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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

What about the love of learning? An education message from California Gov. Brown



The education discussion in Florida and around the country has for years become one of testing and job preparation. One needs to look no farther than Gov. Rick Scott's speech Wednesday on legislative priorities.

California Gov. Jerry Brown, for one, has had enough. He took the opportunity of vetoing a bill that would add new student testing measures there to make his point.

"Over the last 50 years, academic 'experts' have subjected California to unceasing pedagogical change and experimentation. The current fashion is to collect endless quantitative data to populate ever-changing indicators of performance to distinguish the educational 'good' from the educational 'bad.' Instead of recognizing that perhaps we have reached testing nirvana, editorialists and and academics alike call for ever more measurement 'visions and revisions.'

A sign hung in Albert Einstein's office read 'Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.'

SB 547 nowhere mentions good character or love of learning. It does allude to student excitement and creativity, but does not take these qualities seriously because they can't be placed in the data stream. Lost in the bill's turgid mandates is any recognition that quality is fundamentally different from quantity."

The LA Times editorializes that Brown is right in his criticism of the high-stakes testing culture. But his veto "leaves the state with the same test-heavy accountability that everyone, including the governor, agrees is is overdue for a rewrite. If Brown has a realistic new vision for education in California, he should pull the relevant parties together quickly and develop a concrete proposal that the state can afford and carry out effectively. Just saying no to others' efforts isn't going to fix the car, either."

Anyone imagine such a discussion gaining traction in Florida? Still, we can keep an eye on California to see what happens there. Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Thursday, October 13, 2011 6:13am]


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