Gov. Rick Scott says he wants to review testing in Florida schools and the state’s new Common Core-based standards. It’s part of Scott’s latest campaign trail education proposal, released Monday.
Scott’s proposal would also increase the bonuses paid to teachers who win state and district teacher of the year awards. He also wants to double state funding for school technology to $80 million.
Scott wants Education Commissioner Pam Stewart to “conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation of every standardized test that school districts are requiring their students to take.” That includes why students take the test, who is taking the test and what the results are used for.
State law only requires schools administer the Florida Standards Assessment and end-of-course exams each year. Many districts add additional exams throughout the school year, some which add information not provided by the state tests and others which are used to double-check the results on state tests.
It’s unclear whether Scott will review state testing — the exams to which parents, teachers and school leaders are most likely to object. Those state test results are used to determine grades for public schools, teacher evaluation scores and whether students advance to the next grade or graduate from high school.
The Florida Department of Education said they had no additional details on Scott’s proposal.
Standards And Curriculum
Scott wants to create an independent panel to review Florida’s standards, which are almost entirely based on the Common Core math and language arts standards adopted by dozens of states.
Local school districts would have the final authority for any instructional materials used in classrooms, and Scott wants school boards to listen to public opinions about those decisions.
Florida held a series of public hearings last fall, but critics of Common Core were not satisfied by the changes. Critics were similarly unpersuaded by Scott’s Monday proposal.
Teacher Pay And Bonuses
Scott wants to increase the bonuses top state and district teachers earn. Florida’s top teacher would earn $20,000, while every district teacher of the year would earn $10,000.
Scott also wants to create a summer residency program for science, technology, engineering and math teachers. Teachers would spend their summer at technology companies, earn at least a $10,000 stipend and take the experience back to their classroom in the fall.
Scott is facing two Republican challengers in Tuesday’s primary. He’s expected to face either Democrat Charlie Crist or Nan Rich in the General Election. Libertarian Party candidate Adrian Wyllie will also be on the November ballot.
whether students advance to the next grade or graduate high school,