Commissioner Smith: Teachers will have say in Florida education reform
It's almost a given that Florida will change the laws relating to school teacher evaluations, contracts and pay. The blueprint is laid out in the state's Race to the Top grant application, which goes to the feds formally next week. Talk already is swirling about the next incarnation of Senate Bill 6, which died only because of a last-minute veto by a governor who will be gone.
Many teachers have expressed concerns that the ideas, many of which they disdain, will be crammed down their throats.
Not so, Florida education commissioner Eric J. Smith writes in an op-ed piece for the Fort Myers News-Press:
"There is no doubt that our teachers, as well as many other stakeholders, need to have an active voice in the revolutionary education reforms that are under way in Florida. Their input is going to be essential if we expect these changes to take root and produce lasting success in our schools."
Smith and Gov. Charlie Crist have convened committees in the past several months toward gathering such input. But with Crist on his way out, questions remain as to whether the committees will remain, not to mention Smith. What's your take on Florida's next steps in changing the public schools?