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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

School Chiefs outline their goals for Change



As we noted earlier this week, Florida education commissioner Eric J. Smith has joined school chiefs from four other states to lead a reform effort called Chiefs For Change. Today, the group issued its statement of purpose and its "roadmap to excellent education."

In its opening statement, the five leaders challenged the adults to start thinking more about children's issues and less about themselves:

"To transform education, we believe we must, without exception, make decisions that are based on what is in the best interest of our children. We must be willing to address and change the entrenched practices that have held back our education system, practices that have long favored adults, not children. These practices must change.

It's time for all of the adults—superintendents, educators, elected officials, labor unions and parents—to accept responsibility for the future of our children. They are truly our greatest resource. Our communities’, states’, and country’s continued prosperity depends on whether or not we will make decisions in the interest of children."

It then listed its key goals moving ahead. They include anew compensation system to recruit, retain and reward excellent teachers and leaders, plans to replace failing schools with ones that are successful, and more options for students to have school choices. It all sounds pretty familiar to us here in Florida, but now it's coming from a national coalition that's being run out of Jeb Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education.

With the recent GOP tidal wave here and across the country, it seems even more possible that these goals will become reality. Many focus on structure as much if not more than instruction. Many educators already are complaining that the concept of including stakeholders seems more lip service than anything else. Any predictions on where this initiative will land?

[Last modified: Friday, December 3, 2010 11:19am]


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