In resigning from Pasco County schools, outgoing assistant superintendent Amelia Larson submitted a three-page letter to the superintendent and School Board chairwoman detailing her passion for education and her strong concerns about Florida's direction.
"Florida's current system is reckless and will inevitably hurt the very children it is aiming to protect while also alienating the very professionals it needs to carry the work," Larson wrote. "While serving as assistant superintendent over the past two years, I have always asked the question of every situation: 'Is this best for kids?' My answer to Florida's current accountability system is, 'No, this is absolutely not good for kids.'"
Larson did not reveal why she chose to leave at this time, and wrote that she had no firm plans for the future. Her letter offered no hints, save a line stating that she was submitting her formal notice "per your request." She listed several initiatives she helped oversee, and urged the leadership to keep fighting the good fight.
"There is much to be proud, and I am truly grateful for having had the opportunity to serve this community with an incredibly passionate and talented team," Larson wrote.
"But there is much more to be done, and you can't rest until every student has access to relevant opportunities and to a robust and rigorous education. Do not settle for the status quo. Far too many students are still disengaged and dropping out; far too few are finishing college and entering the work force with the requisite skills. I wish the district success in the future and entrust to you the charge of improving the the lives and opportunities for our students and staff."
Read Larson's retirement letter in full here. Larson was presenting at a conference in Utah and not available for comment.