SB 6 will help Florida win Race to the Top, education commissioner Smith says
Florida education commissioner Eric J. Smith says the state's Race to the Top application was done in by its lack of laws tying student achievement to teacher pay and evaluations.
"If we're able to have legislation for this to be implemented statewide, it strengthens the application. It gives the assurance we will deliver," said Smith, who has advocated heavily for the measure and accused teacher groups of intentionally misrepresenting what it would do.
Smith said his reaction upon learning that Florida didn't win the grant in the first round was "not printable."
"I still think Florida had the strongest application," he told the Gradebook.
That's why he wants to continue the process and try to win the grant in Round 2.
"It's not our intent to radically change our application," Smith said. The "big issue" between Florida and winners Tennessee and Delaware, he said, was laws similar to SB 6. So that's got to be the next step, he said.