Save One Scott Appointee, Pinellas School Board Candidates Agree on FCAT, Referendum

From Rachael Jolley in Patch:

In light of the emergency rule that was created back in May to keep the failure rate unaltered, candidates were 8-1 in support of the resolution against high-stakes testing.

All were in favor of the resolution except for district seven candidate, Glen Gilzean. Gilzean said that he thought the state should have made its own resolution rather than using a national one. “I do believe that, in Florida, we do over test our students,” Gilzean added.

In January Gilzean was appointed to the position by Florida Gov. Rick Scott after the unexpected death of School Board Member Lew Williams .

Gilzean went on to say that high-stakes testing is a part of continuing onto a secondary education, whether it is law school or college, so students should have some sort of testing experience before they move on. “We have to prepare them,” Gilzean said.

Janet Clark, district one candidate, said that the FCAT in its current state is not what it was originally created to be. She said that she is against the uses of the FCAT scores. Clark said that the FCAT has gone from a diagnostic tool to gauge a student’s progress to a method used to “grade schools and give teacher’s raises.”

A defeat of Gilzean would be quite a rebuke wouldn’t it? He’ll begin facing candidates in the August 14 primary. It had to be expected that Scott would appoint a kindred spirit in education reform. Gilzean is on the school choice bandwagon, too. On March 17, he tweeted this to a voucher advocate in Kentucky:

I recognize that each child is unique and not every child’s needs are met in traditional public school environments

Gilzean’s resume is a good one as he has real-time experience at the state level with the DOE and at the foundation level. He’s clearly being groomed for higher education office and badly needs to win this election. But a pro-testing,  pro-voucher-charter candidate may be a hard sell to test-weary Pinellas voters with the Scientology charter school scandal still  fresh in their minds.



About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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