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Rick Scott, pressure on Florida's teachers is about to get worse

From the Florida Current, by James Call

Gov. Rick Scott and Education Commissioner Tony Bennett engaged Florida's teachers of the year Thursday in a roundtable discussion of education philosophies. Most of the talk focused on the transition to Common Corestandards and the assessments that will be used to measure student and teacher performance.
“The implication of Common Core will be one of the largest policy implications lifts the states have engaged in the history of education,” Bennett said during the talk with about 40 teachers. “In the very near short-term we’re going to have to make some decisions about what will be the assessment regimen for Common Core -- if you were going to ask me what is item No. 1 for the next 30 to 60 days, that’s item No. 1.”
Florida and 44 other states are adopting a set of achievement standards designed to teach what students need to know to succeed in college and careers. Thursday’s roundtable discussion came amidst concerns about the Common Core transition and expectations that Florida schools are going to post falling grades when school grades are released later this summer.
The roundtable event was scheduled as part of a two-day meeting that brought teachers from across the state to Tallahassee. The idea behind the summit, according to the governor’s staff, is to provide Scott the chance to hear from classroom instructors about best practices and ideas to improve school performance.
The teachers also had a chance to probe the minds of the governor and the education commissioner. In response to a question about a vision for Florida’s education system Scott discussed the importance of preparing young people to work in a rapidly changing world.
“The pressure on education is not going to slow down. I think it’s going to get worse,” Scott said. "Companies that were very successful 20 years ago are gone today. And the change is happening, the expectations of what their employees need to know is going to get more aggressive all the time."

Reporter James Call can be reached at jcall@thefloridacurrent.com.

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