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Governor Rick Scott recently has finished his fact-finding mission on education.

He met with select groups, but the closest he got to Santa Rosa County was Ft. Walton Beach.

We congratulate him for knowing where Northwest Florida is located, but meeting with selected groups and individuals does not offer much help.

In our opinion, as governor, he should have reached out to not just a few, but all the people.

The populace is, in fact, the folks who had to make adjustments after Scott cut so much from the education budget.

We offer a few tips:
Suggestion one: Test the children in the first or second grade and set a baseline of how they are expected to progress throughout their education career.

Florida is already doing this with the progress reports parents receive on their children in school, so this should not be a major financial undertaking.

By setting the path of educational progress for each child, Florida can monitor and discover if a child is having a problem that could be inside the classroom or outside the learning facility.

Suggestion two: Since Florida ditched tenure, schools no longer need to be graded. Instead, use the chart of the students' progress to grade the teachers.

If a group of students is identified which performs poorly and they are at the same school and happen to have the same teacher, well, that will be quite telling, won't it?

We understand some children have test anxiety, but if a disproportionate number of them struggle at the same grade level in the same subject, it would serve as a strong indicator there is a problem.

This is where the state could have someone help the teacher as a mentor or work with them to improve their job performance.

Suggestion three: It's time to level the playing field when it comes to funding. We find it ironic that Santa Rosa County has succeeded as a school in the state standards, yet they are one of the lowest state funded school systems in the state.

If you are expecting a school system to do more with less then why not start with a school system that has been?

Suggestion four: Create a standardized test and stick with it. It seems with every education commissioner brings a new set of goals.

It is hard for teachers to actually hit the target of education when the target keeps moving.

Suggestion five: Let the teachers teach.

Schools in Florida have become so obsessed with preparing for a test they no longer teach the children.
As a governor who got elected saying the wanted to reduce government regulations, Scott has tied educators and administrators in so much red tape they cannot teach.

We applaud the governor's attempt to look at education, but with what we have seen so far, we are stumped.

We wonder, is our governor interested in education and how people see our school system or is he just giving lip service so he can be elected to another term?