Special Education Concerns Central To Hotly Debated Education Reform
Concerns about tying the performance of students with disabilities to the job status of their teachers are central to the Florida governor’s decision about whether or not to sign contentious education legislation.
A bill which made its way to Gov. Charlie Crist’s desk early Friday morning would eliminate tenure for new Florida teachers and tie educators’ pay to student performance on tests.
Originally supportive of the bill, Crist is now indicating he’s wavering on whether or not to sign the legislation amid outrage from many constituents. Among the Republican governor’s chief concerns, he says, are implications for special education teachers whose students may not make measurable academic improvements.
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The concerns are putting Crist at odds with fellow Republicans in the state’s legislature. John Thrasher, who sponsored the bill in the state senate and who also heads the state Republican party, said he might be willing to clarify elements of the bill which guide evaluations for special education teachers, but he would not back down from the new approach to teacher pay.
Thrasher, whose grandson has Down syndrome, says there are ways to assess progress for all students, even those with special needs, reports The Tampa Tribune. To read more click here.