Florida Gov. Rick Scott: ‘We cannot declare war on teachers’

As part of his education “listening tour”  this week, Florida Gov. Rick Scott outlined his guiding principles on education in a letter yesterday to Steven Halverson, chairman of the influential Florida Council of 100. Especially coming after Scott’s recent comments about “teaching to the test,” the letter includes some interesting language about teachers. Like this:

“We cannot declare war on teachers and simultaneously ask them to drive our students toward success,” wrote Scott, who signed legislation last year that ended tenure for new teachers and changed the way teachers are paid and evaluated. “We must work with teachers to declare war on failure.”

The letter also includes a nod to parental empowerment and school choice: “Choices and competition in educating students in college and careers should be encouraged and held accountable to ensure the best options are available to Florida students regardless of where they live. Just as in business, competition drives innovation and improvement. Programs that succeed should be replicated and feel pressure to constantly improve.”

Full letter here.


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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director of Research & Special Projects at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times).