Tag: change

A Lake Wales Vision, part 2: choice liberated from the fraudulent Florida model

Here is the link to Part 1: The Future of Lake Wales is in Lake Wales, not Jefferson County. What follows is part 2. ——————————————————————————————————————- Lake Wales fascinates, excites, and frustrates me for the same reason. All the pieces exist there, right now, for an entirely new, community-based model of education with something for just about everyone. This model could equitably and…

Continue reading

There is no “we” with Kelli Stargel. Only “you.”

Update: Senator Stargel posted a Facebook comment in response to this post. I’m republishing it here: “I hate to add to this post because I don’t want to start an extended conversation on Facebook, that at this busy time of session, I don’t have time to complete but…. Billy, I believe we had a free and open conversation. There is…

Continue reading

Impasse, part 1: Listen to your School Board members lay out their visions of public service

The video below comes from the Dec. 13, 2016, School Board work session — my first work session as a board member. This hour-long excerpt covers the discussion of School Board Attorney Wes Bridges’ three-year contract. This contract automatically renews every year. It has no practical mechanism for removing Bridges without paying him at least $450,000. Lynn Wilson and I…

Continue reading

Join the happy parent rebellion, Adam Putnam. We. Are. Winning.

If you doubt this campaign is making a major difference, if you doubt that they hear us in Tallahassee as well as Bartow, listen to Adam Putnam. The likely Republican nominee for governor in 2018 had this to say very recently at the Florida Chamber of Commerce Future of Florida Forum. “We have begun to lose the support of the…

Continue reading

The truth about Hunt’s mailer: two open lies, three fuzzy falsehoods, and a revelation of character

Adversity reveals character. Over the last six months, I’ve used deeply researched, substantive critiques to hold Hunt Berryman to account for his performance as a School Board member and leader. I beat him by 10 percentage points in August’s primary race. I won 90 percent of precincts across the county. Hunt has responded to this adversity by adopting many of…

Continue reading

The Greater Winter Haven learning community already exists. Let’s build around it.

I saw a beautiful thing Monday night. It reinforced my strong belief in aligning our school leadership with distinct communities through their high school feeder systems. I was walking the greater Winter Haven community’s homecoming parade with a crew of FFA students and J.V. football players.  I love teenagers — with their armor of cool struggling to cover their vulnerability….

Continue reading

We. Are. Winning. But we still need your help.

Tuesday night at the Farm Bureau political forum and dinner, my incumbent opponent actually said this: “I will fight for teachers.” Really. A declarative sentence. I’m willing to bet those words have never before come out of his mouth. I’ve certainly never heard anything close to that from him. I welcome him to the fight. But it’s quite the evolution….

Continue reading

The new needs friends: an optimistic note to supporters and skeptics

This is my favorite sequence from the Disney movie — Ratatouille. The all-powerful food critic, Anton Ego, confronting himself after a life-changing meal cooked by a rat. It’s one of my favorite scenes in any movie, ever. Here’s the key quote: “In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over…

Continue reading

Of LEAD money, teacher retention, and how new voices can shape a new district culture

Polk School District budget director Jason Pitts did not intend to accuse teachers of widespread theft of the state’s Teachers Classroom Supply Assistance Program. Thus far, I have failed to convince him to say that himself publicly, which was my goal in writing about this. (More on that in a moment.) But after talking to him Monday, I think I…

Continue reading

Bring school voices to School Board meetings

I received this Facebook note earlier this week from an Algebra and liberal arts math teacher at a Polk high school. 5 of the 6 classes I teach Have 30 or more students in them. My liberal arts classes have 31 & 32 students in them. My largest algebra 2 class has 32 in it. I have been told not…

Continue reading