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Press Release

Thursday, April 10, 2014

DOE Press Office
850-245-0413

Florida Institute Recognizes FDOE Employees for Major Cost-Saving Projects

~ Creative ideas save Florida taxpayers money ~

Tallahassee, Fla., April 10, 2014 - Three teams of Florida Department of Education (FDOE) employees are winners of the 2014 Prudential Productivity Award for their cost-saving, innovative ideas and solutions. The teams were among 432 individuals and teams recognized this year as part of the 26th annual awards program. The State Board of Education will recognize the teams' accomplishments at their meeting today.

"I am proud of these employees for their hard work in saving taxpayers' money, and grateful they are being recognized," said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. "More savings means more funds available to put into our classrooms and to support our teachers as they shape the lives of our young students."

Descriptions of the award-winning projects are below.

Helping Floridians Make Smart College Choices
The team created a web portal for the public to get information about graduation rates, employment statistics and earnings data on graduates of the 28 Florida College System institutions. The portal also helps colleges determine program effectiveness and quality, employers see the link between education and jobs, and students and families make informed choices.

Florida Teacher Certification Exam/Florida Educational Leadership Exam Remote Item Writing
Costs to develop test items for the Florida Teacher Certification Exam and the Florida Educational Leadership Exam were reduced by using a cloud-based document sharing service. Committee members formerly met in person over multiple days to create the test items. Now FDOE staff and committee members can securely complete those tasks without incurring travel costs.

Expanding Out-of-State Florida Teacher Certification Exam/Florida Educational Leadership Exam Test Sites
Since Florida obtains a significant number of teacher candidates from out of state, it was necessary to increase the number of test sites available. By working with a contractor, FDOE increased the number of out-of-state testing locations from seven to 74 in states that typically have a large number of candidates seeking educator certification in Florida. This allowed a larger number of qualified candidates to earn a Florida Professional Educator's Certificate.

The Prudential Productivity Awards program recognizes and awards hard-working state employees who create and implement innovative, cost-saving and efficiency improvements. The program, founded and sponsored by the independent, nonprofit government watchdog research institute Florida TaxWatch, is co-sponsored by the state of Florida and has been honoring the state's dedicated public servants since 1988.

The program also encourages state agencies to work together to replicate the savings across state government. In the 26-year history of the award program, thousands of individuals, teams, work units and partnerships have produced $8.7 billion in added value as a direct result of award winners' innovations and their replications.

For more information about the awards, visit Florida TaxWatch.