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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Ed school review project dividing old allies, agencies

Florida Education Comissioner Eric J. Smith and seven other members of the Jeb Bush-backed Chiefs for Change came out this morning in favor of a national project to rate and publicize the performance of colleges of education - a project vigorously opposed by the 11 State University System ed schools in Florida and SUS Chancellor Frank Brogan.

Brogan, of course, served as Jeb Bush's first lieutenant governor.

So, Bush v. Brogan? DOE v. SUS?

This is getting juicy.

The project is a joint effort between the U.S. News & World Report, known for its college rankings, and the National Council on Teacher Quality. As we've noted, Brogan said earlier this year, in very strong terms, that he supported the decision of the 11 ed schools not to voluntarily participate in the project.

The Chiefs for Change missive didn't specifically address Brogan's position or the Florida piece of this budding, national controversy (other ed schools have also said they won't voluntarily participate.) But they made no bones about where they stood. Here's the statement in full:

"Great teachers make great students.  Preparing teachers with the knowledge and skills to be effective educators is paramount to improving student achievement.  Ultimately, colleges of education should be reviewed the same way we propose evaluating teachers - based on student learning."

"Until that data becomes available in every state, Chiefs for Change supports the efforts of the National Council on Teacher Quality to gather research-based data and information about the nation's colleges of education. This research can provide a valuable tool for improving the quality of education for educators."

"Schools of education must equip teachers with the ability to effectively prepare students for an increasingly competitive global economy because the true success of these programs is measured by K-12 student achievement - whether students taught by graduates are being equipped for success in college and their careers."

On a related note, the NCTQ has said it's going to pursue the project, whether ed schools voluntarily participate or not. To that end, the group sent a lengthy public records request last week to all the public ed schools in Florida, including those at state colleges (formerly community colleges.)

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 12:14pm]


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