It's official: Florida Governor Charlie Crist has vetoed the Education Bill that would have eliminated teacher tenure in Florida.
FRUA (Families for Russian and Ukranian Adoptions) states that newswire stories reporting that all Russian adoptions have been suspended are incorrect. The adoption agency in Tennessee associated with the adoption in which a mother sent her son back to Russia alone, has had its license suspended. Other than that, Russian adoptions in general have not been suspended.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is having second thoughts about signing a new education bill which has been passed by the Florida legislature. The bill, SB 6, if passed into law, would replace traditional tenure for public school teachers with a new annual contract system. This would make it easier for school systems to fire experienced yet unproductive teachers. To remain as an educator, teachers would need to show that they were "effective" or "highly effective" for four of the previous five years, based on student performance. Gov. Crist, who previously supported this bill, is now stating that he may not sign it because of his concern about how teachers of special education students would be evaluated. In particular, he believes it may be unfair to teachers of intellectually disabled children, because those children may not be able to show the same learning gains as non-disabled children during the four or five year time period. To add even more intrigue to this story, John Thrasher, the Republican sponsor of the bill in the Senate, has a grandson with Down Syndrome. Mr. Thrasher, who is also the head of the Florida Republican Party, claims that his grandson has "learned" in a mainstream kindergarten class. For more information about this very interesting story, refer to: http://www2.tbo.com/content/2010/apr/09/091158/na-lawmakers-spar-over-schools-bill/life-education/
Obama Administration to Announce Crackdown on Civil Rights Infractions In School Districts and Universities Systems
In the News: Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education, will announce today that the Department of Education will start cracking down on civil rights infractions in school systems and university systems. This is intended as a "stick" to complement the "carrot" that is already in existence with the Race to the Top program, which rewards schools for making reforms. In extreme cases of civil rights infractions, the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights will litigate or withhold federal funding. For more information, refer to today's article in the Wall Street Journal (http://tinyurl.com/yefqzst).
James M. Baron, Esq., M.Ed.