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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Former Sen. Steve Wise pitches product to Florida superintendents



For years, former Florida Sen. Steve Wise of Jacksonville was a key lawmaker in the world of education issues. He ran the education appropriations committee, then the education policy committee, and often made his mark on bills he either pushed through or held up.

After being termed out at the end of 2012, Wise said he had no intention of remaining in politics. But he hasn't strayed far, at one point angling for the interim presidency at Florida State College at Jacksonville. More recently, he e-mailed superintendents around the state to offer them a deal on a new series of material aimed at helping struggling teachers.

"Dear Superintendent," Wise wrote. "I am Steve Wise, Ed. D., Executive Director of the Teaching and Learning Foundation and want to speak with you about the problem of the unequal distribution of effective teachers and a path to remedying this issue. Only a few teachers in any one school building can adversely affect AYP and student achievement goals.  Better preparing those teachers when they receive new subject assignments can help minimize the problem.  But how can you better prepare them in a “just-in-time”, economical, practical way?

"There is a recently patented program to address this problem and I am pleased to announce that the Foundation has arranged for a discount from the supplier of a series of over 120 subject specific instructional support materials each with subject-specific mentoring teacher access. Along with this there will be workshops via the internet during the summer on the proper use of the material."

Wise, a former teacher and college administrator, has frequently spoken passionately about getting the best teachers in front of the most needy students. (He also has been known for championing controversial issues such as school prayer and creationism lessons, and stopped up an anti-bullying bill for a few years.)

About a dozen districts have new superintendents since Wise left office. But he made sure to identify himself for maximum effect as "Steve Wise, Executive Director, Teaching and Learning Foundation, Former Florida State Senator and Chair of Education Appropriations Committee."

[Last modified: Monday, March 4, 2013 3:24pm]


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