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May 4, 2006

Cathy Schroeder
(850) 245-0413

Statement by Education Commissioner John L. Winn Regarding Passage of the A++ Plan for Education

"I commend the Florida Legislature for passing the A++ Plan for Education. Thanks to the leadership of Representative Ralph Arza and Senator Evelyn Lynn, Florida will continue to lead the nation in cutting-edge education reforms that have driven rising student achievement year after year.

Today, a vision was etched into law. We can now reshape Florida's middle and high schools by injecting rigor and relevance into our curriculum and classrooms. Students will have more choices, more access to smaller learning communities and more opportunities to cultivate their interests and pursue their career goals. We will hold our students to higher standards, provide intensive reading instruction when needed and bolster mathematics and science instruction. When we engage students early and feed their enthusiasm for learning, they are more likely to graduate from high school and are better prepared for higher education and the workforce.

Florida's teachers and school administrators will also benefit from today's historic vote. The talents of Florida's teachers are best spent in the classroom educating students and this legislation will help alleviate the burden of excess paperwork currently placed on our teachers. Those teachers and administrators who teach or work in high-needs areas will be compensated through additional pay. School leaders will receive the professional development and support they need to be successful.

We have seen the tremendous gains our elementary students have made as a result of the reform efforts of the last seven years. It is time that we mirror that same success at the middle and high school levels. I am grateful to the Florida Legislature for making that time now."