In Our Absence: For the Florida Senate Committee on Education Pre-K–12 Jan 28, 2011 Workshop

Yesterday, an announcement hit the wire in Florida:

The Florida Senate Committee on Education Pre-K–12 will hold a workshop including public testimony this Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Pat Thomas Committee Room, 412 Knott Building, to discuss instructional quality in Florida’s public education system.

Link and video here:!/notes.php?id=281657664238&notes_tab=app_2347471856

While we teachers and parents truly appreciate the 24 hours notice, and fully understand the sudden desire to hold a spontaneous workshop, considering the great success of the Education Forward Summit in Boca Raton on Wednesday, many of us require ten days notice to request a personal leave to attend such a meeting.

Many of us traveled across the state to the Education Forward Summit for a chance to share ideas and meet the stakeholders and experts on Wednesday. We secured our tickets and planned our leave and travel weeks in advance. We would certainly plan travel to the Capitol, as well, given the opportunity.

I respectfully request that our leaders hold another such workshop at a suitable time announced in advance. Education is an important issue. Rushed meetings without full stakeholder input is certainly not worthy enough of the attention to education our children truly deserve.

I understand the Education Forward Summit was streamed into the capital live. I hope you will review the tapes and take into consideration the important points made in the discussions, upon our absence tomorrow.

One last note, regarding accountability, please look at all the research regarding value added measures before making a decision. Value Added Measures are not fair and here are six reasons in three minutes:

Merit pay can’t work until there is a way to measure teacher performance that is fair.

To use ineffective measures to make determinations as to the effectiveness of a teacher is a contradiction in terms. Let’s make the best decisions for the benefit of our children.

Invest not Divest … Keep Public Schools Public

Here are some links regarding key discussions, including videos,  held at the Education Forward Summit:


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