top of page



Part 1:  BFT Vice Presidential Introductions

Part 2: BFT Vice Presidential Audience Questions


Florida Teacher Classroom Supply Assistance Program -
What usto be called LEAD money

This is the correct answer to the question - "What if I don't spend my money given by the state on classroom supplies?"   click here













A common mistake politicians often make is “cherry picking” research in order to support an ill-conceived measure.  Unfortunately, Representative Ritch Workman is cherry-picking research to support Florida’s Best and Brightest Scholarship. It should be noted that this bill was slipped through at the end of the special session and was not passed on its merits after an examination of it. That examination took place in April and it was wisely voted down by the majority of legislators.

"There are a lot of questions about the implementation and the wisdom of Best and Brightest. I've questioned it myself," said Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, CEO of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. "It is very misguided."

Workman is correct in his assertion that “Finland, inarguably, has the best system in the world.”  However, in his limited knowledge of the Finnish school system, Representative Workman naively points to one as the whole reason for its success…that one factor being the stringent admission requirements of Finnish schools of education. 

The only predictor of effectiveness, a National Bureau of Economic Research study reports, is teaching experience; students of veteran teachers tend to have higher academic achievement.

If Representative Workman wants to recreate the Finnish system here in Florida, I challenge him to be sincere and implement all aspects of the Finnish system here in Florida, not just the ones he likes.

I wholeheartedly support a Florida where there is only one standardized test in a student’s schooling.  After all, that is what Finland does.

I wholeheartedly support a Florida where school choice doesn’t drain resources from public schools. After all, Finland does not have school choice.

I wholeheartedly support a Florida where nearly every educator is a union member. After all, Finland has 95% union membership.

I wholeheartedly support a Florida where teachers are given the time to construct great lesson plans. Currently Finland requires 550 hours of instruction per year. In the US? Nearly double -1051 hours per year.

I wholeheartedly support a Florida where teachers are paid well enough so that more of those with high ACT/SAT scores will be induced to go into teaching. There is no bonus scheme in Finland similar to the one Rep. Workman has defended. I repeat, Workman uses Finland as a defense of his poorly constructed bill while Finland does not have such a plan.

Finally, the Best and Brightest ignores non-classroom teachers, such as speech pathologists, instructional coaches, psychologists and librarians – and the teachers who didn't have to take the ACT or SAT, even though the list of ranked colleges and universities requiring these entrance tests is shrinking. This is hardly fair and certainly does nothing to promote students in these areas to enroll in education.

To summarize, I welcome Rep. Workman joining teachers in implementing aspects of the Finnish system that improve public education. We await, not his words, but his actions.


The $10,000 dollar figure assumes that out of nearly 200,000 teachers in Florida only about 4000 are worthy of this bonus.

Although the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) validation study released today found the FSA to be “valid”, the Florida Coalition of School Board Members still believes our state’s issues with its assessments program remain unresolved and needs improvement.
Last school year, thousands of Florida students were interrupted during their exams, for reasons that have yet to be remedied. Many hours of precious instruction time were lost in the rollout of the new test, and its computer-based requirement has caused havoc in the vast majority of our schools that have far less than the 1-to-1 computer-to-student ratio required for efficient administration of the exam.
As elected School Board Members, we hear from concerned constituents daily and the most recurring topic for several years has been standardized testing. Parents and teachers feel that we are testing too often, for too long, and fear that the tests are not an accurate indicator of proficiency, given that the scores often do not compare to other national measures.
The Florida Coalition of School Board Members Assessment & Accountability Task Force is working diligently on developing a testing proposal, in partnership with key legislators, to restore the faith of our constituents, students, parents, and teachers in our state’s testing program, improve its reliability, and ensure maximum benefit to the students that we serve.


bottom of page