Last Update: Apr 16th, 2010

Crist Ends his Political Career

Charlie Crist effectively ended his political career when he vetoed SB6, a revolutionary bill that would have been the first step to end the stranglehold the Teacher's unions have on Florida's education system. In a move that is surely motivated by the fact he is trailing Marco Rubio in the Senate Primary polls by 23 points, Crist has abandoned his party and their decade long efforts to reform education in the state of Florida. This bill would have established Florida as a model for a newer, smarter education system in this country. Instead, we get the status quo.

The teacher's unions have succeeded once again in convincing the uninformed masses that a system that rewards teachers for just showing up is superior to a merit based system. Sun-Sentinel reader Audrey Lader illustrates public ignorance on this matter with her letter where she writes "if I were planning on teaching in Florida I would be wise to choose a school in a middle or upper-class area because then I would have a job for years". Ms Lader obviously knows nothing about the program or the bill, which uses sophisticated methods to monitor changes in scores over the school year. It doesn't reward the highest scores; it rewards how well students score at the end of the year compared to how they scored at the beginning of the year. Jeb Bush, who blasted Crist for the decision, was a key player in the development of Florida's education reform.

By Vetoing the bill, Crist also effectively eliminated Florida's chances from winning any of the $4.35 billion grant from President Obama's "race to the top" initiative. He also now has zero chance of winning a Republican primary, raising speculation that he'll opt to run as an independent. With a 3 person race for the senate seat, we could be looking at having a senator who could win with only 34% support. Isn't that just what we need?

I believe that Crist's recent blunders are mistakes that will end his political career unless he plans on becoming a Democrat. The childish advertisements he's running bashing Marco Rubio combined with this veto indicate to me that he's desperate. Its unfortunate that his political desperation will end up subjecting Florida's children to at least another year of bad teachers and union politics. One thing is clear; Charlie Crist has no principles which he is willing to stand by regardless of the political fallout. And nobody, left or right, should want someone like that as their representative. Charlie Crist can't lead.

Luckily, next year we'll have a new Governer. Hopefully one that will sign this bill.

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