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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

No binding requirement to complete a workable Race to the Top plan, commissioner says



EricJSmith Florida education commissioner Eric J. Smith continues to defend the state's Race to the Top memorandum of understanding that so many teachers unions found problematic.

In a letter to the Miami Herald, Smith stresses that no one should fear entering the process of trying to find ways to achieve all the goals in the Obama administration's education reform package:

"In order to participate in the competition, districts were asked to sign and submit a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU is an agreement that the school board, superintendent and union will work in good faith to develop a locally tailored plan designed to support the district's teachers and students. That is all that is binding -- a promise to work together on a plan." (Emphasis added)

His letter seems aimed as much at convincing USDOE officials, who have yet to determine whether Florida will get any money, as the teachers who have balked at negotiating over terms they don't want put into their contracts, such as evaluations based on student results. (Example: "This level of participation is a clear signal that Florida is serious about this competition and about improving the education of its students.")

Question is, is anyone biting?


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:50am]


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