We’re all “The Martian” now: problems, assets, and empathy

I love this scene from “The Martian;” and it seems deeply applicable for this moment and coming weeks. We’re all going to have to solve problems, from the household level upward. We’ll solve them more effectively if we support each other and tell each other the truth so we know which assets to apply to which problems. In that spirit,…

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Wishful normalcy and paralysis is panic: the ground is shifting beneath our feet. We must think systemically and long-term now.

I will be shocked — happily — if schools reopen in two weeks. It is much more likely, in my view, that the entire country will be in lockdown and our hospitals and nursing homes a deadly shambles. That’s NOT a prediction. But I do think it’s more likely than reopening schools on that timeline. And I believe we all…

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The odd case of A’kelynn’s Angels: the Pre-K closed because of state oversight; FTC voucher school still collecting checks for at least 134 Step Up for Students kids

A’kelynn’s Angels Christian Academy in Winter Haven has 134 Florida Tax Credit voucher students, out of 174 total students, according to its lawyer and Step Up for Students, the unelected state school board of Florida vouchers. That’s about $900,000 in corporate tax shelter money not being used elsewhere. If FTC program drop out data holds true, 82 of those kids…

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Term limits for Tuthills, part 2: …and Kirtleys and Levesques and Goffs and the Florida Education Deep State

Here’s part 1, “Term limits for Tuthills, part 1: confront unelected power with real world referenda” ———————————- I’m a first-term elected School Board member in Polk County. But imagine I’d been around since 2008; and this was my record: I oversaw and doled out money to a publicly-funded (through tax credits) voucher program aimed at Florida’s most economically vulnerable kids….

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Term limits for Tuthills, part 1: confront unelected power with real world referenda

I don’t feel strongly about term limit initiatives, either way. In an intellectual vacuum, I oppose them as the worst sort of voter welfare. But we don’t live in an intellectual vacuum. Professional politics is a massive and complex industry built around the ruthless distribution of power. It demands multiple confusing choices from busy and bewildered people. And professional politics…

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FSA rule changes; reading endorsements; and defying the Supernova of edu-words that consume all clarity, reason, and children

  According to my printer, the Florida Department of Education’s guide to giving the FSA is 276 pages long. See for yourself. That’s 276. With a two; a seven; and a six. I doubt the manual handed out to Guantanamo Bay waterboarders killed so many digital trees. It certainly tortured fewer 8-year-olds. It would be interesting to compare them one…

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FSA practice tests — and the difference between your elected School Board and unelected district leadership

State law is maddeningly contradictory on whether school boards can approve FSA practice tests. It literally says in section 1008.22 of Florida Statutes that “district school boards shall prohibit” schools from “suspending” regular curriculum to give “practice” FSA tests — unless they are “practice” FSA tests. I’m not kidding. In that case, if a practice test is a practice test,…

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HB 7079: How Richard Corcoran and Kelli Stargel plan to blackmail 2 million kids and parents into giving up the choice of public schools

Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran has reportedly told multiple people that he wants to drive 2 million children out of public schools by the end of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ first term. That, of course, underlines the obvious: Florida doesn’t care at all about school choice. It just hates public schools. Corcoran and DeSantis and Kelli Stargel and the rest believe in…

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Respect all choices: how Florida’s “turnaround” fraud drives Florida’s voucher fraud. End both.

As noted in my last article — and as shown above — 61 percent of the children and families who take Florida’s $6,700 Tax Credit Scholarship abandon the “voucher” within two years. 75 percent abandon the voucher within four years. That’s how much actual human beings value this toxic product. Let me just state the obvious: for all the Polk…

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“Step Up for Students” endangers good voucher schools far more than any reporter, lawmaker, or corporation

Sixty-one percent of students who receive Florida’s corporate tax credit voucher/scholarship for low income students to attend private schools abandon their scholarship within two years. It’s 75 percent within four years. See the image below and full report here, from an organization very friendly to the concept of vouchers. A 61 percent two-year drop-out rate for any “educational” program is…

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