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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Jeb Bush: Transform Florida's schools using technology

IW_bush031807 He might not be Florida governor any more, but Jeb Bush certainly remains out there pushing his views on education for the state. This time, he's got a piece in the Miami Herald promoting increased use of technology to improve schools here and across the country.

"The Internet has the ability to overcome the primary obstacles to student achievement — access to quality educational content customized to meet the unique needs and interests of an individual student. Moreover, technology may be the only way to provide a high-quality education to each and every one of the nation's 50 million students."

Florida is well ahead of the curve, Bush writes. (Of course, we've heard the gripes of district leaders forced to craft local K-12 virtual programs over the summer.) But still, more work here and elsewhere remains to achieve the best results, he suggests.

"For technology to truly take hold in public school classrooms across the country, state and local leaders must address issues today that could prevent this revolution of our educational system in the future. School funding formulas must be modernized from seat-time to outcome-based models. Antiquated rules, such as certain certification requirements that effectively bar high-quality teachers from educating in virtual classrooms, must be revised. Most important, all students — public, charter, private and home school — must be eligible to access quality virtual content."

There's a little bit for everybody in there, isn't there? Change teacher certification rules. Focus funding on outcomes. Let everyone including private and home schoolers in on the action. All battles fought — and mostly lost — in recent Florida legislative sessions.

Still, everyone seems to like to gnaw on Jeb Bush's education outlook. So here it is. Enjoy. 

- Jeff Solochek

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:27am]


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