Governor Rick Scott Speaks on Florida Education System

“””IF the teacher would/ COULD have spent 20 minutes analyzing what the problem was, an entire year of this young mans time, would not have been wasted.”””

Having taught kids throughout the south east United States, I have watched as systems failed and succeeded. The real problem is always ignored and it seems that trend will be continued. Not addressing the problem, the FCAT disaster, will be replaced with the Common Core State Standards. Again a bureaucratic, convoluted mess will enter an already fragmented system of failure and for years, as teachers try to adjust to the new “standards” thousands of children will be left behind.

Florida Dept of EducationThe teachers are unable to concentrate on individual students.  As an example; math classes are filled with various levels of understanding and the teacher is forced to stick to a scripted path in order to follow the “standards.” I recently worked with a young man in Jacksonville who had just failed his 8th grade math class. His grades in math had been good all the way until then. He explained that he was doing well, but when the teacher started lessons on factoring he was completely lost. I sat down with the young man and within 20 minutes, I discovered he could not add, subtract, multiply or divide fractions. He did not know the basics. He never had a chance. He had depended on calculators to do it. I have worked with him for 3 hours over 3 separate days and he is catching up very fast. It is fun to watch his eyes light up as it gets easier and easier for him. IF the teacher would/ COULD have spent 20 minutes analyzing what the problem was, an entire year of this young mans time, would not have been wasted.

The quote that follows is from Governor Rick Scott of Florida and after the quote is a review of the math component of the Core State Standards found on the NYTimes.com site:

“Florida is raising education standards because we know from past experience that students and teachers consistently rise to the occasion when challenged. In just two years, Florida will move to a new testing standard that significantly reduces our reliance on the FCAT and moves to Common Core State Standards. This new system will allow us to compare our students with those in other states so that we can benchmark results, measure progress, and adjust curriculum to better prepare students for college and the workforce, so that they are better able to compete in the global marketplace.”

“As part of our ongoing accountability efforts, we’re constantly reviewing the level of and kinds of testing occurring in our classrooms. Our goal is to make sure we’re not testing for testing’s sake, but working to ensure our students are prepared for college and the workforce. Common Core assessments are an example of that kind of tool.

“It is never easy to raise the standards for excellence in education. This year is no exception. But every time we raise the expectations of our students and teachers, they ultimately get better in later years. Simply put, raising the bar works.”

The following quote found at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/opinion/how-to-fix-our-math-education.html?_r=1 and is wrote by Garfunkel and Mumford

“”””Today, American high schools offer a sequence of algebra, geometry, more algebra, pre-calculus and calculus (or a “reform” version in which these topics are interwoven). This has been codified by the Common Core State Standards, recently adopted by more than 40 states. This highly abstract curriculum is simply not the best way to prepare a vast majority of high school students for life.

For instance, how often do most adults encounter a situation in which they need to solve a quadratic equation? Do they need to know what constitutes a “group of transformations” or a “complex number”? Of course professional mathematicians, physicists and engineers need to know all this, but most citizens would be better served by studying how mortgages are priced, how computers are programmed and how the statistical results of a medical trial are to be understood.””””

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