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Chicago Tribune editorial on SB 6: Florida’s bold move

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The debate over SB 6 continues to attract national attention. Today, the Chicago Tribune weighs in with an editorial in favor of the reforms created by SB 6. An excerpt:

Florida finished fourth in the first round of Race to the Top, the Obama administration’s challenge grant intended to spur reform. That’s one spot ahead of Illinois. In its Race to the Top application, Florida said participating school systems would base layoffs more on teacher effectiveness than on seniority.

Now lawmakers there have pushed through wholesale changes in the way teachers are evaluated and rewarded for their work.

Gov. Charlie Crist, who initially indicated he would sign the bill, is waffling. Crist, who is running in a Republican primary for the U.S. Senate against Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, told reporters on Friday that he hasn’t decided if he will sign the legislation. Top lawmakers could wind up negotiating some changes with the governor.

But how refreshing it is to see a legislature act with such conviction to shake up the status quo!

Illinois is making some progress, but change here is still coming in fits and starts. There’s plenty of work to be done to improve the environment for charter schools, to overhaul teacher tenure, to assure the success of turnaround schools, to see that good teachers are led by excellent principals.

Florida, bravo! You’re forcing real change. Let’s hope people in Illinois learn something.

Read more here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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