Florida

Putting Education Reform To The Test

Teachers Praise Gov. Scott in New Online Ad

The Republican Party of Florida is out with a new web ad featuring teachers praising Gov. Rick Scott.

The teachers aren’t identified, but appear to have been recorded at the recent teacher summit Scott hosted in Tallahassee. Most of the teachers thank Scott for investing in education, particularly his push for across-the-board raises.

“I think Gov. Scott is a visionary. He’s a brilliant businessman,” one teacher says in the video. “What he’s done for the business world in Florida, I think he can incorporate that in education.”

Another says she feels teachers have the governor’s ear.

“We know that he listens to us,” she says.

Education has been a key issue for Scott as he focuses on his reelection efforts next year.

Scott took office and immediately pushed to cut education spending. The first bill he signed into law required teachers are evaluated based — in part — on student test scores, requires teachers are paid based on those evaluations and ends long-term teacher contracts for new hires or those who change districts.

The law is unpopular with many teachers and the state teacher’s union has filed a suit challenging the law.

Scott was one of the most unpopular governors in the country according to polls during his first year in office.

Since then he has turned education into a priority. Last year he gave an ultimatum to state lawmakers to add $1 billion to the K-12 budget and restore some of what had previously been cut during the Great Recession. This year he asked for across-the-board teacher raises, keeping the pressure on when lawmakers wanted to base raises on performance instead.

Recent polls show the public’s opinion of Scott is improving, though next year’s gubernatorial race is expected to be one of the most competitive in the country.

This is not the first time the Republican Party of Florida has put out an online ad emphasizing Scott’s education record. Scott also said he was listening to parent and school district complaints about the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test in another RPOF ad (though we should note the state had already decided to mostly eliminate the FCAT).

We know a few teachers read this blog, so have at it: What do you think of Gov. Scott? What do you think of the new ad? Add your thoughts in the comments.

Comments

  • Steve

    That is complete crap. Everything he does is for show. He can’t stand public employees including teachers.

  • John

    Anyone who hasn’t realized yet that Scott and his Republican friends like Jeb Bush are trying to destroy public education is kidding themselves. They want to make public schools look so bad that everyone will go to a for profit charter school or better yet a private religious school. It’s time for people to wake up and vote people into office that actually care about public education.

  • silver-haired teacher

    I wonder if these teachers knew how their comments would be edited and used when they made the remarks.

  • Mishka

    I am a conservative. I don’t like to use the word hate, “BUTT” I hate this Annual Contract Law!!!! It is a stupid decision made by our State Politicians.
    After a failed economy that saw my investment account dwindle to nothing, my REALTOR work dissolve, my retail business crumble (eating all the equity in my home), going back to school earning a B.A. in Psychology with no jobs available upon Graduating with Honors…..I went back to Grad School and earned my Professional Teaching Certificate. I was hired for 2010-2011 on an annual contract, hoping to be converted to professional contract somewhere down the road. Then this law came about. My husband (a 12th year teacher) begged me not to continue. How can a family with 4 children have any peace of mind, knowing at the end of May, for no reason, your job could end.
    Do they care that banks will not approve home loans based on the instability of these annual contracts? How does this law give us a better pool of educators? I HATE THIS LAW!
    To put icing on the cake, the only place I could get a job, TSA. Now my hours were cut because of “sequestration”. Mercy.

  • Robyn

    These teachers are most likely charter school employees. They love Scott because he funnels most of the education money to these schools. A big supporter of the republicans is Charter Schools, USA. He speaks at the state convention for them every year.

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »

Economy
Education