Busy morning for Florida education
Gov. Rick Scott heads to Jacksonville this morning, where he plans to sign dramatic changes in teacher evaluations and contracts into law.
While Scott visits the KIPP charter school in the northeast, the State Board of Education will be talking about how to deal with his decision to push out Florida education commissioner Eric J. Smith. The board has called an emergency conference call for 8:30 a.m. to discuss and act on Smith's departure, as well as that of chairman T. Willard Fair, whose term has expired.
Smith's (forced?) resignation has led to many questions about just why that might occur. Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Thomas, long a supporter of Florida's education system changes, offered a stinging rebuke of Scott's move in a new column. It begins: "Gov. Rick Scott wants to drug-test state employees. After watching him nudge Education Commissioner Eric Smith out the door, I think we should start with the governor. Yo, Rick, what you been smoking? Smith is on your side. He will make you look good."