I made this “Dear John” video this summer, before I left Florida and moved to Massachusetts. In the seven months since I’ve left the state:
- I’ve realized there are states and places that fund education well and have policies that support teachers, not break us down. It has been unexpectedly refreshing to get to know the education systems in New England. They are not perfect, but they have certainly made me realize how complex things are in Florida and the negative impact that has on our FL teachers and students.
- I’ve realized that my morale, even as a recognized teacher, was low in Florida. Morale is a serious issue, especially in states that are hotbeds for change and policy. We have to address this. Now.
- Many Florida teachers have had their VAMs made public. I can’t yet comment on that because I am still angry, and as a southern girl, my mom told me not to speak or write in anger. My colleague Julie Hiltz has written a great piece on hers published in the Washington Post…read her thoughts here.
- Florida has begun to pull out of the Common Core (they will have their own FL standards…read more here) and is not participating in PARCC, but has contracted with The American Institutes for Research to create its own FL assessments (read more on that here). This is like watching a trainwreck, but one attached to the students, teachers, and parents that I love…directly connected to my heartstrings. *sigh*
I wasn’t going to publish this video because I thought it was a little tough on my beloved state, but after letting that thought simmer for over half a year and watch what is happening, I am inclined to proudly post it.
Please know these opinions and feelings represent me alone, Megan Allen the NBCT and education advocate.