Interim Florida Education Commissioner John L. Wynn's controversial plan to screw over the students at Miami Edison Senior High and Miami Central Senior High has to be stopped. The state's top education man is proposing that the schools be closed for a year, converted into charter schools, or turned over to a private entity.
And that's fucked up, especially for Miami Central, which experienced a visit from President Barack Obama and ex-Gov. Jeb Bush this past March so the commander-in-chief could praise the school's turnaround from an F to a C grade.
Miami-Dade Public Schools spokesman John Schuster provided us with some very compelling stats that show Central and Edison are on the right track:
- At Edison, the graduation rate for the past year was 72 percent, a 23-point increase from two years ago.
- Since 2003, Edison students' mathematics proficiency went from 13 percent to 41 percent. In addition, the percentage of students who are considered college-ready in reading increased from 38 to 70 percent.
- At Central, mathematics proficiency improved from 23 to 47 percent since 2003. In 2008, when the school was failing, only 11 percent of the students enrolled in accelerated courses passed. This past school year, 69 percent of the students in the same courses are expected to pass.
- The percentage of Central students who are college-ready in reading is projected to increase from 56 in 2009 to 77 for the recently completed school year.
The state Board of Education will consider Winn's measures at a meeting to be held in Tampa July 19. Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho filed appeal letters on behalf of both schools that make strong cases why Miami Central and Miami Edison don't need to be shut down, but that might not be enough.
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Leaders from the African-American community in Miami, including state Sen. Oscar Braynon II and state Rep. Cynthia Stafford, are holding a new conference this afternoon at the Miami-Dade School Board building to protest closing down the schools, but that won't be enough either.
Banana Republican suggests Central and Edison supporters take a page out of Kendrick Meek's playbook and stage a sit-in at the education board's meeting next week. When he was a state senator, Meek staged a sit-in protest in then-Governor Bush's office complex over a proposal to strip affirmative action protections from state contracting and university admissions.
Parents, students, teachers, alumni members, and politicians need to show up en masse and let Winn know to stick his plan up his nose.