Florida

Putting Education Reform To The Test

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He looks a little stern here, but Gov. Rick Scott made a funny in his State of the State speech Tuesday.

Grading Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Education

Background

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has aggressively pushed to change Florida schools since taking office in January 2011.

The first bill Scott signed into law required all state school districts to design a system to evaluate teachers and then pay teachers based on their rating.

The bill also stripped long-term teacher contracts, riling teachers and their unions and sparking a lawsuit challenging the law.

Scott has also been a vocal supporter of charter schools, staging press events at charters in Jacksonville, Opa-Locka, Orlando and elsewhere. Scott did not visit a public school until seven months into his term.

Scott also angered many when he vetoed capital funding for repairs and construction at traditional public schools and universities while signing off on similar money for charters.

As he heads into his second term Scott wants to refocus state universities on graduating more science, technology, engineering and math students to help fill jobs in expanding fields. Scott has also floated the idea of a “parent trigger” law, which would allow a majority of parents to vote to convert a district school into a charter.

Scott also pushed lawmakers to quickly pass a change in state law so Florida could apply for a federal early childhood education grant. If Florida wins the grant, the money would test student progress and train and assess instructors in the state’s voluntary pre-Kindergarten program.

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