Quality teachers are the key to a quality education, yet the Republican leadership in 2010 passed legislation linking teacher pay to student test scores while eliminating tenure for all new hires. Our teachers need to be respected and listened to and not dominated by high stake tests that eliminate creativity and individuality.
I opposed the Senate Bill 6 legislation, loudly, at half-past midnight on the House floor. I spoke about the reasons teachers leave their jobs, and how Senate Bill 6 did nothing to attract or retain good teachers.
As a state senator, I will continue to fight against ham-handed approaches to improving education. We should be supporting teachers, not threatening them. Improvements need to be transparent and discussed by all affected stakeholders, particularly those on the front line -- our teachers.
But beyond opposing the Jeb Bush education agenda, there are things we need to address in education. I am a passionate advocate for the Pre-K programs that Florida has adopted, and would like to see them expanded. I am concerned about the high school dropout rate in Florida, and plan to work on ways to prevent kids from dropping out and how to help those kids who aren't cut out for a traditional academic program learn the skills they'll need to succeed in life.