Wednesday | October 14, 2015

555 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Lunch will be served

As the 2016 presidential campaign begins to hit its stride, the Florida education reforms begun under former Gov. Jeb Bush have become the subject of considerable controversy. As part of his campaign to become the Republican Party’s nominee, Bush has devoted considerable resources to promote his education record, going so far as to establish a foundation dedicated entirely to the mission of making the case for “Florida’s education revolution.” The claim is that the conservative education policies adopted in Florida during Bush’s tenure—most prominently, school choice and vouchers, a comprehensive regimen of standardized testing, a test-based system of school accountability, merit pay for teachers, and teacher evaluations that are heavily weighted by student test scores—have resulted in stunning educational gains in the Sunshine State. Many critics find this to be an empty claim. Florida school superintendents recently issued a declaration of “no confidence” in the state’s accountability system. Our panelists will examine the Florida reforms and their educational impact from a variety of perspectives—from the educational frontline in classrooms and schools to the overview of system analysts.


Matthew Di Carlo, Senior Fellow, Albert Shanker Institute

Sherman Dorn, Professor and Director, Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation; Interim Associate Dean, Office of Scholarship, Arizona State University

Andrew Spar, President, Volusia Teachers Organization

Sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute and the American Federation of Teachers, this conversation series is designed to engender lively and informative discussions on important educational issues. We deliberately invite speakers with diverse perspectives, including views other than those of the Albert Shanker Institute and the AFT. What is important is that these participants are committed to genuine engagement with each other.