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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

State union leader shoots back after 'shot across the bow'



Remember the word of caution that state Education Board Chairman T. Willard Fair offered yesterday to districts and local unions that struck side agreements to the Race to the Top memo of understanding between districts and the state? The Florida Education Association didn't take too kindly to it.

In fact, FEA President Andy Ford says in a statement sent this afternoon, Fair's missive shows why the agreements are needed in the first place. Ford raises the specter of Senate Bill 6 to make his point.

Here is Ford's entire statement:

“The concern being expressed by some over agreements between local unions and school districts to cooperate and collaborate over the provisions of Florida’s application for the federal Race to the Top grant, underscores the need for these pledges of cooperation.

Despite the fact that Governor Charlie Crist’s working group improved Florida’s attempt to secure these federal funds and moved away from the state Department of Education’s original approach, which mirrored the radical remake of the teaching profession we saw this session in the Legislature’s disastrous Senate Bill 6, there are some who still favor that discredited approach.

The statement issue by the chairman of the State Board of Education on Wednesday served as a shot across the bow to school districts and pointed to the direction that the DOE is likely to take in awarding any federal money Florida may receive: Those who most embrace the elements of SB 6 will be rewarded; those who seek full buy-in and collaboration may not.

The governor’s working group on Race to the Top and his proposed Task Force on Excellent Teaching offer an approach that fully includes all parties in developing the right approach to our state’s education future. The SB 6 model is a proposal embraced by a few and imposed on educators without any participation from teachers, parents, superintendents, school administrators, school boards and the public. The governor’s approach is clearly the way to go.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 10:08am]


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