BOCA RATON, Fla.-- Governor Rick Scott continues his "Listening Tour" Wednesday, planning stops in Orlando, Fort Myers and Tampa by the end of the week, following a stop in Boca Raton.
Scott spent several hours at Boca Raton Community High School, meeting with teachers, parents and students to talk about improvements to the state's educational system. He says he is considering suggestions and answer questions.
Similar to his stops in other cities, in Boca Raton, Scott met with department heads at the school to ask for ideas for improvement of standardized testing, rewards for good teachers and preparation of students for college. A few minutes into the meeting, he closed the doors on media, but spoke with reporters afterwards.
"In this meeting, there was discussion, should we just get rid of the FCAT and go to the ACT, so the goal is to listen," he said.
Scott's first year in office, $1.3 billion was cut from K-12 education by the federal government. The second year, a billion dollars was restored through state budgets.
Scott has made other stops in the state through the week. Governor Scott says each school has raised different questions and concerns. One school, he said, raised issues of concern over special education programs. In Boca Raton, teachers spoke a lot about standardized testing.
One teacher in Boca said, the closed-door meeting was a good "give and take," but solutions to some issues were not made clear. For example, when the discussion turned to teacher salaries that have been frozen, without a pay raise, for years.
"He was looking for solutions, and unfortunately, I think some of the problems do not have pen and paper solutions," Rob Sweeten, a photography teacher explained.
Scott plans to run for re-election in 2014. He says once he hears from groups around the state, many of the changes and solutions will hinge on the state legislature next year. There are also some regulations, he says, that can change more rapidly with the Department of Education.
"To make sure that we're not just spending our time testing, that we're doing what's best in the education for our children and get them ready for a career, or a college," he said.
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