Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Guess It Could Be Worse

Valerie Strauss of Washington Post's The Answer Sheet reports on Florida Governor Rick Scott and his attempts to balance the state's budget by cutting support to education.  South Dakotans should find some Scott's policies familar:  cutting support for schools by 10% and giving corporations tax breaks.  Not everything is identical of course; South Dakota did not have an alligator egg collection fee to cut.

Scott adds one major wrinkle to the playbook he and Governor Daugaard share, however.  He "signed into law legislation aimed at public school teachers that ends tenure for new hires, established a merit pay system and requires the creation and implementation of new standardized tests in every subject that does not have a test already attached."

I hope that Daugaard doesn't vacation in Florida anytime soon.  I don't want him to get any new ideas that will make my ulcers worse.  As Strauss notes,"There’s enough in the bill to drop a lot of jaws: the new testing requirements or, say, the fact that Scott thinks he will attract a slew of great teachers by putting all new hires on one-year contracts for the entirety of their careers, or the linking of at least half of every teacher’s salary to how well their students do on standardized tests even though the tests aren’t designed for such use." [emphasis in original]

Daugaard's vacation plans probably won't matter.  Those of us who thought the 2011 session was filled with ill-conceived legislation are likely to discover that Bachman-Turner Overdrive was right: "[W]e Ain' Seen Nothin' Yet."


caheidelberger said...

Leo, have I mentioned you're really rocking the blog this week? If getting you clear of the debate season means this much good writing, I might actually support a shorter debate season! :-)

LK said...

Thanks for the kind words.

I didn't want the long dry spell. Personal stuff last fall made it hard to focus as well. Then debate and having an arm in a sling made it hard to do anything but keep my head above water.

As for the shortened debate season, the Gov. and his buds have put that in the hands of school boards.