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Rita M. Solnet
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Entries by Rita M. Solnet

Palm Beach County: Strong Schools, Strong Community

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 1:51 PM

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The Palm Beach County school district is known for educational excellence -- a reputation that didn't happen by chance!

It happened as a result of a remarkably supportive community who four years ago voted to allocate a quarter mill property tax to sustain...

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Florida's Elusive Voucher Waitlist

(1) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 5:04 PM

When you hang a pivotal and controversial piece of legislation allocating nearly $1 billion in tax credits to a program based on a waitlist, shouldn't you be able to consistently specify the exact number on a waitlist? Florida lawmakers sponsoring this massive voucher expansion bill cannot seem to do that.

...
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Florida Vouchers: This Is Choice?

(2) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 4:05 PM

Florida's massive Voucher Expansion Bill promises to be one of the most contentious issues this year and will be no doubt be watched closely by GOP legislators across the nation. To describe why this legislation accelerates the dismantling of public schools, I must first explain how we arrived...

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"Let's Be Real Clear"

(8) Comments | Posted June 20, 2012 | 12:11 PM

"Let's be real clear." That's what Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson said to Florida School Board members who convened in Orlando on June 14th at the FSBA Conference.

"What they're focusing on is high-stakes testing, which is a political way of saying that "We just don't like testing. ...

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Profit Empowerment Not Parent Empowerment

(5) Comments | Posted January 10, 2012 | 5:01 PM

Why Parents Across America Opposes Florida's Parent Empowerment Legislation:

It represents neither real parent choice nor genuine empowerment.

Florida's new legislation is modeled after California's Parent Empowerment Act passed in early 2010. It is widely supported by backers of corporate reform.

The law...

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Cents and Sensibility ... Inside Florida Education

(3) Comments | Posted October 13, 2011 | 12:47 PM

We've all heard this expression numerous times this year, "We must tighten our belts" with regards to education. Whose belts are we tightening in the education arena anyways?

Or, did they mean a noose around the necks of taxpayers that we need to "tighten" instead?

To the Ladies and...

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You Won't See a Soccer Ball in This Workshop!

(1) Comments | Posted July 14, 2011 | 4:51 PM

Looking for a soccer mom or a helicopter parent?

You won't find one in the workshops that Parents Across America will conduct at American University on July 28 and 29!

Three parents -- that's right, parents -- representing diverse populations and education issues will present and discuss "

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Bad Air Day

(2) Comments | Posted June 22, 2011 | 3:37 PM

Every so often, I step back to see what staunch proponents of "corporate reform" are saying now. Maybe there's new evidence? Maybe I've missed some critical research validating the privatization of public education or some new study on merit pay that supersedes a multitude of others stating that merit pay...

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A Telling Town Hall

(8) Comments | Posted April 26, 2011 | 4:40 PM

If the audience had their way Thursday evening, I think the Don Estridge High Tech Middle School janitors might have found dumpsters filled with FCATs in a show of solidarity the morning after a testy Town Hall Meeting was held!

U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch hosted an Education...

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Scorecard of Latest Education Deforms in the Sunshine State

(2) Comments | Posted April 13, 2011 | 3:20 PM

In case you haven't kept score of how many times Florida's teachers and school children have been suckered punch by its out-of-control legislature, here's a recap of just the past four weeks of laws enacted and bills proposed. Jaw, meet floor.

SB 736 ENACTED:

...

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The F Word in Education Reform

(13) Comments | Posted April 11, 2011 | 8:18 PM

It's safe to say that for approximately 4 million teachers in our nation, education reform's F word is now -- Florida!

Last month, Florida's Governor enacted a teacher merit pay bill. Legislators cunningly re-titled it, "The Student Success Act." This law and subsequent bills in queue are being torpedoed...

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Florida Legislature --Table for One? A Parent's Appeal for Education

(5) Comments | Posted March 1, 2011 | 3:13 PM

Dear Governor Scott,

Are our legislators attempting to set a Guinness Record for record-breaking time to pass the most controversial legislation ever through a state? Have the rallying cries, protests, and turmoil in Wisconsin taught Florida legislators anything? We are a nation governed around laws; not a...

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David vs. Goliath, Battle Over Public Education

(7) Comments | Posted February 22, 2011 | 12:23 PM

It wasn't just the type of slingshot or the shape of rock David used when he defeated Goliath. David's determination was steadfast, his belief system so strong, that it shaped his do or die mindset. David courageously pressed forward and defeated Goliath. But why did he win when others just...

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Who's Kidding Who With These Reforms?

(138) Comments | Posted February 9, 2011 | 12:26 PM

I summarized Florida's Education Summit yesterday indicating that the event may have moved us a step forward towards genuine dialogue on education reform. We are certainly better off than if the summit never occurred!

What we haven't looked at -- as a state or nation -- is...

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Florida's Education Forward! Summit: Moving the Dialogue a Step Forward

(3) Comments | Posted February 7, 2011 | 6:51 PM

"January is a time of beginnings," my grandmother from County Cork would say. "We're given another chance to get things right when the clock strikes 12." I couldn't help but recall her wise words when Senator Maria Sachs discussed organizing an education summit in January amid one of the most...

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Fire Our Way to Better Education: Is Common Sense MIA?

(45) Comments | Posted December 27, 2010 | 12:22 PM

Please explain to me, a F500 business woman, Chamber of Commerce member, and parent, how firing 6-10 percent of teachers annually will improve the quality of education in our nation?

That's the formula for success being championed by the Department of Education and its apparent sleepwalking cast of reformers.

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Manifesto Lite?

(6) Comments | Posted October 15, 2010 | 7:11 PM

I recently read with great interest a document released by Chancellor Joel Klein and enthusiastically titled a "Manifesto".

I had to plow through it a few times in search of any substance. There is no connection to what transpires in the real world. I read no definitive...

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Casualties of the Aftermath -- The Children

(28) Comments | Posted October 12, 2010 | 1:47 PM

The spotlight beamed on discussions of education reform last week as it became the focus spanning prime-time slots on every network. This was a great idea. This was big!

As a concerned and involved parent, I expected this media blitzkrieg would generate unity. Yes, this will be...

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