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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Gasp, Is Rick Scott starting to get it?

From the Orlando Sentinel, by Leslie Postal

Gov. Rick Scott announced this morning that he will appoint five superintendents (no word yet on which ones) to a new panel that will be asked to look at “unnecessary red tape and regulations” from the state and help teachers have more class time with their students.

Scott said the idea came from listening to teachers and administrators during his week-long education tour.

One of the regulation complaints of Fern Creek Elementary teachers who met with him last week – echoed by teachers across the region and the state — is with the very detailed, new teacher evaluation system put in place thanks both to Race to the Top and the new merit pay law.

Teachers complained, as we’ve reported before, that the new observation system with its 61 different elements is, in short, driving them nuts. Scott was sympathetic, saying he thought a good evaluation system looked at maybe five key criteria.

It will be interesting to see if that issue is one that is brought up or one the panel can wrestle with, given that it is embedded in law and the state’s winning grant.

Here is Scott’s full statement on the new panel:

“We heard many great suggestions from teachers and administrators during our education listening tour on how we can make changes at the state level to reduce unnecessary requirements and regulations so they can spend more time in the classroom teaching.

“Today, I am announcing that we will convene a group of five superintendents, representing both large and small districts, to give us their suggestions on the unnecessary red tape and regulations we can cut at the state level in order to increase classroom time for Florida students. Our education initiatives must focus on better preparing students for college and careers and we want suggestions on how to eliminate anything that is a hurdle to that goal.”

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