Pasco school administration, teachers union talk Race to the Top
With time to apply ticking away, 23 representatives from the Pasco County school district and teachers union spent seven hours Wednesday talking about whether the federal education reform initiative has a place in the district.
Much of the time was spent comparing the major elements of Florida's differentiated accountability model and of RTTT, to determine exactly how much the school district already has started doing or is required to do. "This wasn't a meeting to make decisions," United School Employees of Pasco president Lynne Webb told the Gradebook.
Webb said she walked away from the session needing many more details from the district about exactly how it would implement the state's RTTT program, which includes controversial provisions relating to teacher evaluations and pay. Still, she added, the district gave her some comfort with its intent to focus the grant initiative on a handful of schools — probably the identified lowest performers such as Ridgewood and Anclote high schools, and Calusa Elementary — rather than impose it district wide.
Webb also stressed that even if she ultimately finds the district application for the grant acceptable, "that doesn't mean that's what the teachers are going to approve. It still has to be ratifiable."
The two sides plan to get together again next week, after getting more input from others on their respective teams. The district has until Oct. 13 to get its proposal to the Florida Department of Education.