U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor sides with former teacher of the year on bashing Florida lawmakers on public education

03/31/14 Janelle Irwin
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Tags: kathy castor, Megan Allen, education, public education, charter schools, voucher programs


U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) touring a Healthy Start daycare in Town 'n Country last year.

photo by Janelle Irwin

U.S. Representative Kathy Castor is joining a former Florida teacher of the year in lashing out at state lawmakers for unfriendly public education measures. At an unrelated press conference at Al Lopez Park in Tampa Monday, Castor said Megan Allen is one of the best public school teachers she’s ever met and is glad the former Hillsborough County educator is speaking out against Florida’s education policies.

“Florida has created a mess with a lot of their accountability system. This over testing and grading schools. I know it’s simple, but it’s overly simplistic and it doesn’t really address what is needed in our public schools and that is to support the teaching profession. The policy in the state of Florida doesn’t treat as a profession it should be like lawyers and doctors. They don’t pay them enough, they don’t support them professionally…”

Castor was responding to a blog post last week by the now Mount Holyoke College professor, Megan Allen. In a 4 minute video, Allen offers several suggestions to legislators about how to improve the quality of public education. That includes better pay and what she described as a more professional environment, pointing out that teachers aren’t even allowed to adjust their own thermostats. But she also took aim at the infiltration of education into political agendas.

“Depoliticize decision making in education. We must get the politics out of decisions that impact our students. I don’t know exactly how to make this a reality, but I do know that it is a necessity. Implement one change at a time. Transformation of education, it’s a good thing, but we must implement one reform, one mandate at a time. We can’t throw five balls in the air hoping to catch them all and then scratch our heads in reflection wonder which one variable had the intended impact.”

In the video made last summer, Allen also says that profit has no place in public education, blasting the existence of charter schools that use public funding to pay for private management companies.

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