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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida teachers plan to protest Jeb Bush's education summit



Jeb Bush and several Florida government officials, including Gov. Rick Scott and the Senate and House leaders, plan to talk education accountability and choice during at a half-day education summit in Tallahassee next week.

Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education has said the public can attend the Feb. 10 event. But a group of Florida teachers who dislike the path the state's schools have taken since Bush's "reform" effort took hold doesn't want to be on the inside.

The Florida Bad-Ass Teachers Association (or FLBATS) plan to gather outside the Florida State University Alumni Center to protest the state's education policies, such as a reliance on testing.

Spokesman Thomas D. James explains:

Under Jeb Bush's anti public education policies Florida has sunk to #28 nationally according to Education Weekly's recent rankings. Florida currently ranks almost dead last in per pupil spending while billions of dollars have been spent on privatizing Florida public education through charter schools, vouchers, virtual schooling and high stakes testing.

Currently, Florida public school students lose weeks of classroom instruction due to waves of high stakes tests instituted by Bush and Florida Republicans. The blowback from the public, teachers and parents has now begun with Senator Bill Montford (D), Tallahassee proposing legislation to curtail the amount of high stakes tests students are forced to take.

Mr. Bush's education policies have clearly been an abject failure and it's time for a massive change in direction. Testing students into submission is not learning.

The Florida Democrats are co-hosting the protest.

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 3, 2015 6:51am]


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