Not All Teachers Oppose SB 6

04/12/10 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:


Not all teachers oppose Senate Bill 6. Fran Strayhorn is a kindergarten teacher at Gulfport Montessori She said it would force teachers to work harder.

While the bill’s opponents say it would place an undue burden on educators while leaving families off the hook when it comes to student success, Strayhorn says someone has to take up the slack.

She said that to expect some families to step up their involvement in their children’s education is wishful thinking.

Those who oppose the bill think it will repel new teachers from looking for work in Florida. Strayhorn said this was also a concern of hers, but one that could be remedied.

More WMNF coverage of Senate Bill 6:

Miami teachers SB 6 sick out

Will Crist veto SB 6?

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Remedied how? By passing this appalling legislation and hoping that it will magically transform into something other than exactly what it is? Here are the American Montessori Association's recommendations on assessment: * The education in American classrooms involves children in activities designed to help them interrelate and critically analyze ideas, form questions about these ideas as a spur to further study, and generally engage in meaningful mental exercise, instead of concentrating on isolated facts and surface knowledge. * The climate in all of America's classrooms is one of emotional support and intellectual stimulation, and not one of threat or fear. * Assessment procedures used in America's schools move away from a reliance on written tests as the only format for indicating educational achievement, and toward formats (portfolios, presentations, and multi-media projects) that more authentically gauge the ability to interrelate ideas, think critically, and use information meaningfully. Do you think you're going to get this with the constant testing program that is on the governor's desk? You're not. You're going to get the exact opposite of the entire Montessori ideal.


I take offense at Ms. Strayhorn's suggestion that SB6 will force teachers to work harder. First and most important, Ms. Strayhorn teaches in a Montessori School. How many students are in her classes? Are the parents of her students involved in their child's education? What's the motivation level of the students and the parents? I would guess that she enjoys small classes, 100% involvement by parents, and highly motivated children and parents. My daughter is currently a stay at home mom but she taught for many years as an educator in the Hillsborough County school system. I saw firsthand how hard she worked both in and out of the classroom to educate and motivate children in high risk schools. Really offensive remarks Ms. Strayhorn!! I question your agenda in making such comments.

A friend of Fran's

Just a little background about Fran Strayhorn and Gulfport Montessori School: This is a public school. The class size limit for kindergarten in Pinellas is 18 students; Fran's class has 19. Gulfport serves a minority neighborhood in south Pinellas County. The level of parent involvement is not stellar, but Fran has developed an elective parent workshop (monthly) in an effort to encourage and increase parental participation in their children's education. Attendance averages about 3 each session. Fran has no agenda other than a commitment to her students!

Not the same situation

From what I can tell Gulfport Montessori School is either a Magnet school or a Charter school. As such, they do not have the same concerns as 'normal' public school teachers do. Magnet/charter schools have the luxury of selecting their students, whereas public schools generally do not. As such, I don't think that Ms. Strayhorn has the same perspective as other teachers speaking out against SB 6. I don't at all mean to imply that she's in any way a bad teacher or is not entitled to her opinion. I think that her perspective is not the same as most public school teachers.

A friend of Fran's

Of course Fran does not have the same perspective; she believes performance should be rewarded with pay. Before jumping to conclusions about "selecting" students, you all should pay a visit to the school or Fran's class. Check the demographics of the community and the student population.