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School Board Issues

Dear Jackson County Citizens,  On September 27, I submitted my response letter to the editor to the Jackson County Floridan in regards to Dave Galloway's September 23, letter to the editor in the Jackson County Floridan, however, my response still has not been printed in the Jackson County Floridan as of today.

I have NOT surreptitiously recorded anyone, so that statement was slanderous. I have not even tried to record any PRIVATE conversation, just ones involving school staff on official business. The law that they keep claiming prevents me from recording 934.02-03 does not apply to conversations in which the person has no reasonable expectation of privacy, which people can't have when there are multiple people discussing public business.

And if you've noticed when you go into the school board office, there's a sign saying you are subject to recording, too. Doubt they ask anyone's specific permission.

I appreciate the worry my family and friends have expressed that the JCSB will arrest me in violation of my First Amendment rights and as further retaliation.

Write JCSB and tell them if they don't have anything to hide in the course of their official duties, to stop acting like they do, and stop retaliating against me because I advocate for students with disabilities. And, those wanting to protest. If JCSB decides to do that, please send your email addresses to so I can contact you with updates as needed.

Let's take back our School District so our teachers can teach, and our money is spent on the children, and no one is retaliated against for standing up for kids or good teaching. We shouldn't have such a high percentage of our students not mastering the general curriculum.

Sincerely, Pam Long-Bimberg

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Florida Ranks Second in the Nation for Test-Score Improvement

Report suggests Florida is a national model for global progress -

Tallahassee, Fla., July 16, 2012 - A new study released today by Education Next ranks Florida second in the nation for education test-score gains. The report examines international and U.S. state trends in student achievement growth using National Assessment of Educational Progress mathematics, reading, and science data from 1992 to 2011. Eric Hanushek, Paul Peterson, and Ludger Woessmann conducted the study, which shows that Florida gained 3.2 percent of a standard deviation annually, well over a full year's worth of additional learning during the time period. Florida is second only to Maryland in test-score improvement between 1992 and 2011. The top ten most-improving states in rank order are Maryland, Florida, Delaware, Massachusetts, Louisiana, South Carolina, New Jersey, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Virginia.

"Florida is a national leader in education and the results of this study clearly show the incredible accomplishments of our learners," said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. "I applaud the diligent work of our students and teachers, and I am confident that our state is on the right path to providing world-class education to our students."

The United States as a whole ranks 25th out of 49 countries in student test-score gains over a 14-year period. "If, however, the entire country performed at the level of Florida," Hanushek says, "the U.S. would have ranked considerably higher among the participating countries." Additionally, Southern states that began to adopt education reform measures in the 1990s outpaced Midwestern states, where school reform made little headway until very recently. Five of the top 10 states were in the South and no Southern states were in the bottom 18.

"Achievement Growth: International and U.S. State Trends in Student Performance," was produced by Harvard's Program on Education Policy and Governance. To view the report, visit the school's website.

About Education Next

Education Next is a scholarly journal published by the Hoover Institution that is committed to looking at hard facts about school reform. Other sponsoring institutions are the Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance, part of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation.

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