A Piece Full World

Kim's Blog

"Ten Steps to Some Sanity" for Bullied Educators
Bullied By Your Principal? Start Here.
An Abuse Full World: Kim's Personal Story
Kim's Blog
Apologies to Dr. Seuss
A District's Bullying and Harassment Policy.....
A School District's Workplace Violence Policy
Kemp Mill ES
NEA Articles About Bullied Educators
The "Bully" Movie
Services/Contact Kim
Helpful Links


Archive Newer | Older

Sunday, February 28, 2016



We Floridians have spent a $220 million dollar bundle on a standardized test for public school children.

We Floridians deserve to know about the return on that massive investment.

I am a public school counselor Floridian. I am a public school parent Floridian. I am a truth telling, educated female Floridian. 

I am a tax paying, pissed off Floridian too.

Here's our return, fellow Floridians, on our tax dollar--at least in regards to standardized testing (more coming up on how our tax dollar is decimating public education in favor of privatizing education through charter schools): 

1. Lost months of Floridian classroom instruction; 
2. Overwhelming anxiety for Floridian children and teachers
3. No counseling services as counselors are used to administer the FSAs, EOCs, and the latest: WIDA. 
4. Teacher shortages as all of this just wears out Floridian public school educators
5. Bullying Floridian public school administrators; scared suck ups doing ANYTHING to get an elevated school grade.

Schools just got 2015 Spring FSA administration scores back and so, in late February 2016, schools were unable to use any of that data to children's benefit or detriment. There is no educational value to this late arriving data. N.O.T.H.I.N.G. Last summer, schools just did what they always do: they scheduled children who'd been in intensive reading back into intensive reading classes. What does that action really say about our state mandated reading interventions? Here's what it says: Our interventions make not a whit of difference.

Maybe the Florida Department of Education needs to rethink its "strategies" and its "interventions" and let public school children in the State of Florida have elective classes. Maybe painting a picture or cooking a meal, or fixing a car, or cultivating a garden or playing basketball for goodness sakes; maybe any one of those activities would improve reading scores.

For sure labeling "We Floridians Without a Voice" children as "Level Ones and Twos" and making them feel like big time losers ain't workin'...

"We Floridians" include more than 160,000 of "Us Floridians" without diplomas even though we did everything to earn them, except pass a flawed test. We earned the 24 credits and the GPA. We served our communities. We persevered. But the Florida Department of Education would not allow "Us Floridians" to become certified Floridian beauticians, electricians or plumbers. We don't get to fix our fellow Floridians' cars. We can't earn livings as certified Floridian mechanics. We "Floridians Without High School Diplomas" might, however be serving up Floridian meals for meager Floridian part time wages at a Floridian McDonalds. 

Or we might be eating up your Floridian tax dollar in Floridian state prisons. 

We (it won't surprise you) come from some of our most vulnerable Floridian communities. 



11:09 am est          Comments

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Ransom Everglades School is really good!
From Ransom Everglades School's course catalog:

"With an emphasis on student-centered learning, research, and interdisciplinary and experiential learning, the curriculum and pedagogy is designed to encourage students to apply knowledge, think creatively and critically, and develop innovative and original ideas."

Ransom Everglades School (like Gulliver Preparatory School; the school the Jeb Bush children attended) is a private school in Miami-Dade County. Here is the course catalog from Ransom Everglades School:


There is some fantastic stuff here!  Why don't ALL children--public and private school children--have these luscious courses from which to choose?  Why are our public school children losing their electives to prepare for tests? Why are we subjecting pre-K and kindergarten children to hours in front of computer screens instead of hours on playgrounds and in circle time? Why are we withholding diplomas from many of our community's persevering and most vulnerable youth because, although they've met all graduations requirements, don't have a passing standardized test score? 

They, like the Bush children,would have graduated from Ransom Everglades.

Why not take the 220 million dollars of our tax money and really honor children instead of the profiteers making a bundle on our children's backs? That 220 million dollar investment of our money, by the way, is just to pay for "The Test" (purposefully capitalized). The required materials to support "The Test" cost more. Imagine principals' budget decisions; They will, for sure, choose more computers and AIR testing prep materials in lieu of, say, a mental health professional to deal with students' anxiety of not receiving a high school diploma. Counselors in schools, if we are truthful and not defensive, are really not counselors.  They've become "The Test" administrators.

Here are the graduation requirements at Ransom Everglades.  There is no standardized test passing score required.  

In addition to certain required core courses, students choose from a selection of over ninety elective courses. These courses include: a wide array of courses in the visual and performing arts; senior English electives such as  Modernism, Adventure Literature, Creative Writing, Science Fiction, and Gender and Sexuality in Literature; Social Science courses including Economics, Psychology, Middle Eastern and Judaic Studies, Latin American Studies, and Philosophy; several computer science courses, Marine Science, Ecology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Speech and Debate.  Each class meets four times per week, with a block period (80 minutes) each week.  With an emphasis on student-centered learning, research, and interdisciplinary and experiential learning, the curriculum and pedagogy is designed to encourage students to apply knowledge, think creatively and critically, and develop innovative and original ideas.

Graduation Requirements

World Languages
Social Sciences
Performing or Visual Arts
Physical Education
     4 credits
3 credits
2 credits
3 credits
3 credits
1 credit
2 credits
5 credits

Ransom Everglades joined the Global Online Academy (GOA) for the 2015-2016 academic year, providing students a virtual space to learn, create, and collaborate with resources and learners around the world. As member schools and students are located across six continents, GOA classes such as “Global Health,” “Genocide and Human Rights,” “Energy,” and even “Linear Algebra” spark conversations and collaborations RE students may never have in their classes on campus at RE.  Moreover, GOA students learn time management skills, as classes do not meet at a designated time, develop organizational skills working with partners across the globe, and overcome barriers of culture and language.


You will find none of the following standardized Florida Department of Education's (filled with Jeb Bush cronies) complicated testing nonsense at Ransom Everglades:


And well, duh!  Of course we teach to the test!  http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-ed-standardized-tests-100214-20141001-story.html

The truth is, that's just about all we do in public schools.

8:19 am est          Comments

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Memories of the heart...


A person walked toward me yesterday at a mall.  A "what-a-handsome-young-man" thought floated through my brain.  He was tall. Broad shouldered.  My son!  I'd not recognized him.  Perhaps I was expecting the sturdy bodied boy of years ago.  

"I still can see..."  I close my eyes.  I see a baby boy in Kazakhstan.  It's our first night in a hotel room in the town of Kokshetau.  There are four of us: me, my husband, and our newly adopted two year old daughter and eighth month old son. In the iridescent street light, my son raises his head to look at me. He smiles.  

I close my eyes, I see him still.

I see his delighted and expectant smile as I throw pillows on the floor of our Miami home--this  perhaps a month after our return to the United States--to play peek-a-boo.  Oh how he eagerly crawls towards that plush pile!  

"I still can hear..."  I hear his delighted squeal as he catches sight of me; hear the laughter rolling up and out of his almost year old body.  

These are warped time experiences for me. It sometimes felt, early on, that days would endlessly last. My husband and I had waited a long time to become parents, so bringing two babies home at our ages of 45 and close to 50, was challenging.  I'll not forget, once, looking at the kitchen's clock and seeing "12:00".  Noon!  Only noon!  It felt like it must be dinner time...

But the years would disappear before the dishes would dry.  


Eyes again closed.  There he is in the garage. He's screaming for me as I back the car out. He's almost three.  I'd wanted to get in the car and go to the grocery store.  I'd wanted to do that alone.  But he'd have none of that! 

He went with me.  I smile as I remember, now, his satisfaction.  

Green uniform shirts.  Flashes of lit up memory of him exiting the car as I dropped him off at elementary school.  Ah!  Of all the years of green shirted days, that day is clearest.  His head turns right to greet a friend.  The sun lights up his hair.  

I have many "distance" memories--the kind I see from a mental faraway place.  I am the observer of these kinds memories--his awards and his performances; his soccer games and practices. These are fuzzy "ball-of-yarn" memories.  None are particularly clear and as hard as I try, they remain a beloved life yarn ball.  He's in yellow on stage.  He's marching in from stage right.  Now he's running on a soccer field.  He's waking up, watching TV, in a playpen wanting out, in a stroller falling asleep, riding a bike in front of me and his sister--always the leader! We're on our way to get breakfast.  Every Saturday morning for what seemed to be endless years... We don't do that now.  We just don't.   

My son, now fifteen and much taller than my 5'8", loosely drapes his arm around my shoulder.  He does not know how that moves me.  He doesn't know that his ease with a kiss on my cheek and a breezy "I love you, Mom" moves me sometimes to tears--right there at a mall with his arm dangling around my shoulder.  

I smile. I want to keep my eyes closed.  

Next....memories of "the girl..."

8:27 am est          Comments

Archive Newer | Older

Click here for my district's bullying and harassment policy. You will see I have made comments....