Battle over merit pay, teacher evaluations not just in Florida
Sure, Florida's fight over schoolteacher contracts and the like caused a huge ruckus in state education circles that resonated into politics as we know it. Floridians might like to think their battle is one for the books.
But as the Wall Street Journal clearly notes, the Race to the Top competition has put Florida alongside Indiana, Minnesota, Colorado and Ohio in heated union push back against ideas that teacher representatives can't seem to stomach.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told the WSJ "he welcomed the friction between union and state officials but warned against states weakening their overhaul plans simply to win buy-ins from unions. 'Watered-down proposals with lots of consensus won't win,' he said. 'And proposals that drive real reform will win.' "
Gov. Charlie Crist's RTTT advisory group meets Wednesday to see how much compromise they can get in trying to secure about $700 million for the state. Crist has stressed the need to have stakeholder support -- especially after the teachers helped kill SB 6. But as the WSJ noted, agreement might not be all Crist has cracked it up to be:
"Most of the 16 state finalists lost far more points on reform efforts than on a lack of union backing. Florida and Illinois had among the weakest union support but still placed fourth and fifth."