Never mind the economy, full speed ahead with accountability
Seeking answers for how to cope with Florida's financial crisis, the State Board of Education turned to some high-profile think tankers -- Paul Peterson of Harvard, Eric Hanushek of Stanford and Martin West of Brown -- for some insights.
The trio published a paper today in conjunction with their workshop conversation with the board. "Sustaining Progress in Times of Fiscal Crisis" suggests that Florida build upon its successful, low-cost programs that have driven success while identifying areas to cut that minimally impact education.
Among the key recommendations:
- Continue to administer the FCAT at all levels.
- Retain the school recognition program.
- Maintain Just Read, Florida!
- Streamline alternative certification programs for teachers.
- Continue funding for teacher merit pay (MAP).
- Limit the financial impact of class-size reduction.
"It is important to resist the temptation to eliminate new programs that promise to boost student achievement under the guise that such innovations must be sacrificed in order to protect jobs in the schools," the authors write. "Were that strategy taken, it would constitute a step backwards that is not in the interest of Florida's children."