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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

FEA urges delay in seeking Race to the Top funds



Accused of obstructionism, the Florida Education Association has penned an open letter to parents defending its position opposing the state's Race to the Top application.

Minefield1 In it, FEA president Andy Ford suggests the state take more time to collaborate with teachers in crafting a plan that's less restrictive and more flexible in its implementation:

The Florida MOU is a minefield. The state plan would require all participating school districts to implement new education programs that would be underfunded, even with Race to the Top dollars. Many are untested, but instead of piloting these programs, every school in every participating district would be required to adopt them. The plan requires further standardization, more tests, administered more frequently. And it doesn’t provide funding for existing programs – the ones we know are working.

The Jan. 19 deadline to submit applications is just the first round in Race to the Top, Ford notes. Florida could apply again in the summer, perhaps with much more support from the unions that roundly rejected the concepts this time. (Only five unions signed the memorandum of understanding.)

The second phase of Race to the Top applications aren’t due until June. We have a professional and a moral obligation to return to the table, and, in the collaborative spirit of the Race to the Top grant, forge an application worthy of our students’ future.

See the full letter to parents, which appeared as an ad in the Tallahassee Democrat.


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:47am]


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