'A state of denial'
Florida should expand accountability measures beyond the FCAT, fully fund the class-size amendment and bring its teacher salaries to at least the national average, House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber (left) says in a 13-page white paper released this afternoon. "Unfortunately," he writes, "Florida's accountability system has been successful in transforming public education, but not necessarily in improving it."
Gelber covers a litany of subjects in leading up to the legislative session that begins Tuesday – "The State of Florida is in a state of denial," he begins - but he devotes three pages to education. The Miami Beach Democrat points to atrocious grad rates, sinking SAT scores and what he describes as the predictable result of high-stakes FCAT testing: "Because teachers now have no choice but to teach to the test," he writes, "there have been some achievement spikes in tests that are indexed to minimum competence but on the whole, our schools continue to flounder."
- Ron Matus, state education reporter