HB 855, SB 330 , SB 770 and SB 584

Why is DeSantis dropping common core?  What’s next?  What kind of feedback is he looking for in the survey?

Link to survey:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FLstandardsreview

Quote from February 18th post on http://www.flascience.org/:

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis caused quite a stir when he announced he was directing Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to review the state’s academic standards and suggest revisions by January 1, 2020.

I am worried about what appears to be a trend to use taxpayer money to teach other people’s religion.  Religion should be taught at home and in the religious institutions.  The teaching of religious dogma should NOT be funded with taxpayer monies.

Taxpayer money should be used to make the neighborhood schools GREAT.  We need to fund tutors and social workers and making the neighborhood schools beautiful.

State Senator Travis Hutson (R-St. Johns) introduced a bill  (  SB 770 ) , if passed, would dramatically change traditional four-year graduation requirements for high school students by doing away with the requirement to pass some  math and science courses.  Please oppose the bill.   More options for work force training are needed but not by sacrificing science and math literacy.   A basic science foundation is needed to be a good citizen.  We understand that some kids are quicker to grasp math and science concepts.  Let’s find room in the budget for tutors for those kids that need extra help.  More information can be found at this link: http://www.flascience.org/?p=3441

Hopefully it is self-evident why this is a particularly troublesome part of House Bill 855 :

After exhausting all local policy remedies and  appealing to the State Board of Education, a parent or resident  may sue in circuit court for an injunction to remove such  materials and may recover reasonable attorney fees and costs.

More about HB 855 can be found at http://www.flascience.org/?p=3435

It is worrisome that Florida Citizens Alliance wrote Senate Bill 330  since they have a reputation for wanting the teaching of myths and wild guesses taught in science class.  The use of the term “controversial issues” concerns me.   We want scientific theories and the scientific method taught in science class.  New discoveries are being made constantly.  Will a scientific theory be controversial just because someone doesn’t want to accept the overwhelming evidence?   More about SB 330 at http://www.flascience.org/?p=3431 and https://uniteusdonotdivideus.com/2019/02/04/please-tell-your-rep-to-vote-no-on-sb-330-that-was-introduced-in-the-florida-senate-in-2019/ .

Please oppose any bill that uses the term “controversial issues”  because it appears that it is an attempt to teach wild guesses and myths in science class.  Science is about evidence and scientific theories.  Our goal should be to adapt a set of research-based, up-to-date K–12 science standards.  Quote from https://www.nextgenscience.org/ :

Next Gen Science has developed  standards that give local educators the flexibility to design classroom learning experiences that stimulate students’ interests in science and prepares them for college, careers, and citizenship. Science—and therefore science education—is central to the lives of all Americans. A high-quality science education means that students will develop an in-depth understanding of content and develop key skills—communication, collaboration, inquiry, problem solving, and flexibility—that will serve them throughout their educational and professional lives.

Please support SB 584 as proposed by Senator Cruz.  It aims to reduce the financial abuses by for-profit entities using taxpayer monies for charter schools.  Link to bill:  http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/00584 The voters spoke loud and clear when they voted yes on Amendment 12. And the charter/voucher area is one area where we (the voters) are worried about corruption.

Please tell your rep to vote NO on SB 330 that was introduced in the Florida Senate in 2019

I wonder what founding values Baxley means in this bill he proposed.  Quote from SB 330:

shall strictly adhere to the founding values and principles of the United States in accordance with s. 1003.42

Women and slaves couldn’t vote when the country was founded.  Surely Baxley doesn’t mean those values, does he?   What exactly does he mean?  Also why does he want to put it into law that Keynesian and Hayekian economic theories must be taught?

Screen shot of the whole paragraph:

And here is the link to the s. 1003.42 mentioned above:


Also what does he mean by controversial? Perhaps it sounds innocuous until you realize that the people that are proposing the bill think evolution and global warming are controversial. And the balanced manner means that they want creationism taught in science class along with evolution. Quote from SB 330 (2019):

(b) Science standards must establish specific curricular content for, at a minimum, the nature of science, earth and space science, physical science, and life science. Controversial theories and concepts shall be taught in a factual, objective, and balanced manner.

Quote from this article at this LINK:

A new bill in the Florida Legislature could affect how science and other subjects are taught; well-established scientific concepts like evolution and human-caused climate change might have to be ‘balanced’ with ideas that haven’t withstood scientific scrutiny.  …  One critic of the bill, Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando), is a newly-elected  state representative in House District 47.

Quote from this article at this LINK

Bill 330 by Senator Baxley from Ocala adds controversial science and economic theories to the curriculum.

Quote from this article at this LINK

Cease embracing debunked theories in the name of balance. We need smart people going forward. Florida doesn’t need more things like SB 330.


Florida’s Constitution-high quality system of free public schools

Florida’s Constitution at this LINK

Article IX
SECTION 1. Public education.—
(a) The education of children is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders. Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education and for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of institutions of higher learning and other public education programs that the needs of the people may require. To assure that children attending public schools obtain a high quality education, the legislature shall make adequate provision to ensure that, by the beginning of the 2010 school year, there are a sufficient number of classrooms so that …..

Quote from November 2018 news article at this LINK :

The Florida Supreme Court  heard arguments in a case that maintains the state is failing to provide a “high quality” public education to all students, as demanded in the state constitution.  …..  The case centers on an amendment to the state constitution added by Florida voters in 1998. That section calls education a “paramount duty” of the state and requires a “high quality system of uniform free public schools.” At issue is whether that clause provides a measurable standard by which courts could judge educational success.

How does one define high quality system of uniform free public schools?

This REPORT seems to have some great ideas.  Here is an excerpt from the report:

This includes teaching novices how to support the development of these skills, attitudes, and habits in their students and how to develop them in themselves—including stress management, the ability to be calm and mindful in the face of stress, and how to be self-aware and able to problem solve, collaborate, and marshal resilience.

To support the use of research and to further refine the evidence base across diverse contexts requires new ways of working for both researchers and practitioners. Achieving this paradigm shift will require the support of funders, including the federal government; research universities, working with school districts and community programs; and the broader research and education community.

A focus on refining the evidence base also requires a commitment from schools and youth development organizations to use data and evidence to maintain strategic partnerships and to learn from each other. One feature of strong school-community collaborations is their ability to partner to share data that can be used to measure and strengthen student performance and to better understand how to support improved learning environments that develop the whole child.

Are schools in poorer neighborhoods equal to public schools in richer neighborhoods? If not, what is the solution?

Quote from article at this LINK

We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of “separate but equal” has no place. …   Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs…are deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

I want to watch this case. I hope they win. A few quotes from article at this LINK

A class-action lawsuit, which is being filed in federal court in Rhode Island Wednesday evening and was provided in advance to The Atlantic, argues that baked into the Constitution is an implicit guarantee of high-quality education—in fact, that the constitutional system could not function were this not the case.


Are the charter schools reporting on their techniques that they hypothesize are working?

Any chance you could help me decipher this?  The enrollment dropped from 330 to 296 from the 2014-2015 to the 2015-2016 school year for this charter school (see links below).  How can I tell where those students went?  Did they move out of the district?  Did they go back to the neighborhood school?  If they transferred, did the money stay with the charter school?

This is just one example.  I know it would be anecdotal BUT what was the cause of the school performance grade increasing from a D to a B?  Was it merely kicking out the poor performing students or is the school using techniques that the neighborhood school could adopt?

That above link says that this school had 296 students as of October and rec’d a
2016-17 School Performance Grade: B  

That above link says that this school had 296 students as of October and rec’d a
2015-16 School Performance Grade: B
That above link says that the same school had 330 as of that October and rec’d a
2014-15 School Performance Grade: D
Originally I thought the idea of charter schools was to experiment with various teaching techniques.  IF a innovative technique proved valuable, then could it be incorporated into the neighborhood schools?  Are the charter schools reporting on their techniques that they hypothesize are working?  IS the technique merely to kick out the poor performing kids?

Do Charter Schools have value to the school district?

I am bothered that the guest columnist (see link above) doesn’t offer substantiation for the claims. Excerpts from above link which is a guest column by Simaran Bakshi — principal of Wayman Academy of the Arts:

[Where is the link to substantiate this claim?]  A comprehensive report from the Florida Department of Education found that charters produce better outcomes for students and are more successful at narrowing achievement gaps for minority students.

[Why didn’t she stay in the school system and help all the neighborhood schools?]After turning around a failing district-run elementary school, I moved to Wayman Academy. At a public charter school, I have more power to improve outcomes for families and engage teachers.

[What strict system does she mean? ] I am proud that we have a strict system that holds charter schools accountable for their performance and finances.

The guest column by Simaran was in response to this article:
Quotes  from that Sept 17 2018 article:

A government watchdog group called Florida’s growing system of privately-run public charter schools wasteful and said it sometimes gives rise to self-dealing and profiteering.

“Some public officials who decide education policy and their families are profiting personally from ownership and employment with the charter school industry, creating the appearance of a conflict of interest,” the study says. “Lax regulation of charter schools has created opportunities for financial mismanagement and criminal corruption. … Inasmuch as charter schools can be an inefficient and wasteful option for ‘school choice,’ the legislature should evaluate the appropriate amount of funding the state can afford to offer in educational choices to parents and students.”

Why is this? What is the attraction? Would the money be better spent by improving the neighborhood school? Another quote from article:

Statewide about 10 percent, or about 296,000 students of Florida’s 2.8 million children, attend 650 charter schools.

When for-profit charters close, the public money spent on lease payments and building improvements is lost, because the school district doesn’t own their buildings, the study said.  Florida charter schools received $346 million in capital outlay funds alone in 2016-17, surpassing what traditional schools received some years, the study said. That doesn’t include the hundreds of millions more charter schools receive for operations and management.

Since its start in 1998, the charter school industry has spent more than $13 million to influence state education policy in Florida through contributions to political campaigns, the study said. Since 2007, the industry spent another $8 million on legislative lobbying.

Link to another article about the Integrity Florida report:

A quote from this article https://www.jacksonville.com/nationworld/20181114/former-duval-charter-school-operator-gets-20-years-for-fraud :

May’s company, Newpoint Education Partners, operated charter schools in Escambia, Bay, Broward, Duval, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. In Duval, that includes San Jose Academy and San Jose Preparatory High on Sunbeam Road.  Marcus May was sentenced to pay a $5 million fine for using charter schools to steer millions of dollars into his personal accounts.  May was also sentenced to 20 years in prison.


We need legislators that will promote public education consistent with the Florida Constitution

What’s the deal with the State Legislators promoting charters? Is the end goal to privatize education? Let’s posit that there is a place in our education system for charter schools. Shouldn’t the local school board decide which funds should be spent in the neighborhoods? The school board is made up of elected officials from our community. They know the community.  For example,  taxpayers shouldn’t be paying a lease to a for-profit entity (that a state legislator is personally profiting from) while a school building is standing in need of repair.  The local school board (instead of state legislators) is better equipped to make decisions about allocating funds within our community  for new school buildings, repair of school buildings and/or leases for charter school buildings.

School choice (at this time) means giving taxpayer money to under-regulated charter schools and to private schools via vouchers.  “Charter schools are freed from many of the regulations that govern traditional public schools” is a quote from the Duval County Public School website.  That wording troubles me. I would prefer that the website be clearer by saying : Our legislators do not require charter schools to follow the regulations that they have imposed on our neighborhood schools.

If the regulations are valuable, then why aren’t the charter schools required to follow them? If the regulations are not valuable, then why are they being imposed on our neighborhood schools by our legislators?

My guess is that most citizens would NOT want  HB 7069 and SB 436 if they understood them. Am I wrong?

Thanks Richard Birdsall for these links explaining HB 7069.
A complete listing of what HB 7069 does from the Florida School Board Association:  https://fsba.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/FSBA-Summary-of-HB-7069.pdf

A short interpretive analysis by the Florida PTA:

Valerie Strauss of WaPo’s “Answer Sheet” gives a high level political view of the issues surrounding HB 7069:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/05/31/its-hard-to-overstate-how-much-critics-hate-floridas-scam-education-bill-will-the-governor-veto-it/

Jason Fischer and Aaron Bean voted for HB 7069 so they want the state legislators to decide which charter schools are in our communities rather than letting the local elected school board make that decision.  How can HB 7069 be constitutional based on Section 4 (b) of Article IX of Florida’s Constitution? Here is what 4 (b) says:

 The school board shall operate, control and supervise all free public schools within the school district and determine the rate of school district taxes within the limits prescribed herein.

Florida’s Constitution Article IX Section 4 (b) seems a great idea to me. The school board can best determine what charter schools are needed in their district. And the voters can vote school board members in or out IF we don’t feel they are making good decisions for our city.

Paraphrased from an ARTICLE  about the race between Kimberly Daniels and Paula Wright:  Daniels said that people voted for her because they want
1. prayers said out loud at the podium at public school events
2. teachers to be able to proselytize their own religion at the public school
3. taxpayers to fund unregulated charter schools
4. to  give taxpayer funds to private schools. 

Were those the reasons people voted for Kimberly Daniels instead of Paula Wright?  My guess is NO!  My guess is that it was something in those flyers (funded by Republican PACs) and NOT that voters supported bills like SB 436 .  My guess is that most people want their religion taught at home and at their religious institutions and NOT at the public school.  The public schools include people from a variety of religions as well as the non-religious.  This is the essence of SB 436 that Daniels and Bean and Fischer voted YES on:

Public schools (but not charter schools) must allow prayers said out loud at the podium at school events, and teachers must be allowed to proselytize their own religion at the school

Quote from this ARTICLE:

SB 436 will create a legal quagmire, as well as divisive consequences for Florida’s public schools. Our public schools are in no way devoid of religion. The First Amendment and federal law already provide students with the right to privately pray alone or in groups during non-curricular time, as well as pray to themselves at any time

The League of Women Voters have SUGGESTIONS for regulations for charter schools that will help prevent some of the abuses. Integrity Florida also has   SUGGESTIONS

We need legislators that are willing to incorporate those ideas into the laws that allow funding of charter schools. Even one of the promoters of charter schools is now calling for more regulation. You can read about that at this LINK

Jason Fischer and Aaron Bean are the reps for my district. They (like Kimberly Daniels) voted YES on SB 436 and HB 989. Fischer and Bean voted YES on HB 7069 while Daniels didn’t vote on that one. Is not voting as bad as voting YES if the end result is to let the bill pass?

Kimberly Daniels, Jason Fischer, and Aaron Bean also voted yes on HB 989. If HB 989 is a good idea, then why doesn’t it apply to any school that receives taxpayer funds? HB 989 doesn’t apply to charter schools or private schools that receive taxpayer money. Why not? HB 989 is about allowing the community to debate what books are used to teach the curriculum in the school.

public education

HB 989: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/00989/?Tab=VoteHistory
SB 436: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/00436/?Tab=VoteHistory
HB 7069: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/7069/?Tab=VoteHistory

Do dress codes imposed by societal norms, cultural pressures, religious rules and/or government laws hurt self esteem, equality, fairness and/or justice?

I heard Professor Stuber on First Coast Connect talking about dress codes that target women and the possible effect on women’s self esteem.  You can hear  it at this LINK

School Dress Codes starts around minute 33 

I grew up hearing how women’s dress caused men to rape them.   It angers me.   Why can’t men be trained?  I don’t think it is the woman’s dress that causes some men’s bad behavior.  Boys should be taught manners and respect and the difference between yes and no.

The choice of attire belongs to the individual.   People’s reaction to that dress is their own responsibility.

this LINK  is to a GREAT article about dress codes and norms.  It brings up a lot of things to consider.  When we criticize anyone’s dress, are we considering their background and their family situation?   Perhaps we could all be a little kinder.

Some reasons why no one should hit kids

All this is copied from Becky’s page where she said we were free to share:

I’ve [again this “I” here and below is Becky since this was copied from her page] been asked to share some links to studies and information about using corporal punishment with children.

Here we go! See the comments for additional links.

This is public, you are welcome to share.


This may be one of the best articles to read because of how plainly it illustrates that in the US, we overvalue pain and undervalue children. This simple phrase – overvaluing pain and undervaluing children – is a really devastating indictment of our culture.

And it’s true, you can see in many domains of life how children are undervalued (e.g. funding of education) and pain is overvalued (consider the dominant religious culture that is founded on human sacrifice, torture, and blood atonement; or consider the pressures of the workplace)


Slapping and spanking in childhood and its association with lifetime prevalence of psychiatric disorders in a general population sample

This study took place in Canada.


When you hit your kindergartner more, your kindergartner hits their peers more.


This is a video discussing child abuse in the context of the video game of The Walking Dead, for those who might be more interested in video content, gaming, etc than reading scientific studies.


Spanking increases antisocial behaviors.


This study was investigating whether effects of spanking are different amongst different cultural/ethnic groups.


Spanking 3 year olds increases aggressive behavior seen through age 5.


“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents be encouraged and assisted in the development of methods other than spanking for managing undesired behavior.”


This is a good article from a mommy blog that gives parents some good tips for how to manage their toddler’s behavior. This is a good resource for those who want to get their information from a layperson who has several children of their own.


Spanking and Child Development: We Know Enough Now to Stop Hitting Our Children

Spanking is violence against children.