Polk’s got 99 problems; but K12 ain’t one

Try to imagine taking part in this school board meeting, as a described last week by Miami Herald reporter Colleen Wright. Link here.  It took 13 hours and 400 public speakers for the Miami-Dade County School Board to decide it had heard enough. The marathon meeting started at 1 p.m. Wednesday and culminated in the board’s vote at 2 a.m….

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“Critical infrastructure employees”: safety and capacity are at war in COVID schools

The Polk School District sent out the message linked here on Tuesday. Read the first four paragraphs below. These paragraphs say the opposite of what they mean, which is that the district is making a “shift” in exposure/quarantine policy designed to limit the impact of quarantine on in-person school operations. This “shift” is aimed at keeping COVID-exposed teachers and staff…

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Barney Barnett’s approach to power; my approach to power; and the superintendent’s future

[This is not the article I first intended to write in the aftermath of the election. But there is a time element here related to the Tuesday work session and board meeting – and what the superintendent intends to do in response to the election. Barney Barnett’s fake racism smear campaign bears on that meeting.] Barney Barnett is the supreme power…

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Drafting education workers into combat — without war games, with very little equipment, with slashed funding, and with no real leadership above the school level

A 2018 study by the Rand Corporation showed from 2001-2015, 2.77 million U.S. military personnel served on 5.4 million deployments across the world as part of the “Global War on Terror.” Total U.S. military deaths in those years in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are 6,729. Add in other deaths related to operations in other theaters, and you get about…

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Fighting “for” is harder than fighting “against.” That’s why we do it; and that’s why we’re winning. Join us.

As we enter the in-person early voting phase of the campaign, I want to take a second to declare the obvious: we’re winning. Every indicator I see suggests it. But it really boils down to this: our movement has thousands of people excited to vote for me — and what we’re trying to accomplish in education and citizenship. The other side…

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In-person early voting is upon us — here’s where and how to do it

In-person early voting begins Monday, August 3rd and runs through August 15th. The hours are 10 am to 6pm.  Here is an interactive map of the early voting locations. You can vote at any of them. Here is the advisory from the Supervisor of Elections about what you need to vote: Any voter, registered in Polk County, may stop in at any one…

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Countries that opened schools successfully used staggered starts. And they had much lower virus levels.

I appreciate all the feedback, pro and con, that I’ve received for my point-of-view on a staggered re-opening model. More of it is pro, at this point; but there is some con, too. I do think there is some misunderstanding on one element: I don’t want to require anyone to do e-learning. I do want to require a slow, staggered start…

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The path to sustainable in-person schooling runs through slow, careful build up — not a Big Bang

Part 1 of this is linked here and below: “The Townsend Position: Start with e-learning; and use the first quarter to carefully, slowly provide in-person services to the neediest kids” This is a follow-up, aimed largely at parents who want in-person schooling to be a realistic option this year, as I do. —————————————————————- The surest way to kill the possibilities of…

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The Townsend position: offer e-learning to everyone; stagger in-person start to carefully, slowly provide in-person services to the neediest kids

Polk County schools should not attempt a mass re-enrollment of physical schools on Aug. 24. Instead, the district should start in e-learning mode for the first nine weeks. And we should use that 9-week period to gradually enroll specific high-need groups of children as staffing and demand allows. We should use the first nine weeks period to responsibly test the…

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We are voting for Billy. Let us tell you why.

Teachers, parents, paras, students, grandparents, and business owners support Billy. Hear from them in their own words. Shaundra Ellis provided a video. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO WATCH. As an educator, I appreciate it when someone recognizes the hard work and dedication teachers show every day. Billy Townsend partnered with PEA to lobby for raises in a year everyone else said…

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