Like a master illusionist, whose expertise lies in diverting the eyesight of the audience from what his hands are doing, the Jacksonville Civic Council’s mouthpiece for education turns up in the Op-Ed pages of the local newspaper to once again perform extraordinary acts of legerdemain, to pull the levers behind the green curtain that no little dog should dare to pull back, to outdo the Barnum of even the Great P.T. himself, to which a weary city can only say, “The Egress is that way –>”
Grumpy Old Teacher (GOT) will not violate the newspaper’s copyright and reprint the entire text of the Op-Ed. If you have a subscription, you can read it here.
However, GOT will give you the summary of the points made:
- The district should build not to the state standards described as “more expensive and inefficient” that are known as the State Requirements for Educational Facilities standards. They should reduce building quality to that required for any public building that are “just as well-built as public schools.”
GOT response: If that is the case, then why did no charter school volunteer to be a storm shelter during Hurricane Irma? Hurricane Mathew? Is it because the private operators of these ‘public schools’ did not want the liability of caring for stranded persons because they knew their buildings were not up to the strength of the city’s traditional schools?
As for that claim that Florida’s school districts requested that the state legislature passed HB 7055, you had better offer some hard evidence because that is simply not true. Politifact will have a field day with that claim.
- Use actual enrollment numbers. The Civic Council’s analysis shows that the District wants 8 to 10 more school buildings than is warranted by enrollment trends.
GOT response: Oh, that super special analysis that you have but you share it with no one. If you want us, the public, to take you seriously, you need to send the analysis in all its detail, with accompanying footnotes and citations for the experts you used and the studies you relied upon, to the school board. Then, you need to publish it on your website so everyone can look at it. Otherwise, you are merely a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. You hope the noise drowns out the chutzpah you have to insist you have an analysis that no one may examine. There are a million people in Jacksonville and everyone of us could do the same. What makes you the expert?
- Equitably allocate the funds by sharing the tax proceeds proportionately.
GOT response: Oh my, you really don’t keep up with educational issues, do you? If you did, you would not misuse the word equity when you meant equality.
EQUALITY says if 10% of students attend charter schools, they should get 10% of the funds. Only fair, right?
EQUITY says that the resources should be directed to those who need them most, in this case, Jacksonville’s traditional schools because, at an average age of 54 years, they are crumbling and need repair or replacement. Charter schools, being built within the last 20 years, most within the last 10 years, do not face the same building issues.
Glad I could school you in the difference, Civic Council. (Pun intended.)
The Sleight of Hand! The magician’s trick to divert attention from what really matters.
Do not be deceived, Jacksonville. The issue before you is to address the condition of deteriorating school buildings as has been well documented.
Don’t be fooled. In the end, the man behind the Green Curtain had to admit he was a humbug.
Your move, Mr. Chartrand.