Pinellas Education Foundation seeks ideas to steer money to classrooms

By Ron Matus, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Sunday, September 4, 2011


Pinellas business leaders are gearing up to offer the school district advice on how it might save money. But not everyone is looking forward to the suggestions.

Beginning this month, the Pinellas Education Foundation plans to convene groups of business folks, district officials, teachers and others to brainstorm ideas for redirecting more of the school system’s $1.25 billion budget into classrooms. It hopes recommendations can be sent to the School Board by next spring, when budget talks for the 2012-13 school year start. Continue reading

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Closing the Racial Achievement Gap: Learning from Florida’s Reforms

Matthew Ladner, Ph.D. , is the Vice President of Research at The Goldwater Institute, and Lindsey M. Burke is a Policy Analyst in Domestic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
Revised and updated October 4, 2010
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Abstract: An education gap between white students and their black and Hispanic peers is something to which most Americans have become accustomed. But this racial division of education—and hence of prospects for the future— is nothing less than tragic. The good news is that the racial divide in learning is a problem that can be fixed. Of course, it can only be fixed if education reform is approached in a common sense and innovative way. Continuing to repeat the largely failed national policies and ever-increasing spending of the past decades is surely not commonsense. One state, Florida, has demonstrated that meaningful academic improvement—for students of all races and economic backgrounds—is possible. In 1999, Florida enacted far-reaching K–12 education reform that includes public and private school choice, charter schools, virtual education, performance-based pay for teachers, grading of schools and districts, annual tests, curbing social promotion, and alternative teacher certification. As a result of parental choice, higher standards, accountability, and flexibility, Florida’s Hispanic students are now outperforming or tied with the overall average for all students in 31 states. It is vital that national and state policymakers take the lessons of Florida’s success to heart. The future of millions of American children depends on it. Continue reading

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NJ School District Apologizes Gay Sex Language

Contributor: Chet K.

A New Jersey school district has apologized to parents after requiring high school students to read books that include graphic depictions of lesbian sex and a homosexual orgy. “Some of the language is inappropriate,” said Chuck Earling, superintendent of Monroe Township Schools in Williamstown, N.J. “We were not trying to create controversy. We were just trying to get students to read.” The books were on a required summer reading list for middle school and high school students. The district decided to pull the book off the list, with the start of school just days away. Continue reading

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Florida school suspends ‘Teacher of Year’ over his support for natural marriage

Contributed by: American Family Association

This kind of flagrant, unconstitutional and unconscionable anti-Christian bigotry must not be allowed to stand.

August 22, 2011

A Florida teacher has been suspended and removed from the classroom in Mount Dora, Florida, for comments made on his Facebook page against homosexual “marriage.” Liberty Counsel will be representing the teacher in court.

In response to New York’s passage of a same-sex marriage bill, Jerry Buell criticized the new law in a pair of Facebook posts. He wrote, “If they want to call it a union, go ahead. But don’t insult a man and woman’s marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool of whatever. God will not be mocked. When did this sin become acceptable?”

Just minutes later, he added, “I will never accept it because God will never accept it. Romans chapter one.”

This reference to Scripture and man-woman marriage has now been labeled as a “code ethics violation” by school officials.

Mr. Buell is currently subject to an Inquisition-type investigation. The school will not let him back into the classroom, says a school official, “until we do all the interviews and do a thorough job of looking at everything – past or previous writings.”

Says Mr. Buell, “It was my own personal comment on my own personal time on my own personal computer in my own personal house, exercising what I believed as a social studies teacher to be my First Amendment rights.”

It’s worth noting that Florida’s constitution prohibits recognition of same-sex marriage, the exact view Mr. Buell supports. In essence, he is now being accused of hate speech for expressing a view enshrined in the state constitution.

TAKE ACTION

Send an email today to the Lake County school superintendent and school board, insisting that Jerry Buell be returned to the classroom immediately and that no disciplinary action be taken against him.

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Less We Forget

Contributor: Fox News

The Bush Admin and Senator McCain warned repeatedly about Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac and what thus became the 2008 financial crisis — starting in 2002 (and actually even earlier — in the Clinton and Carter White Houses. Democrats resisted and kept to their party line, extending loans to people who couldn’t afford them — just like you would expect of socialists.

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Ronald Reagan’s impact on education today

By Valerie Strauss, Washington Post  6/2/2011

In the category of “the more things change the more they stay the same,” it is interesting to look back at Ronald Reagan’s education views on the 100th anniversary of his birth. The issues that were controversial back then — merit pay, standardized testing, vouchers — remain so today.

Reagan may best be known for his oft-stated desire to eliminate the Department of Education. What some may forget is that he changed his mind. Here are some of his positions on education issues: Continue reading

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Are We Looking at a Future President?


Contributor: The Blaze

During by far the most dramatic 24 hours of debt limit negotiations that have had a chokehold on American politics and government since January, Sen.Marco Rubio’s remarks followed by debate with Sen. John Kerry on the Senate floor this afternoon perhaps no better captures the frustration of freshman Republicans, hypocrisy of current political rhetoric, and inability of opposing sides to form real solutions. What do you think

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PC School Board Postpones Vote on Lastinger Agreements

postdateiconTuesday, 26 July 2011 19:07

At the July 26 board meeting, school board members voted 7-0 to postpone to the Aug. 9 board meeting, a decision regarding two agreements totaling $1.6 million between the school district and the University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning. The partnership is designed to improve the quality of teaching, learning, and leadership in 39 partner schools (27 elementary, seven middle and five high schools). The agreements called for each organization to contribute resources to improve student achievement, classroom practices and teacher effectiveness, and parent/community involvement.

Funding would be provided through Title II ($1,206,267) and School Improvement Grants ($369,818). Activities for the 39 partner schools include: a Master Teacher Initiative Graduate Degree Program for up to 113 graduate students, graduate degree program for up to 50 secondary math and science teachers, weeklong summer institutes for up to 50 secondary math and science teachers, clinics led by visiting scholars, and ongoing leadership development experiences during the upcoming school year.

After listening to several speakers on both sides of the issue, and asking questions themselves about the agreements, board members decided that more time was needed to discuss this important topic. The board will schedule a workshop to discuss the agreements before the Aug. 9 school board meeting when board members are expected to vote on this agenda item.

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Wal-Mart vs. The Morons

vs.

Contributed by Gina L

1 Americans spend  $36,000,000  at Wal-Mart every hour of every day.
 
2.  This works out to  $20,928  profit every minute!
 
3.  Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to  St.   Patrick’s Day  (March 17th) than  Target  sells all year.
 
4.  Wal-Mart is bigger than  Home Depot  +  Kroger  +   Target  + Sears +  Costco  +  K- Mart combined.

5.  Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people, is the world’s   largest private employer,  and most speak   English.
 
6.   Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.
 
7.  Wal-Mart now sells more food than  Kroger and   Safeway  combined, and keep in mind they did this in only fifteen years.
 
8.  During this same period, 31 big supermarket chains sought bankruptcy.
 
9.  Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.
 
10.   Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the  U S A  of which 2,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than
it had five years ago.
 
11.   This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at Wal-Mart stores.
(Earth’s population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)
 
12.  90% of all Americans live within fifteen miles of a Wal-Mart.
 
13.  Wal-Mart has gross sales that total more than the total revenue of all the countries in the world,
except 6.
  Continue reading

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Why always Firefighters, Teachers & Police

Contributed by Bob L.

That’s the mantra, scare the hell out of ‘em.    Why not these headlines…

“Governor to layoff 500 government top executives, saving $125M”

“Obama to clear out 50 of the top earning White House personnel, reducing cost $30M”

“New York City lays-off all 48 Assistant Principals, saving $30M, all working teachers stay”

“47 of the 50 states follow NYC lead, firing  half of all Asst. Principals, cutting $9 Billion in budgets”

“IRS to target top government leaders of unpaid income tax…expect 100 Billion of the $345 B total”

“Congress approves Foreign Affairs cut by half, saving $15B”

Make up your own wish-list headlines, we will reprint them here.

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