Florida Gov. Rick Scott delivered the State of the State Address to the Legislature on the opening day of its session Tuesday, stressing jobs and education. Here are his remarks on education, as prepared for delivery:
Our work to cut spending and live within our means over the last two years has allowed us to once again invest in education.
The workers of tomorrow are in Florida classrooms today.
When I first stood before you in 2011, I said, “The single most important factor in student learning is the quality of teaching.”
Since that time, we eliminated teacher tenure. We signed performance pay into law, and it will take effect in 2014.
Florida’s education system is making tremendous progress, due in large part to our great teachers and the work begun by Governor Bush and many in this legislature.
Our students and teachers were recently ranked sixth for educational quality; and our fourth-graders scored among the highest in the world on a recent reading evaluation.
Accountability is working.
The best way we can build on this progress is to reward our hard-working teachers with a $2,500 pay raise.
Some say they are afraid that giving raises to all teachers may mean that a teacher doing a bad job gets rewarded. But, thanks to our work, we are now in a better position than ever before to reward good teachers and move bad teachers out of the classroom.
We don’t want a war on teachers; we want a war on failure.