Teacher quality group remains hesitant on Florida's Race to the Top application
Gov. Charlie Crist's high-profile veto of Senate Bill 6 last spring has the National Center on Teacher Quality again questioning whether Florida can seal the deal when it comes to changing teacher evaluation, certification, contracting and related matters -- all key components of the Obama Administration's Race to the Top.
Florida is seeking as much as $700 million in the second round of the federal education reform grant program. As last time, many observers consider the state, with its strong commitment to school accountability initiatives, a strong candidate for the money.
Yet there lingers the question of whether the state can actually deliver what it promises in its application. Several districts left themselves wiggle room with side agreements. And a "teacher quality" bill has yet to become law. From the NCTQ's latest analysis:
"Had the law passed, NCTQ would not have hesitated to give Florida a green light. We still think the state is a very good bet for a grant (and by our measure, the strongest teacher proposal among the large state finalists), but the failure of this legislation garnered national attention and is likely to have at least a few reviewers asking Governor Crist to explain what this means for the viability of his state’s reform plans."