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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Gov. Rick Scott's listening tour schedules Pinellas stop



Gov. Rick Scott has added a Pinellas County stop to his invitation-only education listening tour: He is scheduled to visit Madeira Beach Fundamental School on Wednesday afternoon (details yet to be released).

If reports from the first stop in Jacksonville offer any indication of things to come, the governor will let his picture be taken while opening the sessions with educators and parents, then have observers removed so he can have a private conversation unhindered by the threat of the media taking notes. Then everyone will emerge and talk to the gaggle of reporters who are trying to get information.

That method has led cynics to complain that the governor simply is trying to look like he cares about education without any action to back it up. Those who are more giving suggest that listening is a good first step, and acting comes later.

According to reports, Scott is hearing concerns about Florida's over-emphasis on FCAT results, as well as complaints about inadequate funding for public education. Those themes are expected to continue throughout the tour.

Scott promised to offer his insights on a blog after each meeting. Following Jacksonville, his press release-styled blog post included two quotes that indicated that he had listed what was said:

“It was great to meet with teachers and parents today who gave me ideas and suggestions on how to best prepare students for college or careers.  The teachers also expressed ideas on how to retain talented educators in our schools and to provide consistent and fair measurement so that both teachers and students can understand what they will be measured on and how it relates to preparation for college and careers.  The teachers also talked about the importance of rewarding educators for learning gains achieved through the school year.” ...

“The parents I met with were concerned, as all parents are, about preparing their kids for success in college or a future career.  They expressed the importance of their children learning real-world skills that they will be able to apply after they leave high school. These parents care about their kids’ teachers and schools and want to find ways to support the work teachers do each day.”

Whether he's listening remains to be seen.


[Last modified: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 6:38am]


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