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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

What else Rick Scott had to say

13

December

rick_scott.When Florida Gov.-elect Rick Scott dropped hints at a St. Petersburg voucher event last week that he was considering something akin to universal vouchers, well, that was our story. But in a 10-minute speech, he touched on lots of other education issues and offered more clues as to what he’s thinking – and where Florida is headed. Here’s some excerpts:

  • “Elections have consequences. We have a chance this year to have a dramatic opportunity to improve education for all Florida students. And that’s our obligation. So one of the things that in running for governor, one of the reasons I cared about it was, as I watched what happened to so many kids going to school, and in particular my daughter taught school here right when she got out of college. She’s 25. The other one’s 28. She went to a public school in Florida. She was a brand new teacher, and she never taught the subject before. And not one person came to review her class. So she quit. She said I’m not teaching in Florida ever again. She said no one cares. This is just her experience. At her school, no one cared how these kids did and half the kids probably were minority kids and there was absolutely no discipline. That is absolutely wrong …"
  • “Any of you thinking about running for office, do it. Don’t watch the TV ads. Don’t read the newspapers. Do it for the reasons you believe you’re doing it. In my case, I believe it was God’s purpose and that’s why I did it.”
  •  “What’s in the best interest of kids is one, you have to have teachers that think every day, ‘How do I get from this level to this level?’ That’s exactly what you have to do. That’s exactly what you in business. You think, ‘If I’m here in business, how do I get here?’ And whatever works, you expand it as fast as you can … So why is it so hard for us as a state to say, ‘We’re going to measure the effectiveness of teachers’? Now, do we all love teachers? Yeah. There’s a lot of great teachers. And most of them are great teachers. But everybody ought to get measured. And what I’ve always learned in my life is, the more measurements you have, the better I get.”
  • “Why wouldn’t you have choice? I’ve owned lots of businesses. So I owned doughnut shops. We got better because we had to compete with Dunkin’ Donuts, Flavor Maid, a bunch of other doughnut shops. I’ve owned companies in manufacturing. We got better because people could choose any product they wanted to buy. So why in the living daylights does that not apply to education? Shouldn’t you be able to choose whatever school is the best for you? And who knows best? A bureaucrat? A politician? A union chief? No, a parent. A parent always can choose best.”
  • “Why would it be that teachers are guaranteed their jobs for life? If you were guaranteed – you didn’t have to do anything, just showed up, and you didn’t have any obligation other than showing up every day – you think you would get better or worse? Right. This stuff is not hard. So we have a big opportunity.”
  • “I campaigned for eight months to become governor. This campaign’s not over. It’s very important that you continue to do what you did in the campaign for governor. You call your House members and you call your Senate members and you constantly tell them this type of bill (to expand vouchers) is important. Because if you don’t, what will happen will be the same type of thing that happened to SB 6. What happened is the people who don’t want to be accountable, that don’t want change, they’re going to win the day.”

[Last modified: Monday, December 13, 2010 9:06am]

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