Friday, November 2, 2012

Is the Jacksonville Public Education Fund looking to find answers or steer the city towards privatization?

Last I checked the JPEF board was filled with businessmen not educators and if you are saying to yourself, that’s a good thing because of the current state of education, think again. Businessmen and laymen have been running education in Florida for years. Educators have been pushed to the curb. If educators were in charge we wouldn’t have things like unregulated charter schools, merit pay and high stakes testing because all three have evidence that says they don’t work. If educators were in charge we wouldn’t have eliminated the arts and trades in our schools because educators know they are important and if we play to kids strengths they will do better.

Gary Chartrand a proponent of privatization is arguably the most influential person on the board. Then its president Trey Czar came up through Teach for America and was the vice principal of a charter school. Where are the public school advocates? For that matter where are the public school teachers and parents of public school children? You will find them few and far between with the JPEF.

If the JPEF is looking for research based answers then that’s great. The problem is the whole corporate reform movement isn’t based on facts and evidence it is based on somebody looking to make a profit off of our children and what sounds good to a few rich men, which coincidently makes up a lot of the JPEF board.

We should trust but verify with the JPEF with an emphasis on verify.

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