Parents changing Florida Governor's mind on testing?
Florida Governor Rick Scott declared last week that there might be "too much testing" in the state. He said that a lot of parents have been complaining to his administration about the Florida state tests and that there would be some changes.
Kudos to PAA's Rita Solnet, founder of Testing is not Teaching, whose hard work has helped get several large Florida school districts to sign on to the National Resolution. We know she'll be working to make sure the governor's changes are the right ones.
Budget testimony in Connecticut
PAA member Wendy Lecker will present testimony on full funding of schools at the state level today at a state budget committee hearing in Bridgeport.
Her written testimony should prove useful for anyone struggling with school funding issues on the state level.
Here's one excellent section of Wendy's presentation,
"Basic Building Blocks of an Adequate Education":
When one looks at school funding reform across this nation, there is a remarkable consensus on what those basic building blocks of an adequate education are. Despite demographic, geographic and economic differences educators, experts and community members across the United States agree on the fundamental resources needed in order to provide every child with a sound, quality education. In fact, in the Kansas school funding case, the court remarked that, on the issue of necessary resources, educators "spoke almost with one voice."
Some of these resources are:
- High quality pre-k
- An adequate number of teachers, adequately trained
- Small class size in k-3
- Extra services for at-risk children
- A challenging curriculum that includes art, gym, world languages and music
- Adequate light, space and well-maintained facilities
- Adequate books, computers, pencils and other instrumentalities of learning
- Expanded learning/enrichment opportunities
- A wide range of extra-curricular activities
- Wraparound services for at-risk children
Some of these inputs were listed in the Horton v. Meskill decision, but as the Connecticut Supreme Court recently noted educational inputs will change over time because the meaning of a "constitutionally adequate public education is not a static concept removed from the demands of an evolving world."
It is inexcusable that schools in Connecticut, one of the richest states, cannot afford to pay for substitutes, art classes, light bulbs, copy paper and textbooks, let alone social workers, AP courses, preschool, services for English Language Learners, students with disabilities, and more.
It is also inexcusable to punish our students and teachers in places like Bridgeport and New London for failing to meet mandated academic targets without first ensuring that all our students and teachers have these basic tools to learn.