Oh Crist…It’s All About The Kids!

I thought that the “it’s all about the kids” award went to the New York state legislature for the time they traded a charter school cap raise for a pay raise.   But Florida Governor Charlie Crist has them beat with his electioneering maneuver to veto an education bill he had previously supported in an effort to gin up some support for his faltering U.S. Senate bid by pandering to education special interests. It’s already backfiring as the Crist campaign goes off the rails…

11 Replies to “Oh Crist…It’s All About The Kids!”

  1. Yes, Crist placed the “special interests” (children) first in his state. He’s probably smart enough to know that Florida would have a difficult time hiring teachers after this recession is over. And of course there is no single test that is capable of evaluating both children and teachers! Teachers CAN be evaluated, but any sensible person knows that this requires the involvement of professionals and (possibly) individual tests and observations to measure the progress of each child.

    This man showed real courage and integrity because it is true that he might have sacrificed his political career in order to serve the special interests of children.

  2. Given his position in the polls conducted on the primary, I’m not sure Mack’s resignation means much. And I think the “special interests” call must be one of those irregular verbs in English: I’m a constituent, you’re being selfish, and they’re just special interests.

  3. Wasn’t Eduwonk telling us a few weeks ago that the NAEP scores in Florida were getting better all the time??
    Then why the need for “reform” non-classroom educator style?

  4. It is not only entirely fair to say that Crist prioritized a special interest over the public interest, but empirically demonstrable. Polling data has shown (see Ed Next’s poll on Florida this year), demonstrates that the majority of Floridians (you know those citizens who actually pay the salaries of public school teachers in Florida), favor shaking up the system and overhauling tenure, tying it to student achievement, as well as moving more toward a performance based compensation system. The very fact that the only group which had a decided negative view of these reforms is a narrow public sector employee union and Crist chose to side with them is precisely the definition of special interest politics. Democratic (small d) accountability anyone?

    Remember public schools are PUBLIC. In a representative democracy the policies of these democratically governed public schools should reflect the views of the majority of citizens who must live under them.


  5. ed–you and I know the REAL reason Andy and his friends are promoting FL style reform is that he and his CEO buds will make tons of money while the wheels come off public ed. Ironically, Andy sarcastically berates Crist for saying its all about the kids when Andy knows deep in his heart when he looks in the mirror that the policies he supports are more about him and his friends making money than about kids. Either that or his level of self-awareness is stunningly low.

    All of the CEO reforms are unproven efforts with wall street style smoke and mirrors evals that supposedly say they work.

    Look at Tim Sass’s work in Fl. He found a huge amount of movement from one year to the next in teacher evals. He says move slowly because statisticians haven;t figured this stuff out yet. But here we have Andy and his buds ignoring people who actually know what they are talking about to fill their own pockets. Very disturbing.

  6. no takers on the democratic accountability argument? didn’t think so. pretty hard to refute the fact that in survey after survey the American people favor tenure roll back, greater accountability, and performance based evaluation of K-12 employees. and i can’t get one pro status-quo chump to try and argue me on this? hmmm… i suspect its because the data just aren’t supportive of your side when it comes to what the public wants.

  7. @the Hart
    Well, Christ did say that the calls to his office were 2-1 against the bill, that sounds like he honored public opinion.

    Beyond that, while I’m sure people do answer polls this way, they also tend to say that their own children’s teachers are doing a great job in polls. Most people also say they want lower taxes and more spending and lower deficits. Bottom line, generic opinion polls are not a very good way of making arguments about this stuff. There are a lot of ways of doing the things you are talking about. Some people may support those ideas, but not this bill.

    Beyond everything, I’m offended by the original post. It always the teachers who are the special interests, not the corporate shills pushing this stuff or the testing companies. Give me a break. We need accountability but basing it on test scores will not encourage any kind of a real education.

  8. Ed-

    Florida’s schools have indeed improved, but despite that fact 28% of their 4th graders still score below basic in reading. Florida’s improvement has been very impressive when compared to other states, but it is no Finland yet.

  9. Thanks Matt.
    At the current rate, when will they be like Finland?
    How would have this vetoed bill changed that?

  10. Florida is currently being asked to review its late standardized test results,, the second time in a few years. Imagine the impact of such a legislation as described above when draconian consequences are applied to already known to be fallible results. Florida was fortubate to be able to escape SB6 and perhaps its resurfacing will be hampered by the latest fiasco.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.