Florida Education Association urges locals to beg off Race to the Top agreement
Speaking of an unwillingness to support Florida's bid for up to $700 million from the Obama Administration's Race to the Top, did you catch the Florida Education Association's open letter to education commissioner Eric J. Smith this morning?
Published as an ad in the Tallahassee Democrat, FEA president Andy Ford's letter calls the state's prescribed memorandum of understanding "fatally flawed" in that it seeks to mandate reform from the top down rather than foster the collaboration it purports to seek.
"My decision — the Florida Education Association’s decision — to discourage Local Education Associations from signing the current Memorandum of Understanding for the Race to the Top application has been agonizing," Ford wrote. "Educators understand that the transformative path is riddled with potholes, but we fully expected to participate in the process rather than have that process dictated from Tallahassee."
It seems many locals, and even some superintendents, are listening. Could Ford be right in his observation that "the Florida Department of Education has jeopardized our state’s standing in the competition"?
We've put a call in to Florida DOE officials for a response. We'll let you know what they say.