Friday, September 5, 2008

The 65% solution is 100% B.S.

From Schools Matter:
TALLAHASSEE | In a stunningly swift move, the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday knocked three politically contentious constitutional amendments off the November ballot, with the most important ruling eliminating a complicated plan to cut property taxes by 25 percent that was linked to an uncertain promise to increase sales taxes.
Amendment 5 would have traded a huge property tax cut for other tax increases, amendment 7 would have provided a basis for reinstating a public school voucher program, and amendment 9 would have required public school districts spend at least 65 percent of their money directly on classroom activities.
It's funny how this shell game keeps popping up all over. The first one is just political gamesmanship trading a tax break now for a tax hike later, the second is just a bad idea floated by people who hate public schools and the last one is just amateurs looking at statistics and pretending they understand what makes a school successful.

The 65 percent thing is a national movement started by the founder of Another outsider who has been successful in business and who is now convinced that he knows the secrets of the Universe and has all the answers to our educational blues. TM

When will these guys learn that just attending school thirty years ago does not mean you can translate your business sense to the local public school?

At first blush, he seems to have a good idea, until you start looking at the definitions of what is and isn't considered "classroom related" and you realize that the game-playing is pervasive and essentially ruins the whole argument. Library books, librarians, and library media are not considered classroom expenses but athletic uniforms and equipment is. How screwed up is that?

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