Has Florida's time for school reform come and gone?
Two conservative writers seem to think so. Read their views, and then let us know what you think.
"If enacted into law, the legislation would have placed student learning on the pedestal currently occupied by “untouchable” work rules that keep bad teachers in classrooms and deny great teachers the bounties they deserve. Most importantly, the legislation that Gov. Crist vetoed today would have done what virtually every parent in America wants: provide higher pay for great teachers who help kids learn, and give principals and administrators the ability to show bad teachers the door. But Gov. Crist, in what seems like an attempt to curry favor with unions — in hopes that they might back off if he pursues reelection — slammed the door on those hopes today."
"What's at stake here, if one can get beyond gubernatorial vanity? At the micro level, a lost opportunity of some magnitude. The reform bill would have addressed two of the most critical challenges facing Florida schools -- lifetime tenure for teachers in their 20s and the absence of standards for teacher performance. The GOP bill would have introduced sensible, incremental reform on both counts. Thanks to Jeb Bush and a few tough-minded legislators, the battle had been won, the unions beaten. Thanks to Charlie Crist, the reform initiative is probably dead for this year and quite possibly for all time."