter Primary School in Sumter County before becoming FEA vice president.

“I thank the delegates in this room for getting on this ride with me,” McCall told the delegates today. “With the other officers elected this weekend, we will be a diverse and dedicated team working to bolster the teachers and education staff professionals in this state, so that we can improve the lives of the children we teach.”

Fed Ingram, president of the United Teachers of Dade, was elected FEA vice president and Luke Flynt, president of the Indian River County Education Association, was elected FEA secretary treasurer, replacing Clara Cook, who retired earlier this year.

Delegates cast their ballots Friday evening and the results were announced at this morning’s session of the Delegate Assembly. In addition, Brian Kerekes, a teacher from Osceola County, was elected as a National Education Association director, representing Florida.
 

Surprise, surprise! Validity of FSA Test Affirmed: As expected, the DOE came out with the news that the so-called "independent" analysis found that the Florida Standards Assessment was valid. The analysis of the test was conducted in less than 90 days and those conducting the review have long-standing ties with the company that administers the test.

 

Despite the finding that the test was valid, the report by Alpine Testing Solutions raised many of our long-standing concerns with the test. It says that the FSA test that students took this spring should not be used as the sole factor in deciding whether: Students graduate, take remedial courses, or repeat a grade. But that's the way the state plans to use the results

 

To download and read a copy of Alpine Testing Solutions' Executive Summary (673 KB), click here. For a copy of their Final Report (3 MB), click here.

Education Policy for Dummies:  Just plain ‘stupid’ is how one Florida senator described Florida’s Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship Program which will reward highly effective teachers based on their high school SAT or ACT scores.  
 
Yes, you read that right. …The state plans to spend $44 million on the bizarre teacher bonus program which Rep. Erik Fresen (R-Miami) told reporters he dreamt up after he read Amanda Ripley’s “The Smartest Kids in the World” on a plane a couple years ago.
 
Clearly some legislators have too much access to taxpayer money and not enough quality reading material.
 
But you can help! Click here to find out how.



 

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Get Involved: Reclaim the Promise: Parents Overwhelmingly Choose Strong Neighborhood Public Schools over Charters, Choice, Vouchers: "When teachers and parents join together, we can be an unstoppable force to fulfill the promise of education as a pathway to opportunity for all children," says AFT President Randi Weingarten. View the Nationwide Poll.

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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Stop the assault on Florida's middle class by Tallahassee politicians. Stay informed and united with the FEA.