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PRESS RELEASE

March 20, 2006

Cathy Schroeder
(850) 245-0413

Florida Department of Education Honored With Prudential Financial Davis Productivity Awards
DOE employees recognized for innovative, productive practices

TALLAHASSEE — Education Commissioner John L. Winn today announced that the Florida Department of Education (DOE) has been honored with 25 Prudential Financial Davis Productivity Awards. The Prudential Financial Davis Productivity Awards, sponsored by Florida TaxWatch, recognize and reward Florida government employees whose work significantly and measurably increases productivity and promotes innovation.

"I am proud of our DOE team for using their creativity and skill to expand services and efficiency for Florida's education system," said Commissioner Winn. "Innovation is the key to ensuring that we excel at preparing students for success in life."

The 2006 awards competition attracted 578 nominations for innovations and productivity improvements worth $340 million in cost savings, cost avoidances and increased revenue for state government. Since 1989, award winners have produced more than $5 billion worth of added value. Out of its 26 entries, 25 DOE winning achievements will be recognized. Winners from DOE are recognized for efforts that include increasing funding for education programs, expanding the access of services for students with disabilities, and assisting students displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

"These employees are Florida's 'finest' because they have gone beyond the call of duty to solve a problem or improve a service, and they deserve the thanks of the taxpayers of Florida," said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch.

Senior Rehabilitation Specialist Rose Moye was recognized for developing a summer program for visually impaired children. The Twelve Days of Summer Camp program provided 22 blind and visually impaired children ages 6-13 a fun and educational summer camp experience. Teachers worked with children about daily living skills such as personal hygiene and other activities aimed at building their independence. For the final day of camp the children were taken to Busch Gardens.

"I would lay awake at night trying to figure out how I could make this happen," said Moye. "Finally, it became a reality and these children got the chance to experience something they would never be able to. Even something as simple has purchasing their own book bag instills a tremendous amount of confidence and independence." She is already busy organizing this year's summer camp.

The Prudential Financial Davis Productivity Awards program is a major government improvement initiative chaired by Lt. Governor Toni Jennings and sponsored by Florida TaxWatch, The Florida Council of 100 and the State of Florida. Cash awards of $200 to $2,500 plus commemorative plaques and certificates of commendation are presented annually to state employees who clearly exceed their job descriptions and performance expectations in ways that improve service delivery and save money for Florida taxpayers and businesses. Formal award ceremonies and luncheons will be held throughout Florida during June.

The DOE 2006 Awards

Teams or Individuals Recognized Achievement Title
Administrative Wage Garnishment Team Increased Revenue to Provide Need-Based Student Assistance
Summer Food Service Program Team Implemented Marketing Plan Increasing Participation and Fund Levels
Rose Moye, Senior Rehabilitation Specialist Developed a Summer Program for Visually Impaired Children
Florida School Choice Scholarship Payment Team Automated District Enrollment Verification and Streamlined Distribution Process
People First Hotline Team Developed a Dedicated Hotline for People First Implementation Problems
Labor Relations Team Streamlined Labor Relations Case Management and Service Delivery
Charter School Grant Application Team Wrote Award Winning Federal Charter School Grant Application
Education Accountability Reporting Team Developed an Education Accountability Matching Process
Sandra Medlicott, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Developed Training Program for Developmentally Disabled/Autistic Consumers
Sunshine Connection Project Team Launched Statewide Effort, Connecting Teachers, Resources and Opportunities
Hurricane Student Records Team Converted Louisiana Hurricane Student Records for Florida Use
Postsecondary Quality Control Team Automated Quality-Control & Database for Test Scores
School Transportation Reporting Team Developed and Implemented Student Transportation Data Base Reporting
Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) Team Implemented Release of FCAT on World Wide Web
SAS Server Migration Team Integrated Multiple Instances of SAS Software and Hardware
Quality of School Grades Data Improvement Team Produced Method of Replication for Quality Assurance
Adequate Yearly Progress/School Grades Appeals Team Implemented Efficient and Transparent Appeals Process
Web Data Corrections Team Implemented Data Corrections Via the Web
Statewide Course Numbering Application Support Team Enhanced Functionality of the Statewide Course Numbering System
Statewide Course Numbering System Work Unit Facilitated Transfer of Credit for Private Postsecondary Institutions
Community College Consortium for Teacher Preparation Developed and Implemented Collaborative Model for Teacher Preparation
Commissioner's Leadership Development Seminar Planning Team Developed and Implemented In-House Leadership Development Training Program
Department of Education Created a Data Driven Evaluation for State Agency Head
Pathways to Success Project Team Developed, Published and Distributed a "2+2" Advising Brochure
Hurricane Assistance Response Team Initiated Hurricane Assistance Response for Education Systems