From Students & Parents to Teacher Development, Supporting Reforms Helps Florida’s Future

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A talented workforce is Florida’s best long-term economic strategy. The Florida Chamber believes a quality education system is the best way to ensure our students can compete in a global economy. We will continue to fight for an education system which also creates an atmosphere that allows parents to take control of their child’s academic future while supporting the growth of quality teachers.

  • Championing School Choice Options
    Empowering parents to take the lead on choosing the best learning environment for their children gives students more opportunities for success and promotes competition, which encourages continual improvements to Florida’s education system.
  • Advocating for Rigorous Accountability Standards
    Continuing to support assessment and accountability systems at all levels of Florida’s education system will help ensure a globally competitive talent pipeline.
  • Improving Professional Development Options for Teachers
    Fighting to improve professional development and benefit options for Florida’s teachers will create opportunities for America’s best teachers to train and remain in Florida, while helping our state remain competitive.
  • Investing in Digital and Virtual Education
    Expanding the use of cost-effective digital learning and virtual education tools throughout Florida’s education system will ensure Florida’s talent pipeline remains able to compete globally.

Florida competition is no longer Georgia or California, but Brazil, India and China. And while reforms continue to move Florida in the right direction our fight is far from over. From championing early learning initiatives to supporting a K-12 system that allows students to succeed, Florida wins when we place the needs of our students before the needs of unions.

ACT NOW:
A highly-educated workforce drives future private-sector job growth. Be a part of the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Business Alliance for Early Learning and help us invest in the future of Florida’s students.

Governor Scott Signs Florida Chamber Education Bill Into Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261
eousley@flchamber.com

Education Accountability Law
Champions Fewer and Better Tests

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (April 14, 2015) – A Florida Chamber-backed education accountability bill reducing the number of education assessments was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott today.

“This legislation reduces the number of tests our students take, including the 11th grade English Language Arts test that we eliminated this year through an Executive Order in February,” said Governor Rick Scott in a press release. “I agree with many teachers and parents who say we have too many tests, and while this legislation is a great step forward, we will keep working to make sure Florida students are not over tested.

HB 7069, championed by Senator John Legg (R-Lutz) in the Senate and Representative Marlene O’Toole (R-The Villages) in the House, called for reducing the number of required state and local education assessments for Florida’s students.

Education is an economic competitiveness imperative for Florida and this country. Championing educational reforms for a globally competitive workforce is a Florida Chamber priority. While there are transition bumps to work out, the Florida Chamber believes that, as a state, we must not step back from higher standards and accountability. Fewer and better tests will help ensure Florida’s assessment and accountability system continues to succeed.

“This is good news for Florida’s students,” said Brittney Burch, Education Policy Director of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “We had many champions in the legislature on this issue, including Senators John Legg and Don Gaetz and Representatives Marlene O’Toole, Manny Diaz and Erik Fresen. Florida wins when we invest in policies that help make our students more competitive and today, we saw the fruits of that effort.”

“We need fewer and better tests,” explained Senator John Legg in a recent Florida Chamber Bottom Line episode. “We’ve gone overboard… the bureaucrats have interpreted the statutes to the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law.

The Florida Chamber thanks the many legislators that put Florida’s students before special interests.

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The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Sen. Legg & Rep. O’Toole Champion Fewer and Better Tests

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261
eousley@flchamber.com

Florida Chamber-Backed Education
Accountability Bill Passes Florida Legislature

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (April 9, 2015) – A Florida Chamber-backed education accountability bill reducing the number of education assessments passed out of the Florida Legislature today and is heading to Governor Rick Scott to be signed into law.

HB 7069, championed by Senator John Legg (R-Lutz) in the Senate and Representative Marlene O’Toole (R-The Villages) in the House, calls for reducing the number of required state and local education assessments for Florida’s students.

Education is an economic competitiveness imperative for Florida and this country. Championing educational reforms for a globally competitive workforce is a Florida Chamber priority. While there are transition bumps to work out, the Florida Chamber believes that, as a state, we must not step back from higher standards and accountability. Fewer and better tests will help ensure Florida’s assessment and accountability system continues to succeed.

“This is good news for Florida’s students,” said Brittney Burch, Education Policy Director of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “We had many champions in the legislature on this issue, including Senators John Legg and Don Gaetz and Representatives Marlene O’Toole, Manny Diaz and Erik Fresen. Florida wins when we invest in policies that help make our students more competitive and today, we saw the fruits of that effort.”

“We need fewer and better tests,” explained Senator John Legg in a recent Florida Chamber Bottom Line episode. “We’ve gone overboard… the bureaucrats have interpreted the statutes to the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law.

The Florida Chamber thanks the many legislators that put Florida’s students before special interests. The bill will now go to the Governor, where he has the option to sign it into law.

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The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Senator Legg Champions Quality Education

Please take a moment to thank Sen. John Legg (R-Lutz) for his efforts to enhance Florida’s K-12 assessment and accountability system.

A quality education is the best way to ensure students can compete in a global economy, and Sen. Legg’s education accountability legislation ensures fewer and better tests while also not retreating from education reforms.

Take Action Now

Click here to send Sen. Legg a “thank you” email.

Rep. Manny Diaz Discusses Choice, Accountability & Charter Schools

The success of Florida’s education gains cannot be denied. Our state ranks second in the world and first in the nation in fourth grade reading scores, achievement gaps are closing and graduation rates at an all-time high. But according to the Florida Chamber Foundation, our state will need to fill 2 million more jobs by 2030.

The solution? Fewer but better tests, creating quality schools, expanding opportunities and measuring outcomes. Being a globally competitive economy begins with a commitment to rigorous standards and   accountability initiatives. Representative Manny Diaz, Chair of the House Education Subcommittee on Choice and Innovation, discusses the importance for school choice, opportunities, accountability standards and charter schools to Florida’s growing economy.

“There can be no retreat from accountability,” said Representative Manny Diaz, Chair of the House Education Subcommittee on Choice and Innovation. “Having said that, there are instances where there may have been too many tests. We want to continue to measure, we don’t want to back away from accountability, but we want to make sure that when we do measure, its important and it give us a clear picture of where our students are. We need to be responsible for our education system- we are- and we want to have tests that are quality tests and really tell parents and teachers where those students are and what we need to do next to improve their lives.”

A quality educational system is Florida’s new economic development tool, which is why the Florida Chamber  supports school choice options like personal leaning account, tax credit scholarships and charter schools. And with new House proposals regarding charter schools, specifically a new Charter School Innovation Institute at Florida State University, Florida is on the right track to continued success.

“We’ve vetted many national models,” explained Rep. Manny Diaz. “We feel that if Florida is going to continue to be a leader- we have to step up. Now it’s our turn to come back and have a real research center to tell us what are the quality practices, what does a quality charter school look like, and providing that option for parents. It’s only one tool in the toolbox, but we need to make sure it’s a quality tool.”

And while the Florida Chamber believes educational reforms are moving Florida in the right direction, we will continue to advocate against special interest groups that put the agendas of adults before the needs of Florida’s students.

“We should never box somebody’s opportunity in with an arbitrary boundary like a zip code, or what street they live on,” said Rep. Manny Diaz.  “All parents, no matter what their economic status, should have the opportunity of choice. Parents know best when it comes to the educational opportunities of their children. Our tax credit scholarships have been under fire because of a lawsuit. We are continuing to fight on, to make sure that we don’t allow the adults to infringe on the opportunity for 70,000 low income kids that are the most vulnerable in our state. In a state of 19 million people, you would think that adults wouldn’t be bullying 70,000 low income kids. But it’s happening and we are fighting on to make sure that they keep that opportunity.”