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               T H E   C A B I N E T 

           S T A T E   O F   F L O R I D A


              REPORT:  TEAM FLORIDA 2000

                       VOLUME I
                 Pages 1 through 157
         The above agencies came to be heard before 
THE FLORIDA CABINET, Honorable Governor Bush 
presiding, in the Cabinet Meeting Room, LL-03, 
The Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida, on Tuesday, 
December 14, 1999, commencing at approximately 
9:17 a.m. 

                     Reported by:

                  LAURIE L. GILBERT
           Registered Professional Reporter
               Certified Court Reporter
             Certified Realtime Reporter
              Registered Merit Reporter
               Notary Public in and for
            the State of Florida at Large

                   100 SALEM COURT
              TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32301

              Representing the Florida Cabinet: 
              JEB BUSH
              BOB CRAWFORD
              Commissioner of Agriculture
              BOB MILLIGAN
              BOB BUTTERWORTH
              Attorney General
              BILL NELSON
              TOM GALLAGHER
              Commissioner of Education
                              *   *   *














                  December 14, 1999
                      I N D E X

ITEM                  ACTION                PAGE

(Presented by Scott McPherson,
    Statewide Y2K Coordinator)

 1             Report                         7

(Presented by Tom Herndon,
    Executive Director)

 1             Approved                      13
 2             Approved                      20
 3             Approved                      20
 4             Approved                      20

(Presented by J. Ben Watkins, III,

 1             Approved                      21
 2             Approved                      21

(Presented by Fred O. Dickinson, III,
    Executive Director)

 1             Approved                      25


                  December 14, 1999
                      I N D E X

ITEM                  ACTION                PAGE

(Presented by Sandra Sartin,
    Policy Coordinator)

 1             Approved                      29
 2             Approved                      29
 3             Approved                      29
 4             Approved                      39
 5             Approved                      43
 6             Approved                      43
 7             Approved                      44
 8             Approved                      44
 9             Approved                      44
10             Approved                      45
11             Approved                      47

(Presented by Robin Higgins,
    Executive Director)

 1             Approved                      48
 2             Approved                      48
 3             Approved                      57


                  December 14, 1999
                      I N D E X

ITEM                  ACTION                PAGE

(Presented David B. Struhs,

 1             Approved                      58
 2             Deferred                      58
 3             Approved                      58
 4             Approved                      76
Substitute 5   Approved                      98
 6             Approved                      99
 7             Approved                      99
 8             Approved                     100
 9             Approved                     100
Substitute 10  Approved                     100
11             Approved                     100
12             Deferred                     101
13             Approved                     101
Substitute 14  Approved                     102
15             Approved                     102
16             Approved                     103
Substitute 17  Approved                     105
Substitute 18  Denied                       130
19             Deferred                     137

         Recess                             138


                  December 14, 1999
                      I N D E X

ITEM                  ACTION                PAGE

(Presented by Wayne V. Pierson,
    Deputy Commissioner)

 1             Approved                     139
 2             Approved                     139
 3             For Information Only         141
 5             Approved                     139
 6             Approved                     140
 7             Approved                     140
 8             Approved                     140
 9             Approved                     141
10             Withdrawn                    141

         CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER            157 


             REPORT:  TEAM FLORIDA 2000             7
                  December 14, 1999
         1                     P R O C E E D I N G S

         2              (The agenda items commenced at 9:44 a.m.)

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  We now have an update on 

         4          Team Florida 2000, a Y2K update. 

         5              Scott, you here? 

         6              MR. McPHERSON:  Yes.

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There he is.

         8              MR. McPHERSON:  Thank you very much.  And 

         9          good morning, Governor Bush, and distinguished 

        10          members of the Cabinet.

        11              With 17 days until the year 2000, we wanted 

        12          to give you our final report on the readiness 

        13          of the State of Florida.

        14              You should have in front of you a 

        15          spreadsheet which shows the -- the final 

        16          results of our surveying effort.  We've 

        17          surveyed 3,305 entities.  In this particular 

        18          report, we are reporting the progress of 

        19          3,273 entities, both public and private, with 

        20          an aggregate completion percentage of 

        21          97 percent.

        22              And there are literally hundreds of 

        23          entities that are doing the same thing that the 

        24          State of Florida is doing, and that is 

        25          reporting our completion percentage at just 


             REPORT:  TEAM FLORIDA 2000             8
                  December 14, 1999
         1          under 100 percent.  It's an old engineering 

         2          rule. 

         3              But the State of Florida, the 32 agencies 

         4          that comprise State government, are reporting 

         5          an aggregate 99.998 percent complete, which is 

         6          extraordinary.

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Who's the .002?

         8              MR. McPHERSON:  It's -- it's just some -- 

         9          just some mop up in a couple of systems.  

        10          And --

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I wouldn't want to be 

        12          that --

        13              MR. McPHERSON:  And the engineers would 

        14          tell you that that's just their safety margin. 

        15              There are 2142 entities across Florida that 

        16          are reporting 100 percent; and then once again, 

        17          several hundred which are reporting anywhere 

        18          from 98 to 100 percent complete.

        19              Since the last time I briefed you all, the 

        20          Department of Environmental Protection issued 

        21          their final report, indicating that Florida's 

        22          drinking water, wastewater, chemical companies, 

        23          and hazardous waste processing companies are 

        24          all moving forward splendidly for the 

        25          millennium.  And they -- and the Department of 


             REPORT:  TEAM FLORIDA 2000             9
                  December 14, 1999
         1          Environmental Protection does not expect there 

         2          to be any Y2K problems of any consequence in 

         3          any of those areas.

         4              Last week, with the lead of the 

         5          Attorney General and the participation of the 

         6          Comptroller, the Deputy Commissioner for 

         7          Consumer Affairs, and the Commissioner of the 

         8          Florida Department of Law Enforcement, we held 

         9          a press conference just reminding Floridians of 

        10          the possibility of being a victim of a scam 

        11          regarding the year 2000 problem. 

        12              And we're very happy to report that 

        13          those -- those incidents seem to be reporting 

        14          in single digits right now.  We have been very 

        15          proactive on this front, and we think we've 

        16          nipped that problem in the bud.

        17              We have also produced some new television 

        18          commercials which are designed to just remind 

        19          Floridians in a -- in a humorous way that -- 

        20          that if there are any problems regarding Y2K -- 

        21          or any problems at the stroke of midnight, that 

        22          they may not be Y2K problems, but they may be 

        23          caused by other things which happen every 

        24          single day of the year. 

        25              Very similar to the White House report 


             REPORT:  TEAM FLORIDA 2000            10
                  December 14, 1999
         1          which was issued yesterday reminding Americans 

         2          that computers malfunction and ATMs quit 

         3          365 days a year, and that's not the exc-- the 

         4          exclusive license of Y2K.

         5              One of those commercials also reminds 

         6          Floridians to keep their money in the bank 

         7          where it's safe, because you never know what 

         8          can happen if you pull that money out.

         9              And we've also produced with the -- in 

        10          conjunction with the Florida Association of 

        11          Broadcasters, a half hour TV special which is 

        12          going to be distributed to every broadcast 

        13          station in the state; which is also being sent 

        14          to every bowl committee for the use of the 

        15          teams that are going to be participating in the 

        16          bowl games, letting them know just how well 

        17          prepared the state of Florida is.

        18              The grocers have additional stocks of food 

        19          to last for weeks.  The American petroleum 

        20          industry has found that 98 percent of its 

        21          participating members are Y2K compliant.  The 

        22          Florida Department of Law Enforcement continues 

        23          to work with local law enforcement agencies for 

        24          monitoring millennium celebrations and other 

        25          special events such as concerts and parades.


             REPORT:  TEAM FLORIDA 2000            11
                  December 14, 1999
         1              We have some concern about the increased 

         2          geomagnetic and solar activity that's going to 

         3          be occurring between now and the end of the 

         4          year 2000.  We want Floridians to know that 

         5          those activities may be misinterpreted as Y2K 

         6          related events.

         7              We're currently at the State Emergency 

         8          Operations Center in a Level 1 monitoring 

         9          activation status.  That will change at 

        10          6:00 a.m. on the 31st of December to Level 2. 

        11              And we're going to be watching what happens 

        12          around the rest of the world.  We're going to 

        13          be making some decisions and making some 

        14          judgment calls based on what happens in some 

        15          other industrialized nations overseas.

        16              We'll be handling live media briefings the 

        17          31st of December at 8:00 a.m., 5:00 p.m., and 

        18          8:00 p.m.; we'll go live January 1st at 

        19          1:00 a.m. and then again at 2:00 a.m., 

        20          because -- just to remind everybody, Florida 

        21          enters the year 2000 twice, once in the eastern 

        22          time zone, and once in the central zone.

        23              We plan -- if everything goes according to 

        24          our plans, and there are no disruptions, we 

        25          plan to stand back down to Level 1 at 2:00 a.m. 


             REPORT:  TEAM FLORIDA 2000            12
                  December 14, 1999
         1          on New Year's morning. 

         2              And then we will come back up to Level 2 

         3          again at 6:00 a.m. on the 3rd, which will be 

         4          the first business day of the new millennium.  

         5          And if there are no related issues at that 

         6          point, then we'll stand back down to Level 1 at 

         7          12:00 noon on the 3rd.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Any questions?

         9              No questions, no comments? 

        10              Scott, you've done a fantastic job, and I 

        11          hope I don't get a call at 2:00 a.m. on 

        12          January 1st because --

        13              MR. McPHERSON:  I hope not either, sir.

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- I need the sleep.

        15              MR. McPHERSON:  We'll do our best. 

        16              Thank you very much.

        17              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you. 

        18              (The Report:  Team Florida 2000 Agenda was 

        19          concluded.)

        20                              *   *   *







            STATE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION          13
                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  The next Cabinet meeting 

         2          will be January 25th, the year 2000.

         3              State Board of Administration. 

         4              Good morning, Tom.  How are you? 

         5              MR. HERNDON:  Good morning, Governor.  How 

         6          are you? 

         7              Item Number 1 is approval of the minutes of 

         8          the meeting held November 9th, 1999.

         9              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Move the minutes.

        10              TREASURER NELSON:  I'll second it.

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        12              Without objection, it's approved.

        13              MR. HERNDON:  Item 2 is a resolution of the 

        14          State Board approving the fiscal sufficiency of 

        15          a hundred and thirty million dollar, State of 

        16          Florida, Department of Transportation Turnpike 

        17          Revenue Bonds, Series 2000A.

        18              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Move it.

        19              TREASURER NELSON:  Second.

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        21              Without objection, it's approved.

        22              MR. HERNDON:  Item Number 3 is a 

        23          recommended set of new asset class targets, and 

        24          allocations and benchmarks for the 

        25          Lawton Chiles Endowment Fund. 


            STATE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION          14
                  December 14, 1999
         1              And, Governor, with your permission, and 

         2          members of the Board, I'd like to just spend a 

         3          minute, walk you through our recommendations.

         4              As you know, we have had responsibility for 

         5          investing the Chiles Endowment since July 1st 

         6          of last year. 

         7              We are anticipating essentially what is our 

         8          second installment of Chiles Endowment monies 

         9          on or about January 1st.  Pursuant to your 

        10          direction, we have completed an asset 

        11          allocation review --

        12              (Commissioner Gallagher exited the room.)

        13              MR. HERNDON:  -- of the potential use of 

        14          these funds, and are recommending some 

        15          additional investment strategies for those 

        16          purposes.

        17              The first additional strategy that we're 

        18          recommending is that we move into the 

        19          international equity arena, and fund at a 

        20          12 percent level an international allocation 

        21          using our existing benchmark for the Florida 

        22          Retirement System, which is the Morgan Stanley 

        23          Capital Index All Country World Free, excluding 

        24          tobacco, and I want to make that point, because 

        25          that -- as I think at least two of the members 


            STATE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION          15
                  December 14, 1999
         1          know --

         2              Governor, I know you're familiar with -- by 

         3          extension. 

         4              -- causes us to have a little bit of an 

         5          increased cost, because we're excluding 

         6          those -- those tobacco products in our 

         7          benchmark as we go out and try and buy that 

         8          index.

         9              The second item, which is also in the 

        10          recommendations as a new investment is that we 

        11          move in the fixed income arena to an allocation 

        12          for high yield bonds.  Approximately 6 percent 

        13          of the total fixed income portfolio, or about 

        14          1.3 percent of the total endowment. 

        15              Now, that high yield bond recommendation is 

        16          contingent on the receipt of a favorable 

        17          opinion from outside counsel, which we have 

        18          engaged to opine as to whether or not we can 

        19          commingle Chiles Endowment monies with the 

        20          Florida Retirement System monies, which would 

        21          allow us to acquire those high yield bond 

        22          products at a much lower cost than we could 

        23          achieve them on the greater market.

        24              In addition, we're also recommending also 

        25          in the fixed income arena that we move to an 


            STATE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION          16
                  December 14, 1999
         1          allocation of 11 percent in the Treasury 

         2          Inflation Protected Securities, or TIPS.  These 

         3          are the inflation index bonds that the U.S. 

         4          started --

         5              (Commissioner Gallagher entered the room.) 

         6              MR. HERNDON:  -- marketing about 18 months 

         7          ago.  We're pretty optimistic about this 

         8          product.  And, in fact, as this market for the 

         9          TIPS broadens and deepens over the next couple 

        10          of years, we may come back to you with a 

        11          recommendation to expand our holdings in this 

        12          particular asset.

        13              Finally, we're recommending a 4 percent 

        14          allocation to real estate using the 

        15          Wilshire Real Estate Securities Index as the 

        16          primary benchmark. 

        17              And here my note would be that we do not 

        18          anticipate having any direct owned properties 

        19          in this portfolio, unlike the Florida 

        20          Retirement System.  In this case, they'll all 

        21          be equitized products like REITs, and REOCs, 

        22          and pooled investment fund.

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  What was the second thing 

        24          you just said?

        25              MR. HERNDON:  REOCs.


            STATE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION          17
                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  What are REOCs?

         2              MR. HERNDON:  Real estate operating 

         3          companies.  Essentially a pool of products.

         4              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is that your -- as the year 

         5          ends, I -- I have to admit that while I'm -- I 

         6          will fight on for the fight against acronyms, 

         7          I'm losing the battle.

         8              I'm not going to surrender though. 

         9              I've never heard of that one.

        10              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Your name 

        11          though.

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yeah, of course, I am -- 

        13          one more thing, Tom. 

        14              The Attorney General is polite to point out 

        15          that I am an acronym myself.

        16              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  This is true.

        17              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I'm sorry.

        18              MR. HERNDON:  Well, the net -- the net 

        19          result of these recommended changes is that we 

        20          would reduce our current domestic equities, 

        21          fixed income, and cash allocation by 4 percent, 

        22          19 percent, and 4 percent respectively. 

        23              So the fund will be essentially fully 

        24          diversified and fully invested.  We'll hold a 

        25          1 percent cash level in the fund. 


            STATE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION          18
                  December 14, 1999
         1              We anticipate a second, third, and 

         2          fourth tranche of dollars the following 

         3          January 1st of each year for the next 

         4          three years, which would bring the principal of 

         5          the endowment up to the target of 1.7 billion 

         6          dollars.

         7              Two other comments, if I might.  We 

         8          unfortunately, by virtue of the timing, were 

         9          not able to take this recommendation to the 

        10          IAC.  Our Advisory Council meets this Friday. 

        11              We do anticipate going through this with 

        12          them in some detail.  And if there are any 

        13          substantive concerns that they express, we 

        14          would bring those back to you, and possibly 

        15          modify our implementation strategy accordingly.

        16              The final comment, and I hate almost to 

        17          make this following right on the Y2K 

        18          presentation.  But we are anticipating getting 

        19          these monies on or around the 1st of January.  

        20          They are targeted for investment immediately 

        21          thereafter. 

        22              We have been surveying all of our 

        23          investment managers and our large 

        24          relationships.  They are telling us that they 

        25          think it probably is advisable that everybody 


            STATE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION          19
                  December 14, 1999
         1          keep a weather eye out on the markets those 

         2          first few days. 

         3              We know, for example, that one of our 

         4          strategies, which was to move some of this 

         5          money of the international arena following the 

         6          recommendations, we have been advised by one of 

         7          our consultants that they would strongly 

         8          encourage us to stand down for a few days until 

         9          the international markets, especially the 

        10          emerging nations, stabilize a little bit.

        11              So my point in saying this is, with your 

        12          permission, give us a little bit of -- of 

        13          tactical discretion here as the first few days 

        14          of the new year unfold.

        15              We also recognize that that potentially 

        16          impacts our performance measurement a little 

        17          bit.  And with your leave, give us a little bit 

        18          of -- of latitude there as we try and make the 

        19          best decisions for the disposition of these 

        20          funds.

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a motion? 

        22              TREASURER NELSON:  I move it.

        23              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  I move it, or second 

        24          it.

        25              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a motion and a 


            STATE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION          20
                  December 14, 1999
         1          second.

         2              Without objection, it's approved.

         3              MR. HERNDON:  And Item Number 4 is the 

         4          annual report on corporate governance for the 

         5          period July 1st, 1998, to June 30th, 1999, for 

         6          your information and review.

         7              TREASURER NELSON:  And I'll move that we 

         8          accept the annual report.

         9              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay.  Do we need a motion 

        10          on that? 

        11              TREASURER NELSON:  I don't know.

        12              MR. HERNDON:  Just to accept it.

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay.  That's fine.

        14              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Second.

        15              MR. HERNDON:  Thank you very much.

        16              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Second the 

        17          acceptance.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I'll vote for it.

        19              Thank you, Tom. 

        20              (The State Board of Administration Agenda 

        21          was concluded.)

        22                              *   *   *





              DIVISION OF BOND FINANCE             21
                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Division of Bond Finance.

         2              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion on the 

         3          minutes.

         4              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a motion and a 

         6          second. 

         7              Without objection, it's approved.

         8              Item 2.

         9              MR. WATKINS:  Item Number 2 is a resolution 

        10          authorizing competitive sale of up to a hundred 

        11          and thirty million dollars of Turnpike Revenue 

        12          Bonds.

        13              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion.

        14              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        16              Without objection, it's approved.

        17              MR. WATKINS:  Thank you.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Happy holidays. 

        19              (The Division of Bond Finance Agenda was 

        20          concluded.)

        21                              *   *   *






                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Department of 

         2          Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

         3              MR. DICKINSON:  Governor, I have the last 

         4          tag of the millennium for you.  This will be 

         5          our 51st.  It's the U.S. Marine Corps tag.

         6              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Fantastic tag.  

         7          Fantastic.

         8              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Semper Fi.

         9              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Who designed this tag? 

        10              MR. DICKINSON:  Actually the design was --

        11              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  

        12          General Milligan --

        13              MR. DICKINSON:  -- was by the General's -- 

        14          one of his graphic artists, I believe.

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  That was just --

        16              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Actually, I took the 

        17          lead from the Attorney General last meeting, 

        18          and --

        19              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Used that pen?

        20              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  -- used a 

        21          magic marker and whipped it out.

        22              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Who gets 

        23          that plate, Fred? 

        24              MR. DICKINSON:  The money? 

        25              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  No. 


                  December 14, 1999
         1              MR. DICKINSON:  This -- this particular 

         2          one?

         3              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Who gets 

         4          number 1? 

         5              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Number 1 -- USMC 1, 

         6          which is still available, is going to go to 

         7          General Chapman, who is a former Commandant of 

         8          the Marine Corps, lives here in Florida.

         9              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  And where 

        10          does the Lieutenant General -- what number 

        11          plate does the Lieutenant General get? 

        12              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  He is not asking for 

        13          any particular number at this time.  He will 

        14          take whatever might possibly be available.

        15              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  And Fred has 

        16          that discretion to give whatever number he 

        17          thinks might be --

        18              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  No, no.  There are a 

        19          lot of people that have already, you know, kind 

        20          of got their oar in the water. 

        21              I'd be happy with one that maybe reflected 

        22          my infantry background.  But we'll see how it 

        23          works out.

        24              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Since you're 

        25          one of four votes that he needs every 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          week-to-week, I would assume you'll do 

         2          all right.

         3              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Well, you know, one 

         4          of -- one of the things that ought to be 

         5          mentioned here is that this money -- and -- and 

         6          I think we will raise considerable money with 

         7          this plate -- goes to scholarships for young 

         8          people here in Florida to support the 

         9          Junior Marine Corps ROTC program in 

        10          high schools. 

        11              And I'm going to go back in to the 

        12          Legislature and ask that they include the 

        13          Young Marines Program, which I think you saw a 

        14          number of people here the past month, which is 

        15          a very strong mentoring program, to -- to help 

        16          that program.

        17              So it's for a very, very good cause.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Doesn't it also go to the 

        19          veterans --

        20              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Yes.  The first 

        21          50,000 goes to support the veterans nursing's 

        22          home -- nursing home.

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.

        24              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  I'll move it.

        25              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Second.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

         2              Any more comments? 

         3              General Butterworth --

         4              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  No.

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- you satisfied? 

         6              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  I'm finished 

         7          for the -- for the day, Governor.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay. 

         9              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  For the day? 

        10              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  No.  I'll 

        11          tune back in again around 3:00 o'clock this 

        12          afternoon.

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  It's been moved and 

        14          seconded.

        15              Without objection, it's approved.

        16              MR. DICKINSON:  Governor, we did certify 

        17          yesterday to the Legislature, and to your 

        18          staff, that there were no qualifiers for any 

        19          additional tags this year.  That deadline came 

        20          and went last week.  So this'll be it for at 

        21          least a two-year span. 

        22              We did have a couple -- 

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  How many years?

        24              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  What's our total?

        25              MR. DICKINSON:  Well, they've -- they've 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          got to qualify again next year.  But it'd take 

         2          us an additional year to get them out.  So --

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  So the Legislature --

         4              MR. DICKINSON:  We're at 5-- 51 right now.  

         5          We've got two more -- two more that'll be 

         6          coming to you early next year.

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay. 

         8              MR. DICKINSON:  The wildflower and the 

         9          Florida Memorial College.  So --

        10              Also I'd like to report that since Scotty 

        11          did a good job on the Y2K, we've canceled our 

        12          leave again for our troopers over the 

        13          millennium celebration, or whatever's 

        14          forthcoming. 

        15              And, of course, we'll be there -- staff at 

        16          the -- at the EOC also, and look forward to 

        17          everybody having a safe and -- and happy 

        18          holiday.  And appreciate it, the last Cabinet 

        19          meeting of the millennium, it's momentous, to 

        20          say the least.

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Fred, I thought it was nice 

        22          to see the article where Mothers Against Drunk 

        23          Driving ranked Florida -- gave us an A- on our 

        24          efforts to deal with young people -- I guess in 

        25          general -- I guess it was just our laws against 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          alcohol induced accidents, and --

         2              MR. DICKINSON:  We've had very nice success 

         3          in alcohol related fatalities over the last 

         4          decade.  And -- and the MADD groups, the 

         5          support we have, law enforcement, the 

         6          judiciary, the Legislature, everybody's to be 

         7          commended. 

         8              It's certainly no time to let up, but we 

         9          have reduced alcohol related fatalities I think 

        10          by 30 percent in ten years.  And our 

        11          statistical gathering has gotten stronger in 

        12          that ten years, so it really should have gone 

        13          up a little bit, but it hasn't. 

        14              And if we can -- if we can get fatalities 

        15          in general to slip down, we're -- we're a 

        16          little bit high right now on the national 

        17          average -- we'll be real pleased. 

        18              And I know you have a problem sometimes 

        19          with our primary seat belt enforcement.  That 

        20          is something we'll probably be pushing again 

        21          this year.

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I'm for it.

        23              MR. DICKINSON:  Well, I mean, you -- you 

        24          supported us last year, and we appreciate it.  

        25          We all -- I'm sorry.  The Legislature --


                  December 14, 1999
         1              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  That's what you 

         2          meant to say.

         3              MR. DICKINSON:  We almost -- we got it 

         4          through one, we're working on the other right 

         5          now.  But I think it's coming back, Governor.  

         6          I'm --

         7              But anyway, thank you so much.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  You bet. 

         9              (The Department of Highway Safety and Motor 

        10          Vehicles Agenda was concluded.)

        11                              *   *   *
















              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            29
                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Administration Commission.

         2              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion on the 

         3          minutes.

         4              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a second? 

         5              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

         6              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

         7              Without objection, it's approved.

         8              Item 2.

         9              MS. SARTIN:  Item 2 is a request of a 

        10          transfer of general revenue appropriations for 

        11          Department of Children and Families.

        12              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion.

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a second? 

        14              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Second.

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        16              Without objection, it's approved.

        17              Item 3.

        18              MS. SARTIN:  Item 3 is a request of  

        19          approval of an information technology project 

        20          for Department of Children and Families.

        21              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion.

        22              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Second.

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        24              Without objection, it's approved.

        25              MS. SARTIN:  Item 4 is request approval of 


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            30
                  December 14, 1999
         1          transfer of general revenue appropriations for 

         2          the Board of Regents within the Department of 

         3          Education.

         4              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  I -- I have a 

         5          question on that, Governor, or a comment -- 

         6              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yes.

         7              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  -- maybe or more 

         8          important.  I had a chance, either last week or 

         9          the week before --

        10              (Treasurer Nelson exited the room.) 

        11              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  -- I've forgotten, 

        12          to meet Mrs. Nina Ovieda, who --

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yes.

        14              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  -- runs your 

        15          operation in Washington, D.C.

        16              And during her conversation, she made it 

        17          quite clear that, in line with your One Florida 

        18          philosophy, that that particular office would 

        19          be used to be the focal point of dealings in 

        20          Washington, both with Congress; and for that 

        21          matter, any other evolution. 

        22              And I -- I guess I have a little bit of a 

        23          problem with the idea that -- I agree with it 

        24          fully, that we ought to do that. 

        25              And I have a little problem with this, 


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            31
                  December 14, 1999
         1          which is saying we're going to hire some 

         2          contractors to represent Florida, and lobby for 

         3          Florida another stovepipe operation with no 

         4          real coordination in the One Florida context. 

         5              And if we are really serious about trying 

         6          to have that office be the focal point, we 

         7          might want to reconsider what we're doing here, 

         8          and perhaps expand the capabilities of that 

         9          office using Floridians to support Florida.  

        10          And so I'm concerned about it.

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Well, this is, I guess -- 

        12          as I understand it, this is the way it has been 

        13          done, which doesn't mean -- you know me, 

        14          I mean, it doesn't mean we have to be doing it 

        15          the way we have been doing it. 

        16              This is -- I think the university system 

        17          has hired lobbyists over the years.  I'm more 

        18          than happy to talk to the Chancellor about 

        19          this.  We have -- you're absolutely right, we 

        20          have moved to try to create more of a team 

        21          approach to Florida's efforts. 

        22              We've gotten the Legislature more engaged 

        23          in helping us and fully -- more fully briefing 

        24          them, because it's their office as well. 

        25              We are working with Spaceport Florida to 


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            32
                  December 14, 1999
         1          have someone assigned that we will partially 

         2          pay for out of general revenue dollars, and 

         3          Spaceport Florida will secure other money 

         4          I believe for an employee of theirs to work out 

         5          of our office. 

         6              So I'm -- in general, I'm supportive of 

         7          this concept.  We've not taken it to the 

         8          university system.  I'm more than happy to do 

         9          it.

        10              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Well, I -- I just 

        11          think that -- I just hate to see a quarter of a 

        12          million dollars going to some contractor to 

        13          lobby for -- for us when we, I think, can find 

        14          qualified people to work for us, and -- and 

        15          provide flexibility, even in the things that 

        16          they are doing, and do it in a coordinated, 

        17          unified way.

        18              And I -- I just have a problem with it.

        19              So I hope maybe we can do something with 

        20          it.  And I -- I will probably vote against it.

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  All right. 

        22              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  I guess I'll make 

        23          the motion for it, and I'll do that because I 

        24          am a member of the Regents, and we have 

        25          negotiated a contract based obviously on a 


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            33
                  December 14, 1999
         1          hopeful approval of the Administration 

         2          Commission to fund it in regards to university 

         3          lobbying, which has been a contracted service 

         4          over many, many years for different people 

         5          to -- to have carried this out. 

         6              So in good faith, I'll -- I'll move this --

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Tom, is this part of the 

         8          settlement that been -- we've been --

         9              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  That's --

        10              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- reading about in the 

        11          paper?

        12              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  That's a little 

        13          bit of it, too.  This is a new contractee, and 

        14          there's a settlement with the last person that 

        15          was -- had had that contract. 

        16              So this funds both the new, and I think 

        17          whatever the settlement is with the other 

        18          contractor.

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  And there's been --

        20              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  I guess it's really 

        21          a question of the way we ought to be doing 

        22          business.

        23              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well, I think that 

        24          that -- that that issue probably should be 

        25          discussed.  What our wishes are here, I will be 


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            34
                  December 14, 1999
         1          most happy to take to the Regents, basically 

         2          saying that we should use -- that if you all 

         3          feel that we should look at using our own 

         4          employees, as opposed to hiring some 

         5          specialists on it. 

         6              I will tell you that the job that's done by 

         7          these -- the lobbyists in Washington and the 

         8          university system is specific to getting 

         9          grants, working the legislative process, and 

        10          getting special dollars for large -- large 

        11          grants, which you'll notice that Florida's 

        12          doing very, very well in. 

        13              I think we saw some articles, and press 

        14          releases released by Florida State University 

        15          on how well they've done with their research, 

        16          and how much money that they've gotten based on 

        17          some of the outcomes of research. 

        18              So it all fits in together, and I --

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Has the --

        20              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- will be glad to 

        21          deliver the message.

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Has the contract been 

        23          signed? 

        24              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  I'm sure if it -- 

        25          I don't know -- I can't answer that question.  


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            35
                  December 14, 1999
         1          But I'm sure that it's signed based on our 

         2          approval here, because if they can't deliver 

         3          the money, nobody's going to deliver a 

         4          contract.

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Well, can we -- can we 

         6          defer this item to the next Cabinet meeting so 

         7          that the Chancellor can come speak to 

         8          General Milligan to either accommodate his 

         9          concerns, or we'll modify the -- we'll consider 

        10          going to Plan B? 

        11              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  It's really not just 

        12          the Regents.  I think it's a philosophy that -- 

        13          the one -- one face of Florida philosophy. 

        14              That's what -- really what I'm talking 

        15          about.  And this just happens to be an example.  

        16          But it is -- it goes well beyond the Regents, 

        17          and -- and having somebody in Washington 

        18          represent the -- the Regents. 

        19              Are we going to have one face in Florida, 

        20          are we going to have some person or group that 

        21          is really the focal point of -- of actions and 

        22          activities in Florida, and knowledgeable in 

        23          what's going on, instead of stovepipe 

        24          operations? 

        25              And -- and if I understand what you are 


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            36
                  December 14, 1999
         1          trying to achieve in many areas, not just --

         2              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yeah.

         3              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  -- in this specific 

         4          area, that we need to put one face on Florida.  

         5          And this just kind of flies in the face of 

         6          that.

         7              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  I -- I would sort 

         8          of -- I would request that we go ahead and 

         9          approve this, and I'll tell you why. 

        10              What General Milligan's saying is true, and 

        11          if this was the only one, we could fix this 

        12          here by holding it off and getting it worked 

        13          out. 

        14              But, bottom line is that there are many 

        15          agencies that have contracted people in 

        16          Washington, D.C., from the state of Florida.  

        17          And if that is something that we should do, it 

        18          should be done on an across-the-board basis, 

        19          not just pick on the university system right 

        20          now.  It should be done across-the-board. 

        21              And I -- and I think it -- the message 

        22          should be sent, and probably should be a 

        23          legislatively sent message, or -- maybe from us 

        24          sent.

        25              But to pick on just this one that has been 


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            37
                  December 14, 1999
         1          through administrative procedures, has been 

         2          through a tremendous amount of publicity, and 

         3          everything else, to cut it off now, based on 

         4          a -- a good reason, but at the same time, we're 

         5          not -- we're not stopping them all, we're just 

         6          picking on this one, I don't think would be a 

         7          good thing to do, unless we pretty much did it 

         8          across-the-board.

         9              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yeah.

        10              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Governor, as 

        11          you know, you have a very fine office in -- 

        12          in -- in Washington, with a number of employees 

        13          there working on issues.

        14              Approximately four years ago, I saw fit to 

        15          put a full-time attorney in Washington because 

        16          of the interests of the State, and I think that 

        17          we should all look at -- at what we are doing, 

        18          and we may be able to have a much more 

        19          influential office in Washington by a more -- 

        20          of the -- of people operating out of your 

        21          office there.

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Well, and that's -- that -- 

        23          that has been our intent.

        24              Tom, is the contract that is -- that is 

        25          signed, waiting -- subject to approval here, is 


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            38
                  December 14, 1999
         1          it a one-year contract? 

         2              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  I -- I believe it 

         3          is.  All -- all contracts basically have to be 

         4          because they're based on the Legislature 

         5          approving dollars.  So it can't go bey-- 

         6          I mean, if, in fact, the dollars aren't there, 

         7          it's not paid.

         8              I -- I would tell you that you would find 

         9          it very interesting if you total up the number 

        10          of dollars spent in Washington, D.C., by 

        11          agencies getting things done.  And it would be, 

        12          and my guess, in the millions. 

        13              And if we count this, it would be -- that's 

        14          without counting this particular one.

        15              So I -- I don't think that it's fair to 

        16          pick on one that has done a good job in the 

        17          past, will do a good job for this next year, 

        18          unless we have something else there for them to 

        19          do. 

        20              And we don't at this point.  And I think it 

        21          would put our university system at a 

        22          disadvantage, compared to others in the -- in 

        23          the country that do have people up there like 

        24          this doing the job for them.

        25              So I would urge you to let this one go 


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            39
                  December 14, 1999
         1          through, and --

         2              GOVERNOR BUSH:  All right.  

         3              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- work on the 

         4          whole thing, as opposed to just --

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a -- there's --

         6              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- this particular 

         7          one.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- a motion. 

         9              Is there a second? 

        10              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  I would second it. 

        11              I think -- I think the Commissioner is 

        12          right, that there -- there may be a better 

        13          system.  But until we have that in place, I 

        14          think, you know, these services are needed.  

        15          Sometimes they're very specialized, and it's 

        16          not always as easy to achieve what you like to 

        17          achieve as you think it is. 

        18              And -- so I would second the motion, hope 

        19          we could go ahead and move it today.

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  All right.  There's a 

        21          motion and a second. 

        22              All in favor, say aye.

        23              THE CABINET:  Aye.

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  All opposed? 

        25              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  I am not opposed, I 


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            40
                  December 14, 1999
         1          am opposed to the principle.  And -- and I will 

         2          accept this one for the very -- reasons given. 

         3              But I ask you, Governor, to take a hard 

         4          look at --

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Absolutely.

         6              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  -- what that office 

         7          is doing up there. 

         8              And Tom is right, there are lots of 

         9          agencies that have lobbyists in Washington that 

        10          are non-coordinated in terms of overall State 

        11          policy.

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I -- I appreciate your 

        13          comments, General, and -- and while I -- I'm -- 

        14          I'm trying to be a little more cautious these 

        15          days about -- because I'm -- there's a 

        16          perception that we're trying to do too much at 

        17          once.

        18              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  So? 

        19              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well, we're plen-- 

        20          I'll just tell you this, Governor, we're plenty 

        21          loaded over at Department of Education.  So 

        22          don't -- we don't need much more to do over 

        23          here.

        24              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  You're 

        25          telling a Marine General that -- that you -- 


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            41
                  December 14, 1999
         1          that you can't do more?

         2              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- on the hill? 

         3              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Right.

         4              Can we get a report back, Governor, as to 

         5          how much money actually we are spending in 

         6          D.C., because --

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Sure. 

         8              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Maybe --

         9              GOVERNOR BUSH:  We may actually have a 

        10          problem in our own particular office, General, 

        11          about the office space as well.  It's pretty 

        12          full.

        13              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Oh --

        14              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  It is full.

        15              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  -- yes, sir.  I 

        16          understand that.  And I'm not talking about the 

        17          facilities.  I -- I'm talking about the 

        18          principle of one face of Florida in 

        19          Washington, D.C.

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  We will get -- how about if 

        21          we do this:  I'll get Nina Ovieda to come to 

        22          one of the next Cabinet meetings and give a 

        23          summary of the State's involvement in 

        24          Washington by different agencies, and give a 

        25          briefing on what she does as well. 


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            42
                  December 14, 1999
         1              She's done it personally to you.  But it'd 

         2          be nice to see the composite.  And we can move 

         3          towards that over time in a -- in a -- in a 

         4          thoughtful way.

         5              I appreciate your comments.  In fact, this 

         6          is the most conversation we've had about 

         7          Administration Commission --

         8              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  It's a big one.

         9              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- item than -- 

        10              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  In over 

        11          13 years.

        12              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  We -- one of the 

        13          things we will have to take into consideration 

        14          when we do this is specialties that are needed 

        15          for certain things.  And there are expertise 

        16          areas that need to be hired maybe on an interim 

        17          basis as opposed to a full-time basis when 

        18          needed, or those kinds of things.

        19              So there's lots of things that fit into 

        20          this --

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Well, contracting out 

        22          things doesn't necessarily mean that you -- you 

        23          can't work as a team.

        24              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  That's right.

        25              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Exactly.


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            43
                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  And that's the point.

         2              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  And one thing's 

         3          for sure, somebody ought to be coordinating 

         4          what the State of Florida is saying in all 

         5          aspects to Congress and to the agencies up 

         6          there.  And that is -- that definitely isn't 

         7          happening.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Item -- Item 5.

         9              MS. SARTIN:  Item 5, request approval of a 

        10          transfer of appropriations to implement a 

        11          reorganization for the Department of Education.

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a motion? 

        13              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion.

        14              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Second.

        16              Moved and seconded.

        17              Without objection, it's approved.

        18              MS. SARTIN:  Item 6, request appropriation 

        19          of transfer of general revenue appropriations 

        20          for the Department of Elder Affairs.

        21              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion.

        22              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        24              Without objection, it's approved.

        25              MS. SARTIN:  Item 7, request approval of a 


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            44
                  December 14, 1999
         1          transfer of general revenue appropriations for 

         2          the City of Miami Financial Oversight Board.

         3              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion.

         4              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a second? 

         5              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

         6              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

         7              Without objection, it's approved.

         8              MS. SARTIN:  Item 8, request approval of a 

         9          transfer of appropriations to implement a 

        10          reorganization for the Departments of Health 

        11          and Labor and Employment Security.

        12              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion.

        13              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        15              Without objection, it's approved.

        16              MS. SARTIN:  Item 9, request approval to 

        17          establish five new positions for the Department 

        18          of Legal Affairs.

        19              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion.

        20              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        22              Without objection, it's approved.

        23              MS. SARTIN:  Item 10, request approval to 

        24          transfer general revenue appropriations to the 

        25          Department of Elder Affairs.


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            45
                  December 14, 1999
         1              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion.

         2              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

         4              Without objection, it's approved.

         5              MS. SARTIN:  Item 11 is request approval to 

         6          revise a rule pertaining to the Senior 

         7          Management Services for the Department of 

         8          Management Services.

         9              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Motion.

        10              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a second? 

        11              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Second.

        12              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  I've got to make a 

        13          comment on this, too, Governor.

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yep.

        15              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  The -- I guess I 

        16          always have a problem with actions that favor 

        17          one group of people against another group of 

        18          people.

        19              And particularly in this case, the highest 

        20          paid group of people are receiving this -- this 

        21          particular benefit.  And -- and I guess really 

        22          my -- my hope is that we will try to recognize 

        23          the career service people and their salaries 

        24          and -- and with opportunities with 

        25          discretionary pay and recognize some of their 


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            46
                  December 14, 1999
         1          needs in terms of services such as dental care 

         2          and -- and medical care.

         3              And so I -- I just -- I have a problem with 

         4          the -- with the principle here.  And it bothers 

         5          me, and I just have to say it.

         6              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Any other comments? 

         7              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well, I understand 

         8          where General Milligan is coming from.  I 

         9          happen to agree with him. 

        10              I asked for what the costs would be for us 

        11          to do this for all of our employees, and it's 

        12          about 51 million dollars annually.  So it's a 

        13          number that the Legislature obviously would 

        14          have to -- to appropriate. 

        15              And I think that that's something that we 

        16          should find out if our career service employees 

        17          would be interested in it, and it should maybe 

        18          be something we look at.

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a motion? 

        20              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  There has been 

        21          one --

        22              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Made a motion --

        23              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  -- and seconded.

        24              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Yeah.

        25              GOVERNOR BUSH:  And there's a second, 


              ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION            47
                  December 14, 1999
         1          I'm sorry?

         2              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Second.

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  All in favor, say aye.

         4              THE CABINET:  Aye.

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  All opposed? 

         6              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  No.

         7              MS. SARTIN:  Thank you.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you. 

         9              (The Administration Commission Agenda was 

        10          concluded.)

        11                              *   *   *
















                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Veterans' Affairs.

         2              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion -- 

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a motion?

         4              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Motion.

         5              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- on the minutes.

         6              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

         8              Without objection, it's approved.

         9              Item 2.

        10              MS. HIGGINS:  Item 2 is the -- I request 

        11          acceptance of our quarterly report for the 

        12          first quarter of 1999-2000 fiscal year.

        13              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Move it.

        14              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Second.

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        16              Without objection, it's approved.

        17              MS. HIGGINS:  And before I go on to Item 3, 

        18          I would like to thank you, Governor, and 

        19          General Milligan, and Commissioner Gallagher, 

        20          for all being there on Saturday for the 

        21          dedication of the Korean War Memorial.

        22              (Treasurer Nelson entered the room.)

        23              MS. HIGGINS:  We don't always all get a 

        24          chance to get together and thank so many 

        25          really -- really important people for what they 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          have done.

         2              And I've got to tell you that every veteran 

         3          I talked to since that time has been very, very 

         4          proud, and very pleased with the gift that we 

         5          were able to give them.  So I thank you very 

         6          much.

         7              As I go on to just tell you a little bit 

         8          about our budget, I'm going to try to be very 

         9          brief. 

        10              And I want to tell you, Governor, that I 

        11          will not be quoting Winston Churchill or 

        12          George Washington.

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  It'll be a first then.

        14              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Still leaves a lot 

        15          of people.

        16              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yeah.

        17              MS. HIGGINS:  Yes, sir, that's true.

        18              As -- as you know, the -- this state has 

        19          1.7 million veterans.  And, in fact, our 

        20          veterans population, unlike many of the other 

        21          states, is actually growing.  And I think 

        22          during the -- during the census, we would be 

        23          able to point that out.

        24              We have 600,000 World War II veterans 

        25          alone, and 300-- over 300,000 Korean war 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          veterans.  So we have about 1 million veterans 

         2          in the state of Florida.  More than -- more 

         3          than half of our veterans population are over 

         4          the age of sixty-five. 

         5              So it becomes very clear that what we need 

         6          to do with our limited assets, and certainly 

         7          all the attention we can give them, is to look 

         8          to what are the needs of that aging veterans 

         9          population.

        10              We currently have 407 people in 

        11          22 different locations around the state.  Our 

        12          strategic issue is just one:  Florida's 

        13          veterans, a major and growing sector of whom 

        14          are elderly, expect, deserve, and require 

        15          advocacy, healthcare, information, education, 

        16          and services to mitigate significant health and 

        17          economic threats.

        18              We are a good deal for -- for the State.  

        19          Our budget comprises about one-half, or 

        20          somewhere less than 1 percent of Florida's 

        21          State budget.  Much of that, this year 

        22          17.7 million dollars of that is self-generated, 

        23          and that is our trust funds, our Federal trust 

        24          funds.

        25              We leverage in excess of 56 million dollars 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          in direct Federal U.S. Department of 

         2          Veterans' Affairs benefit dollars.

         3              Overall, our Benefits and Assistance 

         4          Division brings in 46 million dollars -- 

         5          Federal dollars each year.

         6              Each of our veterans claims examiners -- 

         7          and we normally pay them about $36,000 a year 

         8          in salary -- each one of those brings in about 

         9          $734,000 annually for the veterans that we can 

        10          help.

        11              We are in the process, as you know, of 

        12          building out to six veterans homes.  When we do 

        13          that, we will have garnered more than 600 -- 

        14          60 million dollars in Federal construction 

        15          funds alone.  Each home brings in about 

        16          10 million dollars per home.

        17              The homes themselves, of course, are a good 

        18          deal, as you know.  The per diem rate for each 

        19          veteran in the -- in each home has been raised.  

        20          This last -- and -- I guess in October to 

        21          $51 per diem. 

        22              And, of course, because of that, and other 

        23          Federal benefits that we can accrue in the 

        24          homes significantly reduces the State's 

        25          healthcare costs while being a good deal for 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          the veterans of Florida.

         2              And except for the home -- except for the 

         3          homes, and our small Tallahassee office, the 

         4          rest of our employees are in Federal facilities 

         5          rent free and utilities paid.  That equates to 

         6          about 11-- 11,500 square feet at a cost of 

         7          about 2-- a cost savings of about $231,000 a 

         8          year.

         9              (Commissioner Crawford exited the room.)

        10              MS. HIGGINS:  Our Department has grown.  

        11          In -- ten years ago when the Department was 

        12          formed, we had about 50 people. 

        13              In 1991, because of the start of -- 

        14          start-up of the homes pro-- building homes 

        15          program, we grew to about 149 employees. 

        16              We now have 407.  And as we build three 

        17          more homes, we will grow again by half.

        18              My budget basically consists of three -- of 

        19          some -- three cogent and overarching issues.  

        20          First of all, in 1991, 62 percent of the budget 

        21          was comprised of GR.  Today, only 26 percent is 

        22          GR. 

        23              We're taking money out of our trust funds, 

        24          and we're becoming way too lean, and we can't 

        25          continue doing that.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              Secondly, we can't increase the size and 

         2          the scope of our Department four-fold without 

         3          some increase in administrative -- in 

         4          administrative and support capabilities in 

         5          order to support that growth, and make sure it 

         6          happens correctly.

         7              And -- and the third issue is that we have 

         8          not received any general revenue funding for 

         9          any of our information resource management 

        10          improvements and upgrades in over --

        11              (Commissioner Crawford entered the room.)

        12              MS. HIGGINS:  -- four years. 

        13              My goal when it comes to IRM, and I've said 

        14          this before, is to try to bring our Department 

        15          into the 20th century sometime before the 

        16          21st century.

        17              Specifically, we are asking for 131 people 

        18          for the start-up of our third veterans nursing 

        19          home, which is now being built in 

        20          Broward County. 

        21              We're not asking for any -- any building 

        22          funds, construction funds, because that's all 

        23          happening right now.  We expect to open this 

        24          home and be ready to accept residents in 

        25          Pembroke Pines in Broward County sometime 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          during the winter of 2000.

         2              We're asking for a small organizational 

         3          increase in -- in our administrative and 

         4          support staff of nine people.  We're asking for 

         5          a few for benefits and assistance staff 

         6          increase. 

         7              We've got a huge backlog, as you know, in 

         8          Florida, and we're actually making some 

         9          inroads.  And the Department of Veterans 

        10          Affairs, the U.S. Department of 

        11          Veterans' Affairs is working very closely in a 

        12          partnership.  They're opening up more 

        13          outpatient clinics, community-based outpatient 

        14          clinics, and I'd like to be able to support 

        15          those outpatient clinics with some outreach of 

        16          our people.

        17              We've got a request for -- for information 

        18          resources, management upgrades of about a half 

        19          a million dollars.

        20              And two significant items relating to 

        21          World War II memorials that -- that people seem 

        22          to get confused about.  One is I've asked for 

        23          $248,000, which is Florida's contribution to 

        24          the national World War II memorial being built 

        25          in Washington.  $248,000 equates to $1 for 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          every veteran who served in World War II, 

         2          during World War II. 

         3              We've -- we've kind of gotten a little 

         4          lucky on this one, because, as you know, we 

         5          have more than twice that many World War II 

         6          veterans living in the state now, which is a 

         7          testament to how wonderful our state is, and 

         8          how accommodating we are to our veterans.

         9              We have the -- the National Memorial 

        10          Foundation is trying to get at such -- a like 

        11          kind of donation for each dollar for each 

        12          veteran from every state.  I think more than 

        13          twice the states now have either done that, or 

        14          are submitting legislation to do that.

        15              So that's one request.

        16              The other is that we're moving forward on 

        17          planning and coming up with a time line for our 

        18          state World War II memorial.  And although I 

        19          haven't asked for money to build that memorial 

        20          in this year's budget, I still think that's 

        21          probably premature. 

        22              I'm hoping that, when we come up with the 

        23          plan, that we can raise a lot of it, if not all 

        24          of it, through private corporate donations and 

        25          such. 


                  December 14, 1999
         1              But we do need a little bit of money for 

         2          fund raising.  And I think that was part of the 

         3          problem with the Korean War Memorial, is that 

         4          we were not able to use any money for fund 

         5          raising, and we just didn't raise the money 

         6          that I think that we can raise.  So I've asked 

         7          for $12,000 to -- to raise that money.

         8              As far as the capital improvement plan, 

         9          we're not asking for any money this year, or 

        10          authority to spend any money for the Broward 

        11          home.  That's being built. 

        12              We are, in fact, asking for the -- the 

        13          one half of the 35 percent, that's the State's 

        14          share, for the next two veterans nursing homes.  

        15          We discussed that at a previous Cabinet 

        16          meeting.  We're going to build one in north 

        17          Florida and one in southwest Florida. 

        18              That equates to about -- a little over 

        19          6 million dollars.  We're requesting a little 

        20          bit -- bit of money for maintenance and repair 

        21          for -- as part of our master plan, and for 

        22          emergency repairs in the already existing 

        23          homes.

        24              And that's about it.  If you have -- if you 

        25          have any questions, I'll be glad --


                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Any questions?

         2              MS. HIGGINS:  -- to answer them.

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a motion? 

         4              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  I move it.

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a second? 

         6              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Second.

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  All in favor, say aye.

         8              THE CABINET:  Aye.

         9              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I withhold my vote as 

        10          Governor in order to make my own budget 

        11          recommendation.

        12              Thank you, Robin.

        13              MS. HIGGINS:  Thank you, gentlemen. 

        14              (The Department of Veterans' Affairs Agenda 

        15          was concluded.)

        16                              *   *   *











                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Secretary Struhs.

         2              MR. STRUHS:  Good morning, gentlemen.

         3              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion on the 

         4          minutes.

         5              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

         6              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

         7              Without objection, it's approved.

         8              Item 2.

         9              MR. STRUHS:  Recommending a deferral on 

        10          Item 2.

        11              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion to defer.

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a second? 

        13              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded to 

        15          defer.

        16              Without objection, it's approved.

        17              MR. STRUHS:  Recommending approval of 

        18          Item 3 subject to special lease conditions and 

        19          a lease payment of $7,784.

        20              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Move Item 3.

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a second? 

        22              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

        23              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Second.

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        25              Without objection, it's approved.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              MR. STRUHS:  Item Number 4, gentlemen, is 

         2          an interesting situation.  I have studied it 

         3          personally and have concluded that it is in 

         4          many respects a -- a dispute among neighbors. 

         5              What makes this one interesting though is 

         6          that one of the neighbors happens to be the 

         7          United States Government.  And I'd like to just 

         8          give you a little background on it.

         9              Florida citizen, Mr. Gerry Beaumont, lives 

        10          on the St. Johns tidal creek, and he has been 

        11          working to get the Jacksonville Port Authority 

        12          to dredge that creek.  That is something that 

        13          the Port Authority is happy and willing to do. 

        14              However, the other abutter is the National 

        15          Park Service, who owns and operates the 

        16          Fort Caroline National Monument.  The National 

        17          Park Service opposes the dredging of this tidal 

        18          creek. 

        19              We have determined that, from an 

        20          environmental perspective, strictly speaking, 

        21          that dredging the creek as planned would cause 

        22          no important environmental damage.

        23              However, our rules, the DEP rules that we 

        24          have adopted, require us to recommend a denial 

        25          whenever one of the riparian property owners, 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          in this case, the National Park Service, 

         2          opposes the dredging. 

         3              So our -- our proposal -- or recommendation 

         4          is to deny, but, in fact, that's just something 

         5          that's required by our own rules, and the 

         6          decision is really in your hands.

         7              With that as background, we have a number 

         8          of speakers.  Barbara Goodman is here from the 

         9          National Park Service who manages that 

        10          property.  And then we also have 

        11          Mr. Anthony Orsini, and -- from -- from the 

        12          Jacksonville Port Authority; and then 

        13          Mr. Beaumont, in that order.

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good morning. 

        15              MS. GOODMAN:  Good morning, and thank you 

        16          for giving me the opportunity to speak here.

        17              My name is Barbara Goodman.  I am the 

        18          Superintendent of the Timucuan Ecological and  

        19          Historic Preserve.  The Fort Caroline National 

        20          Memorial is a -- one small part of the broader 

        21          46,000 acre preserve, of which this creek is 

        22          inside.

        23              It's located next to National Park Service 

        24          lands, but it's also within the -- the broader 

        25          context of this larger preserve, and is 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          designated as outstanding waters.

         2              I am charged with protecting these 

         3          resources in such a manner, and by such means 

         4          as leaves them unimpaired for future 

         5          generations.

         6              That's important to say because that is our 

         7          whole purpose for being there.  And we have a 

         8          wonderful interface between natural resources 

         9          and the urban existence in the Timucuan 

        10          preserve. 

        11              Governor, you were there when you signed 

        12          the Florida Forever legislation.  You saw what 

        13          a wonderful integration we have going. 

        14              But it's also a very delicate balance.  And 

        15          in order to protect that balance, it's critical 

        16          that we are very careful to not manipulate the 

        17          environment, unless there is strong scientific 

        18          reason to manipulate.

        19              The previous speaker commented that they 

        20          could find that there would not be damage if 

        21          they did.  But the other side of that is there 

        22          needs to be reason to do it.

        23              The National Park Service does not believe 

        24          that there is sufficient scientific data to 

        25          support the dredging of this creek. 


                  December 14, 1999
         1              We base this on the fact that at this time, 

         2          the creek is healthy and functioning; there 

         3          exists several species of birds, fish, 

         4          invertebrates; there is positive flushing 

         5          action; and the surrounding marshlands are 

         6          healthy.

         7              There is some contention that the creek has 

         8          gotten worse over time, and we do not agree 

         9          with that statement.  This is a small, shallow 

        10          creek, and has had very low water at low tide 

        11          for many, many years.

        12              And please understand that just by --

        13              (Treasurer Nelson exited the room.)

        14              MS. GOODMAN:  -- being shallow, that is not 

        15          a reason to dredge.

        16              In 1977, during a study from the original 

        17          permit request, it was found, and I'll quote 

        18          from that:  That at near low tide in the creek 

        19          in the area of the bridge revealed the creek to 

        20          be virtually teeming with aquatic life.  This 

        21          reflects the healthy, stable condition of the 

        22          marsh at that time, and demonstrates that it 

        23          constitutes a valuable biological resource.

        24              The current DEP officials state that there 

        25          is little change in the creek from that time.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              The shoaling and the creek sedimentation is 

         2          a natural process.  Hydrographic studies 

         3          indicate that dredging would not increase water 

         4          velocity.  Therefore, the shoaling at the mouth 

         5          of the creek would continue, as would the 

         6          natural process of sedimentation, meaning that 

         7          once dredged, the natural siltation process 

         8          would just begin again.

         9              The National Park Service has, over the 

        10          course of this dialogue, identified many 

        11          questions and concerns regarding this dredge.  

        12          But most importantly, we find no reason and no 

        13          benefit to the dredge.

        14              It is not biologically necessary to do it.  

        15          And it is NPS policy to not try and fix 

        16          something that doesn't need fixing.

        17              Others have claimed that damage has been 

        18          done to the creek as a result of spoil being 

        19          deposited nearby.

        20              The fact that the creek is healthy and 

        21          functioning now indicates that, if damage was 

        22          done in the past, that time has healed those 

        23          wounds.

        24              Every scientist who has visited and looked 

        25          at the creek in its current state has agreed 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          that the creek is currently healthy and 

         2          functioning.

         3              Therefore, the National Park Service 

         4          requests that, based on our riparian rights, 

         5          and as professionals in the business of 

         6          managing and protecting public lands, that it 

         7          is in the interest of the broadest public to 

         8          deny this request to dredge.

         9              Thank you.

        10              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.

        11              MR. ORSINI:  Governor Bush, members of the 

        12          Cabinet, thank you very much for allowing me 

        13          the opportunity to speak this morning. 

        14              I represent the Jacksonville 

        15          Port Authority.  I am their Director of Marine 

        16          Engineering and Construction. 

        17              And to start off with, I want to restate 

        18          the position of this small tributary.  It -- it 

        19          runs north and south from the St. Johns River 

        20          to the -- to the tidal marshes of Chicopit Bay.  

        21          It is bordered on the east by Buck Island, 

        22          which is a spoil deposit island; and bordered 

        23          on the west by a residential community of 

        24          St. Johns Bluff and the National Park Service.

        25              I would presume that the first question in 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          your mind is why is the Jacksonville 

         2          Port Authority interested in this, because it 

         3          is -- it is not a navigable waterway, it won't 

         4          be a navigable waterway after the dredge, it 

         5          has no commercial impact on the City of 

         6          Jacksonville or northeast Florida. 

         7              And the number one answer of that question 

         8          is, in our view, it is the right thing to do.

         9              The Jacksonville Port Authority has 

        10          conceded that over the years, beginning back as 

        11          far as 1940, the Corps of Engineers has been 

        12          using Buck Island as a depository for -- for 

        13          dredge spoil. 

        14              Over the years, the -- the pumping of 

        15          dredge spoil onto this island was done without 

        16          benefit of any retainage dikes.  And up until 

        17          the year 1987 when the state of Florida bought 

        18          the island, and then the Jacksonville 

        19          Port Authority became managers of that island, 

        20          still material was being put on this island 

        21          without benefit of substantial dikes. 

        22              And the residents there can -- can point to 

        23          events where the dikes were breached, they were 

        24          overflowed, and material flowed into this 

        25          little tidal creek.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              The -- one of the biggest culprits in what 

         2          we view as the -- as the siltation of this 

         3          creek is a bridge.  There was a bridge 

         4          installed by the original developers of the 

         5          island.  The bridge was made of some old -- 

         6          well, what appears to be railroad timbers. 

         7              It -- the timbers were separated, it had 

         8          no -- no side boards on it, and if you had made 

         9          that bridge out of speed bumps, you couldn't 

        10          have made it anything more rough to travel 

        11          over.

        12              Well, since the sand in Buck Island is a 

        13          natural resource and is -- can be used for 

        14          public projects, the extension of State Road 

        15          9-A around the east of Jacksonville used 

        16          about -- about 2 million yards of sand out of 

        17          Buck Island, and truckers were taking this sand 

        18          out. 

        19              Since the truckers were paying only a small 

        20          access fee to the island to the Port Authority, 

        21          and they were paying per truck, it was to their 

        22          advantage to put as much sand into these trucks 

        23          as they possibly could. 

        24              They put additional side boards up on the 

        25          side of the trucks, the backhoes loaded the 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          truck up with as much sand as it could hold, 

         2          and then it would bounce across this washboard 

         3          bridge. 

         4              And as it did, it would drop sand off these 

         5          trucks, onto the bridge, off of the bridge, and 

         6          into the creek.  I've seen that myself.

         7              The Port Authority recognizing this, we 

         8          budgeted for a new bridge, and did install a 

         9          new concrete modern bridge with nice 

        10          side boards on it to keep anything from falling 

        11          into the creek, but the damage had already been 

        12          done. 

        13              We had documented since 1991, there had 

        14          been over 30,000 truck trips one way carrying 

        15          sand off that island and depositing sand into 

        16          this creek.

        17              The results of all this activity, 

        18          of course, were brought to us by -- by the 

        19          residents of -- of the Bluff.  And our Board of 

        20          Directors of the Jacksonville Port Authority, 

        21          after listening to the evidence presented to 

        22          them, agreed that this was a responsibility 

        23          that we owed to the residents and to the 

        24          environment, and budgeted precious capital 

        25          funds to dredge this creek and restore it back 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          to its original condition.

         2              So here we are.  We have accomplished all 

         3          that the State law has required of us.  The 

         4          initial objections of the Park Service was that 

         5          they were concerned that this dredge would 

         6          possibly hurt the monument, the 

         7          Ribault Monument, which sits on a high bluff 

         8          above this creek. 

         9              And hearing that, I sent engineers and 

        10          geologists out there to take a look at it.  The 

        11          Port Authority was willing to add reinforcement 

        12          to this Ribault Monument bluff, if necessary. 

        13              My engineers came back and said, nope, 

        14          there was -- was no possibility that this 

        15          dredge would affect the bluff.  It couldn't 

        16          happen.  Physical impossibility.  So that was 

        17          reported and went away.

        18              The next objection that I heard was that we 

        19          were going to damage the shoreline vegetation.  

        20          Well, we revised the dredging plan to eliminate 

        21          any dredging anywhere near the shoreline 

        22          vegetation.  And, of course, the last objection 

        23          is that there's no scientific data that the 

        24          sand in the creek was put there by man.

        25              Well, again, we sent the engineers and 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          geologists out, and I gave them instructions to 

         2          find out where the sand came from.  And their 

         3          response to us was that, well, Port Authority 

         4          would love to take your money, but the plain 

         5          fact is that the sand that's in the creek is 

         6          the same sand that's in the river, is -- it's 

         7          the same sand that's in the Buck Island, and 

         8          the same sand that's on the bluff, and there's 

         9          just no scientific way of proving where that 

        10          sand came from.  It's here. 

        11              But where it came from is -- it's not 

        12          feasible to -- to prove that.

        13              So I -- I submit to -- to you, Governor, 

        14          and to your Commissioners, that the proof is in 

        15          the eye of the public and the -- and the 

        16          residents who live along that bluff. 

        17              We have 15 residents along the bluff -- or 

        18          15 property owners that -- 14 of which are in 

        19          support of this project, and have given their 

        20          consent of riparian rights.  The Park Service 

        21          has withheld theirs for the reasons they have 

        22          stated.

        23              So we feel that we've done all that -- that 

        24          the law has required of us, there are no 

        25          environmental impacts to this project.  It is 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          judged clearly in the public interest by the 

         2          Department of Environmental Protection.  And we 

         3          look forward to restoring this creek back to 

         4          its original condition.

         5              And I ask that this -- this body approve 

         6          the permit and allow us to perform the project.

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.

         8              MR. ORSINI:  Thank you.

         9              MR. STRUHS:  Mr. Beaumont. 

        10              MR. BEAUMONT:  Good morning.  I'm 

        11          Gerald Beaumont, and I -- I've been -- to 

        12          represent the people on St. Johns Creek.  They 

        13          appointed me because I'm the oldest and been 

        14          out there the longest, and have had witness to 

        15          this thing.

        16              St. Johns Creek is not healthy.  How can it 

        17          be healthy when at low tide, you look down 

        18          there, and there -- you see sand and no water 

        19          in the creek? 

        20              Now, the -- we live on the creek.  There's 

        21          no Park Ranger that lives on the creek.  

        22          In fact, if you go up the Ribault Monument, you 

        23          only see the river, you don't even see the 

        24          creek.  So we have witnessed this over the 

        25          years. 


                  December 14, 1999
         1              Before the Barbara Goodman administration 

         2          came here, they were dredging without dikes, 

         3          and we could visibly see the -- the filtration 

         4          of the sand into the creek.  You know it comes 

         5          out in liquid sand when they dredge, tons and 

         6          tons of it, and it spreads everywhere.  And we 

         7          have witnessed that.

         8              We -- we live down the creek all the time, 

         9          the Park Service doesn't.  We saw the trucks go 

        10          over the bridge and bounce the sand into the 

        11          creek.

        12              The reason we wanted water in the creek, 

        13          because we bought property out there.  It 

        14          wasn't our fault.  We look down there, and 

        15          we're disgusted to see sand there.

        16              Now, when there was water in the creek 

        17          at -- at low tide, there were thousands of 

        18          mullet swimming down the creek.  And because 

        19          there were a lot of fish there, there were a 

        20          lot of birds, and the ospreys would be flying 

        21          up and down.  It was just beautiful. 

        22              But -- but now there's only a few fish, a 

        23          few birds.  We want it restored.  All the 

        24          people out there, they have written letters, 

        25          they -- they've requested restoration of the 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          creek.

         2              Now, I'm an environmentalist.  I was 

         3          Chairman of the Nature Conservancy in 

         4          Jacksonville for many, many years.  And I was 

         5          Chairman when we gave the Roosevelt Preserve to 

         6          the National Park Service with the provision 

         7          that they keep it in its natural state, no 

         8          buildings, no roads, or anything else.

         9              And I'm amazed that they don't want to 

        10          restore that beautiful creek the way it was -- 

        11          the way God created it. 

        12              So we are pleading with you to restore that 

        13          creek the way God created it.

        14              Are there any questions?

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.

        16              Any other speakers, Secretary Struhs? 

        17              MR. STRUHS:  That concludes the speakers, 

        18          sir.

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Explain to me the rule, if 

        20          you could, that requires you to deny but --

        21              MR. STRUHS:  Yes, sir.

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- allows you the qualifier 

        23          for us to overrule it.  I'm -- I'm a little --

        24              MR. STRUHS:  Well --

        25              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- confused by that.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              MR. STRUHS:  Well -- 

         2              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Governor, what -- 

         3          what I would like to put on the table for 

         4          discussion would be a motion that would approve 

         5          this as soon as the National Park Service signs 

         6          off on it. 

         7              And he can address that also, if he would.

         8              MR. STRUHS:  The -- the DEP rules which 

         9          govern our --

        10              GOVERNOR BUSH:  We'll come back to you, 

        11          Commissioner.

        12              MR. STRUHS:  -- the DEP rules that govern 

        13          our responsibilities to the Cabinet require us 

        14          to recommend a denial in the event that there 

        15          is a riparian owner who objects to a proposal. 

        16              And in this case, that owner is the 

        17          National Park Service.  So our -- our rules are 

        18          that we have to recommend the denial. 

        19              In fact, the decision is yours.  And you do 

        20          not --

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay. 

        22              MR. STRUHS:  -- as you know, have to accept 

        23          any -- 

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I misunderstood. 

        25              MR. STRUHS:  -- of our recommendations.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I thought you said that 

         2          we -- the rules required you -- for us -- 

         3          required us to deny --

         4              MR. STRUHS:  No, sir.  No.  You --

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  It's for your 

         6          recommendation.

         7              MR. STRUHS:  The Trustees have complete 

         8          latitude in making any decision they want.  I 

         9          just wanted to point out that --

        10              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay. 

        11              MR. STRUHS:  -- our recommendation of 

        12          denial is -- is based on rule. 

        13              In fact, it's a close call.  It could go 

        14          either way.  We don't think there's any 

        15          significant environmental damage from going 

        16          forward with the project.

        17              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Oh, then I might 

        18          change my motion to approve it.

        19              In fact, I will change it to -- I move to 

        20          approve it.

        21              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a motion to 

        23          approve, and a second.

        24              Any other comments? 

        25              Generals? 


                  December 14, 1999
         1              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  No.

         2              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  (Shaking head.)

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  All in favor, say aye.

         4              THE CABINET:  Aye.

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  All opposed.

         6              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  No.

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  No.

         8              So --

         9              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  It fails.

        10              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- it fails.

        11              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  How about if I try 

        12          my other motion that it -- we approve it based 

        13          on the National Park Service changing their 

        14          objection?

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I would second that.

        16              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Okay.  But 

        17          you can't.  You're Governor.

        18              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  I'll second it for 

        19          you.

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Hint, hint.

        21              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a motion to I guess 

        23          give a contingent approval subject to signing 

        24          off by the --

        25              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- National Park 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          Service.

         2              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- National Park Service. 

         3              And there's a second.

         4              All in favor, say aye.

         5              THE CABINET:  Aye.

         6              GOVERNOR BUSH:  All opposed?

         7              Thank you.

         8              MR. STRUHS:  Thank you.

         9              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  I knew my first 

        10          idea was the best one.

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  It was a good idea.

        12              MR. STRUHS:  Substitute Item Number 5 deals 

        13          with the issues of deadhead logging in the 

        14          state of Florida. 

        15              One year ago the Department promised the 

        16          Trustees a report.  You should have a copy of 

        17          that report, which is a two-page summary of all 

        18          the individuals in Florida currently permitted 

        19          to engage in deadhead logging.  So we have met 

        20          that initial obligation. 

        21              During the course of the last year, the 

        22          U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service --

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Could I have everybody's -- 

        24          can we all be a little more quiet? 

        25              The Governor's a little hard of hearing.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              MR. STRUHS:  We've met that obligation in 

         2          providing you the report, which you have all 

         3          seen.

         4              During the course of the year, we've 

         5          received complaints or concerns by the 

         6          U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, by a number of 

         7          environmental organizations, and by some 

         8          fishermen suggesting that the deadhead logging 

         9          that's going on is currently causing some 

        10          damage, specifically to recreational fishing, 

        11          and to protected muscle species that --

        12              (Treasurer Nelson entered the room.) 

        13              MR. STRUHS:  -- live on the banks of some 

        14          Florida rivers.

        15              Based on that, this item recommends, in 

        16          addition to your acceptance of our report, the 

        17          imposition of a four-month moratorium which 

        18          would extend until April 25th of the year 2000 

        19          on the issuance of any new permits for deadhead 

        20          logging. 

        21              And, thirdly, to limit existing permits to 

        22          already authorized logging areas.

        23              I might point out for 

        24          Commissioner Crawford's benefit, that while not 

        25          a specific part of this agenda item, we have 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          moved to designate the Blackwater River State 

         2          Forest, and add that to the prohibited areas 

         3          list.

         4              So with that, we do have a -- quite a few 

         5          number of speakers who want to address this.  I 

         6          would suggest that, given the number, and given 

         7          the fact that some of them are from the same 

         8          organizations, we limit the comments to no more 

         9          than -- than 2 minutes a piece. 

        10              And if I could just introduce them one by 

        11          one. 

        12              Mr. Larry Welch.

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  And as we move forward, 

        14          if -- if people have already said it, and 

        15          you -- you don't think you can say it better 

        16          than the way it was said before, consider it 

        17          said.

        18              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  And if you'll give 

        19          the list -- sort of go down four or five 

        20          names -- 

        21              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Well said, 

        22          Governor.

        23              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- so they can 

        24          wait in line to speak, it would make -- save 

        25          some time.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              MR. STRUHS:  I'm sorry.

         2              Thank you, Commissioner. 

         3              The order will be Mr. Welch, Mr. Fuller, 

         4          Ms. Gengenbach, Mr. Draper, Mr. Reid, Mr. Ard, 

         5          Mr. Townsend.

         6              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  If you all will 

         7          sort of move on up here slowly, that'll save 

         8          quite a bit of time.

         9              Thank you.

        10              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good morning.

        11              MR. WELCH:  Good morning. 

        12              I'm Larry Welch from Crestview, Florida, 

        13          located in Okaloosa County.  And I'm here to 

        14          express concern regarding activities of 

        15          deadheaders in the Florida rivers, and seek 

        16          reversal of the permit --

        17              (Governor Bush exited the room.)

        18              MR. WELCH:  -- which allows removal of 

        19          precut timber from these rivers; or at a 

        20          minimum, enforce the conditions of said permit.

        21              The following pages -- which you have a 

        22          packet -- the following pages present 

        23          photographic evidence that deadheaders are 

        24          illegally taking logs from Yellow, Blackwater, 

        25          and Choctawhatchee Rivers in northwest Florida. 


                  December 14, 1999
         1              Preceding each group of the pictures is a 

         2          map of the section of each river from -- the 

         3          logs were taken.  Evidence suggests that all 

         4          permitted rivers are receiving the same 

         5          treatment.

         6              Item Number 5 of specific conditions of the 

         7          permit in question states recovery of 

         8          dead fall, storm falls, or any naturally 

         9          occurring timber on submerged lands is 

        10          prohibited. 

        11              Item Number 9, recovery of deadheads is 

        12          restricted to 10 to 15 feet waterward of steep 

        13          banks along the outside bends of the river. 

        14              Item Number 10, recovery of deadheads 

        15          imbedded within the banks of the river is 

        16          prohibited.

        17              All the following pictures represent 

        18          blatant violations of the above-stated 

        19          conditions, and should be enforced.

        20              It should also be noted that they represent 

        21          only a very small percentage of the many miles 

        22          of affected rivers. 

        23              It appears that the Department of 

        24          Environmental Protection has neither the 

        25          manpower nor proper equipment to enforce the 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          very permit for which they lobbied. 

         2              The main concern of the fishing public is 

         3          this provision --

         4              (Governor Bush entered the room.)

         5              MR. WELCH:  -- destroys fish habitat.  When 

         6          each piece of wood debris is removed, it is 

         7          replaced by sand, therefore, no fish can 

         8          survive. 

         9              A prime example of this is the log jam on 

        10          Yellow River which was producing fish for over 

        11          50 years as verified by Harold King, a lifelong 

        12          resident.  This log jam no longer exists.  It 

        13          was pulled from the steep river bank bend, and 

        14          what is left of it now lies across the river on 

        15          the sandbar.

        16              The revised proposed reports wants 

        17          additional scientific investigations on the 

        18          environmental impact of recovery, and 

        19          importance of deadheads to the ecosystem. 

        20              I've included one such report prepared by 

        21          the Florida DEP.  It references many other 

        22          already completed studies on the removal of 

        23          deadheads.  All state the importance of leaving 

        24          them alone, not only for the fish, endangered 

        25          species, but the very life of the rivers. 


                  December 14, 1999
         1              Are we going to let private enterprise 

         2          remove the woody debris from the already 

         3          starved rivers, and let taxpayers replace them 

         4          as DEP recommends?

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, sir.

         6              MR. WELCH:  Thank you.

         7              MR. FULLER:  Governor and Cabinet, I'm 

         8          Manley Fuller representing the Florida Wildlife 

         9          Federation. 

        10              We have concerns about removal of the 

        11          deadhead logs from the -- from the rivers in 

        12          the state.  We've expressed -- expressed these 

        13          previously to the Secretary. 

        14              We share the concerns of the gentleman who 

        15          just preceded -- preceded me.  We would -- 

        16          regarding your recommended agenda item, we 

        17          would suggest consideration of -- of a -- some 

        18          additional conditions. 

        19              While the -- we'd like to participate in 

        20          the working group that the -- that is 

        21          envisioned by the proposed agenda item, so that 

        22          the issues of fisheries habitat can be fully 

        23          addressed and enforcement, et cetera, which 

        24          are -- we think are valid questions. 

        25              But -- but from a practical standpoint on 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          the ongoing permitted operations, we would 

         2          suggest, and have -- and I've spoken with 

         3          Mr. Ard, who's counsel for some of the deadhead 

         4          loggers, that a practice be added or a 

         5          condition be added to the activity that -- such 

         6          as is practiced with dredge and fill permits, 

         7          or construction permits where the permit is 

         8          actually posted above -- upstream and 

         9          downstream of the activity so that the public 

        10          going up and down the stream can tell whether 

        11          or not this has been a permitted activity; the 

        12          number -- the phone number, et cetera, of the 

        13          Department if there's a question; and the 

        14          actual -- the actual permit is shown so, if 

        15          anyone wants to get out and look at the permit 

        16          and see whether the activity is allowed or not, 

        17          this would -- would suggest within 100 yards of 

        18          the activity. 

        19              We think that that would allow for a -- the 

        20          concerned member of the public to -- to check 

        21          it out. 

        22              And then also with that -- with -- absent 

        23          those posted permits, then one could eas-- one 

        24          could assume that the activity was in 

        25          violation.  We think that this might facilitate 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          enforcement while the -- while the review of 

         2          the activity and the working group goes 

         3          forward.

         4              Also Mr. Ard indicated last week that, for 

         5          his clients, he informs the Department weekly 

         6          of where they'll be conducting the activities 

         7          so that -- that this would allow -- this might 

         8          make enforcement or review of whether permit 

         9          conditions are being met easier.  We think that 

        10          that should be applied statewide to other 

        11          extractors. 

        12              So we're -- we think that there is -- we 

        13          think that there is legal and habitat issues 

        14          that should be addressed.  We'd like to see an 

        15          increased involvement of the Fish and Wildlife 

        16          Conservation Commission with the Department in 

        17          addressing this issue, and we look forward to 

        18          be -- participating in that working group.

        19              Thank you.

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, Manley. 

        21              MS. GENGENBACH:  Good morning.  I'm 

        22          Marianne Gengenbach with the 

        23          Nature Conservancy. 

        24              I'd like to say that we're pleased to see 

        25          this modified proposal out here calling for the 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          moratorium, while new recommendations are 

         2          created.  We do think there are conditions 

         3          under which this practice can be permitted 

         4          and -- without causing damage, and that we can 

         5          come to some kind of solution.  We look forward 

         6          to being part of that process. 

         7              We're also heartened to see that the 

         8          proposal seems to call for some increased 

         9          monitoring during that time, because it was -- 

        10          some of our scientific folks that work with the 

        11          gulf coastal ecosystem partnership that have 

        12          noted what appears to be either continued 

        13          illegal activity, or violations of existing 

        14          permits.

        15              We do want to reiterate that we have six 

        16          basic concerns that we hope are addressed 

        17          during the process of developing the new 

        18          recommendations.

        19              First of all, we think it's very important 

        20          to have careful and adequate monitoring before 

        21          and after the practices of deadhead logging to 

        22          assure that habitat for endangered species is 

        23          not harmed.

        24              We also think it's important to take into 

        25          account that the percentage of woody debris in 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          these rivers not only affects the biology, but 

         2          also the physical characteristics of these 

         3          streams, and that's important to the ecosystem.

         4              Third, there are different types of rivers, 

         5          and some rivers are not suited, I think we'll 

         6          find, for the practice of deadhead logging.  

         7          The different types of rivers are subject to 

         8          sedimentation problems where deadhead logging 

         9          could cause serious further damage.

        10              Fourth, we think it's important to 

        11          recognize differences in system health within 

        12          sections of rivers themselves, and tighten up 

        13          those areas where there should be no deadhead 

        14          logging.

        15              Fifth, we think that it's important to 

        16          recognize the impact that other types of 

        17          problems on these rivers can have on the 

        18          deadhead logging impact.  For example, if 

        19          there's already a lot of soil erosion going on, 

        20          then deadhead logging can have a further 

        21          detrimental effect.

        22              And finally, we think that it's very 

        23          important to look very closely at the proposed 

        24          mitigation recommendations because of the fact 

        25          that we're not exactly sure that replacing 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          something that's not very old and deteriorates 

         2          a lot faster is going to provide the same 

         3          biological function as the current deadheads do 

         4          for the ecosystem.

         5              Now, inherent in these concerns is the fact 

         6          that we think that this study conducted over 

         7          the next few months is likely to yield 

         8          information that renders certain rivers or 

         9          certain sections of rivers as being unsuitable 

        10          for this practice. 

        11              And since current permits are being allowed 

        12          to continue during this moratorium, we would 

        13          very much urge that this process be expedited 

        14          so the recommendations can be put in place 

        15          quickly, because we really don't want 

        16          irreversible damage to occur on those rivers 

        17          where there's practices unsuitable.

        18              Thank you.

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you. 

        20              MR. DRAPER:  Good morning.  My name is 

        21          Eric Draper.  I'm representing the combined 

        22          Audubon societies. 

        23              I'm here to --

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  What's your new name going 

        25          to be? 


                  December 14, 1999
         1              What's the new name going to be?

         2              MR. DRAPER:  Now, that's putting me on the 

         3          spot.

         4              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Well, never mind then.  

         5          We'll -- we'll catch you next --

         6              MR. DRAPER:  How about Combined Audubon 

         7          Societies?  I'm going to let Stuart Charles 

         8          continue to arm wrestle over that one.

         9              Whoever we are, we would prefer that the 

        10          practice of recovering deadhead timbers be 

        11          ended on the basis of the DEP report, which 

        12          finds that the practice has a negative effect 

        13          on fish and wildlife.

        14              Nevertheless, we support the amended item 

        15          of accepting the report and placing a 

        16          moratorium on new permits, and those permits 

        17          without regulatory approval for a four-month 

        18          period. 

        19              We'll work with the Department to -- to 

        20          come up with some additional restrictions on 

        21          how this practice could be used in a way that 

        22          is completely protective of the environment 

        23          during that interim period.

        24              Thank you.

        25              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              Good morning.

         2              MR. REID: Good morning, sir.

         3              Thank you for inviting us.

         4              I'm Bob Reid.  I'm a conservation officer 

         5          of the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society.  I do 

         6          know our name.

         7              I -- our Board met two days ago, and have 

         8          asked me to come over and express the position 

         9          of Choctawhatchee Audubon. 

        10              Choctawhatchee Audubon is a -- comprised of 

        11          more than 600 families and individuals in 

        12          Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton Counties.

        13              Every indication suggests that extracting 

        14          these deadhead logs is doing serious damage to 

        15          our streams.  This would be true, even if the 

        16          permit conditions were being stringently met.  

        17          But they're not.

        18              In absence of on-site monitoring, permit 

        19          violations have become commonplace.  I've 

        20          personally seen where logs were extracted from 

        21          stream banks and river bends, and within 10 to 

        22          15 feet of the shoreline, sites specifically 

        23          prohibited are made off limits by terms of the 

        24          permit.  I believe you've seen the photos that 

        25          support this.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              But even if the violations were halted -- 

         2          if all violations were halted, damage is still 

         3          being done to the ecosystem.  How much, nobody 

         4          knows. 

         5              To my knowledge, no survey has determined 

         6          how many logs exist in which streams.  We 

         7          really have no idea of the magnitude of the 

         8          issue because it's only after the fact that 

         9          loggers report to you how many logs they've 

        10          recovered.

        11              Studies like that done by DEP aquatic 

        12          biologist Donald Ray show very high value in 

        13          leaving deadhead logs as they are.  To mitigate 

        14          the loss of what have become permanent fixtures 

        15          in our streams, DEP now proposes to replace 

        16          extracted deadheads with woody debris.

        17              As a practicing forester with 50 years 

        18          experience in the wood, I have experience with 

        19          disposing of tree tops and limbs.

        20              Such debris is remarkably short-lived.  

        21          While a solid chunk of heart pine embedded in a 

        22          stream bed can remain intact for hundreds of 

        23          years, the pithy tops and limbs proposed for 

        24          mitigation will rot away in less than a decade.

        25              Since science shows our streams are already 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          deficient in woody matter -- I'm talking about 

         2          the streams of northwest Florida -- what do we 

         3          propose to do ten years from now when the 

         4          debris we toss in today has rotted away?  Does 

         5          it become the taxpayers' perpetual 

         6          responsibility?

         7              Some argue that despite there having 

         8          been -- their having been there many human 

         9          generations, the presence of these logs 

        10          constitutes an unnatural condition in our 

        11          streams.  I agree.

        12              But merely pulling them out can in no way 

        13          restore a preEuropean condition.  There's a lot 

        14          more sediment today, especially in non-alluvial 

        15          streams, like our Blackwater streams.

        16              Deadheads help form eddy pools in what are 

        17          otherwise mostly sterile, sandy bottoms.  It's 

        18          in these eddy pools and around these logs that 

        19          the critters congregate.  Just ask any 

        20          fisherman.

        21              These original growth deadhead logs date 

        22          from another era.  No one in this room put them 

        23          there.  They were abandoned as lost property 

        24          100 years ago, and most I've seen do not have 

        25          obvious identifiable brands or marks. 


                  December 14, 1999
         1              I've read the Attorney General's 1996 legal 

         2          opinion as to their ownership, and it certainly 

         3          appears such logs should belong to the State.

         4              No question they do have a high market 

         5          value.  But I believe they have an even higher 

         6          market val-- a higher value to the State left 

         7          where they are. 

         8              Why don't we leave these irreplaceable logs 

         9          in situ for now and clarify their ownership in 

        10          the courts.  If the judge says these loggers 

        11          have a propriety interest, the State should 

        12          consider buying that interest from them, which 

        13          brings us back to the issue of illegal deadhead 

        14          logging. 

        15              It was an acknowledged inability on the 

        16          part of the State to control such illegal 

        17          activity that led to the permit system in the 

        18          first place.  We believe admitting defeat is 

        19          not a proper response.

        20              In the best interest of healthy Florida 

        21          streams, we urge you to direct an immediate 

        22          halt to all deadhead logging, clarify or obtain 

        23          legal State ownership of all such logs, provide 

        24          enforcement to curtail illegal log harvest, and 

        25          publicize the policy so private citizens will 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          again become watchful monitors for illegal 

         2          activity.

         3              Thank you.

         4              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you very much. 

         5              MR. ARD:  Good morning, Governor, members 

         6          of the Cabinet.  My name is Sam Ard.  I'm 

         7          representing River Bend Lumber Company.  

         8          River Bend Lumber Company is -- is -- has a 

         9          permit to operate on the Yellow River. 

        10              We did not get our permit until September.  

        11          Since September in complying with the permit, 

        12          when -- when you float a log at the -- they 

        13          will not allow it to bump on the bottom.  So we 

        14          do not have enough water to really float the 

        15          log yet.  There's only been two days where we 

        16          were able to actually remove logs from the 

        17          river.

        18              There is -- there is quite a few logs out 

        19          there.  And what -- the point that I would like 

        20          to -- for you to consider is this: 

        21              It is not a natural condition, anymore than 

        22          mining limestone up the hill and taking it and 

        23          dropping it into the river, too. 

        24              What has happened was when -- when the 

        25          state -- when the state was clear cut between 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          1880 and 1920, longleaf pine were taken from 

         2          the hills, they were -- you tried to float them 

         3          down the river to get to the mill, they were 

         4          very dense, very heavy, and they sank. 

         5              And the longleaf pine is not -- does not 

         6          grow on a riverbank.  I can't imagine the storm 

         7          it would take to take these pines off the hill, 

         8          remove the limbs, basic-- and roots, basically 

         9          make them look like a utility pole, and then 

        10          lay them in the river.

        11              And typically how they sank is one end 

        12          would get heavy, hang on the bottom, it would 

        13          swing with the current, and sink longitudinally 

        14          in the river.  They're not hollow, most of them 

        15          do not have bark.  But the -- the wood does 

        16          have a very high value. 

        17              And we support the agreement that you have 

        18          before you, the -- the item, and I'll be glad 

        19          to answer any questions.

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, Sam.

        21              MR. ARD:  Thank you.

        22              MR. TOWNSEND:  Good morning, Governor and 

        23          Cabinet.  My name is John Townsend.  I'm an 

        24          attorney in Fort Walton Beach.  I'm here on 

        25          behalf of River Bend Trading Company, Inc., who 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          holds permits in the Blackwater and 

         2          Yellow Rivers in the panhandle. 

         3              While we do not necessarily agree with all 

         4          the information that's been presented to 

         5          your -- your Aides from various speakers, or 

         6          here this morning, I'm not going to go into 

         7          refuting those for you today.  Suffice it to 

         8          say that we rise in support of the 

         9          recommendation before you.

        10              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.

        11              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Governor --

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yes.

        13              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  -- a quick question.  

        14          Is --

        15              For the attorney that just spoke. 

        16              Either one of you actually. 

        17              The suggestion by Fuller that you put some 

        18          visible posting of the permit upstream and 

        19          downstream, is that a -- a feasible thing? 

        20              MR. TOWNSEND:  Yes.  We've spoken about 

        21          that, and we have no problem.  In fact, my 

        22          clients wholeheartedly endorse that.

        23              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Okay. 

        24              MR. ARD:  Same here, General. 

        25              And also we understand that Commissioner 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          Crawford would like to see some type best 

         2          management practices for this, and we'll be 

         3          glad to make that a part of it.  We think it's 

         4          a good idea.

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Any other comments?

         6              Commissioner.

         7              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Well, I guess -- 

         8          Governor -- I -- I'd like to move the staff 

         9          recommendation, and just add a -- some 

        10          additional language that kind of incorporates 

        11          the spirit of what I think David is moving 

        12          anyway, we've done in forestry, put together 

        13          the best management practices kind of in a 

        14          formal basis. 

        15              And I'd like to move that -- move the item 

        16          with the additional caveat that DEP establish a 

        17          working group that includes -- but not limited 

        18          to -- the Division of Forestry and the Florida 

        19          Fish and Wildlife Commission. 

        20              This working group will be responsible for 

        21          identifying best management practices for 

        22          removal of precut timber and mitigation.

        23              This working group should also design and 

        24          recommend a procedure for educational programs 

        25          that loggers would need to complete as a 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          condition of -- of the user permit.

         2              So with that, which I think -- I think the  

         3          Department's okay with that, and it kind of 

         4          says a lot about what you're doing anyway.  

         5          And -- but I think it kind of clarifies it 

         6          some. 

         7              I'd move that.

         8              MR. STRUHS:  Thank you.

         9              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Second.

        10              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a motion -- a 

        11          second?

        12              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Could I, Governor, 

        13          add an --

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Please.

        15              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  -- amendment to 

        16          that? 

        17              I think the idea suggested by Fuller, and 

        18          agreed to by at least the representatives of 

        19          the industry here, to put the posted -- post 

        20          the permits --

        21              MR. STRUHS:  Uh-hum.  

        22              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  -- on either side of 

        23          the operating -- you know, permitted area would 

        24          serve, I think, to allow citizens to have a 

        25          better opportunity to monitor. 


                  December 14, 1999
         1              So with that addition, I --

         2              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  I'll second that.

         3              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  -- I'd like to amend 

         4          it.

         5              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  I'd accept that to 

         6          the -- as an amendment to the --

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There is a motion with two 

         8          amendments. 

         9              There's a second.

        10              All in favor, say aye.

        11              THE CABINET:  Aye.

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  All opposed?

        13              Thank you.

        14              MR. STRUHS:  Thank you.

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Item 6.

        16              MR. STRUHS:  We recommend approval of Item 

        17          Number 6, which is the acquisition of a -- 

        18          assignment of an option agreement to acquire 

        19          363 acres in the Perdido Pitcher Plant Prairie.  

        20          It's a part of the CARL project, in cooperation 

        21          with the Nature Conservancy. 

        22              And I would point out that this acquisition 

        23          is for 70 percent of the appraised value.

        24              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion --

        25              GOVERNOR BUSH:  You should point that out.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion on 6.

         2              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a second?

         3              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

         4              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

         5              Without objection, it's approved.

         6              MR. STRUHS:  Item Number --

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Congratulations on the 

         8          70 percent thing.

         9              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Maybe we can start 

        10          averaging these things, you know, 70 below, 

        11          10 above.

        12              MR. STRUHS:  No, sir.

        13              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  That's sort of how 

        14          we do it.  We buy high, and sell low.

        15              MR. STRUHS:  As a -- Item Number 7, we 

        16          recommend approval.

        17              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion on 7.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a second? 

        19              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        21              Without objection, it's approved.

        22              MR. STRUHS:  Item Number 8, recommend 

        23          approval.

        24              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion on 8.

        25              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Second.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a second?

         2              Moved and seconded.

         3              Without objection, it's approved.

         4              MR. STRUHS:  Item Number 9, recommend 

         5          approval.

         6              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion on 9.

         7              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Second.

         8              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Second.

         9              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        10              Without objection, it's approved.

        11              MR. STRUHS:  Item Number 10, we recommend 

        12          approval.

        13              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion to approve.

        14              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Second.

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        16              Without objection, it's approved.

        17              MR. STRUHS:  Item Number 11, we recommend 

        18          approval.

        19              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Motion on --

        20              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion on 11.

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Second? 

        22              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Second.

        23              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Second.

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        25              Without objection, it's approved.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion to defer 

         2          12.

         3              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Second.

         4              MR. STRUHS:  Motion to --

         5              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  To defer --

         6              MR. STRUHS:  -- defer.

         7              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- 12.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a second?

         9              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  On Number 11?

        10              GOVERNOR BUSH:  On 12. 

        11              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Twelve.

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  To defer.

        13              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Yes.

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I think we did 11 already.

        15              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Yes.

        16              Second.

        17              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a second.

        18              There's a motion and a second to defer. 

        19              Without objection, it's approved.

        20              MR. STRUHS:  Thank you.

        21              Item Number 13, we recommend approval.

        22              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion to approve.

        23              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Second.

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        25              Without objection, it's approved.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              MR. STRUHS:  Item Number 14, recommend 

         2          approval.

         3              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion to approve.

         4              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Second.

         5              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Second.

         6              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

         7              Without objection, it's approved.

         8              MR. STRUHS:  Item Number 15, recommend 

         9          approval.

        10              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion to approve.

        11              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Second.

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        13              Without objection, it's approved.

        14              MR. STRUHS:  Item Number 16, we recommend 

        15          approval.

        16              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion to approve.

        17              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  I second it. 

        18              It is contingent on the appraisal update, I 

        19          presume; is that correct? 

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Secretary? 

        21              MR. STRUHS:  I'm sorry, General?  It's 

        22          contingent upon the --

        23              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  On the -- the 

        24          update -- outcome of the appraisal update?

        25              MR. STRUHS:  I believe that's correct.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Okay. 

         2              MR. STRUHS:  We actually have folks here 

         3          from the -- I believe Board of Regents who 

         4          could answer that, if you -- if you --

         5              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  No.  I -- I don't 

         6          have -- as long as we --

         7              MR. STRUHS:  Okay.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a motion. 

         9              Is there a second? 

        10              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        12              Without objection, it's approved.

        13              MR. STRUHS:  Item Number 17, I'd like to 

        14          add just a bit of color commentary there to 

        15          give it some context.

        16              GOVERNOR BUSH:  More commentary? 

        17              MR. STRUHS:  Yes, sir.

        18              At this point in Florida 2-- at this point 

        19          in Florida, 22 different counties have passed 

        20          some kind of bond initiative for locally 

        21          important conservation land acquisition 

        22          programs.  These are typically what we call the 

        23          bargain shared acquisitions. 

        24              With 22 counties now engaged in their own 

        25          land acquisition programs, there's a growing 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          interest in how title might be shared between 

         2          the State and -- and counties.

         3              In order to address this in a comprehensive 

         4          way, we have prepared a report, which we are 

         5          hoping you will accept.  You would then, if you 

         6          approve the recommendation, would be to direct 

         7          the staff to develop procedures based on that 

         8          report. 

         9              And -- and, third, and perhaps most 

        10          important, direct the staff to develop for your 

        11          approval, procedures for resolving any future 

        12          ownership or management conflicts in the event 

        13          that the title is shared between the County and 

        14          the State.

        15              I would add that these should be the 

        16          exceptions rather than the rule.  But it's 

        17          important to plan ahead.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Have -- do we have shared 

        19          property? 

        20              MR. STRUHS:  Yes, sir.  Most commonly, it's 

        21          done with Water Management Districts where 

        22          title is shared.  But we're seeing more and 

        23          more where the County -- because the County 

        24          citizens are taxing themselves to --

        25              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I see.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              MR. STRUHS:  -- have an interest, they 

         2          would like some ownership of the title as well.  

         3          And we just want to make sure that there are 

         4          clear rules of the road so that that 

         5          relationship and partnership is a good one.

         6              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion to approve.

         7              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a motion and a 

         9          second -- a second. 

        10              Without objection, it's approved.

        11              MR. STRUHS:  Item Number 18, I'm going to 

        12          invite Eva Armstrong, Director of the Division 

        13          of State Lands, to handle this agenda item.

        14              I have a previous engagement I need to head 

        15          off to.  And also would suggest that the 

        16          history on this is -- is -- is one that is long 

        17          and complex.  And Eva is far better equipped 

        18          than I to present that to you.

        19              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Good morning, Governor, 

        20          members of the Cabinet. 

        21              I won't stretch out the whole history, but 

        22          I thought there were a couple of items that 

        23          were important on -- out of that history.

        24              Mr. Hilliard is the applicant here.  He 

        25          came to the State most recently in '96 to 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          acquire a 40-acre parcel that's -- 6.78 acres 

         2          is in front of you today.

         3              His family had leased this site some years 

         4          ago, and in 1971, came back to re-lease it.  

         5          And at that time, the Trustees said, no way, it 

         6          is reclaimed lake bottom next to 

         7          Lake Okeechobee, and we want to make an overall 

         8          policy about how we handle those lands around 

         9          Lake Okeechobee. 

        10              He continued over time to pursue to 

        11          purchase it, and the Trustees didn't take any 

        12          action.

        13              In '96, Glades County School Board wrote to 

        14          the Trustees and said, we'd like to acquire the 

        15          property for school -- actually it was for the 

        16          Future Farmers of America. 

        17              The staff at that time advertised it as 

        18          though to surplus the property.  Mr. Hilliard, 

        19          being the adjacent property owner, contacted 

        20          the School Board and said, no, wait a minute, 

        21          my family's been interested in a long time -- 

        22          in this a long time, convinced them to back out 

        23          of wanting the property, and then pursued again 

        24          with the State. 

        25              We do have documentation to this in the 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          backup.

         2              So then he pursued acquiring the land from 

         3          the Trustees.  Now, between that time period, 

         4          even though he had no -- had no lease, and his 

         5          family had leased it in the past, he decided 

         6          he'd go ahead and plant orange trees on those 

         7          6.78 acres.

         8              And -- which were -- I mean, it's -- he was 

         9          trespassing on public property. 

        10              This summer enter --

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  How long was he 

        12          trespassing? 

        13              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Nine years, roughly.

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  We're right on top of 

        15          things, aren't we, of --

        16              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Yeah.

        17              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- landlords.  I'll tell 

        18          you what.

        19              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Yeah.

        20              When I -- when you appointed me to take 

        21          over this job, one of the first issues I heard 

        22          about was the Hilliard property. 

        23              And I truly believe we ought to do 

        24          everything we can to get citizens in and get 

        25          their issues resolved, and they're yes or no.  


                  December 14, 1999
         1          So staff jumped on it. 

         2              Reclaimed lake bottom had not been sold in 

         3          ten years, so we stumbled on this one a little 

         4          bit, I'll tell you up-front.

         5              He agreed up-front also -- because the 

         6          Division of State Lands has no budget, no 

         7          spending authority for those expenses on 

         8          surveys or appraisals when we -- when we sell 

         9          land. 

        10              We do to buy it, but not to sell it.  We 

        11          don't have the ability to pay that. 

        12              So he agreed up-front, again in writing, 

        13          that he would pay the appraisal costs for the 

        14          full 40 acres.  At that point, we were talking 

        15          about the whole piece.

        16              It goes through the LAMAC process where -- 

        17          which is required by law.  They looked at it 

        18          and said, well, of the 40, 33 acres, which are 

        19          immediately adjacent to the lake, you ought to 

        20          lease, because the State may need it sometime.  

        21          But you could certainly sell the 6.78, because 

        22          it's across the road, it's not right next to 

        23          another parcel. 

        24              So at that point, we decided we would go 

        25          forward with that recommendation.  We then 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          surveyed Water Management District twice to 

         2          make sure they didn't want either one of these 

         3          parcels, and they said, no, they didn't -- 

         4          didn't see a future need for this site. 

         5              And Office of Greenways and Trails, they 

         6          said, wait a minute, we really want the 

         7          33 acres because we're planning a trail around 

         8          Lake Okeechobee, and it could be one of our 

         9          potential trail heads. 

        10              So we said, okay.  You know, Mr. Hilliard, 

        11          we're going to -- we can't do the 33, but we -- 

        12          let's move forward on the 6.78.

        13              We came to the Cabinet Aides several weeks 

        14          ago.  Mr. Craft, who is his representative, 

        15          appeared on his behalf, was very concerned --

        16              Oh, in the meantime.  I'm sorry. 

        17              In the meantime, we negotiated with 

        18          Mr. Hilliard -- sorry -- for a purchase price 

        19          of this 6.7 acres based on the appraised value, 

        20          which was $19,700.

        21              We come to the Cabinet Aides because 

        22          Mr. Hilliard's representative was concerned 

        23          about some item -- some -- some discussion in 

        24          the item.  We deferred it to this meeting. 

        25              In the interim time as we're putting 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          together the final documents -- and keep in 

         2          mind, we hadn't sold one of these in 

         3          ten years -- staff discovers there's a 1919 law 

         4          that requires a deed restriction on all 

         5          reclaimed lake bottom that the Trustees sell.  

         6          And that says that, in the event the Trustees 

         7          need to go in and put in a canal or a water 

         8          structure, the Trustees can come back and use 

         9          the property.

        10              So at that point in time, Mr. Hilliard, and 

        11          some other people got real excited about the 

        12          fact that he was being assessed full appraised 

        13          value for the 6.78, including -- even though 

        14          the deed restriction would be put on there.

        15              Trying to think what else is pertinent to 

        16          this decision today.

        17              I will tell -- oh, a couple -- one or two 

        18          other minor points. 

        19              One, when you sell reclaimed lake bottom by 

        20          statute, it goes into the Education Trust Fund. 

        21              Two, we -- I understand there's some 

        22          considerations for either reducing the lease 

        23          fees in arrears, which was what we had added to 

        24          the item based on Cabinet Aides' recommendation 

        25          the first time around. 


                  December 14, 1999
         1              They were concerned that the man had been 

         2          using our property illegally for nine years, 

         3          and there ought to be some compensation to the 

         4          State; or, two, reducing the amount he would 

         5          pay for the appraisal; or, three, reducing the 

         6          price he pays. 

         7              And I would just -- whatever you decide 

         8          is -- is fine.  I feel that it's our 

         9          responsibility to give you the best financial 

        10          deal in terms of the State of Florida. 

        11              And I would just urge you to consider the 

        12          overall impact to the purchase -- bottom line 

        13          purchase price, by whatever adjustment you 

        14          make.

        15              So if I can answer any questions.

        16              And I think Mr. Hilliard's representative 

        17          is here if you have questions of him, too.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay. 

        19              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  How much did --

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Tom.

        21              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- the State lose 

        22          in lease fees for those nine years? 

        23              MS. ARMSTRONG:  It was estimated at 

        24          seven hundred and two dollars based on -- 

        25          right.  $78 a year per acre.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  $78 a year -- 

         2              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Right.  For the 6 -- 

         3              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- per acre?

         4              MR. ARMSTRONG:  -- 6 acres, right.

         5              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  That's the 

         6          6 acres.  Wasn't -- that -- he was only using 

         7          6, not 40? 

         8              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Well, he only planted 6.

         9              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Okay. 

        10              MS. ARMSTRONG:  The 33 across the road, we 

        11          understood that he had run cattle on.  But 

        12          we -- we didn't address that in this.  I didn't 

        13          have proof of that.  What we were dealing with 

        14          is what we knew, which was, he had planted 

        15          oranges on the 6.78 -- 

        16              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Okay.  My -- 

        17              MS. ARMSTRONG:  -- acres.

        18              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- my other 

        19          question is:  We have -- a Glades County 

        20          property appraiser has appraised this, and 

        21          I guess has been -- would be collecting taxes 

        22          on a value of $3250 per acre. 

        23              Yet we are at -- at the starting point, at 

        24          2900 an acre.  And I know that there's some 

        25          people that want to lower that. 


                  December 14, 1999
         1              Why such a -- I mean, usually the 

         2          appraised -- the County -- property appraisers 

         3          are less than the market value.

         4              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Yes, sir.  But you'll -- 

         5          you'll find around the state, when -- when they 

         6          go in to assess property for taxes, it's a 

         7          different measurement -- a different reason for 

         8          determining value, and -- and a different 

         9          method for doing it than appraising for a fair 

        10          market value. 

        11              And in Glades County, which is a 

        12          financially economically depressed area, 

        13          there -- you will find with other counties that 

        14          many times their apprais-- their tax assessment 

        15          values are higher than you would find in 

        16          similar counties. 

        17              Now, the exact situation here, I can't 

        18          address.

        19              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well --

        20              MS. ARMSTRONG:  But --

        21              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- there's 

        22          supposed to be --

        23              MS. ARMSTRONG:  -- sometimes it's not a 

        24          great -- 

        25              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- the Department 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          of Revenue's supposed to make sure they're all 

         2          equalized.

         3              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Understand.

         4              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Another Board rule, 

         5          Commissioner Gallagher coming up --

         6              MS. ARMSTRONG:  That's not my area.

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- next month.

         8              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Eva --

         9              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Yes, sir.

        10              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- you say 

        11          it's been over ten years since we -- we've sold 

        12          lake bottom?

        13              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Yes, sir.

        14              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  How many 

        15          times has the State sold lake bottom? 

        16              MS. ARMSTRONG:  I don't know that.

        17              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Would you 

        18          believe that it's -- that we sold in the last 

        19          31 years, 14 acres? 

        20              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Yeah, I would believe that.

        21              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  And so, 

        22          therefore, maybe -- maybe it's not a good idea 

        23          to sell lake bottom.  And maybe other Boards 

        24          that sat up here have decided that -- used to 

        25          be, lake bottom, we might need it again.  And 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          if we sell it, we're probably going to buy it 

         2          back for a whole lot more money. 

         3              Was leasing this thing a --

         4              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  That's what 

         5          usually happens.

         6              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- a factor?  

         7          Just -- I mean, just keep the -- why don't we 

         8          just lease it to him?  $78 a year doesn't sound 

         9          like --

        10              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Well, we -- we -- we did 

        11          discuss both of those issues.  So let me 

        12          respond to both of them. 

        13              Let me do the $78 a year first.  If you do 

        14          that, it's going to cost us far more in terms 

        15          of administering the lease than you'll ever 

        16          collect.  I mean, from a financial basis, it 

        17          doesn't make a lot of sense.

        18              Number two, this is an isolated parcel.  

        19          It's very rare.  I mean, the -- the idea that 

        20          we would need this seems rather extreme.  The 

        21          33 acres, absolutely, it's right on the lake. 

        22              This is separated from the lake by a road, 

        23          and it's just kind of doubt-- in our view, it 

        24          was doubtful that it would be needed in the 

        25          future. 


                  December 14, 1999
         1              Checking with the Water Management District 

         2          twice, they had no future plans for this area.  

         3          So we felt it was easier just to go ahead and 

         4          sell the 6.38.

         5              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Okay.  I --

         6              MS. ARMSTRONG:  On the other --

         7              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- okay.

         8              MS. ARMSTRONG:  -- on the reclaimed lake 

         9          bottom, I -- I totally agree with you.  And it 

        10          was based on -- on those decisions, the fact it 

        11          was separated from the lake by a road; it was a 

        12          very small parcel; it's not one we would go in 

        13          and actively manage, you know. 

        14              That's why we thought in this case, it 

        15          probably makes more sense, the man wants to buy 

        16          it, sell it to him.

        17              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Right now 

        18          there's orange trees on it. 

        19              Is there a restriction -- do you have a 

        20          restriction in this to where this person cannot 

        21          use it for any other reason other than 

        22          agriculture? 

        23              Might be a location for a gas station?  We 

        24          may not want a gas station there. 

        25              I mean, do you have any restrictions to 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          where it can only be used for agriculture, and 

         2          if it -- and if it doesn't, it gets reverted 

         3          back to the State?

         4              MS. ARMSTRONG:  No, sir, it's not written 

         5          that way now.

         6              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  All right.

         7              MS. ARMSTRONG:  It just has the deed 

         8          restriction for water control structures.  

         9          That's my words, not --

        10              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Can we hear from the --

        11              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Certainly.

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- the owner, or his 

        13          representative?

        14              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Yes.  Mr. Craft.

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Unless you don't -- guys 

        16          don't want to speak.  

        17              MR. HILLIARD:  Good morning, gentlemen.  

        18          Governor --

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Are you Mr. Hilliard?

        20              MR. HILLIARD:  I'm Ernest Hilliard.

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Welcome.

        22              MR. HILLIARD:  Thank you. 

        23              I appreciate you fellows hearing this thing 

        24          this morning.

        25              It's been a long road.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              I don't intend to burden you with the 

         2          32 years of track that I've put on this place.  

         3          The biggest reason that I would like to buy 

         4          this property is to square up my property, 

         5          which this meander line, which was the original 

         6          edge of the lake, came around and it makes a 

         7          very long taper up in front of my property.  

         8          It's also on the watershed side of my property. 

         9              I'm in a -- an irrigation and drainage 

        10          district, and that water flows to the north.

        11              Perhaps you're not familiar with it, and 

        12          DEP is not familiar with it probably.  But this 

        13          is not a Lake Okeechobee watershed.  This is a 

        14          watershed that goes to the Caloosahatchee River 

        15          to Fort Myers. 

        16              And so whatever happens on that property, a 

        17          gas station, as you spoke, naturally that 

        18          there's not much need for a gas station there.

        19              But whatever you used it for would not 

        20          necessarily affect anything from 

        21          Lake Okeechobee.  I seriously don't believe 

        22          that you believe in your life, or anybody 

        23          else's, that the Hoover Dike will be destroyed, 

        24          and decide to do something different with the 

        25          dike that goes around Lake Okeechobee.  Many 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          millions of dollars were spent to produce that, 

         2          and it is complete. 

         3              As I said, my intention is to square my 

         4          property.  I originally bought this property in 

         5          1967, and was issued a -- an assignment of 

         6          lease from the State.

         7              I renewed it, and then in 1971 or '2, they 

         8          decided that they would not lease it again.  

         9          They told --

        10              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Why did you buy the 

        11          property and then lease it?  Was --

        12              MR. HILLIARD:  I tried to buy the -- well, 

        13          Governor, I had the money to make the payment 

        14          on the -- on the property of which I bought, 

        15          and I -- I didn't try to buy it until 1969, at 

        16          which I figured that I could afford it at that 

        17          time. 

        18              The property --

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Did you buy the --

        20              MR. HILLIARD:  -- at that time was being 

        21          sold around me for $300 an acre.  And I decided 

        22          that I could have afforded that.

        23              As we went forward, they said, no, they 

        24          wasn't going to lease it.  So I pulled my 

        25          cattle and -- and equipment and whatever else I 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          had on that piece of property that was usable 

         2          across this dirt road in front of my property.  

         3          I pulled my stuff off.

         4              The 6 acres of which we're discussing is in 

         5          my field, so to speak.  And so it's a -- it's 

         6          not separated from my property in any way, and 

         7          was not separated ever from my property, only 

         8          by a survey of the meander line of 

         9          Lake Okeechobee.

        10              When I bought it, the word riparian owner 

        11          was used many times, of which I qualified at 

        12          the time.

        13              Apparently that word is not dead yet, 

        14          because I've heard it here several times this 

        15          morning.

        16              But anyway, the -- the idea that I thought 

        17          this land sooner or later will come to me. 

        18              To make this story real long, I applied 

        19          four times.  In 1979, I tried again.  I wanted 

        20          to plant some orange trees on my property.  Not 

        21          yours, but mine. 

        22              But in order to do that, I had to arrange 

        23          the irrigation on my property to go to the 

        24          north, which is across your little piece -- 

        25          6 acres.  And so when I brought the grader 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          ditches that the trees are planted on across, I 

         2          didn't dig a canal, or anything like that. 

         3              I put the water in the road ditch, of which 

         4          the County had recently in the last five or 

         5          six years, had paved that road.  So now it was 

         6          a paved thoroughfare through that property.

         7              So I -- I brought that irrigation water on 

         8          through, and I planted trees on approximately 

         9          5 acres of your land.  I left an 

        10          acre-and-a-half of -- of land out of which I 

        11          left some of my land out, because of the way 

        12          the taper is in this particular piece of 

        13          property. 

        14              And the fact that I didn't remove the trees 

        15          that were there on your property -- State's 

        16          property, my property, your property -- I 

        17          didn't remove those trees.  I -- I didn't dig 

        18          these ditches to disturb anything. 

        19              But -- for I -- I felt that at one time, 

        20          you would deal with me, and allow me to 

        21          continue --

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Mr. Hilliard --

        23              MR. HILLIARD:  -- to work my property.

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- for a second.

        25              I'm -- the one part that -- we're getting 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          in a lot more detail than we probably need to.  

         2          Maybe -- maybe not. 

         3              But the one question that I -- that I 

         4          missed.  I -- I asked Eva Armstrong how the 

         5          State didn't know that our property had 

         6          orange groves on it. 

         7              Perhaps I should ask you the question:  How 

         8          did you plant orange trees on our property? 

         9              MR. HILLIARD:  Certainly not in the dark, 

        10          Governor.

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I didn't think so.

        12              Well, that's enlightening. 

        13              But it wasn't your property, was it?

        14              MR. HILLIARD:  Sir?

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  It wasn't your property.

        16              MR. HILLIARD:  It wasn't.  It wasn't --

        17              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Did you think --

        18              MR. HILLIARD:  -- my property.

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- it was?

        20              MR. HILLIARD:  But there's no separation 

        21          between mine and yours in that particular area.  

        22          So it -- it was there. 

        23              I didn't -- but what's across the road, I 

        24          didn't.  The only thing I've done across the 

        25          road is for the last 30 years, I've -- up until 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          two years ago, I've mowed and maintained that 

         2          property to keep the underbrush from literally 

         3          taking that property. 

         4              It's backed up by 13 or 14 acres of 

         5          melaleuca swamp, of which you're spending 

         6          millions of dollars every day to eradicate in 

         7          Florida. 

         8              So, in -- in effect, I've probably saved 

         9          you a lot of money by wearing out my equipment, 

        10          maintaining this piece of property only for the 

        11          purpose of -- to keep it in reasonable shape.

        12              I quit two years ago.  And if -- I'm sorry 

        13          I didn't bring you some pictures.  But now 

        14          the -- the Brazilian holly, Brazilian pepper, 

        15          Napier grass, horse nettles, all kinds of --

        16              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay. 

        17              MR. HILLIARD:  -- invasive type shrubbery 

        18          has taken it.

        19              If there's any questions or any more 

        20          questions you'd like to ask me in particular, 

        21          I'll be glad to answer them to the best of my 

        22          ability and truth.

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Commissioner? 

        24              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Governor, 

        25          I think -- I -- I'd just like to make a motion. 


                  December 14, 1999
         1              I think both sides have been trying to -- 

         2          to work this out.  And -- and I think what I 

         3          have here might be fairly reasonable. 

         4              And I -- and the Attorney General's 

         5          concerned, we're not doing the 40 acres, we're 

         6          just doing a very small part. 

         7              But -- so I'd like to -- to move the -- the 

         8          approval of the acquisition by Mr. Hilliard 

         9          with the following:  That we decrease the 

        10          original agreed selling price from 19,700, down 

        11          to fourteen thousand seven seventy-five, which 

        12          is the amended appraised value based on the 

        13          added deed restriction on the property, which 

        14          I think that deed restriction, General, would 

        15          probably keep any structure off -- off of it, 

        16          because we have the right to actually go back 

        17          on it if we need to.

        18              So that would be the first point.

        19              The second one, since we're not going to 

        20          lease the remaining 33.22 acres, which is part 

        21          of the first appraisal costs agreed to by the 

        22          buyer, the appraisal costs should be reduced by 

        23          one-third.  This one third would be subtracted 

        24          from the selling price of the 14,775 due -- due 

        25          DEP.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              Additionally, I move that we charge the 

         2          buyer lease fees in arrears in the amount of 

         3          $702, which is the amount that Eva mentioned, 

         4          which reflects the usage of the 6.78 acres for 

         5          approximately ten years.

         6              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a motion. 

         7              Is there a second? 

         8              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  I have a -- a 

         9          question of Eva, please.

        10              Other than the squaring up of 

        11          Mr. Hilliard's property, what is the urgency -- 

        12          real urgency in selling this land at a price 

        13          that, according to Commissioner Gallagher, is 

        14          substantially below the tax appraisal price? 

        15              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Fairness to Mr. Hilliard.  

        16          There is --

        17              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Say it --

        18              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Fairness.

        19              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  -- say that -- 

        20              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Fairness --

        21              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Fairness?

        22              MS. ARMSTRONG:  -- to Mr. Hilliard. 

        23              Yes, sir. 

        24              Because, you know, for all our fumblings 

        25          around, he's been trying for -- and -- and his 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          illegally using the land, he has for some time 

         2          tried to pursue this property.  And I think in 

         3          fairness to him, a yes or no.

         4              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Well, there -- there 

         5          are a lot of people that would like to buy 

         6          State property.

         7              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Yes, sir.

         8              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  And was -- now we're 

         9          going to apply the fairness rule to the sale of 

        10          the property; is that it?  State property? 

        11              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Well --

        12              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Pretty good rule.

        13              MS. ARMSTRONG:  -- fairness to a taxpayer 

        14          who's been trying to buy the land.

        15              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Fairness to 

        16          taxpayer. 

        17              MS. ARMSTRONG:  There is no other --

        18              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Yes.  That's a good 

        19          point.

        20              MS. ARMSTRONG:  -- there is no other urgent 

        21          reason to -- to sell this property.

        22              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Other than fairness 

        23          to Mr. Hilliard --

        24              MS. ARMSTRONG:  (Nodding head.)

        25              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  -- who wants to 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          square up his property.

         2              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Uh-hum.  

         3              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Okay.  Thank you.

         4              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Uh-hum. 

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I would -- I would venture 

         6          to say -- I'm not -- I'm not a gambling man. 

         7              But I would -- if I was, I'd bet you a 

         8          dollar that the appraiser at Glades County 

         9          Courthouse has not factored in the restrictive 

        10          convenant that the State has on all these 

        11          properties that they -- that they own. 

        12              Being one of your soul mates on appraised 

        13          values and making sure we sell it at below 

        14          appraised value, I want to make sure that -- 

        15          that -- that I stated that, just so that there 

        16          is some consistency and people don't think that 

        17          I'm veering off based on what I'm going to do 

        18          on my vote.

        19              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well -- so where 

        20          are we now?  We look -- we -- is the discussion 

        21          on whether we're going to --

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  We have a -- a motion --

        23              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- approve 14,000 

        24          or --

        25              GOVERNOR BUSH:  We have --


                  December 14, 1999
         1              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- 19,000 first?

         2              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- we have a motion to sell 

         3          the property at $14,775; lower the appraisal 

         4          costs, which is significant -- it's a 

         5          significant percentage of the entire purchase 

         6          price, I might add.  This appraiser made a 

         7          pretty -- pretty good deal -- by a third; and 

         8          ask the buyer of the property to pay back rent 

         9          for the property he used over the last 

        10          ten years equal to the market rent. 

        11              That is what's on the table.  There's been 

        12          a motion.

        13              Is there a second?

        14              And we need five votes. 

        15              I can't second it, General Butterworth? 

        16              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  You can give 

        17          the Chair to -- to the Secretary of State, 

        18          who's not here -- to me, and then you can -- 

        19          then you can -- you can second it.

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Can I give the Chair to 

        21          you? 

        22              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  I may not 

        23          recognize you.

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  We're dying here, pal.

        25              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  I think -- 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          and, Governor, I might not give it back.

         2              Yes, Governor, you're -- you're recognized.

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I second the motion. 

         4              We're -- we're going down in flames I'm 

         5          afraid here.  But -- 

         6              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  If I refuse 

         7          to give the gavel back, what happens?

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a motion and a 

         9          second.

        10              Can I have the -- the floor back to finish 

        11          the vote, or would you like to do it? 

        12              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  I'll give it 

        13          back to you, Governor.

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.

        15              There's a motion and a second --

        16              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Were you 

        17          nervous for a while there?

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yeah, I'm glad I got it. 

        19              It's a good civics class for all the 

        20          educators out in the room about the dealings of 

        21          the Cabinet.

        22              All in favor, say aye.

        23              THE CABINET:  Aye.

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  All opposed.

        25              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  No.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  No.

         2              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Unfortunately, because 

         3          Secretary of State Harris is not here, we 

         4          needed five votes --

         5              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Yes, sir.

         6              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- and the motion is 

         7          denied.

         8              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Governor, could I 

         9          make one point?  Just -- if the concern is the 

        10          appraised value, the -- as I understand it, we 

        11          are paying -- we are charging the appraised 

        12          value. 

        13              The -- the appraisal was 19,700, and the -- 

        14          and the appraiser, upon factoring in the 

        15          restrictive convenant, then reduced it down to 

        16          fourteen thousand seven seventy-five.  So 

        17          actually that is the appraised value.

        18              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  If -- if that 

        19          question is directed to me, that's only part of 

        20          my concern.

        21              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Okay.  I just -- I 

        22          just thought it would just --

        23              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  The other element of 

        24          my concern is selling State lands without good 

        25          reason.  And to square up Mr. Hilliard's land 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          is not sufficient -- sufficiently good reason 

         2          for me.

         3              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  There is a 

         4          way out, Governor, if you wanted -- what if we 

         5          agreed to lease him this land for X number of 

         6          years, and that will keep alive -- that will 

         7          keep his thing going, and it keeps the issue 

         8          alive for -- for another day, and we can argue 

         9          out why -- what we may or may not want to sell 

        10          it for among -- I see no reason to sell this 

        11          land.

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Well, he can come back to 

        13          us -- the -- can't the Department -- can't 

        14          we --

        15              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  I'd like to move 

        16          to defer this issue until the first --

        17              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  We've -- we've had a 

        18          motion, we've had a second, we've had a vote. 

        19              I would certainly support the good 

        20          stewardship that Mr. Hilliard has shown in 

        21          taking care of that land, and -- and give him 

        22          a -- a long-term lease, and certainly always 

        23          leave the option open then for him to -- to 

        24          come back. 

        25              But certainly give him satisfaction that he 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          can handle that land in a -- in a manner that 

         2          meets his requirements as far as his business 

         3          concerns are.

         4              So I -- I --

         5              MS. ARMSTRONG:  We'll work that out.

         6              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  -- if that's 

         7          appropriate, I'd make a motion that we bring 

         8          back -- or recommend that you bring back a 

         9          long-term lease to meet Mr. Hilliard's needs.

        10              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay.

        11              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Second.

        12              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  I have one 

        13          question, Governor.  As opposed to bringing it 

        14          back, why don't we just resolve it today, make 

        15          it into a long-term lease today. 

        16              And I don't even care about the rent.  That 

        17          doesn't bother me.

        18              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Nor do I.

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  You don't care about the 

        20          covenants that would allow for the State to 

        21          maintain control --

        22              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  No, I --

        23              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  We still own it.

        24              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- about the 

        25          covenants, because we own it.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Long-term lease means the 

         2          guy that -- the lessee owns it if there's no 

         3          covenants, other than -- other than the one -- 

         4          you're satisfied with what we have here by law? 

         5              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Well, the -- 

         6          well, the ones we have there by law --

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay. 

         8              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- and also 

         9          from the fact that -- I'm not -- what I mean -- 

        10          what I don't care about as much is the money, 

        11          because -- but the money issue's not what --

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Mr. Hilliard, what do you 

        13          think about that?

        14              MR. HILLIARD:  What do you call a long-term 

        15          lease, General? 

        16              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Well, I -- I 

        17          listened to the Attorney General, and he gets 

        18          very upset if we go 25 years as being a 

        19          long-term lease.  I'd certainly put it at 

        20          25 years.

        21              MR. HILLIARD:  Is that what you -- you 

        22          consider --

        23              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Governor, 

        24          I think we --

        25              GOVERNOR BUSH:  We can negotiate --


                  December 14, 1999
         1              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- I think 

         2          some of us --

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- this to --

         4              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- I think 

         5          some of us took the gavel.

         6              MR. HILLIARD:  You know, this -- this --

         7              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Well, what -- what 

         8          would you be willing to apply for a lease -- or 

         9          take a lease, for what length of time, 

        10          Mr. Hilliard?

        11              MR. HILLIARD:  Well, this is such a trivial 

        12          problem when you are faced with a lot of very 

        13          important things to do out here, and I'm sorry 

        14          I'm taking up your time.

        15              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  No.  It is --

        16              MR. HILLIARD:  I feel that --

        17              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  -- it is not a 

        18          trivial problem, because it reflects the way we 

        19          handle State lands. 

        20              And -- and you have to have been here a 

        21          number of times to see how we do some of these 

        22          things.  And -- and it's a principle.  It is 

        23          not trivial.

        24              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  In fact, I'm 

        25          beginning to think that maybe a trespasser 


                  December 14, 1999
         1          should not be able to get any real benefit from 

         2          the State, sir, if you're -- if you're that put 

         3          out by it.

         4              MR. HILLIARD:  Well, of course, that's your 

         5          prerogative to do whatever it -- you feel that 

         6          you must, or your conscience allows you to do. 

         7              I don't want to fuss with anybody as far as 

         8          the lease is concerned --

         9              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Why don't we -- can we, 

        10          Mr. Hilliard, for your own sake here, you may 

        11          want to stand back and --

        12              What I suggest we do is we accept 

        13          General Milligan's motion to allow the 

        14          Department to negotiate a long-term --

        15              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Yes.

        16              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- lease, and if it's not 

        17          acceptable --

        18              MS. ARMSTRONG:  If we can't work it out, we 

        19          won't be back.

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- we don't lease it.  And 

        21          you -- you leave the property.  And if it is 

        22          acceptable to both parties, we'll see it at one 

        23          of the next Cabinet meetings.  How about that?

        24              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  That sounds 

        25          good, Governor.


                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I don't know if we need a 

         2          motion for that.  Can we -- 

         3              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Move to negotiate 

         4          a lease.

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  All right.  I guess we do. 

         6              Is there a second? 

         7              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a motion and a 

         9          second.

        10              Without objection, it's approved.

        11              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Mr. Hilliard, I hope you 

        13          have a wonderful Christmas.

        14              And thank you for coming up.

        15              MR. HILLIARD:  You, too, Governor.

        16              GOVERNOR BUSH:  It was not a trivial 

        17          matter, and it -- it is important.

        18              General Milligan's absolutely right.  This 

        19          is -- this is the most important thing we do.  

        20          And --

        21              (Treasurer Nelson exited the room.)

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- whether it's a little 

        23          piece of parcel, or a big huge one like 

        24          Fisheating Creek, it's important to have some 

        25          principles that guide us.  So --


                  December 14, 1999
         1              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Secretary -- 

         2              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Move to defer 

         3          Number 19.

         4              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

         5              MS. ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.

         6              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a motion and a 

         7          second to defer.

         8              Without objection, it's approved. 

         9              (The Board of Trustees of the Internal 

        10          Improvement Fund Agenda was concluded.)

        11                              *   *   *
















              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            138
                  December 14, 1999
         1              (Attorney General Butterworth and 

         2          Treasurer Nelson were not present.)

         3              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  You want to take a 

         4          2-minute break before we hit education?

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yeah.  You want to do that? 

         6              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  I think that's a 

         7          great --

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  How about a -- we're going 

         9          to take a 2-minute break.

        10              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Let me -- those of 

        11          you that want to speak, I advise you to get on 

        12          the list, because when we start, the list 

        13          closes down. 

        14              (Recess.)

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Why don't we begin.

        16              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  I think that's a 

        17          great idea.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  State Board of Education, 

        19          Item 1.

        20              MR. PIERSON:  Item 1 is the minutes of the 

        21          October 26, 1999, meeting.

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a motion -- 

        23              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Motion.

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- on minutes?

        25              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Second.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            139
                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a second?

         2              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Second.

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Without objection, it's 

         4          approved.

         5              MR. PIERSON: Item 2 is the 2000-2001 

         6          Adult Fee Schedule.

         7              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion.

         8              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Second.

         9              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a mot-- it's been 

        10          moved and seconded.

        11              Without objection, it's approved.

        12              MR. PIERSON:  We would re-- we would 

        13          request holding Item 3 and 4 to the end.

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Sure.

        15              MR. PIERSON:  Item 5 is an amendment to 

        16          Rule 6A-6.0571, Vocational and Workforce 

        17          Development Education Standards and 

        18          Industry-Driven Benchmarks.

        19              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion.

        20              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Second.

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a second? 

        22              It's been moved and seconded.

        23              Without objection, it's approved.

        24              MR. PIERSON:  Item 6, is an amendment to 

        25          Rule 6A-14.030, Withdrawal and Forgiveness.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            140
                  December 14, 1999
         1              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion.

         2              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

         4              Without objection, it's approved.

         5              MR. PIERSON:  Item 7 is an Amendment to 

         6          Rule 6H-1.030, Delegation of Powers and Duties.

         7              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion.

         8              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

         9              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        10              Without objection, it's approved.

        11              MR. PIERSON:  Item 8 is an appointment to 

        12          the Education Practices Commission, 

        13          Jerry E. Kelley.

        14              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion.

        15              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

        16              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

        17              Without objection, it's approved.

        18              MR. PIERSON:  Item 9 is a reappointment and 

        19          appointment to the Board of Regents, 

        20          Adolfo Henriques, Reappointed; and, 

        21          James D. Corbin, Appointed, both terms 

        22          expiring -- oh, I'm sorry -- yes, both terms 

        23          expiring January 1st, 2006.

        24              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion.

        25              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            141
                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.

         2              Without objection, it's approved.

         3              MR. PIERSON:  Item 10 is withdrawn.

         4              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Motion to 

         5          withdraw.

         6              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a motion to 

         8          withdraw and a second.

         9              Without objection, it's approved.

        10              MR. PIERSON:  Return to Item 3.  It's a 

        11          report on the status of failing schools for 

        12          information presented by Andrea Willett, 

        13          Division of Public Schools.

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good afternoon.

        15              MS. WILLETT:  Good afternoon.

        16              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Or good morning still.

        17              MS. WILLETT:  Thank you very much.

        18              Sir?

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good morning.

        20              MS. WILLETT:  Good morning. 

        21              I'll -- whatever -- I'll take direction 

        22          from you, sir, whichever one.

        23              You have in front of you --

        24              (Attorney General Butterworth entered the 

        25          room.)


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            142
                  December 14, 1999
         1              MS. WILLETT:  -- a packet that talks about 

         2          an interim update.  We would like to share with 

         3          you some pieces of information about the very 

         4          positive things that are occurring in schools 

         5          as a result of this year's accountability 

         6          system. 

         7              On the right-hand side of your packet, you 

         8          have copies of the slides that you'll be 

         9          seeing, as well as an eight-and-a-half by 

        10          eleven map indicating both the F and D school 

        11          locations. 

        12              And from the map, you can see that we're 

        13          talking about statewide, not just concentrated 

        14          areas.

        15              On the left-hand side, you have a map 

        16          that's broken out by regions, because I will be 

        17          discussing the activities in a regional basis.  

        18          And you also have some funding information.  

        19          That is a work in progress, not nearly complete 

        20          just yet.

        21              We're talking about 78 schools statewide:  

        22          76 of them are first year schools, two of them 

        23          are second-year schools; 15 school districts; 

        24          elementary, middle, and high schools; we're 

        25          talking about approximately 50,000 children out 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            143
                  December 14, 1999
         1          of the 2.5 million students in public schools 

         2          in the state of Florida.

         3              There again, on the screen you'll see the 

         4          map showing the D and F schools.  They are 

         5          concentrated in urban and rural; they are 

         6          north, they're south, they're east, they're 

         7          west, they're in the middle.  They are all 

         8          over.

         9              But statewide, we've seen a great deal of 

        10          movement in these schools, positive activities 

        11          for student learning.  Schools have received 

        12          reading grants, and they are implementing them; 

        13          they've purchased more library books; they've 

        14          purchased other materials for the media center; 

        15          they've purchased supplies for after-school 

        16          programs; additional reading -- supplemental 

        17          reading materials; and additional teaching 

        18          support.

        19              We've seen across the state an alignment to 

        20          Sunshine State Standards, and to a focus on the 

        21          kinds of activities -- performance activities 

        22          required by the Florida Comprehensive 

        23          Assessment Test, also called FCAT. 

        24              Districts have been very supportive, 

        25          particularly in the form of human resources 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            144
                  December 14, 1999
         1          attending these schools.

         2              Regional breakdowns.  Talking about 

         3          Region I.  This would be the panhandle area 

         4          from approximately Madison County to the west, 

         5          all the way to Pensacola.

         6              Here there are 11 schools in this area of 

         7          the state.  Regionally in this area, there have 

         8          been an outpouring of help and rallying of 

         9          community support for the schools, particularly 

        10          in the forms of mentors and tutors, and in 

        11          funding.

        12              The in-kind contributions particularly in 

        13          the two second year schools -- and I think you 

        14          are familiar with both Spencer Bibbs and 

        15          AA Dixon Elementary from Escambia County.  You 

        16          have talked with their district staff before.

        17              The University of West Florida has adopted 

        18          these two schools, and they've really worked 

        19          hard to work with the schools to move the 

        20          children forward.

        21              Schools in this region are particularly 

        22          conducting parent involvement activities.  As a 

        23          result, there is steady improvement on writing 

        24          pretests in these schools. 

        25              The pretest data that they're using based 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            145
                  December 14, 1999
         1          upon their own testing that is similar to FCAT 

         2          is being utilized to target benchmarks in 

         3          student work.  And they have gains evident in 

         4          both reading and writing programs.

         5              On this screen, you'll see Spencer Bibbs 

         6          and both AA Dixon, just some samples of the 

         7          kinds of things they are continuing to do, and 

         8          have begun.  And some of the results that they 

         9          are getting.  They're looking at their children 

        10          individually, and they're seeing definite 

        11          student progress.

        12              Again, the University of West Florida has 

        13          been helping them a great deal with mentoring.  

        14          And Washington Mutual, which is a -- a local 

        15          financial institution, has been pouring 

        16          resources, particularly into Bibbs, giving the 

        17          media center a facelift, and various other 

        18          activities.

        19              Additionally in Region I, Chattahoochee 

        20          High School, which is in Gadsden County, has 

        21          been using a training and assistance model --

        22              (Treasurer Nelson entered the room.)

        23              MS. WILLETT:  -- with Florida League of 

        24          Teachers.  These are all members who have been 

        25          Florida Teachers of the Year, mentoring and 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            146
                  December 14, 1999
         1          training the teachers to work with the 

         2          students.  And you'll see other activities 

         3          there. 

         4              Thought it was particularly interesting 

         5          that a local military base has adopted 

         6          Oakcrest Elementary in Escambia County.  So I 

         7          have -- I have visions of very tall, very 

         8          uniform, very heavily medaled officers talking 

         9          with kindergartners.  It's got to be a 

        10          wonderful thing.

        11              Region II is the other side of the 

        12          panhandle, moving to the east coast.  Here 

        13          there are ten schools:  Duval, which has mostly 

        14          an urban flavor to the schools; Marion; and 

        15          Taylor Counties.

        16              Formative assessments are those kinds of 

        17          assessments that occur on a regular basis 

        18          throughout the year, seeing where a student is 

        19          in particular relation to particular standards.

        20              The District has supported these schools 

        21          with both fiscal and human resources, and there 

        22          is constant and ongoing staff development. 

        23              The school improvement plans in this area 

        24          are becoming very much like a small business -- 

        25          business development plan, and they're very 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            147
                  December 14, 1999
         1          much actively using the -- the plans as a way 

         2          to improve.

         3              Also they are using funds very creatively, 

         4          putting small pots of money together to get 

         5          large pots of money to make major impact and 

         6          difference.

         7              Americorps has been particularly helpful in 

         8          Duval County working with the mentoring and 

         9          tutoring programs.  They're finding a great 

        10          deal of success in that regard.

        11              And the focus that they have put on the 

        12          Sunshine State Standards is laudable and 

        13          commendable.

        14              In particular, North Shore Elementary in 

        15          Duval County is an example given to you on the 

        16          slide.  And one of the -- of all the pieces 

        17          that are there, you may not understand the word 

        18          looping. 

        19              Looping is a technique whereby a student is 

        20          assigned to a class, and stays with that 

        21          teacher through one grade level, and 

        22          potentially the next; and then the teacher 

        23          recycles.  But the children are with the same 

        24          teacher for multiple years. 

        25              And they're -- they're getting some fairly 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            148
                  December 14, 1999
         1          comfortable reactions and responses and 

         2          results, saying that this is a good thing for 

         3          the students that they have working with them.

         4              Region III would be the east central 

         5          Florida area, Lake, Orange, and 

         6          Volusia Counties.  Again, you can see the -- 

         7          the number of schools that are there.

         8              In this region, again, staff development is 

         9          particularly important, and you're seeing a lot 

        10          of it in the area of writing, looking at 

        11          raising student scores above 3. 

        12              There's a great deal of model teaching and 

        13          talking about classroom routines.  And in one 

        14          particular district, the staff meets with the 

        15          principals in these schools on a monthly basis, 

        16          and looks at -- very carefully at what they are 

        17          doing. 

        18              So the District is mentoring the principals 

        19          who can then mentor the teachers.

        20              You'll see on the next slide some examples 

        21          of the kinds of things that are occurring in 

        22          these schools, and these are schools in 

        23          Orange County.

        24              Region IV is the other side of the middle 

        25          of the state, moving to the west coast of 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            149
                  December 14, 1999
         1          Florida:  Collier, Hendry, Lee, and Polk.  This 

         2          extends all the way down.

         3              Lee County in particular has put resource 

         4          teachers, particularly in specialized 

         5          discipline areas for students working with both 

         6          students and the teachers.

         7              Blake Elementary School in Polk County is 

         8          in-servicing parents to help them understand 

         9          the kinds of requirements that are needed for 

        10          students to master Sunshine State Standards; 

        11          and, therefore, be successful on the Florida 

        12          Comprehensive Assessment Test. 

        13              And they're getting a great deal of parent 

        14          involvement as a result of that.

        15              Also in Region IV I think is where we've 

        16          seen the most staffing changes.  Four out of 

        17          the six F schools have new principals this 

        18          year, or have new principals within the last 

        19          two years. 

        20              And, again, District staff meeting very 

        21          intensely with the teachers, and with the 

        22          principals.  And they have in Lee County what 

        23          they call an Achievement Coaching Team that 

        24          works with the -- with the schools.

        25              This slide will again show you some of the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            150
                  December 14, 1999
         1          school level examples of the kinds of 

         2          activities that are occurring. 

         3              Auburndale Central Elementary has student 

         4          teachers at the neighborhood Episcopal Church, 

         5          and they're working on targeting 45 children to 

         6          help them write a 3.5 Florida Writes paragraph.  

         7          They -- they're not satisfied with 3.0, they 

         8          want to be above the average.

         9              Those kinds of activities are occurring 

        10          across the state in these schools.

        11              Region V is by far the most population 

        12          dense, and, therefore, has the most number of 

        13          schools.  Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach are the 

        14          three districts in Region V which is, again, 

        15          the south part of the state.

        16              Here there are additional monetary 

        17          resources available to them sometimes, and 

        18          Annenberg Foundation is one of those.  

        19          Annenberg and Title VI monies, which is a 

        20          Federal fund-- a federally funded staff 

        21          development program, has been put together with 

        22          some local match to assist the schools in the 

        23          Palm Beach areas particularly.

        24              Miami-Dade has redirected a great deal of 

        25          its own Federal funding available to it, to 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            151
                  December 14, 1999
         1          work on lowering class size even further than 

         2          we've asked them to do in grades 1, 2, and 3.

         3              Miami-Dade has also focused on the 

         4          principals as leaders, and worked a great deal 

         5          on redirecting District staff has -- as had 

         6          Broward and Palm Beach.  Both of them have very 

         7          active District assistance teams for the 

         8          schools. 

         9              And on the next slide, you'll see some of 

        10          the school specific kinds of things that are 

        11          working for the schools in Region V.

        12              And finally, on the last slide, three 

        13          particular schools.  All of these are in -- all 

        14          these are in Dade. 

        15              Charles Drew Middle in particular has an 

        16          integrated curriculum.  Middle schools, we 

        17          oftentimes think of them teaching the subjects 

        18          in isolation or separate from one another.  

        19          They're trying a different approach, putting 

        20          several subjects together, give students a very 

        21          wholistic view of -- of what education is all 

        22          about.

        23              Miami Edison Senior has writing coaches, 

        24          which is something they've never had before; 

        25          broken up a very large school, into a school 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            152
                  December 14, 1999
         1          within a school and academies, to more 

         2          personally address the needs of the students 

         3          there.

         4              Overall, on a statewide level, you're 

         5          seeing a great deal of change, a great deal of 

         6          resources aligned and focused on 78 schools, as 

         7          well as the 613 schools that are also on your 

         8          map.

         9              If you have any questions, I'd be glad to 

        10          answer them for you.

        11              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Nope?  

        12              We thank you very much.

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Any questions?

        14              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Just one 

        15          question, Governor.

        16              GOVERNOR BUSH:  General Butterworth?

        17              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Yes. 

        18              This is -- I was impressed with the number 

        19          of -- I was impressed with a number of the -- 

        20          the charts here. 

        21              You weren't dealing with Escambia, AA Dixon 

        22          where it says your writing pretests have 

        23          improved from 20 percent to 60 percent.  That's 

        24          pretty good.

        25              MS. WILLETT:  Yes, sir, it is.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            153
                  December 14, 1999
         1              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Have we gone 

         2          to the outside and test the 50 students who 

         3          have -- who have gone into the -- into publ-- 

         4          into private schools to see how they would 

         5          compare to where -- it may very well be that 

         6          the students that stayed at AA Dixon, with all 

         7          the assistance that the Escambia District 

         8          provided for it, that the students -- and a 

         9          longer school year, and having the principal 

        10          run the school, that the students may be better 

        11          off, those who stayed, than the students who 

        12          left. 

        13              Is there -- is there a way of determining 

        14          that for our next presentation possibly? 

        15              MS. WILLETT:  I don't have that information 

        16          for you available at this time.  But we can 

        17          certainly work with the school -- the private 

        18          schools and see if we can get that for you.

        19              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Even 

        20          students who went to other public schools, 

        21          I think there were a few that also did that, to 

        22          see what the effect would be.  Maybe some just 

        23          regular migration what -- with students. 

        24              I know it'd be difficult to do.  But it -- 

        25          I think that right there would be very 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            154
                  December 14, 1999
         1          impressive if -- and shows that it can be done.

         2              MS. WILLETT:  Sure.

         3              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  General, I 

         4          personally believe that -- and I've said this 

         5          as I speak across the state -- that if I had a 

         6          child that needed remediation, Bibbs or Dixon 

         7          would be where I'd want them to be because they 

         8          truly have geared in on remediation for 

         9          students and to get them up to grade level.

        10              If I had a child that was probably at grade 

        11          level, I would be extremely tempted to move 

        12          them to a C school or better, or to a private 

        13          school. 

        14              So I would probably agree with your 

        15          guesstimate that students in those two schools, 

        16          with all the additional assets that have been 

        17          put down, are -- are making a lot of 

        18          differences.

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Also I think that there 

        20          is -- although you -- I don't think we'll be 

        21          able to get the data in the immediate future. 

        22              But over this first year, there will be 

        23          research done that will answer your question 

        24          since, as you recall, the 56 children that go 

        25          to the private schools, and the -- whatever it 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            155
                  December 14, 1999
         1          is, 75 or 80 children that go to the public 

         2          schools, will also be taking -- at least the 

         3          fourth graders, will be taking the FCAT test. 

         4              And as we move to the full implementation 

         5          of the plan, grades 3 through 10 will be taking 

         6          the tests that we will be able to measure that 

         7          and -- and measure student achievement over a 

         8          period of time.

         9              And I know that Superintendent May is here.  

        10          And in the past, he has -- and -- and the 

        11          principals have been here, and they have spoken 

        12          with a lot of passion about how those schools 

        13          have shown improvement. 

        14              And we've encouraged them and -- and -- and 

        15          believe that they're right.

        16              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  But also the 

        17          school teacher --

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  And the --

        19              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- also the 

        20          teachers also, Governor, I think have --

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Absolutely.

        22              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- gone way 

        23          out over and above at those two schools.

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Absolutely.  And they've 

        25          been getting a lot more money, which 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            156
                  December 14, 1999
         1          Commissioner Nelson and Superintendent May in a 

         2          conversation about a month ago that the Cabinet 

         3          pointed out for us, which we were happy to get 

         4          the specifics on.

         5              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Thank you very 

         6          much.





















                  December 14, 1999
         1                    CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER




         5     STATE OF FLORIDA:

         6     COUNTY OF LEON:

         7              I, LAURIE L. GILBERT, do hereby certify that 

         8     the foregoing proceedings were taken before me at the 

         9     time and place therein designated; that my shorthand 

        10     notes were thereafter translated; and the foregoing 

        11     pages numbered 1 through 156 are a true and correct 

        12     record of the aforesaid proceedings.

        13              I FURTHER CERTIFY that I am not a relative, 

        14     employee, attorney or counsel of any of the parties, 

        15     nor relative or employee of such attorney or counsel, 

        16     or financially interested in the foregoing action.

        17              DATED THIS 27TH day of DECEMBER, 1999. 



        20                   LAURIE L. GILBERT, RPR, CCR, CRR, RMR
              100 Salem Court
        21                   Tallahassee, Florida 32301





                T H E   C A B I N E T 

           S T A T E   O F   F L O R I D A


              REPORT:  TEAM FLORIDA 2000

                      VOLUME II
                Pages 158 through 341
         The above agencies came to be heard before 
THE FLORIDA CABINET, Honorable Governor Bush 
presiding, in the Cabinet Meeting Room, LL-03, 
The Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida, on Tuesday, 
December 14, 1999, commencing at approximately 
9:17 a.m. 

                     Reported by:

                  LAURIE L. GILBERT
           Registered Professional Reporter
               Certified Court Reporter
             Certified Realtime Reporter
              Registered Merit Reporter
               Notary Public in and for
            the State of Florida at Large

                   100 SALEM COURT
              TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32301



         Representing the Florida Cabinet: 

         JEB BUSH

         Commissioner of Agriculture


         Attorney General

         BILL NELSON

         Commissioner of Education

                      *   *   *


                  December 14, 1999
                      I N D E X

ITEM                  ACTION                PAGE

(Presented by Wayne V. Pierson,
    Deputy Commissioner)

 4 Continued                                161

         CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER            341
                       *   *   *


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            161
                  December 14, 1999
         1                    P R O C E E D I N G S

         2              MR. PIERSON:  Item 4 is an amendment to 

         3          Rule 6A-1.09981, implementation of Florida's 

         4          System of School Improvement and 

         5          Accountability. 

         6              Prior to starting the presentation, we'd 

         7          like to advise you that the information was 

         8          provided to Cabinet Aides at the last 

         9          Cabinet Aides meetings, which was Workshop 

        10          Planning and Notification Information; the 

        11          press packet that was available at each 

        12          workshop; sign-in sheets, speaker cards and 

        13          materials from each of the regional -- the five 

        14          regional workshops; the public input that was 

        15          sent to DOE; and the tapes of the workshops.

        16              Prior to the Department's presentation, we 

        17          have -- like to have some comments from 

        18          Senator Phil Lewis.

        19              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Senator Lewis has 

        20          asked to speak.  He has an airplane to catch. 

        21              And so prior to our presenting the 

        22          amendments to the rule, if we could, I'd like 

        23          Senator Lewis, who is a member of PEPC, was a 

        24          member of the Accountability Commission, and is 

        25          a member of the State Board of Regents, among 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            162
                  December 14, 1999
         1          other --

         2              SENATOR LEWIS:  What he's telling you is 

         3          I'm a big has-been.

         4              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Very involved in 

         5          education, even as a Senator and a President of 

         6          the --

         7              SENATOR LEWIS:  Thank you --

         8              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- Senate.

         9              SENATOR LEWIS:  -- Commissioner, Governor, 

        10          and members of the Board of Education and the 

        11          Cabinet.

        12              It's a pleasure to be here, and I wish you 

        13          all a very happy holiday season on this very 

        14          important subject.

        15              You are in your -- last of your millennium, 

        16          and I urge you to pass this rule. 

        17              I think it is very important -- I've been 

        18          around now 30 years, and probably -- maybe 

        19          longer.  And every time we go to increase rules 

        20          on education in -- increase the standards, here 

        21          come the complainers.  And some of them are 

        22          very well meaning, well intentioned. 

        23              But there's no rule ever been passed that 

        24          doesn't -- can't be amended, can't be changed.  

        25          So I urge you to pass this -- I don't urge 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            163
                  December 14, 1999
         1          you -- I beg you to pass this rule in this 

         2          millennium, not next.

         3              When the Jack Critchfield Governor's 

         4          Commission, the first day we were -- met, they 

         5          adopted a sort of a mantra.  It said don't 

         6          flinch.  And I urge you not to flinch.

         7              This is a tough subject, and one that I 

         8          can't believe we even have any complaints, even 

         9          though we always can have them.  I don't 

        10          question anybody's sincerity, but I can tell 

        11          you going back to the functional literacy test 

        12          when we had the Debra P., or whatever it was in 

        13          Turlington, the CLAST test, I was on that 

        14          commission, and we made six months of work, and 

        15          then somebody came up and stopped that; the 

        16          Accountability Commission, we had complaints 

        17          stem from day 1, and we went ahead and passed a 

        18          lot of the stuff that you're talking about in 

        19          his rule.

        20              I can't tell you how -- and there's just 

        21          not going to be any perfect rule.  I urge you 

        22          to pass this thing.  And we'll have some 

        23          complaints about it.  And you'll not -- by the 

        24          way, you ain't going to stop meeting in 198-- 

        25          or 2000, are you?  You can come back.  But pass 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            164
                  December 14, 1999
         1          this this time for the kids.

         2              And I want to tell you a little story.  We 

         3          went -- the Account-- the last -- one of the 

         4          last meetings we had with the 

         5          Accountability Commission, we went up to 

         6          Havana High School I guess it is -- it's called 

         7          up in -- it's a predominantly black school. 

         8              We get in there, and the teacher said, what 

         9          are you all doing here? 

        10              And this is imprinted on me. 

        11              Commissioner Gallagher knows what I'm about 

        12          to say.

        13              And she -- we told her why we were there.  

        14          And she said, well, you're wasting your time 

        15          here. 

        16              She said, by the time the kids get here, 

        17          they're in deep trouble, because they haven't 

        18          learned even the basics. 

        19              You need to go down into the K-- way down 

        20          in the lower grades, because they're just not 

        21          learning. 

        22              And she said, the first thing you ought to 

        23          do is stop social promotion.  That was from 

        24          that teacher.  And that just sort of imprinted 

        25          here.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            165
                  December 14, 1999
         1              And then Commissioner Gallagher invited me 

         2          to go up in a carload of people he had to 

         3          Gadsden County.  I think I was the outlaw in 

         4          the whole crowd.  There were about 30 of us.

         5              And I saw those beautiful children, and I 

         6          thought of what that woman said.  We're passing 

         7          them. 

         8              They're heading for two places:  Welfare 

         9          role or the prison system.  And I urge you -- 

        10          this may not be the last thing, but pass it.

        11              Thank you.

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, Phil. 

        13              Happy holidays to you.

        14              MR. PIERSON:  For the Department, 

        15          presenting the rule will be Betty Coxe, the 

        16          Director of Public Schools.   

        17              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good afternoon, Betty.

        18              MS. COXE:  Good afternoon, Governor, 

        19          members of the Cabinet. 

        20              I wasn't nervous enough, Commissioner?  I 

        21          got to follow Senator Lewis.

        22              Appreciate that.

        23              It's a pleasure to be with you today and to 

        24          have the opportunity on behalf of the 

        25          Commissioner to present to you the Department's 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            166
                  December 14, 1999
         1          amendment to the rule. 

         2              And I must say up front, this is a 

         3          complicated matter.  The rule was 26 pages long 

         4          when we advertised it, and yesterday it was 

         5          necessary to put forward several amendments in 

         6          compliance with a ruling by the 

         7          Joint Administrative Procedures Committee.

         8              So I'm going to do the best I can this 

         9          afternoon to explain the language that you have 

        10          before you without getting all wrapped up into 

        11          rules and regs, but rather from a perspective 

        12          of here's what we are presenting, and here is 

        13          the rationale that got us to this point.

        14              First of all, as has been stated repeatedly 

        15          today, Florida can be very proud of the fact 

        16          that it has a standards based accountability 

        17          system.  But what does that mean? 

        18              That means that a team of professionals has 

        19          come together and decided exactly what it is 

        20          that children should know and be able to do in 

        21          various grades in Florida, and that we hold all 

        22          children to that same standard.

        23              That is really an important concept.  As 

        24          you look at accountability, we have to 

        25          constantly say to ourselves, do we know what 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            167
                  December 14, 1999
         1          the expectation is?  And now that we have 

         2          clearly done that, through the work, of course, 

         3          of this prestigious body in adopting the 

         4          Sunshine State Standards in 1997, we can be 

         5          clear to people. 

         6              Now, my husband and I have four kids, and 

         7          we wish we had had the standards when our kids 

         8          were going through school.  Maybe you do, too.  

         9          Because it clarifies for us what it is children 

        10          should know in various grade levels.

        11              But it isn't enough to say simply, this is 

        12          what the expectation is.  The State has a 

        13          compelling interest in finding out who meets 

        14          those standards.  And the way that we do that 

        15          is through assessment.

        16              Florida has a Florida Comprehensive 

        17          Assessment Test.  We've had it for a very short 

        18          amount of time.  But as we go further into this 

        19          presentation, we will develop for you the link 

        20          of that test to the standards.  And that's the 

        21          crucial piece. 

        22              We've said what it is we need kids to 

        23          learn; we have a system by which we measure 

        24          whether they've learned it or not; and, 

        25          finally, we have an obligation to report 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            168
                  December 14, 1999
         1          those -- the success.

         2              GOVERNOR BUSH:  When was the -- excuse me, 

         3          Betty. 

         4              When was the test tied to the standards, 

         5          when was that approved by the Board of 

         6          Education? 

         7              MS. COXE:  I believe in 1998.  Yes, sir.  

         8          So it's a relatively new policy.

         9              GOVERNOR BUSH:  But it -- I just want to 

        10          put it in the historical perspective.  There 

        11          was a different Governor -- 

        12              MS. COXE:  Yes, sir.

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- different Cabinet -- 

        14              MS. COXE:  Yes, sir.

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- and a commitment across 

        16          the board with lots of input by teachers, 

        17          principals, committed people to education to 

        18          create the standards and to create the 

        19          assessment that we would measure how children 

        20          are doing to those standards.

        21              MS. COXE:  Yes, sir. 

        22              It's my understanding that the Department's 

        23          original recommendation to the -- to the 

        24          Cabinet, which came about through, as you know, 

        25          Governor, meetings with literally hundreds of 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            169
                  December 14, 1999
         1          interested people, teachers, administrators. 

         2              The Department's original recommendation 

         3          turned out to be one that was even higher than 

         4          what the Board of Education indicated at the 

         5          time that it was comfortable doing. 

         6              So they created instead a phase-in system 

         7          for the standards in the hope that it would 

         8          give people more time to reach the mark.

         9              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.

        10              MS. COXE:  Yes, sir.

        11              The -- the FCAT basically tests, of course, 

        12          the performance of -- of each child one by one.  

        13          But kids go to school in groups, and those 

        14          groups are found in -- in schools, and there 

        15          has to be some way of compiling the results of 

        16          the testing for school determinations of how 

        17          well are our schools doing.

        18              Now, it's important that we do that.  We 

        19          have to know how the kids in schools are doing, 

        20          because we have to quantify school success.

        21              We need to quantify that success for a 

        22          number of reasons, not the least of which is, 

        23          when you set a standard, you figure out who's 

        24          meeting it; you need to know who's meeting it 

        25          well beyond the -- the minimum expectation; and 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            170
                  December 14, 1999
         1          it's good public policy to reward those 

         2          schools, to let people know that their success 

         3          is recognized.

         4              And it's also important to note those 

         5          schools that make dramatic improvement for 

         6          children, because it is harder in some schools 

         7          than in others to get kids up to the mark.  And 

         8          those that -- that make strong gains in that 

         9          regard, they need to be rewarded.

        10              And regrettably, you have some situations 

        11          where the kids aren't learning to the degree 

        12          that you would like.  And in those 

        13          circumstances, we need to make sure we provide 

        14          the kind of assistance that makes children do 

        15          better.

        16              But probably most important from a 

        17          comprehensive viewpoint is this:  We are in a 

        18          constant state of continuous improvement, all 

        19          of us, as individuals, as schools.  No matter 

        20          where you are, you can get better.

        21              My dad used to say, strive for perfection, 

        22          settle for excellence.  That's the way we are 

        23          looking at all schools.  And you need a 

        24          measurement system to do that, to help people 

        25          determine the level of their success.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            171
                  December 14, 1999
         1              I would be lying if I told you that what 

         2          you have before you today is a simple, perfect, 

         3          all encompassing process for doing what we need 

         4          to do in grading the schools. 

         5              But we know it is a good start at 

         6          implementing the A+ bill as was last passed, 

         7          and that it carries the State forward on its 

         8          mission of -- of holding schools accountable, 

         9          and providing the best kind of education for 

        10          all children in the state.

        11              According to the law that was passed in 

        12          last session, schools in Florida are to receive 

        13          grades, and those grades are A to F.  And that 

        14          was done out of a spirit of public truthfulness 

        15          I guess you'd say. 

        16              As y'all know, schools have been rated for 

        17          a long time on a tier level.  And we switched 

        18          from level 1 to 5 to A through F for a more 

        19          honest presentation to the public of how 

        20          schools were doing.

        21              And further in the law, it states that the 

        22          centerpiece really for accountability has to be 

        23          student achievement, and that the -- the one 

        24          thing, since that's the primary mission of 

        25          school is to educate kids, the primary thing 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            172
                  December 14, 1999
         1          upon which children -- schools must be held 

         2          accountable is the achievement results.

         3              The law went on to say, it shouldn't be the 

         4          only thing.  And there was a listing of other 

         5          factors to be considered in the grading of 

         6          schools.  Those other factors you see on the 

         7          screen.

         8              Now, some people will tell you that this 

         9          was not the Department's original position that 

        10          you see in the rule now, and that is true.  So 

        11          I'd like to take a second to explain that.

        12              If we hold with the premise that the most 

        13          important things that schools do are to teach 

        14          children to read, to write, to cipher, as they 

        15          used to say, then you -- you would have to say 

        16          that that needs to be the primary focus.

        17              But there are other things about schools 

        18          that are important.  And under the one year 

        19          that we graded schools, we decided to use these 

        20          other factors to distinguish between an A 

        21          school and a non-A school.  And that was the 

        22          rule as it was publicized last week. 

        23              But JAPC found that the law did not allow 

        24          for that degree of flexibility, and, in fact, 

        25          that the other factors were to be considered in 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            173
                  December 14, 1999
         1          all passing grades of D through A.

         2              So the amendment to the amendment that you 

         3          have received from Commissioner Gallagher does 

         4          do that.  We believe we've done it in a way 

         5          that gives -- here's a very nonstatistical 

         6          term -- a bit of wiggle room for schools so 

         7          that it doesn't hold them inappropriately 

         8          accountable in these areas, but it does give 

         9          them a standard, and an expectation.

        10              GOVERNOR BUSH:  What -- can I -- just 

        11          another historical perspective here.

        12              MS. COXE:  Yes, sir.

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I remember in transition 

        14          after the election, I came to 

        15          Commissioner Brogan, now Lieutenant Governor 

        16          Brogan's last Cabinet meeting where the school 

        17          recognition program was -- the rules were 

        18          passed.

        19              MS. COXE:  Yes, sir.

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  And in those rules, as I 

        21          recall, which unanimously passed the -- the 

        22          Cabinet, there was an inclusion of school 

        23          discipline and attendance in those rules; were 

        24          there not? 

        25              MS. COXE:  Yes, sir.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            174
                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  And as I recall, I was told 

         2          this -- I didn't know this at the time -- the 

         3          reason why they were included, because they 

         4          weren't included to begin with, was a similar 

         5          kind of process of what we've gone through over 

         6          the last four or five months, to seek public 

         7          input that educators across the state wanted to 

         8          include school discipline and attendance as 

         9          part of that.

        10              MS. COXE:  Yes, sir.  That is all true.

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  And so when the bill was 

        12          passed, attempting to be true to the existing 

        13          school recognition program so that we could 

        14          have a smooth transition in our grading 

        15          program, that those things were included in the 

        16          passage of the law.

        17              MS. COXE:  Yes, sir.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay.  Thank you.

        19              MS. COXE:  That is -- everything you have 

        20          said is accurate.  And we would never maintain 

        21          at the Department that any accountability 

        22          system should be one dimensional. 

        23              We just believe that in terms of 

        24          translation of most important, you have to keep 

        25          your eye on the prize.  And let's make no 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            175
                  December 14, 1999
         1          mistake, the prize is reading, writing, math, 

         2          and other content areas. 

         3              If children are allowed to exit our school 

         4          system incapable of being productive citizens 

         5          because they don't know content, we have made a 

         6          tremendous mistake in their education.  A -- a 

         7          horrific one.

         8              Now, these attendance factors and other 

         9          considerations you see there are important.  

        10          Obviously kids can't learn if they're not in 

        11          school, if they quit school, if they go to 

        12          school in a situation that there's chronic 

        13          chaos. 

        14              So you do want schools that are organized 

        15          to promote strong attendance; a feeling of 

        16          children staying there; of -- of good, sound 

        17          discipline.  Kids need to do all of these 

        18          things.

        19              So the new rule does reflect those, and 

        20          does have a -- a vehicle by which schools 

        21          are -- are held accountable to a certain 

        22          standard in that regard.

        23              But the rule as amended in your proposal 

        24          this -- is basically concentrating on 

        25          achievement, and for very good reasons.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            176
                  December 14, 1999
         1              I'd like to take a second to talk about 

         2          that assessment of student achievement.  If we 

         3          roll the tape back to the Sunshine State 

         4          Standards, then the most important thing that 

         5          we can do as a State is figure out which of our 

         6          children have met the -- the requirements of 

         7          the standard. 

         8              And historically we have done that by 

         9          having children take our achievement test, and 

        10          issuing a report of that child's success.  And 

        11          that report is a one-time status measure. 

        12              You get a report as a parent, says little 

        13          Junior took the test, here was his score in 

        14          reading, writing, math. 

        15              And that's a very good -- good system.  I 

        16          don't think we need to apologize for that 

        17          system.  It's important for families to know 

        18          where their kids are in terms of proficiency.

        19              But the new law asks us to go a step 

        20          further, now that we have better systems for 

        21          measurement.  It has asked us to develop a 

        22          system of annual learning gains, which 

        23          basically says this:  Not just what did Junior 

        24          do in terms of demonstration of proficiency, 

        25          how much did he learn in the past year, which 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            177
                  December 14, 1999
         1          is what we call annual learning gains. 

         2              What was the growth, what was the bang for 

         3          our buck in education over the past year for 

         4          the investment made? 

         5              And the big change in annual learning gains 

         6          is that it tracks the success of the same 

         7          student over time.  So you get that picture. 

         8              I think of it sort of like my family 

         9          photograph at home with the kids at every 

        10          Christmas.  One thing you do, you look at the 

        11          picture, and you see that your children have 

        12          changed.  But annual learning gains let you 

        13          quantify how much they've changed:  They're 

        14          6 inches taller, they -- they can tie their -- 

        15          they're wearing a tie now, whatever it is.  

        16          It's a different system of looking. 

        17              But the annual learning gains model will 

        18          give you both pieces of information.  I think 

        19          that's important.  Doesn't eliminate the one, 

        20          it tells you about the gains.  And this is 

        21          going to be important, particularly for kids 

        22          who struggle. 

        23              If you've got a fifth grader who came to 

        24          school starting at second grade, and he is 

        25          tested again, and is now at fourth grade after 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            178
                  December 14, 1999
         1          one year of instruction, that child is still in 

         2          the fifth grade, functioning at fourth, but has 

         3          gained two years.  And that's a crucial piece 

         4          of information.

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  The -- the rule does not 

         6          address this, as I understand it, because we -- 

         7          the law was changed to allow for grading of 

         8          students, instead of four, eight, and ten, now 

         9          we are four -- three through ten.

        10              MS. COXE:  Right.

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  And in doing so, we'll be 

        12          able to measure those annual learning gains.  

        13          And the law --

        14              MS. COXE:  That's right.

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- that was passed that -- 

        16          that I -- that we advocated -- some of us at 

        17          least here --

        18              MS. COXE:  Right.

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- had from the very 

        20          beginning included that as an element of the 

        21          ultimate grading system, which we can't --

        22              MS. COXE:  That is right.

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- we can't get to quite 

        24          yet, can we?

        25              MS. COXE:  No, sir.  And that will come up 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            179
                  December 14, 1999
         1          later.  It will take us a couple of years.  We 

         2          are starting right now, and you'll see that in 

         3          an upcoming slide, that in order to do what 

         4          you're talking about, we do have to expand the 

         5          FCAT.

         6              Students have to, of course, be assessed.  

         7          And -- and in -- in accountability, the 

         8          grouping of those scores from kids has to be 

         9          packaged to make decisions about schools, how 

        10          have schools done.

        11              And in the rule language that you have, 

        12          there is some talk about the reporting of 

        13          student achievement.  And these are important 

        14          things, because these are the factors upon 

        15          which judgments are made about school 

        16          performance.

        17              First of all, in the proposed language, you 

        18          see the FCAT performance criteria for schools 

        19          to be rated grades A through F.

        20              And those, of course, are different, 

        21          depending on the subject area being tested, and 

        22          some other factors.

        23              Now, because your decisions are important 

        24          when assigning a grade to a school, the 

        25          Commissioner has to be assured that enough 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            180
                  December 14, 1999
         1          students have been tested to give him an 

         2          accurate picture of the learning. 

         3              And this language proposes that 90 percent 

         4          of students who are eligible for testing have 

         5          their grades counted for school purposes, 

         6          95 percent for an A.

         7              And I'd like to stop here a second, because 

         8          this gets real confusing to people, and -- and 

         9          we can understand why. 

        10              All kids are tested.  I mean, there is 

        11          provision under Federal law that disabled 

        12          children are tested.  They're not necessarily 

        13          tested on FCAT, but they have to be tested for 

        14          accountability purposes. 

        15              Then the question becomes:  Whose scores 

        16          should count.  And that gets a little trickier, 

        17          because there are kids in certain situations 

        18          where you wouldn't want their FCAT scores 

        19          necessarily to count for grading purposes. 

        20              An example might be a child who is new to 

        21          Florida, doesn't speak English, has only been 

        22          in our program for a year.  You want to test 

        23          him to see where he is and how he's doing, but 

        24          you don't want to really hold the school 

        25          accountable yet. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            181
                  December 14, 1999
         1              So there is a certain represent-- 

         2          representativeness about this.  When you remove 

         3          certain disabled children, certain LEP 

         4          students, and whatnot from the mix of counting 

         5          for school grading of the kids that you have 

         6          left, 90 percent need to be there for testing.  

         7          And that's what's in the rule.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yes.

         9              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Governor, 

        10          this is very confusing, as you say.

        11              MS. COXE:  It is.  Very.

        12              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  So what 

        13          you're -- so what you're telling me, that a 

        14          student who is IQ challenged, they'll take the 

        15          test, but -- but that it may not count if -- 

        16          if, let's say, they have --

        17              MS. COXE:  Right.

        18              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- a 70 IQ.  

        19          So they're -- 

        20              MS. COXE:  They have an IQ of what? 

        21              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Of 70 --

        22              MS. COXE:  Okay.

        23              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- let's 

        24          say.  So -- so that child take -- will take the 

        25          test, but that test will not count against the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            182
                  December 14, 1999
         1          school.

         2              MS. COXE:  That is correct.

         3              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Okay.  Now, 

         4          a child who starts in school this year, 

         5          let's say, in the fourth grade, must stay in 

         6          the school the whole year, or for six or 

         7          eight months before that child is tested.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  We're getting to that.

         9              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Oh. 

        10              MS. COXE:  Yes.

        11              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Again, I'm 

        12          ah--

        13              MS. COXE:  To have their's -- I need to 

        14          address that ESE question because, of course, 

        15          everybody knows that ESE children, exceptional 

        16          students, are always judged on an individual 

        17          basis, as Federal law would require.  So your 

        18          70 IQ I answered in general. 

        19              But children involved in emotionally 

        20          handicapped programs are somehow viewed to -- 

        21          to have a disability that pronounced, in 

        22          general, their grades will not count.

        23              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Well, many 

        24          times, as you know, the IQ challenged child 

        25          could be --


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            183
                  December 14, 1999
         1              MS. COXE:  Yes.

         2              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- your 

         3          hardest working --

         4              MS. COXE:  Absolutely.

         5              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- child in 

         6          your classroom.  And --

         7              MS. COXE:  That's right.  

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  And the Federal law, as -- 

         9          as we -- we know, because the State is obliged 

        10          to pay for the portion of the money that they 

        11          were supposed to put up to take care of these 

        12          precious children, Federal law is quite 

        13          stringent upon creating individual achievement 

        14          plans that would be a mini accountability 

        15          system for each child that is uniquely given to 

        16          them, as it should be.  And so --

        17              MS. COXE:  Uh-hum. 

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- they are not included in 

        19          this grading system.

        20              MS. COXE:  And that was, frankly, a point 

        21          statewide that was misrepresented over and 

        22          over, the ESE kids. 

        23              Well, the -- the way the language and the 

        24          rule reads, ESE kids are not automatically 

        25          included nor excluded since decisions are made 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            184
                  December 14, 1999
         1          on the individual basis. 

         2              Obviously, if you're gifted, you're 

         3          included.  I mean, there are certain 

         4          categories. 

         5              But by in large, these are decisions that 

         6          have to first be driven at the individual 

         7          level, and then transformed to the school.  The 

         8          language in the rule says students in a 

         9          standard curriculum course of study will have 

        10          their scores counted.

        11              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  But many 

        12          times, the low IQ child will be in a standard 

        13          curriculum.

        14              MS. COXE:  But modified for the IQ.  And 

        15          once you get that modification in, then their 

        16          scores would not be counted.

        17              Finally, two more quick points. 

        18              Statistically, you have to have enough kids 

        19          in a grade to be fair.  And the determination 

        20          from the researchers has been we need 30.  If 

        21          you only have five, that's too much weight 

        22          going on one child's movement.

        23              And something you just mentioned, General, 

        24          on stability factor. 

        25              Yes, this was a major issue in the state.  


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            185
                  December 14, 1999
         1          Schools want to be accountable for learning, 

         2          but they want to be accountable for the 

         3          learning of kids that they've had the 

         4          opportunity to teach.

         5              So in the rule, the Commissioner has 

         6          recommended that we hold schools responsible 

         7          for kids who are there for both the October and 

         8          February reporting periods.

         9              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Well, just 

        10          one question on this.

        11              A number of teachers and administrators 

        12          told me that they think you'd be fairer if that 

        13          child was there the year before.  But you have 

        14          a child just coming in, so you only had the 

        15          person for a few months.  I know you have to 

        16          draw the line somewhere.

        17              MS. COXE:  Yes, sir.

        18              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  But from the 

        19          standpoint of really being able to evaluate a 

        20          school, if that child was there for a longer 

        21          period of time -- I wasn't -- let's take 

        22          Orange County, who I believe the mobility 

        23          factor in the F school is over 55 percent.

        24              How does that work?  I mean, you may not 

        25          end up at some of these --


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            186
                  December 14, 1999
         1              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well -- 

         2              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- schools 

         3          with -- with 30.

         4              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  There's a reason 

         5          that says stability instead of mobility.  And 

         6          if I can, I'd like to address that.

         7              You can have a mobility factor of 

         8          60 percent.  One would think that that meant 

         9          that if there were 1,000 children in the school 

        10          in the beginning of the year, and there were 

        11          1,000 children in the school at the end of the 

        12          year, that 600 of them would be different.  

        13          That is not true. 

        14              What we find when we do runs is that -- and 

        15          looking on a stability side, is even though you 

        16          may have a 60 percent mobility factor, that 

        17          factor can be driven by a group of students 

        18          that come and go.  And maybe they only have a 

        19          20 or 30 percent -- should I say changes. 

        20              And yet at the end of the school year, you 

        21          end up with 800 of the same students, only 

        22          200 are different.

        23              So we believe that it's more accurate and 

        24          fair to look at the stability side, as opposed 

        25          to a mobility side.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            187
                  December 14, 1999
         1              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Well, 

         2          then -- then just follow-up then.  If a child 

         3          leaves for a few months -- let's say, he leaves 

         4          from November to February, is that child 

         5          counted or not --

         6              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well --

         7              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- because 

         8          he's there in October, and he's there in -- the 

         9          second time you test. 

        10              What happens to those children? 

        11              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  That -- that 

        12          child, if he was in the -- if -- if the school 

        13          system counted him in October, and they counted 

        14          him in February, I don't know where he was in 

        15          between.

        16              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  But at 

        17          the -- 

        18              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  If he was -- 

        19              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- school --

        20              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- if he was ill, 

        21          if there were -- if there were extenuating 

        22          circumstances that would put him on a 

        23          critically ill, there is an existing rule and 

        24          law that -- that takes care of those children 

        25          and exempts them from being counted.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            188
                  December 14, 1999
         1              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Yeah.  

         2          But -- but from the standpoint -- let's say he 

         3          goes from one school to another in the same 

         4          system, or a different system, then goes back 

         5          into that same public school, but the child was 

         6          only there maybe two days, the two important 

         7          dates, how is that one going to be counted? 

         8              I mean, it -- it's just things like that 

         9          which --

        10              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well, I'm sure, 

        11          as -- as Mrs. Coxe started out with, there -- 

        12          there is no perfect grading system.  And I can 

        13          guarantee you that we could sit up here and 

        14          come up with individual circumstances like that 

        15          that would sound like the whole system isn't 

        16          any good because of that. 

        17              But the truth of the matter is, there are 

        18          very, very few students that that would happen 

        19          with.  And so you can't fix every single little 

        20          thing.  And that -- that would be my answer to 

        21          that question.

        22              And, again, it -- it would be -- it is one 

        23          student or two students.  That's why we have a 

        24          minimum of 30, so that those kinds of 

        25          aberrations would not affect the school.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            189
                  December 14, 1999
         1              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  So a -- a 

         2          school can actually challenge maybe some -- 

         3          they can actually, I guess, go to you and 

         4          challenge certain -- certain students' grades 

         5          because they might not have been responsible 

         6          for teaching that child that particular year.

         7              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  We allowed -- last 

         8          year we had a number of incompletes because 

         9          they were less than 80 percent tested.  We now 

        10          have in the rule 90, so everybody knows in the 

        11          front end that 90 has to happen, or you can 

        12          lose a grade.

        13              We also allowed a 30-day period which 

        14          schools could give us data and appeal the grade 

        15          that they got based on any circumstance they 

        16          wanted to bring to us, which could include that 

        17          kind of a circumstance. 

        18              And we had a committee within the 

        19          Department that looked at each one of those 

        20          appeals, and made decisions based on what they 

        21          thought was the right thing to do. 

        22              And so that -- that is therestill there to 

        23          allow extenuating circumstances to be looked at 

        24          so a grade could be changed based on unusual 

        25          situations. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            190
                  December 14, 1999
         1              I'm not saying that we'd do it because of 

         2          one student like that.  But if there -- 

         3          you know, if the school closed down for 

         4          three months, and none of them were there, that 

         5          might be a problem.  I don't know. 

         6              But there could be extenuating 

         7          circumstances.

         8              MS. COXE:  In order to go forward with the 

         9          accountability process, we have to expand FCAT, 

        10          as the Governor indicated. 

        11              FCAT has currently been given in grades 4, 

        12          5, 8, and 10.  And for accountability purposes, 

        13          that will be true this year as well.

        14              However, additionally this year, we are 

        15          adding the field test level to fully implement.  

        16          And that -- that will take place for grades 3 

        17          through 10 in every area we haven't tested so 

        18          far.

        19              Now, the field test is -- is a situation 

        20          where every kid in Florida will take those 

        21          tests, but they will not be taking the same 

        22          test items.

        23              The purpose for field testing is test 

        24          development.  So the Department and the company 

        25          will get together and look at the -- the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            191
                  December 14, 1999
         1          results of the field test, they will determine 

         2          which items appear to be appropriate, which are 

         3          off kilter, and from that experience will 

         4          develop the first test for next year.

         5              In the year 2000-2001, all students in 

         6          Florida will be taking grades 3 through 10 as 

         7          identified in law, reading and math, FCAT, for 

         8          a baseline year.

         9              (Treasurer Nelson exited the room.)

        10              MS. COXE:  And then finally, the subsequent 

        11          year is when we'll have the growth available to 

        12          make those very important decisions about how 

        13          much learning took place in a year's time.

        14              Other parts of this rule talk about rewards 

        15          and recognition.  This is an important 

        16          principle for people once you've said the 

        17          standard and you want to recognize those who 

        18          exceed it. 

        19              You see in the rule the criteria -- or 

        20          excuse me -- not the criteria, but the 

        21          authority for the Commissioner to grant 

        22          financial awards to A schools, and schools that 

        23          improve one grade, or schools that make 

        24          dramatic gains.

        25              And we need to stop there a second about 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            192
                  December 14, 1999
         1          that part, because that's for F schools.

         2              Now, most of us in the Department, 

         3          including me, are old teachers at -- at heart 

         4          and taught for many years, and are used to the 

         5          system of -- of A to F. 

         6              And as y'all will know, there's a huge 

         7          range in an F, typically zero to 69.  That's a 

         8          giant range of numbers.

         9              So if you make dramatic gains, you can well 

        10          make more gains in that zero to 69, than you 

        11          made from the whole system of D to A.

        12              So there does seem to be an appropriate 

        13          rationale for recognizing schools that make 

        14          dramatic gains in reading and mathematics, but 

        15          don't get from F to D.

        16              And you -- you know already -- I know y'all 

        17          do -- that we have 78 F schools this year, so 

        18          there are a large number.  And many of them 

        19          well may make dramatic gains, but not get clear 

        20          to the D in one year.

        21              So the Commissioner definitely wanted a 

        22          vehicle by which to recognize that success.

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  General Butterworth.

        24              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Let me ask 

        25          you one question on this.  Because this is -- 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            193
                  December 14, 1999
         1          this is an important issue, because let's say 

         2          we see what's happening with the two schools 

         3          in -- in Escambia, and the other 78 that are -- 

         4          that are F schools. 

         5              Let's say you have a school that's doing -- 

         6          let's say, you say with your zero to 69, 

         7          let's say it's at a 2.  And they bring it up to 

         8          66. 

         9              To give that school a double F would be so 

        10          demoralizing to the teachers, the 

        11          administrators, the system, this -- the kids, 

        12          is there a way -- is there -- is there some 

        13          type of safety valve here to where, if the 

        14          Commissioner believes or the committee believes 

        15          that a school has made such great progress, it 

        16          would be just fundamentally unfair to give that 

        17          school the second F, and, therefore, they will 

        18          not fall within that -- the two Fs within a 

        19          four-year period. 

        20              That way I think you'd -- you'd have the 

        21          incentive out there, even for the school that's 

        22          way down low, to bring the students up to a 

        23          much higher level.

        24              MS. COXE:  General, I wish it were that 

        25          easy.  But, you know, any time you have a 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            194
                  December 14, 1999
         1          number, you have to get here, there are always 

         2          those who are one little bit below it; and one, 

         3          of course, little bit above it.

         4              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Let's say 50 

         5          then to -- from 2 to 50, which is still 

         6          20 points below.  I mean, I'm -- I'm saying 

         7          that --

         8              MS. COXE:  Two to three.

         9              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- is there 

        10          someone out there that could put fairness into 

        11          something that, when people work so hard, and a 

        12          District does so much, and -- and a business 

        13          adopts a school, and children are feeling 

        14          wonderful about themself --

        15              MS. COXE:  I know.

        16              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- for the 

        17          first time in their lives, school teachers are 

        18          feeling great, and to still say, I'm sorry, you 

        19          failed.

        20              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well, what --

        21              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Yet you made 

        22          more progress than any other school in the 

        23          state of Florida.

        24              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Because you 

        25          have -- you have spoken what I -- I think is -- 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            195
                  December 14, 1999
         1          is true, that we should have a method by which 

         2          we recognize those schools that have done such 

         3          a great job, even though their students have 

         4          not yet earned a D, that is why we added to 

         5          this rule recognition for that gain. 

         6              But we don't remove them from what grade 

         7          they are, because that would not be fair 

         8          either.  And the lines are pretty well drawn, 

         9          and they were drawn back before I was on this 

        10          Cabinet as Commissioner of Education, on what 

        11          were -- the levels were going to be. 

        12              So that's why we say that if --

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Well --

        14              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- you have, 

        15          in fact, a substantial gain, we will recognize 

        16          those schools that are Fs with monetary 

        17          rewards, the same as we do ones that would gain 

        18          a grade, and the same as we do with the ones 

        19          that would be an A school.

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Which is over and above the 

        21          amount of money that F schools, as the report 

        22          showed by the anecdotal stories of all the 

        23          different strategies being developed.  What 

        24          wasn't stated was there's more money going to 

        25          the F schools already.  So this would be in 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            196
                  December 14, 1999
         1          addition to that.

         2              MS. COXE:  Uh-hum.

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Tom, just again, I'd -- I 

         4          want to make sure, because I -- one of the 

         5          frustrating things about this very important 

         6          issue, and I know that there's disagreement -- 

         7          trust me, I know that there's disagreement 

         8          about this -- is the lack of understanding of 

         9          the historical development of our standards and 

        10          grading.

        11              Perhaps you could describe what it is 

        12          that -- that designates -- I don't even know if 

        13          it was a 1 or a 5, because -- and that was the 

        14          problem with the old grading system, is 5 may 

        15          have been the lowest, or may have been the 

        16          highest.  Very few people could tell you that. 

        17              But based on those standards and the 

        18          current standards, what -- what makes --

        19              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well --

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- a school be designated 

        21          either a 1 or a 5, or whatever it was, or an F?

        22              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  It is interesting 

        23          to note that this Board, prior to your being 

        24          Governor, and prior to me being Commissioner of 

        25          Education, basically voted the standards that 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            197
                  December 14, 1999
         1          would be set for the grading system.

         2              Now, at that time, the grading system was 

         3          in levels, Level 1 through Level 5.

         4              Truly, the educators understood which was 

         5          the better one and which was the worst.  It 

         6          started, and you'll see -- you'll visit schools 

         7          periodically, and they'll say, this is a 

         8          Level 1 school.  Some people might think that's 

         9          an A, but the truth of the matter is, a Level 1 

        10          was an F; and a Level 5 was an A.

        11              The same criteria that was used for Level 1 

        12          through Level 5 is the basis of the criteria 

        13          used now from A through F. 

        14              We have -- one of the things that was asked 

        15          for in our meetings as we went around the state 

        16          is stability in the grading system.  And we 

        17          worked very hard to have stability in the 

        18          grading system. 

        19              These new rules that we're actually putting 

        20          in are implementing the A+ plan, but we are 

        21          doing that, which includes putting level -- 

        22          grades on, as opposed -- letters as opposed to 

        23          levels. 

        24              But the basic criteria for how you are at 

        25          what level is basically there from the rule 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            198
                  December 14, 1999
         1          that was -- was set by this Board before you 

         2          and I got here, Governor.

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  And what was it? 

         4              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  And so --

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Sixty percent of reading, 

         6          math, and writing -- and writing.  All three. 

         7              MS. COXE:  Uh-hum.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Sixty percent of the 

         9          students had to be below that level --

        10              MS. COXE:  Right.

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- the minimum level, not 

        12          the median level --

        13              MS. COXE:  Right.

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- but the minimum level.

        15              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  That's right.  

        16          It -- 

        17              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Put it in perspective.  

        18          I mean -- 

        19              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  If 40 percent of 

        20          the students are not at the minimum level --

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Say it once.

        22              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- expected, then 

        23          that school is rated an F.  And that is a -- 

        24          that is a -- a -- a very low level.  And, 

        25          in fact, when you look at a D, you're saying 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            199
                  December 14, 1999
         1          all three of those subjects, except for one. 

         2              That's -- that's a pretty low standard, in 

         3          all honesty.  And it's a concern that it's that 

         4          low.  But the truth of the matter is, we have a 

         5          long way to go across this state, and we want 

         6          to have it -- gains shown, and -- and levels 

         7          that -- that I think we should consider an 

         8          absolute minimum, and that's what that is.

         9              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Governor, I 

        10          don't --

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yes.

        12              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- I don't 

        13          mean to prolong this.  Maybe I'm not --

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Well, this is important. 

        15              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- maybe I'm 

        16          not making myself clear here. 

        17              I -- I don't mind that school getting 

        18          another F.  That doesn't bother me, because 

        19          they have -- because they have not reached 

        20          the -- the D level yet.

        21              What -- what bothers me is that if you 

        22          receive two Fs, you then go into a different 

        23          category to where then vouchers do check in, 

        24          and a lot of other things do check in. 

        25              So my question would be:  If a school makes 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            200
                  December 14, 1999
         1          such great progress, why provide them with the 

         2          double F negatives where they -- as they start 

         3          losing enrollment, they will then -- the 

         4          school board then loses the money.

         5              Is there a way to still give them an F, but 

         6          not put them into the double F category, like a 

         7          Dixon right now, to where the vouchers check 

         8          in, everything else checks in, because I -- I'm 

         9          concerned about stability, too. 

        10              And I'm also -- I think everything that's 

        11          been done here has been tremendous of putting 

        12          education first, and -- and putting education 

        13          on the front pages of the papers.  And the 

        14          teachers that are motivated -- and also in the 

        15          courtrooms.

        16              -- the teachers are motivated, the 

        17          administrators are motivated, and -- and 

        18          just -- I think we'd be doing a terrible 

        19          disservice if there was just not some mechanism 

        20          for the Commissioner or a committee to 

        21          designate that particular school made so much 

        22          progress to put them in a double F category 

        23          would just be inappropriate --

        24              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well, I can --

        25              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- not fair.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            201
                  December 14, 1999
         1              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- tell you that 

         2          the law is very clear that a school that 

         3          receives an F in any two out of four years, the 

         4          parents and students have the right to an 

         5          opportunity scholarship, which would allow them 

         6          to move to a C school or better; or to a 

         7          private school, if there was room for them. 

         8              And I don't think that we have the 

         9          authority to change that.  That is -- that is 

        10          pretty much in law.

        11              (Treasurer Nelson entered the room.)

        12              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  But then we 

        13          can change it though in the rule that's before 

        14          us by may -- putting factors in. 

        15              And -- and this is one thing that concerns 

        16          me is that a lot of discussion has been on the 

        17          issue of could be on poverty, a neighborhood 

        18          feeding into schools, that something like that 

        19          should be maybe phased in, as opposed to where 

        20          it's now. 

        21              I mean, I -- I think every child can learn, 

        22          and there are many schools in this state that 

        23          are here that -- there are some schools that -- 

        24          that have Ds that only have 8 percent poverty.  

        25          So it goes both ways.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            202
                  December 14, 1999
         1              But -- but the thing is, my concern is that 

         2          there has to be some fundamental fairness here 

         3          to where the teachers and the principals and 

         4          other administrators will not go into that 

         5          double F category if they've done so much good.  

         6          That's just -- it's fairness. 

         7              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well --

         8              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  It really 

         9          is.  And I think it even helps the court cases.  

        10          It's something there that -- that helps us in 

        11          that regard.  That's --

        12              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  General, let me 

        13          just give you a little history, if I may.

        14              This has been moved in in phases.  Although 

        15          the opportunity scholarships is new, 

        16          recognizing that there were problems with low 

        17          performing schools is not.

        18              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Right.

        19              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  In 1995-96, 

        20          158 schools were designated as critically low 

        21          performing.  In 1996-97, there was a 55 percent 

        22          reduction in those because of the stigma of 

        23          being a low performing school. 

        24              Seventy-one schools in 96-97. 

        25              In 97-98, there was another 59 percent 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            203
                  December 14, 1999
         1          reduction, and we saw 30 schools designated as 

         2          low performing.

         3              Now, in 1997-98, 51 percent of all schools 

         4          had no scores -- scores below the State 

         5          criteria.

         6              In 98-99, four schools were designated as 

         7          school performance Level 1, or F.

         8              So there was a tremendous gain made.

         9              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Right.

        10              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Now, I will tell 

        11          you that the standards were not high for low 

        12          performing.  They were very low. 

        13              If we were honest, we probably would have 

        14          known there was five hundred and some schools 

        15          that should have been on that list, if you 

        16          really took to what we're talking about today. 

        17          In fact, probably more like seven or 

        18          eight hundred.

        19              In 1998-99, this Board adopted a new 

        20          criteria, prior to me being here. 

        21              And in 99-2000, we designated schools by 

        22          letter grades, equal to low performing would be 

        23          the F.  There are 78 schools so mentioned.

        24              This year, I would expect, hopefully -- 

        25          I've -- truly hopefully expect, that we would 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            204
                  December 14, 1999
         1          see a reduction in those critically performing 

         2          schools that are Fs, by -- I'm not going to 

         3          guess, but I would hope that we'll see a -- a 

         4          good improvement, because I know a lot of work 

         5          is happening in those schools.

         6              That's why -- and knowing that some will -- 

         7          will improve a lot, but may not get to where 

         8          they need to be, that's why we wanted to reward 

         9          those ones that showed that tremendous 

        10          performance gain with cash awards to be used 

        11          for the school as the teachers and principals 

        12          and SACs want to -- want to do it.

        13              But to basically say that because -- that 

        14          they should not -- that the parents shouldn't 

        15          have the opportunity to have the same choices 

        16          that so many other parents have that may not be 

        17          in the lower socioeconomic area I think would 

        18          go against what the -- what the law says.

        19              MS. COXE:  Okay.

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.

        21              MS. COXE:  The law also requires that we 

        22          address the issue of deregulation and budget 

        23          authority for those schools that do exemplary 

        24          jobs.  And you'll see that mentioned.

        25              We have to give assistance and intervention 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            205
                  December 14, 1999
         1          for D and F schools, and we would want this.  

         2          There needs to be intensive efforts to get 

         3          everyone up to the standard.  And if we don't 

         4          waiver from that, if we say everybody can get 

         5          there, given the right resources, then we will 

         6          get everybody where they need to go.

         7              The law requires, and the rule supports a 

         8          two-year district plan for assistance; that the 

         9          Commissioner grant preference for State and 

        10          Federal grants in funding D and F schools; that 

        11          where necessary, school boards can declare 

        12          contractual emergencies to assist them in 

        13          providing a different delivery model of 

        14          instruction; and finally, you, sitting as 

        15          State Board, have the power to make differences 

        16          in these schools.

        17              That is the rule in a very cursory fashion.  

        18          We would like to state that there are many 

        19          people going to come for you to-- before you 

        20          today, and they're going to say some really 

        21          good things about the rule, they're going to 

        22          say some things that they very much don't like. 

        23              We would like to let you know that the 

        24          primary responsibility is for us to develop for 

        25          you a rule that is statutorily compliant, and 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            206
                  December 14, 1999
         1          that speaks to the intent and the heart of the 

         2          law.  And we believe that we have done that.

         3              That doesn't mean we have developed for you 

         4          a rule that is flawless, or a rule that will be 

         5          universally accepted.  We do think it is one 

         6          that serves the greater good, and puts the 

         7          focus on kids and their learning; that keeps 

         8          the attention on standards, which is what our 

         9          system has to have, stability on the standards, 

        10          with an underlying belief that all children can 

        11          reach them.

        12              And finally, we've tried to give you today 

        13          a rule that reflects your wishes as leadership, 

        14          as they have been translated to us, that 

        15          reflects the honest input from the public to 

        16          the degree we had the statutory authority to do 

        17          so; and that bears in mind that these are 

        18          difficult, important, and challenging 

        19          decisions, and need -- need our full effort. 

        20              And to that end, we have a large team of 

        21          people here that have helped work this rule, 

        22          and there are quite specific areas that they 

        23          have far more expertise than do I.  So they are 

        24          here at your disposal, and eager to provide you 

        25          any additional information you may have.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            207
                  December 14, 1999
         1              Thank you.

         2              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Thank you, Betty.

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.

         4              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  I think probably, 

         5          Governor, we've heard the presentation.  I'm 

         6          going to ask those that -- we know that people 

         7          have signed up.  I'm going to ask Wayne to go 

         8          through the list that's signed up. 

         9              And I'd like to do it this way:  If you 

        10          want to talk about -- there is -- there is one 

        11          area that I'd like to hold till the last, 

        12          because it has -- it is by itself a -- an area 

        13          that should have discussion, and that would be 

        14          the poverty factor included in the school 

        15          grading system. 

        16              Those that would like to speak to that 

        17          alone, I'd ask you to hold off until we go 

        18          through the rest.  Those that would like to 

        19          speak of that, and everything else, feel free 

        20          to come in -- in line as we come through the 

        21          list.

        22              Thank you.

        23              MR. PIERSON:  How many of these do you want 

        24          me to identify to start with?  If I go through 

        25          this whole list, they won't remember where they 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            208
                  December 14, 1999
         1          are. 

         2              We've got --

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Why don't you just do, 

         4          like, five or six at a time then.

         5              MR. PIERSON:  Okay.  The -- the first 

         6          speaker will be Mary Compton from 

         7          Sarasota County; second, Catherine Kitto from 

         8          Sarasota County; next, Maureen Dinnen from 

         9          FTP-NEA; Beth VanVranken from Braden River 

        10          Elementary School, Manatee County; and 

        11          Jenny Limbacher from Braden River Elementary 

        12          School Advisory Council, Manatee County.

        13              MS. COMPTON:  Good afternoon. 

        14              My name is Mary Compton, and I'm a 

        15          fourth grade teacher at Gulf Gate School in 

        16          Sarasota, which has been identified as an 

        17          A school.

        18              I am speaking on behalf of five educators 

        19          who have accompanied me to speak to this 

        20          important issue.

        21              We believe that Rule 6A-1.00998, or better 

        22          known as the school grading rule, is having a 

        23          detrimental effect on our schools. 

        24              This rule misuses the Florida Comprehensive 

        25          Achievement Test and subjects our schools to an 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            209
                  December 14, 1999
         1          unfair grading system, which is both 

         2          demoralizing, and counterproductive.

         3              There is simply no way of fixing this rule, 

         4          because the very foundation of this rule is 

         5          both shallow and faulty.

         6              First of all, this rule measures student 

         7          achievement solely on the basis of the FCAT 

         8          test.  Now, we have all fallen under the spell 

         9          of the FCAT test today.  The FCAT is a good 

        10          test.  It was designed to measure how well 

        11          teachers were teaching the Sunshine State 

        12          Standards. 

        13              In order to meet these high standards, 

        14          schools across the state were adopting programs 

        15          which developed higher order thinking skills.  

        16          And these skills are the backbones of our 

        17          excellent State standards. 

        18              The fault with this rule lies in the fact 

        19          that it uses only the FCAT to measure student 

        20          achievement.  And when you use only one tool to 

        21          measure accountability and student achievement, 

        22          you're asking for trouble.

        23              The effect is that our schools have become 

        24          centers for test preparation.  As teachers and 

        25          administrators are now adopting programs which 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            210
                  December 14, 1999
         1          promise that their schools won't end up on the 

         2          wrong side of the bell curve.

         3              The curriculum in our schools have been 

         4          narrowed to teaching for the test.  Subjects 

         5          which are not tested, such as the fine arts, 

         6          civics, and extracurriculum activities, are 

         7          being squeezed out of our schools, as more time 

         8          and money is dedicated to getting ready for the 

         9          big test.

        10              In my hand, I hold a children's classic, 

        11          Johnny Tremain.  This book burns forever in the 

        12          hearts of my students.  It's about the freedom 

        13          we enjoy in this country. 

        14              These kinds of books are being replaced by 

        15          test prep workbooks.  Now, I ask you, and I ask 

        16          the audience, what do you want your 

        17          fourth grader learning about in our schools? 

        18              And as long as I'm talking about freedom, 

        19          under the current rule, it appears as if 

        20          legislators are mandating exactly what will be 

        21          taught in our classrooms. 

        22              I'm sorry.  There is something ominous 

        23          about children learning only what the State 

        24          wants them to learn.  Textbooks, only covering 

        25          what the State considers to be important. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            211
                  December 14, 1999
         1              And if a teacher, or student, should stray 

         2          from this path, they will be found out at the 

         3          time of testing.  The result has been a loss of 

         4          creativity on both the part of teachers and 

         5          students.  Fear is doing away with any original 

         6          thoughts in our schools.

         7              Finally, we do not approve of the grading 

         8          of schools.  This is a simplistic way of 

         9          evaluating schools, and does not measure how 

        10          much progress each child makes. 

        11              Because of this misuse of data, we have 

        12          seen several fine schools and hardworking 

        13          teachers who are dedicated for -- to working 

        14          with the poor and disadvantaged children 

        15          receive a grade of D or F.

        16              As a professionals -- as professionals, we 

        17          cannot endorse a program which treats our 

        18          colleagues in such an unjust manner.

        19              So we ask you today to begin to rethink 

        20          your accountability program.  Accountability is 

        21          necessary, and part of a good education system.  

        22          But the goal of accountability should always be 

        23          to improve our schools, and not hurt them.

        24              And speaking to accountability, my 

        25          principal, Ms. Kitto, will address that.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            212
                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Welcome.

         2              MS. KITTO:  Thank you. 

         3              Governor and Cabinet, thank you for 

         4          listening to us today.  Indeed, it has been for 

         5          us -- or at least for me, a lesson in civics 

         6          just being here, and I -- I appreciate that.

         7              I would like to address just some -- some 

         8          personal views that I have.  I consider myself 

         9          on the front line, although I know my teachers 

        10          are the real front line people. 

        11              But I'm -- I'm watching them, and I'm very 

        12          concerned about what is happening, a lot of 

        13          which Mary spoke about.  A couple of points 

        14          in fact. 

        15              Last Friday we had our annual arts day.  

        16          And it's something we all look forward to.  

        17          Community artists come to our campus and share 

        18          not only their visual arts, but the performing 

        19          arts.  We have dance groups and musical groups.  

        20          And all day, the students are out about campus 

        21          appreciating the arts, and participating in 

        22          them.

        23              And at the end of that wonderful day, a 

        24          teacher came up to me and said, well, another 

        25          day shot not practicing for the FCAT.  And it 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            213
                  December 14, 1999
         1          broke my heart.  It -- it doesn't feel good 

         2          when teachers feel that way.

         3              And I -- I see that happening in other 

         4          instances as well.  We developed a beautiful 

         5          state of the art science lab at our school, and 

         6          it's for third, fourth, and fifth grade 

         7          students.  And the teachers asked me last month 

         8          if they could please disband the schedule for 

         9          the month of January so they could prep for the 

        10          FCAT.

        11              The -- what goes on in that science lab is 

        12          unbelievable learning.  But it isn't tested 

        13          directly on the FCAT, and so --

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  You didn't let them, did 

        15          you?  I'm sorry.

        16              MS. KITTO:  Excuse me?

        17              GOVERNOR BUSH:  You didn't --  

        18              MS. KITTO:  Well, as a matter of fact, I 

        19          didn't let them.  But -- 

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good for you.

        21              MS. KITTO:  -- but they asked me if they 

        22          could deviate from the curriculum, and -- and 

        23          practice on scientific experiments and 

        24          activities that will address the FCAT. 

        25              So there -- there's that -- that sense of 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            214
                  December 14, 1999
         1          nervousness for -- for the FCAT.

         2              What we would like to offer, I -- I 

         3          certainly am not against testing.  And as Mary 

         4          said, the FCAT is a -- a good test.  It has 

         5          wonderful potential.  If it's used for what it 

         6          was designed to be used, and that's to help us, 

         7          to inform us, about what we need to be doing 

         8          better.  And not to grade us with rewards and 

         9          punishments. 

        10              And that's what we see happening with the 

        11          FCAT, which -- which, again, narrows the 

        12          curriculum, and that worries me a lot.  We -- 

        13          we are very focused on what is on the test.  

        14          And that's what happens when high stakes 

        15          testing occurs.  And it will be high stakes as 

        16          long as schools are receiving grades, and 

        17          money.

        18              What I would like to see instead -- and 

        19          I think we're heading in the right direction 

        20          when we talk about individual student gains.  

        21          That's a good thing, and I'm glad that's going 

        22          to happen. 

        23              But also accountability systems must take 

        24          in other factors.  They must not be driven by 

        25          one single indicator, one single test.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            215
                  December 14, 1999
         1              They must include community, teacher, 

         2          student, and school based indicators, as well 

         3          as test scores.

         4              They must include monitoring and support 

         5          for equitable and substantial learning for all 

         6          students.  And I could give you an example 

         7          where focusing on the FCAT doesn't necessarily 

         8          do that.

         9              We must not use punitive methods for 

        10          students and teachers.  And I think grading Ds 

        11          and Fs is punitive.  It makes people feel 

        12          terrible.  And it causes people to want to 

        13          leave D and F schools, not -- not students, but 

        14          teachers.

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Can we stop a second on 

        16          that?  Because that's an excellent point. 

        17              And I've looked at data that shows that 

        18          that was going on the -- we're going to use 

        19          stability or mobility rates, one of the two, 

        20          was either higher or lower, in the schools that 

        21          were lower performing long before the grading 

        22          system was in place.

        23              Has that been your experience? 

        24              MS. KITTO:  That low SES schools are lower 

        25          performing, is that what you're saying?


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            216
                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Lower performing schools 

         2          have always had higher mobility rates for --

         3              MS. KITTO:  Oh, yeah.

         4              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- teachers.

         5              MS. KITTO:  Oh, I think that's certainly --

         6              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay.

         7              MS. KITTO:  -- our experience, right.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yeah.  I'm not sure if 

         9          the -- that's why I was asking is I'm not sure 

        10          the grading system is the cause for that, or 

        11          the factor is that maybe -- and different 

        12          counties have different ways of doing it, but 

        13          the collective bargaining agreement --

        14              MS. KITTO:  Uh-hum.

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- allows teachers with 

        16          longer service --

        17              MS. KITTO:  Right.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- to be able to move to 

        19          schools -- 

        20              MS. KITTO:  I -- 

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- of their choice.

        22              MS. KITTO:  Yeah. 

        23              I think to a degree, that's true.  For one 

        24          thing, the burnout rate in those schools is 

        25          very high.  It's very exhausting. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            217
                  December 14, 1999
         1              And I think that that, coupled with the 

         2          fact that you get labeled with a D or a F, 

         3          increases that humil-- humiliation, I think.

         4              I just see teachers in our two D schools -- 

         5          and I hate to call them D schools, because it 

         6          acknowledges that I believe they are, and 

         7          they're not -- but those teachers feel awful. 

         8              And it has made our teachers at, quote, an 

         9          A school feel badly, too, because we know that 

        10          they're working just as hard as we are.  And 

        11          we -- we come up with a bonus.

        12              So --

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  If you know that they're 

        14          getting more money at the D schools, then 

        15          you --

        16              MS. KITTO:  Yeah, we -- we know that.  And, 

        17          as a matter of fact, they -- they actually -- a 

        18          lot of those schools get more money anyway.  

        19          I mean, they get the title funds and --

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Notwithstanding the Title I 

        21          money --

        22              MS. KITTO:  I understand that.  Right.

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- the D schools are 

        24          getting more money than your school --

        25              MS. KITTO:  Correct.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            218
                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- the $100 per student -- 

         2              MS. KITTO:  We know that.  I -- I think -- 

         3          I think my point would be that, rather than go 

         4          with the reward system, we need to put adequate 

         5          funding into all schools so that we don't have 

         6          to -- to struggle with this competition factor.

         7              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  If I may, just one 

         8          second.  Recognizing that this has been an 

         9          issue. 

        10              I took the -- the county that does have the 

        11          largest number of F schools, and I had graphed 

        12          a -- teacher transfers for five years, both 

        13          transfer requested, as well as transfers 

        14          received. 

        15              And I'll -- the top line is the transfers 

        16          requested --

        17              MS. KITTO:  Uh-hum.  

        18              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- the bottom one 

        19          is the transfers received.  And you'll see that 

        20          this year, when they had a grade, truth of the 

        21          matter is, it was the lowest of those years. 

        22              Now, maybe it's all -- everybody that 

        23          wanted to leave, already left. 

        24              But the bottom line is that all of this 

        25          talk about -- you know, all the teachers are 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            219
                  December 14, 1999
         1          leaving just isn't true in this county. 

         2              Now, I haven't done --

         3              MS. KITTO:  Uh-hum.  

         4              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- a cross, but I 

         5          will tell you that we have seen teacher 

         6          transfers across the board at about a 

         7          15 percent level, and it's pretty much still 

         8          there.

         9              MS. KITTO:  Uh-hum.  

        10              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  So although that 

        11          is an argument that people like to talk about, 

        12          I think this sort of refutes that somewhat.

        13              MS. KITTO:  Right. 

        14              Well, and -- and I don't have statistics, 

        15          but I can only speak from the experience that I 

        16          am hearing from teachers, teachers who are 

        17          calling me and asking if I will have 

        18          openings -- openings next year.

        19              I think the -- the last factor in 

        20          accountability system, and that's what we've 

        21          just been talking about, must ensure that 

        22          teachers are compensated at levels commensurate 

        23          with their critical importance -- with the 

        24          critical importance of their work. 

        25              And I think, you know, when that happens, 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            220
                  December 14, 1999
         1          then the -- the reward system won't be as big 

         2          an issue.

         3              Now, all of those things, and -- and 

         4          probably many more, should be in an 

         5          accountability system, and not -- not heavily 

         6          related to just one test.  And all of these 

         7          elements would, of course, be very complex and 

         8          costly and difficult to implement. 

         9              But, look, this state has done a wonderful 

        10          job so far with the Sunshine State Standards.  

        11          They're fantastic. 

        12              And our school district welcomed them.  

        13          We -- we worked hard to create a curriculum 

        14          that was in line with the standards. 

        15              And along with that, we have put in staff 

        16          development that -- that is again aligned with 

        17          the standards and with our curriculum.

        18              And our teacher evaluation system is also 

        19          aligned with the standards and the curriculum, 

        20          and our administrative evaluation system as 

        21          well.

        22              All of these things are fitting together 

        23          very, very nicely in a very complex sort of 

        24          play.  And I think it's time to make sure that 

        25          our accountability system is just as complex.  


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            221
                  December 14, 1999
         1          It shouldn't be simple, it shouldn't be 

         2          simplistic.  And we need to work on it until we 

         3          get it right, because it's -- it's just not 

         4          right the way it is.

         5              Now, last year, as you have heard, we were 

         6          declared an A school.  And I can guarantee you, 

         7          we worked very hard, as we do every year, to 

         8          ensure that all of our students reach their 

         9          potentials. 

        10              However, we don't believe that we worked 

        11          harder or better than our sister schools in 

        12          Sarasota, or throughout Florida, who received 

        13          lesser grades.  We think every school has a 

        14          difficult job to do.  I don't know that -- of 

        15          one school that's slacking in its effort. 

        16              Every school needs more funding, every 

        17          teacher needs to be compensated better.  And 

        18          that's why we are returning the bonuses that we 

        19          received for being an A school. 

        20              We'd like you, please, to just add this as 

        21          a very small token, we know it is, to the 

        22          general fund, the education fund, until we're 

        23          able to adequately fund all schools in Florida 

        24          and implement an effective accountability 

        25          system.  Thank you.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            222
                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  You may have to give this 

         2          to General Milligan.  You're the Comptroller, 

         3          aren't you? 

         4              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  This week.

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  We -- we gave out, I think 

         6          30 million dollars this year for improving 

         7          schools and schools that were A rated.  And -- 

         8          so we'll subtract that from the -- the 2,500 

         9          from the 30 million.

        10              MS. LIMBACHER:  Hi.  My name is 

        11          Jenny Limbacher.  I'm a parent of a 

        12          fifth grader at Braden River Elementary School.  

        13          It's an A school.  I'm also a SAC committee 

        14          member. 

        15              We have probably the biggest SAC.  I'm not 

        16          sure about that, but we have, like, 52 members 

        17          on our SAC.  We tried to get at least one 

        18          representative from each classroom.  So we're 

        19          trying to represent the majority of our 

        20          schools. 

        21              So far we're doing pretty good with it.

        22              Let's see.  I was brought -- it was brought 

        23          to the attention of the SAC that parents were 

        24          unhappy with the emphasis put on the 

        25          standardized tests.  They felt their children 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            223
                  December 14, 1999
         1          were not getting a well-rounded education, and 

         2          that teachers were having --

         3              (Treasurer Nelson exited the room.)

         4              MS. LIMBACHER:  -- to teach to the test. 

         5              As we investigated the matter further, it 

         6          was discovered that an overwhelming amount of 

         7          parents felt the same way.  And SAC formed a 

         8          legislative committee, which I'm chairing and 

         9          brought here today.

        10              We held an open forum at our school, and 

        11          this was open to everyone, not just our school.  

        12          A few other SAC reps came and stuff from other 

        13          schools.

        14              We started the letter writing campaign and 

        15          petition drive.  We obtained around 

        16          150 signatures.  And this was just in a short 

        17          time.  This was around Thanksgiving time. 

        18              And we have several letters from -- a few 

        19          from parents -- or quite a few from parents, 

        20          and a few from children.

        21              And I have some of them here today.

        22              I am here today representing those parents 

        23          and children, and would like to read a small 

        24          part of some of the letters.

        25              Patricia and Michael Harshbarger state -- 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            224
                  December 14, 1999
         1          this is what they say in their letter: 

         2              Please realize that the A+ plan grading 

         3          system does have an effect on our children. 

         4              An exceptional amount of pressure comes 

         5          down from the State level, through school 

         6          boards and administration, to the teachers, and 

         7          ultimately to the children. 

         8              From the first week of school, children are 

         9          gearing up for the Florida Writes test, the 

        10          FCAT, and SATs. 

        11              Emphasis is being taken off understanding 

        12          the subject matter itself and being placed on 

        13          test performance.  These are tests that do not 

        14          reflect as directly on the students as they do 

        15          on the schools.  The A+ grading system places 

        16          the stress on the child to uphold the integrity 

        17          of the school. 

        18              Please don't spend Florida educational 

        19          dollars on more standardized testing, but 

        20          rather on quality academic opportunities for 

        21          students.

        22              We have a piece from Kathryn Boudreaux.  

        23          She says that: 

        24              I am writing to ask for your help in 

        25          changing the way the Bush-Brogan A+ plan for 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            225
                  December 14, 1999
         1          schools is being implemented in our school 

         2          system.  While I agree that schools and 

         3          teachers must be held accountable, and there 

         4          should be checks and balances in the system, I 

         5          don't think the legislator --slature realizes 

         6          what effect this plan is having on our 

         7          children. 

         8              I feel that too much emphasis is being 

         9          placed on the standardized test scores.  Many 

        10          bright children simply do not do well on 

        11          standardized testing.  The children know they 

        12          can be held back if they do not perform well on 

        13          the tests. 

        14              My own child, who makes straight As on his 

        15          report cards, was unable to sleep or eat before 

        16          last year's fourth grade standardized test.  He 

        17          was certain he'd do poorly and never make it to 

        18          the fifth grade.  This year he's already 

        19          worried he'll never make it to the middle 

        20          school.

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I'm sorry.  I just --

        22              MS. LIMBACHER:  Of the 180 --

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- I want to -- before -- 

        24          before I forget.  Please -- is that your child, 

        25          or do you know the child? 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            226
                  December 14, 1999
         1              MS. LIMBACHER:  Yes.

         2              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Please tell that child that 

         3          that's not possible, that there won't be social 

         4          promotion based on the FCAT test --

         5              MS. LIMBACHER:  That's what they're --

         6              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- and if they're doing -- 

         7              MS. LIMBACHER:  -- being told.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Well, I just not -- it's 

         9          not --

        10              MS. LIMBACHER:  Okay.  I will.

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Please tell him --

        12              MS. LIMBACHER:  But that's how they --

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- I want to make sure he 

        14          knows that before Christmas.

        15              MS. LIMBACHER:  Okay. 

        16              Okay.

        17              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Straight A students.

        18              MS. LIMBACHER:  Of the 180 days of school 

        19          this year, the first 100 are devoted to the 

        20          FCAT test. 

        21              Until recent protests from parents, our 

        22          school had a 100-day countdown televised each 

        23          morning in the classrooms. 

        24              I compare that to being warned every day 

        25          for 100 days that you're going to be hit by a 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            227
                  December 14, 1999
         1          train.  Ninety-nine days till the train hits, 

         2          seventy-three days till the train hits. 

         3              Our principal finally agreed to remove the 

         4          countdown broadcast.

         5              (Treasurer Nelson entered the room.)

         6              MS. LIMBACHER:  In turn -- these are coming 

         7          from children.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Smart principal.

         9              MS. LIMBACHER:  In turn, the stress of 

        10          knowing their school's grade and their 

        11          teacher's bonus, depending on how well their 

        12          scores -- they score, makes many children 

        13          anxious. 

        14              Young children want to please.  They feel 

        15          like they're letting down their teachers and 

        16          parents if they don't score well. 

        17              They are endlessly comparing themselves to 

        18          their peers.  Johnny got a higher grade on FCAT 

        19          than I did.  In a ten year old's mind, the 

        20          quick -- that quickly translate to -- that 

        21          quickly translates to, I must be dumber than 

        22          Johnny. 

        23              If we teach our children to obsess about 

        24          their grades, they will lose interest in what 

        25          they're doing.  The fear of failure could 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            228
                  December 14, 1999
         1          ultimately lead to that child dropping out of 

         2          school altogether.

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Can I make another point 

         4          real quick, just for information purposes, 

         5          to -- when you -- when you go back to --

         6              MS. LIMBACHER:  Sure.

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- Manatee County? 

         8              I -- I think that the majority of the 

         9          money -- the schools that have accepted this 

        10          money, the majority have not given bonuses to 

        11          teachers.  They have put the money in to 

        12          technology, a lot of times; or after-school 

        13          programs for remediation. 

        14              They've -- they've used it as -- some have.  

        15          Some have done bonuses, and -- and -- but 

        16          I believe the majority have not. 

        17              And so the point about this money is that 

        18          it -- it's the discretion of you all to decide 

        19          how that's spent, the principal and the --

        20              MS. LIMBACHER:  Well, that's part of the 

        21          problem, too.  And I don't know where that 

        22          comes from exactly, because we're just now 

        23          getting our money and starting to spend it. 

        24              But this is -- I'm saying this off the top 

        25          of my head.  But when we got our 108,000 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            229
                  December 14, 1999
         1          I think it was for being an A -- A school, 

         2          there was a Board formed to decide what to do 

         3          with that money and how to split it. 

         4              The Board consisted -- I don't have it in 

         5          front of me -- but I would say 12 to 

         6          15 teachers, and -- and administrators, and 

         7          three SAC representatives. 

         8              We had no chance of voting it the way we 

         9          wanted to as parents. 

        10              Now, where that comes from, some people 

        11          think that maybe you guys, or somebody up 

        12          higher should be deciding how that's split, 

        13          or -- or making sure that there are an equal 

        14          amount of SAC or parents -- somebody --

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good point.

        16              MS. LIMBACHER:  -- on that Board --

        17              GOVERNOR BUSH:  That --

        18              MS. LIMBACHER:  -- because -- 

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- you're advocating my 

        20          position --

        21              MS. LIMBACHER:  -- it's out of our control.

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- in front of the 

        23          Commissioner right now.

        24              MS. LIMBACHER:  Yes.  We have parents right 

        25          now and teachers fighting over this now.  It's 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            230
                  December 14, 1999
         1          a big fight.  We're all -- they're all unhappy.  

         2          They don't --

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  The point is --

         4              MS. LIMBACHER:  -- want the money anymore, 

         5          the parents --  

         6              GOVERNOR BUSH:  The teachers --

         7              MS. LIMBACHER:  -- you know.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  The -- the children 

         9          shouldn't worry about the teachers not getting 

        10          a bonus, when, in fact, they may not be getting 

        11          a bonus anyway, because it's -- it's for the -- 

        12          whatever the format is, really it's -- it's not 

        13          at anybody's discretion here how the money is 

        14          spent. 

        15              And it can be spent on, as I mentioned, 

        16          anything that would enhance student learning.

        17              MS. LIMBACHER:  Right.  Except from -- 

        18          you know, from your end.  But they're getting 

        19          it from the principal.  You know, she's mak-- 

        20          we're making Board members, like I said, 

        21          you know -- where it makes it impossible for us 

        22          to get what we want for even a part of that 

        23          money. 

        24              We already gave seventy to the -- 

        25          70 percent to our teachers and staff.  All we 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            231
                  December 14, 1999
         1          wanted was 30 percent for the parents and 

         2          teachers to help, you know, decide what to do 

         3          with that for the classrooms.

         4              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Senator Cowin's here 

         5          watching.  That might be something we could 

         6          look at through the Legislature to provide a 

         7          little guidance since these rules are a 

         8          reflection of law.

         9              MS. LIMBACHER:  Okay.  And then I have just 

        10          a -- a couple here, small ones from children.

        11              This is Rhonda Makki. 

        12              I am an eighth grader at Braden River 

        13          Middle School.  I'm in the advanced language 

        14          arts class, and I will be taking the 

        15          Florida Writes this year. 

        16              Since the beginning of the year, students 

        17          have been under pressure, as well as the 

        18          teachers, about the Florida Writes.  The only 

        19          thing that we do in English class is practice 

        20          for the Florida Writes.  We haven't done any 

        21          poetry, grammar, or literature.  These courses 

        22          also need to be taught. 

        23              I'm nervous about this test.  And so are 

        24          all my friends. 

        25              How about if I, or anyone, gets put in the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            232
                  December 14, 1999
         1          wrong level due to one test?  That would maybe 

         2          make it easier if it was lower than before, but 

         3          they wouldn't be learning anything at all.

         4              Many kids are being put under some 

         5          pressure.  If not some, lots of pressure.  The 

         6          teachers are stressed out, and are stressing us 

         7          out, and the students are already stressed out 

         8          as it is.

         9              Grammar, poetry -- these were written by 

        10          these kids -- grammar, poetry, literature, and 

        11          much more are all essential to anyone's life.  

        12          So we should all try to make it happen.  And 

        13          then maybe we could pass a grade without it 

        14          depending on the Florida Writes.

        15              Then there's one from a fifth grader, 

        16          Aubrey Helm.  She signs it:  A Bored 5th 

        17          Grader. 

        18              All we do is math and reading and writing.  

        19          I love to read, but math is just okay. 

        20              I am so bored in school.  We are preparing 

        21          for the test.  They tell the kids -- oh, 

        22          I'm sorry -- when we are preparing for the 

        23          test, they tell the kids who don't know the 

        24          answers, the answers so they can remember them 

        25          for the test.  I don't think that's fair.  It 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            233
                  December 14, 1999
         1          is too easy that way. 

         2              We aren't doing any social studies or 

         3          science.  We only did one project on endangered 

         4          species, which I really liked.  I have begged 

         5          my mom to home school me, but she says we are 

         6          in walking distance from a good school and 

         7          won't let me.

         8              Please help.

         9              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  You know, I think 

        10          I might need to know what school that is where, 

        11          in fact, they know the questions --

        12              MS. LIMBACHER:  They are --

        13              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- and the 

        14          answers --

        15              MS. LIMBACHER:  -- Braden River --

        16              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- of the test.  

        17          Because really --

        18              MS. LIMBACHER:  I think -- I think what she 

        19          means by that is that apparently they are 

        20          drilling them.  And they were -- you know, they 

        21          are telling the kids -- if the kid can't figure 

        22          out the -- the answer by himself -- instead of 

        23          making them think for themselves and come up 

        24          with that answer somewhere, they're eventually 

        25          telling them the answer. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            234
                  December 14, 1999
         1              And I don't mean on a real test, like on 

         2          pretes--

         3              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Let --

         4              MS. LIMBACHER:  -- you know -- 

         5              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- but that isn't 

         6          going to help --

         7              MS. LIMBACHER:  -- in preparing them.

         8              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  That isn't going 

         9          to help a child if you're talking about the 

        10          reading test who has to read, comprehend what 

        11          they wrote, and be able to extrapolate that 

        12          information into --

        13              MS. LIMBACHER:  Right.

        14              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- into the answer 

        15          to a question.

        16              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay. 

        17              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  So the bottom line 

        18          is, what we're looking for is -- and what we're 

        19          measuring is the ability for children to read 

        20          and comprehend any subject --

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Can we --

        22              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- any time.

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I'm -- I'm -- I'm really 

        24          sorry, because this goes against my basic 

        25          principal of high air fare or high costs of 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            235
                  December 14, 1999
         1          travel to get -- to get up to Tallahassee.  And 

         2          I want to make sure everybody has a chance to 

         3          speak.

         4              But we have a couple of Cabinet members 

         5          that may be having to leave in the afternoon to 

         6          go out of -- out of town.  And if we could 

         7          encourage everybody to stay within an allotted 

         8          time, it would be great. 

         9              I'm more than happy to hear -- this is my 

        10          favorite subject.  I could stay here till 

        11          midnight, but I think others may want us to 

        12          move on.  And plus we have a lot of people that 

        13          have been waiting a long -- long hours since we 

        14          had a long -- a long morning.

        15              So if we can -- I promise I won't ask 

        16          another question.

        17              MS. LIMBACHER:  Do you want me to just -- 

        18          do you want me to just end it then; is that 

        19          what you're saying? 

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Well, we've got two more 

        21          teachers, and we've got about 20 other people 

        22          that are against; and we've probably got 10, 

        23          15 people that are for; and it's going to take 

        24          about 3 hours. 

        25              So you can keep talking, but just -- I'm 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            236
                  December 14, 1999
         1          just -- 

         2              MS. LIMBACHER:  Well, we traveled a long 

         3          ways up here, too.

         4              GOVERNOR BUSH:  That's why I'm telling 

         5          you --

         6              MS. LIMBACHER:  And we noticed that 

         7          everybody was taking quite a bit of time up 

         8          here.

         9              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Exactly.  And that's why I 

        10          want you to keep going.

        11              MS. LIMBACHER:  Well, I didn't have much 

        12          more to say anyway, except for that I didn't 

        13          like the attendance issue.  I think that that's 

        14          a parent issue. 

        15              I think that you cannot make your -- the 

        16          school and the principals responsible for 

        17          attendance.  You know, I'm the one that decides 

        18          whether my child goes to school or not.  

        19          Nobody's going to tell me whether she needs to 

        20          go to school or not. 

        21              I mean, I'm a responsible parent, I realize 

        22          they're not all that way.  But I think that's 

        23          ridiculous to make the schools responsible for 

        24          attendance.

        25              And then I just wanted y'all to know that 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            237
                  December 14, 1999
         1          there -- I cannot express enough the 

         2          overwhelming response in this regard since this 

         3          issue has been opened up in that area, and feel 

         4          that the current draft needs serious revisions 

         5          before voting yes.

         6              We all seem to agree that we need to hold 

         7          schools and educators accountable for the 

         8          performance of the students they are entrusted 

         9          to educate.  However, is this how we want to do 

        10          it, and I feel it's at the expense of our 

        11          children the way that we're currently doing it.

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.

        13              MS. LIMBACHER:  Thank you.

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you very much. 

        15              Good afternoon.

        16              MS. VanVRANKEN:  Good afternoon.

        17              I'll try and be brief. 

        18              My name is Beth VanVranken, and I'm a 

        19          mother of a kindergartner and a third grade 

        20          student, and a member of the SAC committee at 

        21          Braden River Elementary School, which, as we've 

        22          said, is an A school in Manatee County. 

        23              And I've come here today, along with the 

        24          others, to express my concern about the 

        25          A+ plan.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            238
                  December 14, 1999
         1              And I want to begin by just telling you how 

         2          this plan has affected my family, as the 

         3          well -- as well as the family of 26 other 

         4          third graders at Braden River Elementary. 

         5              It can be best related to you in a letter 

         6          that I brought from another parent, and she's 

         7          the mother of one of these 26 children, but it 

         8          could have been written by any one of us.

         9              This is from Karen Wilson.  She said:  I 

        10          would like to share with you a quick glimpse of 

        11          my nine year old son, Ryan's, first four months 

        12          of third grade. 

        13              He began this year with Mrs. Parniske, a 

        14          teacher with 25 years of experience in teaching 

        15          third through fifth grades, voted Teacher of 

        16          the Year in 1997, and someone who was able to 

        17          teach my child in the first couple of weeks 

        18          that teaching was a well respected and fun 

        19          profession, something he actually said he would 

        20          like to learn how to do in college. 

        21              Wow.  What a wonderful feeling to have a 

        22          teacher instill such wonderful aspirations into 

        23          the mind of a nine year old.

        24              After a short three-and-a-half weeks, to 

        25          our dismay, Mrs. Parniske decided to leave.  


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            239
                  December 14, 1999
         1          And the reason, in her words, was to tea-- be 

         2          able to teach the way she knew how to.  She was 

         3          feeling the pressure to teach her students how 

         4          to take tests, and was expected to reward 

         5          students for attendance, rather than reward 

         6          students for what they were accomplishing while 

         7          at school.

         8              Not only did our school lose a great 

         9          teacher, but my son and his classmates entered 

        10          into what I describe as a downward spiral as 

        11          they are now on their third teacher, who is a 

        12          permanent, yet temporary substitute. 

        13              We are about to get our fourth, and 

        14          hopefully, permanent teacher as of January -- 

        15          after we get back from Christmas break.

        16              Just know that I attribute the loss of this 

        17          teacher and my son's current situation to the 

        18          Florida public schools grading system.

        19              Now, I also bring to you some information 

        20          from the teachers, and how they feel, how the 

        21          teachers feel about the tests and the grading 

        22          of the schools.  And I'd like to read a lett-- 

        23          a short excerpt from Karen Washington's letter.  

        24          She's a teacher in Manatee County, 15 years 

        25          teaching in the school system.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            240
                  December 14, 1999
         1              And she speaks about -- about teacher 

         2          morale.

         3              Says:  I want to address the morale at 

         4          schools.  I have taught at two schools.  One of 

         5          the schools received a D rating, and my present 

         6          school received an A. 

         7              Having taught a number of years at both 

         8          schools, I find no difference in the teaching 

         9          ability of either staff.  Both schools imply -- 

        10          employ outstanding teachers who devote 

        11          countless hours of unpaid overtime to their 

        12          classrooms, as well as spending many hours in 

        13          training courses to keep abreast of the latest 

        14          research about effective teaching. 

        15              I knew what the differences --

        16              (Commissioner Gallagher exited the room.)

        17              MS. VanVRANKEN:  -- in the schools were as 

        18          soon as I began teaching. 

        19              Teachers at the school which received a D 

        20          rating spend more time meeting the children's 

        21          physical needs; i.e., adequate clothing, health 

        22          concerns, such as lice and impetigo. 

        23              These children come to school with less 

        24          background knowledge and experience to help 

        25          prepare one for reading, math, and other 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            241
                  December 14, 1999
         1          subjects.

         2              Schools such as the one mentioned have a 

         3          much higher ratio of special needs children.  

         4          And despite these circumstances, the child-- 

         5          the teachers at these schools are dedicated to 

         6          ensuring that each child makes great strides in 

         7          learning each year.

         8              What is their reward for doing the very 

         9          best they can?  A public acknowledgment that 

        10          they are a failing school.

        11              Instead of using tests to determine which 

        12          children need extra help, the tests indicate 

        13          that teachers are not doing their jobs. 

        14              This could not be farther from the truth 

        15          and is truly discouraging to teachers.  And 

        16          then when -- when the teachers are discouraged, 

        17          obviously that's going to be passed down on to 

        18          the students.

        19              While I do not disagree with the 

        20          standardized testing, I feel that 

        21          accountability is important.  We've all 

        22          determined that accountability is very 

        23          important here. 

        24              I do disagree with the emphasis of the 

        25          subject matter for these tests and the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            242
                  December 14, 1999
         1          subsequent grading of the schools based on 

         2          these tests.

         3              You know, there are a few of us who would 

         4          deny that -- you know, that the standards of 

         5          the three Rs, reading, writing, and arithmetic 

         6          are important.  But what has become of such 

         7          other subjects, such as science and 

         8          social studies and language arts. 

         9              And what price do we pay to maintain our 

        10          A grade? 

        11              (Commissioner Gallagher entered the room.)

        12              MS. VanVRANKEN:  And are the children 

        13          really learning the fundamentals of these three 

        14          Rs, or are they learning what they need to know 

        15          to pass the test? 

        16              Teach a child how to take a test over and 

        17          over and over again; spend hours and days and 

        18          weeks preparing; and chances are, they're going 

        19          to do great on the test.  But will that child 

        20          be able to perform in the real world, or only 

        21          know the techniques needed to score well on 

        22          these tests?

        23              These are just a few of the many concerns 

        24          that we have as parents and teachers.  We ask 

        25          that the A+ plan be reviewed and modified.  


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            243
                  December 14, 1999
         1          Grading schools is not effective in proving 

         2          student achievement. 

         3              Please listen to the parents, the students, 

         4          and the teachers, and come up with a better 

         5          solution to help every child succeed to the 

         6          best of his or her ability.

         7              Thank you for your time.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.  Thanks a lot. 

         9              Now, y'all -- your school was an A school 

        10          last year, right?

        11              MS. VanVRANKEN:  Uh-hum.

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Was there the same focus on 

        13          testing for the test last year as there are 

        14          now?

        15              MS. VanVRANKEN:  Not to -- there was -- 

        16          there was an extreme focus, but not to the 

        17          pressure and the extreme that it's felt now. 

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  So --

        19              MS. VanVRANKEN:  In order to maintain that 

        20          A --

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  But if you got an A 

        22          already, why would you be -- why wouldn't you 

        23          do the exact same thing that you did 

        24          successfully the year before? 

        25              MS. VanVRANKEN:  Because they feel they 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            244
                  December 14, 1999
         1          have to do even better than they did before, 

         2          and they're -- which is fine, except that it's 

         3          to such an extreme.  I mean, where other things 

         4          are --

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay.  Thanks. 

         6              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Excuse me one 

         7          second.

         8              You want to read the next list? 

         9              MR. PIERSON:  There's still one more after 

        10          her.

        11              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Oh, okay. 

        12              MS. GANTLEY:  My name is Julie Gant--

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Welcome.

        14              MS. GANTELY:  Thank you.

        15              My name is Julie Gantley, and I'm from east 

        16          Manatee County.  I'm speaking as a concerned 

        17          parent of a child at an A school, and ask you 

        18          to reconsider your intent to implement the A+ 

        19          education plan.

        20              Why should I be complaining when our 

        21          school, Braden River Elementary, received 

        22          $100,000 and the bragging rights from the 

        23          A grade? 

        24              Because I believe that the plan's emphasis 

        25          on the FCAT is counterproductive to learning, 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            245
                  December 14, 1999
         1          and, in fact, harmful to our children. 

         2              Secondly, because I hope we can improve 

         3          education for all of Florida's children, not 

         4          just the privileged.

         5              My first concern is with the FCAT as the -- 

         6          as the major factor in determining how well a 

         7          school is educating our children.  I'm not 

         8          opposed to education reform, standardized 

         9          testing, or assessment. 

        10              However, standardized testing should be 

        11          used as a guideline for remediation and for 

        12          developing new curriculum.

        13              The current emphasis on FCAT is absurd and 

        14          misdirected.  This is counterproductive to 

        15          learning by creating a very stressful 

        16          environment for our children.

        17              I think it is very sad that the State has 

        18          decided that a child's academic success can be 

        19          measured by a couple of standardized tests.

        20              The children I know are worried about the 

        21          FCAT to the point that they are getting 

        22          physically sick.  There is tremendous pressure 

        23          for children to perform well on these tests. 

        24              Suddenly children have to take ownership, 

        25          not only for their own education, but for 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            246
                  December 14, 1999
         1          teacher bonuses, school funding, and the stigma 

         2          of less than an A grade. 

         3              Most parents I know agree how difficult it 

         4          is for a child to learn when they are under 

         5          stress.  Studies show that ongoing situations 

         6          which produce high stress for children cause 

         7          the brain to downshift, reducing the ability to 

         8          think clearly.

         9              Conversely, relaxed alertness produces a 

        10          high level of learning.

        11              We all know that many good students just do 

        12          not test well.  Test anxiety is very real, and 

        13          the fear of being retained is overwhelming. 

        14              As a mother of a child with learning 

        15          disabilities, I'm fearful as well.  This is one 

        16          more barrier for my daughter, Erica, to 

        17          overcome.

        18              Schools are becoming giant test prep 

        19          centers where the focus on FCAT is frightening.  

        20          True enrichment in the hope of a well-rounded 

        21          education are lost. 

        22              By trying to raise test scores, we end up 

        23          actually lowering the standard.  This is taking 

        24          the joy out of learning and teaching.  We will 

        25          see more and more teachers finding new careers 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            247
                  December 14, 1999
         1          out of frustration. 

         2              Florida Writes has already done its best to 

         3          eliminate any shred of creativity that a child 

         4          may want to express.  What's next?

         5              There is pressure on the administration for 

         6          the school to perform to get an A rating and 

         7          receive funding, and that pressure is passed on 

         8          to our children.

         9              It is unfair that the children should bear 

        10          this responsibility.  Please let our children 

        11          live in a healthy, less stressful environment.

        12              The role that demographics play in this 

        13          plan is being ignored.  Should we feel good 

        14          about being an A school because we happen to 

        15          live in an affluent area? 

        16              This plan blatantly favors children coming 

        17          from higher socioeconomic backgrounds and 

        18          majority populations.  Children who are well 

        19          fed, well rested, and live in a safe and secure 

        20          and nurturing environment are more likely to 

        21          show up for school and do well. 

        22              When children from more privileged homes 

        23          struggle in school, we pay for private tutoring 

        24          and buy books and computer programs to bring 

        25          our children up to speed.  We expose our 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            248
                  December 14, 1999
         1          children to a variety of cultural and learning 

         2          experiences as part of every day life.

         3              The parents are working in a tomato field 

         4          all day, are struggling just to put food on the 

         5          table, chances are, they don't have the -- 

         6          these same opportunities.

         7              So what does the grading system do?  It 

         8          applies labels that no one benefits from.  Poor 

         9          schools are penalized again. 

        10              Sure, we have great teachers at 

        11          Braden River Elementary, but many of these same 

        12          teachers came from schools that received Cs and 

        13          Ds.  Are teachers at affluent schools working 

        14          any harder than the other teachers?  I think we 

        15          all know the answer to that.

        16              Instead of pla-- placing the blame on 

        17          teachers, administrators, and children in low 

        18          performing schools, let's work on the 

        19          socioeconomic inequity that plays the major 

        20          role in how our schools rate. 

        21              Even though it's harder than giving kids a 

        22          one-shot test and attaching a label, it's the 

        23          right thing to do.  Addressing poverty in 

        24          Florida is the real issue.

        25              I ask that you put more research into this 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            249
                  December 14, 1999
         1          plan and involve educators.  Let's reexamine 

         2          this and look for other means for education 

         3          reform. 

         4              Plans that focus on standardized testing in 

         5          Massachusetts, Michigan, and Ohio are also 

         6          meeting mounting opposition.  A similar plan in 

         7          Wisconsin was implemented and quickly 

         8          abandoned.  Let's do our homework here and do 

         9          it right the first time.

        10              Thank you for caring about our children and 

        11          for the opportunity to speak.

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you for coming.

        13              MR. PIERSON:  After the next speaker, 

        14          there'll be Leon Russell from Florida NAACP; 

        15          John Due, Miami-Dade NAACP -- 

        16              (Commissioner Crawford exited the room.)

        17              MR. PIERSON:  -- and Anita L. Davis, NAACP. 

        18              MS. DINNEN:  Good afternoon.

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Welcome.

        20              MS. DINNEN:  Thank you.  Nice to be here.

        21              Good afternoon. 

        22              My name is Maureen Dinnen.  I am President 

        23          of the Florida Teaching Profession/NEA, and a 

        24          34-year veteran of Florida's classrooms. 

        25              I'm speaking for 62,000 members of our 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            250
                  December 14, 1999
         1          association, people who actually work on the 

         2          front line in Florida public education every 

         3          single day. 

         4              And I request -- I request that you not 

         5          adapt this proposed rule, even with 15 current 

         6          or last minute amendments --

         7              (Commissioner Crawford entered the room.)

         8              MS. DINNEN:  -- that were added. 

         9              And my reason for this is really very 

        10          simple.  I know that you have a difficult role.  

        11          You have a role as the Florida Cabinet and 

        12          State Board of Education.  And that is somewhat 

        13          dictated by law.  Your role is to implement 

        14          that law.

        15              But you also have a constitutional 

        16          responsibility that I'm sure you're aware of, 

        17          and that is to guide our public school system.

        18              And that should not be impaired, that role 

        19          should not be impaired by what I consider a 

        20          flawed piece of legislation.

        21              And I think you were handed a fatally 

        22          flawed grading system.  I don't think there are 

        23          enough amendments available --

        24              (Governor Bush exited the room.) 

        25              MS. DINNEN:  -- for you to adopt to fix 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            251
                  December 14, 1999
         1          what I consider fatally flawed. 

         2              Now, how come I say that?  I say that 

         3          because the criteria used in the grading 

         4          system, in my opinion, was unfair, 

         5          discriminatory, and designed to continue the 

         6          failure of certain schools.  In other words, 

         7          I think it's a stacked deck.

         8              The criteria used in this grading system 

         9          ignores what I consider competent, reasonable 

        10          research on student success.

        11              Now, what do I mean?  I mean criteria like 

        12          student readiness for the 1st grade.

        13              I mean like the socioeconomic advantages 

        14          and disadvantages that affect those students 

        15          before they ever get to our schools.

        16              I mean like the effects of large class 

        17          size, which I can speak to with authority. 

        18              And I mean like parental involvement. 

        19              None of these things are the fault of the 

        20          students there, including socioeconomic 

        21          background.  Anyone who's taught for a long 

        22          time knows that.  You probably work harder with 

        23          that kid that comes out of poverty than you 

        24          work with anybody in that room.  And it's not 

        25          that kid's fault.  And it's not impossible to 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            252
                  December 14, 1999
         1          overcome.

         2              However, it makes a difference when that 

         3          student walks in that door, and that school is 

         4          graded.  And we need --

         5              (Governor Bush entered the room.)

         6              MS. DINNEN:  -- to take that into account. 

         7              There are obvious, in my opinion; proven; 

         8          and I guess common sense indicators of student 

         9          success.  And I think we can choose to ignore 

        10          them.  But if we do, we're not going to find a 

        11          cure, we're not going to find an answer to our 

        12          problems. 

        13              Any valid measure of student achievement 

        14          must take into account, must recognize all the 

        15          revelant -- relevant -- excuse me -- factors. 

        16              In other words, if we have -- if we have 

        17          something that we think needs to be fixed 

        18          anywhere in our lives, we will take into 

        19          account all the factors, not just a few.

        20              I guess what I'm asking you to do is to 

        21          listen to us, and I can say us, because I am 

        22          one of those teachers who stand in front of 

        23          those chalkboards all across this state, and 

        24          I'm asking you to listen to us. 

        25              Listen to the parents that we work with 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            253
                  December 14, 1999
         1          every day who continue to send you a message.  

         2          Stop this policy today, because we honestly, to 

         3          our very core being, feel that it is not 

         4          accomplishing what you want, as well as what we 

         5          want, which is improvement.

         6              What we're asking is -- you to do is to 

         7          send it back to the Florida Legislature, and 

         8          tell them to fix it.  It's plain and simple. 

         9              And when they fix it, to use criteria for 

        10          grading schools that are relevant and that 

        11          cover the waterfront, that don't just have a 

        12          couple of items on the list.

        13              And then you can do the job that I know 

        14          that you work very hard to do, and that is to 

        15          write and adopt rules that will help every 

        16          student succeed in our Florida public schools, 

        17          because I honestly believe that that's what 

        18          we're all here for, that's what we all want, 

        19          that's what I've dedicated my life for.  And 

        20          that's what the citizens of this state have in 

        21          front of them as a goal.

        22              Thank you.

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you very much.

        24              Mr. Russell, welcome back.  Seems like 

        25          yesterday.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            254
                  December 14, 1999
         1              MR. RUSSELL:  Or at least early this 

         2          morning. 

         3              I'm really going to change the direction of 

         4          my remarks.  And let me --

         5              For the record, I'm Leon Russell, President 

         6          of the Florida NAACP, here representing our 

         7          branches in 67 counties across this state, 

         8          college chapters, and youth councils.

         9              I think, without becoming redundant, it 

        10          becomes clear to me that what you all need 

        11          to -- to ask yourselves this afternoon is do we 

        12          have the buy-in, the important buy-in from 

        13          people who count in this process. 

        14              We all want our schools to be better, we 

        15          all want our children to have the best 

        16          education possible. 

        17              But this rule -- this proposed rule has 

        18          some problems.  But the major problem has 

        19          become very obvious to me, and I hope to you as 

        20          we sit here.  And that's buy-in from the 

        21          teachers, and from the parents who really are 

        22          critical to the success of the accountability 

        23          effort here in the state of Florida.

        24              And when I say buy-in, what I'm -- what I'm 

        25          really meaning is that there needs to be more 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            255
                  December 14, 1999
         1          opportunity in the development of the rule for 

         2          people who actually have to deal with it on a 

         3          day-to-day basis, to have input.  That is 

         4          something that appears to be critically 

         5          missing, something that I would -- would ask 

         6          that you think about as you go forward in this 

         7          process.

         8              There are elements that I would like to 

         9          address, but I think they're going to be 

        10          addressed by other speakers. 

        11              I at this point would simply say to you 

        12          that this is the time for us to step back.  

        13          Just because it's the millennium, the end of 

        14          the millennium, if you will, doesn't mean that 

        15          we need to rush hell bent on putting something 

        16          into effect that ultimately we have to change. 

        17              Let's get it right.  Let's do it with the 

        18          input from the people who really know and are 

        19          on the front lines, the people you've heard 

        20          from already this afternoon.

        21              Thank you.

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, sir. 

        23              MR. DUE:  Good afternoon.

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good afternoon.

        25              MR. DUE:  My name is John Due.  I'm an 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            256
                  December 14, 1999
         1          attorney.  I represent the Miami-Dade branch of 

         2          the NAACP. 

         3              And as I told an attorney from the 

         4          Florida Bar, I also, on a pro bono basis, 

         5          represent the parents of black children in the 

         6          Dade County school desegregation case who are 

         7          there as -- as intervenors.

         8              I want to thank you, Mr. Nelson, and the 

         9          rest of the Cabinet, for recognizing 

        10          Mr. Leon Russell, because you're also 

        11          recognizing the NAACP, because the role that he 

        12          has played, particularly in the evolution of 

        13          development of the accountability law. 

        14              And my concern is -- and -- and he 

        15          mentioned it when he accepted your honor, that 

        16          you continue your commitment to equal 

        17          education, a commitment that was started over 

        18          40 years ago when the Brown versus Board of 

        19          Topeka, Kansas, case was ruled by the 

        20          Supreme Court and the southern governors, most 

        21          of them said, we're not going to comply with 

        22          the school desegregation.  They talked about 

        23          nullification into position. 

        24              But, you know, your Governor here said we 

        25          are going to desegregate, Governor Collins. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            257
                  December 14, 1999
         1              And pursuant to that tradition, our 

         2          Dade County public schools, when it was found 

         3          to have a dual system enter into a voluntary 

         4          agreement of desegregation, and when parents -- 

         5          white parents from south Dade, Governor Bush, 

         6          filed a lawsuit in State court to enjoin the 

         7          implementation of this agreement, the school 

         8          district removed -- filed a petition of 

         9          removal, and had the case removed to the 

        10          United States District Court so that 

        11          Judge Clarence C. Adkins could continue 

        12          jurisdiction over that case.

        13              And this is important because it shows how 

        14          the state of Florida and the school district 

        15          wants to do the right thing. 

        16              And as we discussed this rule, we're very 

        17          much concerned as to whether or not are we 

        18          going backwards maybe unintentionally. 

        19              One of the things we're trying to do in 

        20          Dade County --

        21              By the way, Governor, I need to tell you 

        22          something.  There are some good things about 

        23          the A+ plan.

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I'm happy to hear it.

        25              MR. DUE:  One of the good things I like 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            258
                  December 14, 1999
         1          about the A+ plan is that you maintained the 

         2          educational goals that was for -- and added to 

         3          them.

         4              One of those goals was to make sure that 

         5          civil rights compliance was continued as an 

         6          educational goal.  But I think what you added 

         7          as -- as an educational goal was parental and 

         8          community, you know, involvement as 

         9          stakeholders.

        10              And in that process, we were very much 

        11          concerned about this rule.  One of -- just last 

        12          night, the Commun-- Miami-Dade Community Action 

        13          Agency voted -- I don't think Pat Tornillo 

        14          knows this -- I think he's here somewhere -- 

        15          voted that they will enter into a partnership 

        16          with the United Teachers of Dade County and the 

        17          principals of the schools in the poverty areas 

        18          that are served by the Community Action Agency 

        19          in Dade County.

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Excellent.

        21              MR. DUE:  And those are 19 poverty areas.

        22              But, also, Governor, we need to know who we 

        23          want to try to work with.  See, many of our 

        24          children from our poverty areas go to schools 

        25          in other areas where they're not the majority. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            259
                  December 14, 1999
         1              And, Mr. Gallagher, I need to tell you 

         2          this:  I hate to make it public about this, but 

         3          I need to tell you. 

         4              This is, what, December the 14th?  We still 

         5          do not have the disaggregated scores of the 

         6          subpopulations of our children in our schools.  

         7          And this is important.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Let the Commissioner 

         9          respond to --

        10              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  You're going to --

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- that.

        12              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  You're going to 

        13          have those on Thursday.

        14              MR. DUE:  Okay.  I've -- I've been hearing 

        15          that since July, you know.

        16              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  I never told you 

        17          Thursday before.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  You may want to ask which 

        19          Thursday, just to be -- 

        20              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  I'll even commit 

        21          to this Thursday.

        22              MR. DUE:  Okay.  Governor Bush, you know 

        23          about partnerships, you know about community 

        24          partnership, because I personally met you in 

        25          1988.  You were -- when you were -- came to 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            260
                  December 14, 1999
         1          West Perrine to the funeral of 

         2          Arthur Lee Lawrence, who had been killed in 

         3          West Perrine, because he was part of a 

         4          partnership between the police, the public 

         5          housing tenants, and the West Perrine Christian 

         6          Association to work against crime --

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yes, sir.

         8              MR. DUE:  -- in that neighborhood.  And if 

         9          you recall, Governor Bush, you said, I may live 

        10          in East Perrine, but this neighborhood is my 

        11          neighborhood also.

        12              But there's a -- let's fast forward to a 

        13          meeting of the School Board of Dade County a 

        14          few months ago when they were considering the 

        15          budget.

        16              The School Board had -- had received a 

        17          proposal from the superintendent to use some of 

        18          the funds in order to assist -- not the State 

        19          funds, but their own funds, to assist the 

        20          children of schools in the F and D schools.  

        21          And that auditorium was filled with parents 

        22          from the C schools.  And they were all saying, 

        23          please don't take money from us to give to 

        24          those people.

        25              And I guess this is what some of the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            261
                  December 14, 1999
         1          teachers are saying, is that labeling, that 

         2          stigma has already caused divide in our 

         3          community, where -- again, we begin to hear 

         4          back in the '60s when I used to be an attorney 

         5          for CORE here in Tallahassee for 

         6          Reverend C.K. Stihl, you always heard that 

         7          reference, those people?

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I know.

         9              MR. DUE:  So we need to get beyond that.  I 

        10          understand that we're a total community. 

        11              So, Mr. Gallagher, I would hope very much 

        12          you would rescind that piece of your proposed 

        13          rule, at -- now, there's other parts that need 

        14          to be rescinded. 

        15              But it's very important to -- not to 

        16          rescind that -- that requirement that's now 

        17          there, that there should be disaggregation of 

        18          the scores of the subpopulation based upon 

        19          poverty and ethnicity where the children are 

        20          minorities in these schools.

        21              And that way, we can then join you as a 

        22          partner so that we can begin to be part of a 

        23          process to help the school districts, and help 

        24          the State of Florida to achieve.

        25              Thank you very much.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            262
                  December 14, 1999
         1              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well, let me just 

         2          say real quickly that we do not have 

         3          disaggregated data as a requirement in this 

         4          rule --

         5              MR. DUE:  Uh-hum.  

         6              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- because we want 

         7          to look at education as generic.

         8              MR. DUE:  Uh-hum.  

         9              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  And we are most 

        10          import-- most interested in the lower 

        11          performing quartile --

        12              (Attorney General Butterworth exited the 

        13          room.)

        14              MR. DUE:  Uh-hum.  

        15              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- no matter what 

        16          race, no matter what poverty level, no matter 

        17          anything --

        18              MR. DUE:  Uh-hum.  

        19              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- across the 

        20          whole state, as well as those students that 

        21          may --

        22              MR. DUE:  Uh-hum.

        23              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- not have any -- 

        24          any -- 25 percent in their particular school, 

        25          but yet --


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            263
                  December 14, 1999
         1              MR. DUE:  Uh-hum.  

         2              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- they would have 

         3          some at Level 1 and Level 2 as for individual 

         4          students.

         5              But I still --

         6              MR. DUE:  Uh-hum.  

         7              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- will provide --

         8              MR. DUE:  Uh-hum.  

         9              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- the 

        10          disaggregated data on a per school basis, 

        11          because I think it helps you, and it helps 

        12          others to give those students the additional 

        13          help that they need to get where they need to 

        14          go.

        15              MR. DUE:  Well, just one short response, 

        16          Governor. 

        17              There's a book written by Belinda Williams.  

        18          She is with the Association for Supervision and 

        19          Curriculum Development.  It's called Closing 

        20          the Achievement Gap.  I'm going to try to get 

        21          the school district to send you a copy.

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  That'd be great.

        23              MR. DUE:  See, some of the conditions and 

        24          problems are cultural problems.  And this -- 

        25          this talks about education and segregation 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            264
                  December 14, 1999
         1          where we're not using relevant teaching 

         2          practices to meet the needs and the learning 

         3          styles of the parents and the children in those 

         4          communities. 

         5              So we need a process of diagnosis and 

         6          assessment so we can identify what the real 

         7          problem is so that we just don't dump 

         8          everything on the school district, but look at 

         9          the problems in the community that need to be 

        10          resolved that might be culturally based.

        11              Thank you.

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you very much. 

        13              And that -- the information will be part of 

        14          the annual data collection that -- that exists.  

        15          We're just not going to use it as part of the 

        16          grading system -- 

        17              MR. DUE:  Okay.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- at this -- I think there 

        19          was a misunderstanding on that.

        20              MR. PIERSON:  We'd -- we'd appreciate it if 

        21          people could keep their comments to 3 minutes.  

        22          We've got a lot of speakers, and -- and we'd 

        23          like to give them all a chance to -- to speak 

        24          today.

        25              I called Anita Davis, but I don't see her, 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            265
                  December 14, 1999
         1          so apparently she isn't here.

         2              The next -- next speaker would be 

         3          Pat Tornillo, followed by Dr. Howard Hinesley 

         4          from Pinellas County, and Dr. James Popham 

         5          from -- a consultant from Pinellas County, and 

         6          Tom Fisher from the Department of Education.

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Mr. Tornillo.  Welcome.

         8              MR. TORNILLO:  Welcome.  Thank you, 

         9          Governor.

        10              Members of the Cabinet, first I would like 

        11          to say to you that what is happening here 

        12          today, and regardless of whether as a person 

        13          you're for or against the A+ plan, and the 

        14          grading rule, the debate has raised the degree 

        15          and level of dialogue on education --

        16              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Absolutely.

        17              MR. TORNILLO:  -- to the highest level 

        18          ever.  And that is in the best interests of 

        19          students, of parents, and of teachers. 

        20              I've been around a long time, and I can 

        21          tell you that there have been Cabinet meetings 

        22          in which the education agenda was over almost 

        23          before it began.  And so what you're doing here 

        24          today, regardless of whether you're pro or con, 

        25          is a service, and a service to the people of 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            266
                  December 14, 1999
         1          the state of Florida.

         2              Secondly I want to tell you that there are 

         3          features of the A+ plan that we have always 

         4          supported, and continue to support, such as the 

         5          Sunshine State Standards, the testing program 

         6          to measure those Sunshine State Standards.  And 

         7          the expanded testing of FCAT. 

         8              And it should be evaluated for reliability 

         9          and fairness, and it needs to be stable.  It 

        10          needs to be in place without changes for awhile 

        11          so that everyone can understand it, become 

        12          comfortable with it, and you don't teach to the 

        13          test.  You teach to standards.

        14              And if you do that, the tests will take 

        15          care of themselves.

        16              We also have long supported the grading of 

        17          schools.  But I have to tell you that our 

        18          version of grading of schools is not the 

        19          version before you today.

        20              We think as long as it's fair and 

        21          consistent, and includes many of the other 

        22          variables; and includes all schools, charter 

        23          schools, private, religious schools, there 

        24          needs to be a level playing field. 

        25              You can't take a student from a public 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            267
                  December 14, 1999
         1          school, give them a voucher, send them to a 

         2          private and religious school, without knowing 

         3          what the level of that school is.  You could be 

         4          sending that student to a school that's worse 

         5          than where he came from.  Or you could be 

         6          sending him to one that's better.

         7              Now, I know there are difficulties in 

         8          achieving that.  But it's something that we 

         9          need to think about.

        10              We have always been for higher standards 

        11          for teachers, and educators, and we continue to 

        12          be.  And we're for annual learning gains, if 

        13          they're valid, reliable.  And we obviously are 

        14          for closing the achievement gap between those 

        15          students who have -- cannot learn, and have not 

        16          learned, and those that have.

        17              And technology, as a tool for instruction 

        18          and the reduction of paperwork for teachers; 

        19          and more than that, but in the instructional 

        20          program. 

        21              So there are features of the A+ plan that 

        22          we have always supported, and we continue to 

        23          support.

        24              Third, I hope you follow through with 

        25          Bob Butterworth's request for data from private 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            268
                  December 14, 1999
         1          schools and other public schools, because, as 

         2          I've already said, that could be the beginning 

         3          of comparing apples and apples, and we need a 

         4          level playing field. 

         5              We need a level playing field for a lot of 

         6          reasons.  But probably the most important one 

         7          is a sense of fairness on the part of the 

         8          people that you're asking to implement this 

         9          rule.

        10              And finally, I was asked whether I was for 

        11          or against these rule changes.  And the answer 

        12          is neither.  I can't be for or against changes 

        13          to something that I believe is inherently 

        14          flawed.  It's like asking death penalty 

        15          opponents which form of execution they prefer, 

        16          electrocution or lethal injection.

        17              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Don't mix your metaphors, 

        18          Mr. Tornillo.

        19              MR. TORNILLO:  And the Governor's going to 

        20          find out about that very soon.

        21              It's like asking me to choose between what 

        22          I believe is bad and worse.  Reminds me of the 

        23          movie from a couple of years ago, Dumb and 

        24          Dumber. 

        25              We believe that the grading system is a 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            269
                  December 14, 1999
         1          flawed system, and does penalize our schools, 

         2          stigmatize our children, and causes extremely 

         3          low morale among teachers and school staff.

         4              So I say to the Cabinet that the Governor 

         5          and the Education Commissioner are asking the 

         6          rest of the Cabinet to vote for a plan that no 

         7          one is sure will work, including the people 

         8          that devised it and developed it.

         9              I'm asking you to consider not voting for 

        10          this plan today because each of you is going to 

        11          be held accountable for your vote. 

        12              If Mr. Crawford and General Milligan, if 

        13          you can honestly say you understand what this 

        14          rule says and how it will work, vote for it.

        15              If not, vote to reexamine.  Don't -- don't 

        16          necessarily even vote against, but vote to 

        17          reexamine that portion of the A+ plan. 

        18              Convene a State Board of Education Task 

        19          Force, not a Governor's Task Force, not a 

        20          Commissioner's Task Force, but a State Board of 

        21          Education Task Force, of all stakeholders to 

        22          develop a plan that works -- or has a chance of 

        23          working -- and is accepted by everyone. 

        24              And when I say "all stakeholders," I want 

        25          to be clear that you understand what I mean.  


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            270
                  December 14, 1999
         1          Not just administrators in the Department of 

         2          Education, not just the people who work in the 

         3          Governor's office, and not just the 

         4          Legislature. 

         5              But the people in the trenches, the people 

         6          you're asking to do this, and to improve the 

         7          education of students in Florida.  But include 

         8          a wide range of people.  Everyone needs to be 

         9          included and involved in this debate.

        10              I have to tell you, there may be people who 

        11          will tell you that this has happened up to now.  

        12          I'm going to tell you, that is not the case.

        13              As I go into -- as I read the e-mails and I 

        14          go into schools, after school, I mean, if you 

        15          took the open hearings -- and I've already 

        16          complained to the Commissioner about having all 

        17          those open hearings on the same day, and -- and 

        18          in such restricted fashion in terms of getting 

        19          input. 

        20              I know if there's one thing that -- about 

        21          Jeb Bush that I have learned, and personally 

        22          and as an operating style as Governor, it's 

        23          that he listens.  He wants to hear all sides, 

        24          he wants to hear different views, and 

        25          everything. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            271
                  December 14, 1999
         1              Do that.  Give this plan an opportunity to 

         2          be debated, to be examined for people.  He goes 

         3          into schools.  Do more than that. 

         4              As a State Cabinet, convene a task force, 

         5          get the people who oppose it on that 

         6          task force. 

         7              And, Governor, I would invite you, as part 

         8          of this debate -- I did once before, and you 

         9          accepted.  And I'm now going to invite you to a 

        10          dialogue with the Executive Council of 

        11          FEA United who are the leaders across the 

        12          state.  You've been there before, you know 

        13          them, you've met them. 

        14              And any other member of the Cabinet who 

        15          would like to meet with the presidents, the 

        16          people who get input on how they feel about 

        17          this, they may -- you may not agree with them, 

        18          and they may not agree with you. 

        19              But, Governor, that has been one of your 

        20          hallmarks, and I'm urging you to open the lines 

        21          of communication far more than they have at 

        22          this point, because that is what's healthy.  

        23          That is what's good about the debate that's now 

        24          going on.

        25              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            272
                  December 14, 1999
         1              MR. TORNILLO:  Thank you very much.

         2              GOVERNOR BUSH:  And there has been a 

         3          debate.  There's no question about that. 

         4              Thank you, Pat.

         5              MR. TORNILLO:  I'll be happy to answer any 

         6          questions.

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Any questions? 

         8              MR. TORNILLO:  Thank you. 

         9              MS. CASTILLE:  I have to urge the speakers 

        10          to please limit your comments to 3 minutes. 

        11              Many people have flown up here, and would 

        12          like to speak before the Cabinet members leave, 

        13          and they have 3:00 o'clock flights. 

        14              So please limit your speeches to 3 minutes.

        15              We have 18 speakers left.

        16              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Based on my FCAT math 

        17          knowledge, that will -- we won't finish if 

        18          there's a 3:00 o'clock flight.

        19              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  I think it's -- we 

        20          need to leave somewhere in the 3:00 to 3:10 

        21          range, leave here.

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  All right. 

        23              DR. HINESLEY:  Governor Bush and other 

        24          honorable members of the State Cabinet, my name 

        25          is Howard Hinesley, Superintendent of Schools 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            273
                  December 14, 1999
         1          in Pinellas County, Florida. 

         2              First I appreciate very much you having us 

         3          here today.  I would point out to you that my 

         4          comments are to address the rule that was 

         5          advertised in accordance with the APA.  I am 

         6          not prepared to address the amendments that 

         7          were proposed today.

         8              I would ask your indulgence.  We have a 

         9          consultant here.  Our presentation is longer 

        10          than 3 minutes.  We would ask your indulgence 

        11          to give us the same amount of time that you 

        12          have given other speakers so that we can 

        13          properly go through our presentation --

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I -- I -- I urge your 

        15          consultant to be brief, because the pros are 

        16          going to be the ones that don't speak at all.  

        17          And that -- that fairness has been the catch 

        18          word for the last 2 hours, and that is not 

        19          fair. 

        20              So if you can bring the consultant up, and 

        21          see if he can do it in 3 minutes, we've been 

        22          reading about him and welcome him.  Wherever he 

        23          may be.

        24              DR. HINESLEY:  Thank you for providing the 

        25          opportunity to express concerns and suggestions 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            274
                  December 14, 1999
         1          for improving the rule you are considering.

         2              Before I get into my remarks, please allow 

         3          me to specifically thank Commissioner Gallagher 

         4          for personally listening to my concerns, and 

         5          providing access to his staff to share the 

         6          detailed document before you today.

         7              I am here today representing the 

         8          School Board of Pinellas County.  Our school 

         9          district stands shoulder to shoulder with you 

        10          in support of a strong accountability system. 

        11              Our record in previous State accountability 

        12          systems, and the present system speaks for 

        13          itself.  We have successfully pioneered change 

        14          for years throughout our school district, so 

        15          we're not here today to whine or complain about 

        16          the necessary change.

        17              We take our responsibilities seriously, and 

        18          tell our administrators, teachers, and support 

        19          staff, there are no excuses for children not 

        20          learning.

        21              So why are we here today? 

        22              We want an accountability system that is 

        23          fair to students, employees, and communities. 

        24              It is also critical that the system of 

        25          accountability be accurate, especially when the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            275
                  December 14, 1999
         1          stakes are as high as they are in Florida, with 

         2          financial rewards being issued for schools and 

         3          failing labels being placed on others. 

         4              Above all else, we support your concern 

         5          that real learning of the skills delineated in 

         6          the Sunshine State Standards be increased in 

         7          every classroom across Florida. 

         8              My school district fully supports this 

         9          goal.  However, in my presentation, I will 

        10          question the appropriateness of the FCAT to 

        11          measure the performance of all students in 

        12          attaining the State's standards.  And, 

        13          therefore, I will also question the 

        14          appropriateness of using the FCAT for measuring 

        15          the school's performance. 

        16              It is our opinion that parts of the 

        17          proposed rule are arbitrary and capricious.  

        18          Recently, you discussed students being eligible 

        19          to be counted in the -- in the testing program 

        20          if they attended during the October and FTE 

        21          count. 

        22              We suggested one word be added to that 

        23          rule:  Continuous attendance.  We believe that 

        24          improves the rule, as opposed to what was 

        25          already stated, young people perhaps being 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            276
                  December 14, 1999
         1          there one day in one count, one day in another.

         2              We believe that improves the rule.

         3              The suggestions we will have still allows 

         4          school to be graded as required by the law; and 

         5          unlike last year, the most effective schools 

         6          will get the best grades.

         7              (Attorney General Butterworth entered the 

         8          room.)

         9              DR. HINESLEY:  The schools that are -- 

        10          schools that are least effective would get the 

        11          poorest grades, even Fs. 

        12              I want to emphasize again, our concern is 

        13          that the FCAT was not designed to be used as 

        14          the proposed rule before you today.

        15              As you may know, my School District has 

        16          monitored the rulemaking process from the 

        17          beginning.  We, along with many other citizens, 

        18          suggested improvements at the public hearings 

        19          that were held around the state in the fall. 

        20              We are not satisfied that everything has 

        21          been done to make the school grading rule fair 

        22          and accurate.

        23              Thus we decided to use the processes 

        24          available to us for presenting our concerns and 

        25          suggestions.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            277
                  December 14, 1999
         1              We realize the accountability law contains 

         2          certain requirements that cannot be implemented 

         3          immediately due to the lack of information 

         4          available to the State.  The rule revision 

         5          attempts to address certain requirements of law 

         6          over a period of years, ultimately creating a 

         7          stronger accountability system after several 

         8          years. 

         9              Therefore, our focus is not on the 

        10          long-term, our focus is on the interim years. 

        11              We, the FCAT -- we believe the FCAT was not 

        12          designed to be used as the proposed rules 

        13          require.  Of critical concern to us is the 

        14          issue of fairness.  We believe the FCAT may 

        15          contain a significant number of items that are 

        16          norm reference, rather than criterion 

        17          referencing. 

        18              Some Department of Education officials have 

        19          confirmed our point.  Throughout this process, 

        20          we are not questioning the DOE representatives 

        21          because the FCAT was designed and constructed 

        22          well before the rule was developed, requiring 

        23          it to be used for the grading of schools.

        24              Does the FCAT measure what is taught in 

        25          school, or measure what a student comes to 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            278
                  December 14, 1999
         1          school with? 

         2              I'm going to stop my presentation, and now 

         3          introduce -- for the sake of time, introduce 

         4          our consultant, Dr. James Popham.  He's 

         5          Professor Emeritus from UCLA graduate school. 

         6              We brought him in to study our concerns, 

         7          and to validate our concerns.  Dr. Popham has 

         8          worked for the Department of Education in years 

         9          past, testifying on your behalf, representing 

        10          the accuracy of tests that have been questioned 

        11          in years passed. 

        12              Dr. Popham will walk through our concerns 

        13          for you as it relates to the FCAT. 

        14              DR. POPHAM:  Thank you. 

        15              I just received 3 minutes from one of the 

        16          other presenters, so that gives me 6. 

        17              I now live in Hawaii, which is about 

        18          6,000 miles distance.  So that's a -- a 

        19          minute 1,000, and I'll try to speak rapidly.

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I hope you got paid to 

        21          come.

        22              DR. POPHAM:  Sure.  All the way. 

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There you go.

        24              DR. POPHAM:  But -- but not for travel. 

        25              First off, I want to commend the -- the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            279
                  December 14, 1999
         1          Governor and the Commissioner for trying to 

         2          install a system of accountability, and 

         3          particularly a school grading system. 

         4              I was contacted by Pinellas.  I don't get 

         5          the feeling that this is a -- a school district 

         6          that wants to do away with the school grading 

         7          model.  They have some concerns about certain 

         8          features of it, and they offer in their 

         9          materials they've given to you several specific 

        10          recommendations. 

        11              One of them has to do with the nature of 

        12          the FCAT itself.  And they want to supplement 

        13          FCAT results with other important kinds of 

        14          data.

        15              And clearly your system is predicated on 

        16          the FCAT.  That's the dominant feature of it. 

        17              And if I could have that first little 

        18          slide. 

        19              Any kind of accountability system or 

        20          grading system that is -- went to a particular 

        21          test, is clearly only as good as that -- that 

        22          test is.

        23              And from your perspective, because you're 

        24          not specialists in educational testing, that's 

        25          my field, you would assume that any kind of 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            280
                  December 14, 1999
         1          test that is designed to measure the 

         2          effectiveness of schools ought to, indeed, 

         3          actually reflect how well those schools are 

         4          doing their jobs.  But this is not the case.  

         5          Some kinds of tests are built for different 

         6          kinds of purposes. 

         7              And to illustrate, you think about 

         8          standardized achievement tests, such as the 

         9          Stanford Achievement Test or the Iowa Test of 

        10          Basic Skills. 

        11              These tests are created by commercial 

        12          testing firms, whose primary purpose is to 

        13          spread out examinee performance such that you 

        14          can make discriminations between students of 

        15          the 87th percentile, the 85th, and so on.

        16              In order to preserve that kind of score 

        17          spread, there are items on those tests which 

        18          clearly are antithetical to the purpose you 

        19          want this particular school grading system to 

        20          accomplish. 

        21              And I want to show you some examples of 

        22          real items taken from those tests, slightly 

        23          modified, to illustrate the point I'm making, 

        24          because it bears on the FCAT.

        25              The first one is an item that -- that is 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            281
                  December 14, 1999
         1          clearly linked to student's socioeconomic 

         2          status.  Now, here we say, a 6th grade science 

         3          item, a real kind of item, a plant's fruit 

         4          always contains seeds.  Which of the items 

         5          below is not a fruit:  Orange, pumpkin, apple, 

         6          celery. 

         7              You're going to have a much better chance 

         8          to answer that item correctly if you come from 

         9          a family where they can afford to buy celery; 

        10          where each October pumpkins are purchased, and 

        11          they know that -- this particular --

        12              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Let me -- let me 

        13          ask a question.

        14              DR. POPHAM:  Sure.

        15              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  This question, if 

        16          you're talking about an exam -- the FCAT exam 

        17          for reading, would follow a paragraph that 

        18          would discuss that subject, and the person 

        19          answering the question would be the ability to 

        20          have read the paragraph and to have come to the 

        21          conclusion from the knowledge in the paragraph; 

        22          is that correct? 

        23              DR. POPHAM:  I'm not sure it's correct. 

        24              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well then --

        25              DR. POPHAM:  I haven't had a chance to 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            282
                  December 14, 1999
         1          look --

         2              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- you're telling 

         3          me that -- 

         4              DR. POPHAM:  -- at the test.

         5              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well, let me -- 

         6          let me tell you that we don't have in a reading 

         7          exam a question that has no reference to come 

         8          from.

         9              DR. POPHAM:  Well, I take your -- your 

        10          word, but I'd rather take the -- a review of 

        11          the test to make my opinion about that one.

        12              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well, I --

        13              DR. POPHAM:  Because --

        14              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  We'll have 

        15          somebody explain it that -- that does that 

        16          after you're finished.  I'm sorry.

        17              Go ahead.

        18              DR. POPHAM:  Well -- well, surely.

        19              But I'm trying to persuade the Cabinet 

        20          members that there's some items on tests that, 

        21          in fact, are not necessarily designed to 

        22          measure anything other than socioeconomic 

        23          status. 

        24              That's very heavily influenced by the SES 

        25          level of the kid.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            283
                  December 14, 1999
         1              Let's take a look at the next one. 

         2              And this is also an item where what they're 

         3          trying to do is see if the youngster 

         4          understands the meaning of the word field.  

         5          Okay.  This is from a real test.  And I'm not 

         6          saying anything about the FCAT yet.

         7              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Yeah.  Let's -- 

         8          please, it's -- it's very important that you do 

         9          clarify that these are questions from tests, 

        10          not the --

        11              DR. POPHAM:  Oh, absolu--

        12              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- FCAT test.

        13              DR. POPHAM:  -- absolu-- absolutely.

        14              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Nor are these 

        15          questions even like FCAT questions.

        16              DR. POPHAM:  All right. 

        17              The reason that I'm not sure about what's 

        18          on the FCAT is, in spite of two requests to 

        19          your office, I was refused permission to review 

        20          the items, even under security monitored 

        21          conditions.  So you're quite correct.  These 

        22          are items, as I stated earlier, from 

        23          standardized achievement tests, not from the 

        24          FCAT, okay? 

        25              But I'm trying to suggest to the Cabinet 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            284
                  December 14, 1999
         1          members that if you come from a family where 

         2          your mom is an attorney, or your -- your father 

         3          is a -- a journalist, you have a field.  But if 

         4          your mother happens to work at the local 

         5          grocery store, she may not have a field. 

         6              So kids from lower SES situations don't do 

         7          as well on these kinds of items.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  But how -- I'm just -- 

         9          if -- are you assuming that there is a bias at 

        10          FCAT, or do you have evidence of it? 

        11              This is a test that was prepared not by 

        12          anybody in this illustrious Board of Education.  

        13          It was prepared, after years, as I understand 

        14          it, of work by professional educators -- 

        15              DR. POPHAM:  Well, let me --

        16              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- here in Florida.  

        17          Floridians.

        18              DR. POPHAM:  Let me -- let me give you two 

        19          reasons, Governor, why I think this may not be 

        20          the case. 

        21              In the first place, there is a very strong 

        22          relationship between FCAT scores and poverty 

        23          indices, incidents of free and reduced lunch.  

        24          Those correlations run sometimes between .7 and  

        25          .9, very, very strong relationship. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            285
                  December 14, 1999
         1              And that suggests there's something going 

         2          on in the test that clearly is measuring those 

         3          kinds of factors.

         4              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Does that suggest we lower 

         5          the standards for groups because of income? 

         6              DR. POPHAM:  Absolutely not.

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good.

         8              DR. POPHAM:  Okay.  Now, the second thing 

         9          is that the test was produced for the State by 

        10          a commercial testing firm that produces the 

        11          same kinds of items you're seeing on the -- on 

        12          the screen now.

        13              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  And let me just 

        14          tell you that that may be true.  However, we do 

        15          not accept, and have not, although we have had 

        16          a few examples of trying to use their previous 

        17          items, et cetera. 

        18              But these items that are on the FCAT are 

        19          all specifically for us against the 

        20          Sunshine Standards, and against the 

        21          specifications for that test, that do not allow 

        22          open-ended questions like this without a 

        23          reference from which that would come in a 

        24          reading exam.  So --

        25              DR. POPHAM:  Well, this is -- this is not 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            286
                  December 14, 1999
         1          an open-ended question.  This is a multiple 

         2          choice question.

         3              Let's turn to the next example of -- of 

         4          items which you find on these kinds of tests, 

         5          not on the FCAT yet.  And these are the kinds 

         6          of items --

         7              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well, the reason 

         8          we did the FCAT test was to make sure this kind 

         9          of thing didn't happen.

        10              DR. POPHAM:  These are the kinds of items 

        11          you find that are designed to measure a kid's 

        12          inherited academic aptitude.  There are many 

        13          such items on those kinds of tests. 

        14              And -- and what you -- you want these kinds 

        15          of items for is to maintain that spread of 

        16          scores, because these items do it very well. 

        17              Kids are born differently.  I have four 

        18          children.  Some of them are better in 

        19          mathematics, verbally.  My -- my daughter's 

        20          very good verbally.  In spatial aptitude, she 

        21          ranks with turtles.  She cannot possibly deal 

        22          with spatial factors.  And -- and -- and kids 

        23          do vary.  Okay. 

        24              Now, this kind of item though will tap a 

        25          kid's ability to figure out what conserve 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            287
                  December 14, 1999
         1          resources means, and that kid will figure out 

         2          the right answer to that question because the 

         3          kid has good verbal aptitude.

         4              The next item is an even more stark 

         5          illustration of this.  This is one, the test 

         6          that the kids -- spatial ability that they're 

         7          born with.  And this is --

         8              And we have manual dexterity as being one 

         9          of the techniques, too. 

        10              And -- and this is an item where the -- the 

        11          kid is asked to indicate which of these 

        12          letters, if folded in half, will have two parts 

        13          that match exactly. 

        14              Okay.  Those of you who are astute -- my 

        15          daughter would never get it -- those of you who 

        16          are astute will figure out that B is the 

        17          correct answer.  Okay. 

        18              Now, this is not taught in schools.  We do 

        19          not do mental letter bending.  But this is the 

        20          kind of item that spreads people out very 

        21          nicely.

        22              Now, if it is the case that -- the FCAT has 

        23          many items of this sort on it.  If it is the 

        24          case, then what it's measuring is what kids 

        25          come to school with, not what is taught there.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            288
                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  And what happens if it 

         2          isn't the case? 

         3              DR. POPHAM:  Pardon me?

         4              GOVERNOR BUSH:  If it's not the case, then 

         5          this whole -- then -- I mean, this whole -- 

         6          your whole argument is -- is off base, is that 

         7          the point? 

         8              DR. POPHAM:  The argument is not trying to 

         9          show you guys are wrong, the argument is to 

        10          suggest that this is a question that has not 

        11          been seriously considered. 

        12              We do --

        13              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well --

        14              DR. POPHAM:  -- not know --

        15              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- in your mind, 

        16          it hasn't.  You don't think it's been seriously 

        17          considered.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I think the point about the 

        19          FCAT test was that -- again, this was prepared 

        20          and approved by this Board of Education before 

        21          I came here, before this was -- I don't even 

        22          remember the -- it's four or five years ago 

        23          perhaps?

        24              That this was developed over an extensive 

        25          process to move away from the kind of tests 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            289
                  December 14, 1999
         1          that you're describing, to something that would 

         2          truly measure the broader aptitudes that -- 

         3          that the State thought was necessary to move to 

         4          a standards based system.

         5              And -- I mean, if -- I understand the 

         6          dilemma you face, you didn't get to see the 

         7          test.  But you're assuming that the tests 

         8          that -- examples that you describe are what the 

         9          FCAT looks like --

        10              DR. POPHAM:  Possibly.  Possibly, Governor.  

        11          I'm -- I'm not asserting that.

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Well, here's the 

        13          Commissioner of Education.  He says it's not.

        14              DR. POPHAM:  I don't take his word for it 

        15          at all.  I don't think he was involved when the 

        16          test was created, and I don't think he knows 

        17          how those tests are created, and I don't think 

        18          he's right on this one. 

        19              But I don't know the answer.  I simply 

        20          don't know the answer.  We asked him twice if 

        21          we could review it. 

        22              You see, in -- in -- in my state right now, 

        23          Hawaii, they're developing the same kind of 

        24          tests, and the same kind of model that you're 

        25          using, a standards based system, they want to 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            290
                  December 14, 1999
         1          create a test that measures their standards. 

         2              I've seen your standards.  They're very 

         3          good, to be assessed for sure.  You could still 

         4          build a test that is related to those standards 

         5          that has some of these same problems with it. 

         6              And all I think that the folks in Pinellas 

         7          would like to do is have some kind of 

         8          independent review of the extent to which the 

         9          items in this test are of that sort. 

        10              If you don't have items of this sort, then 

        11          there's no problem at all.  We just don't know 

        12          though.

        13              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  I am glad to hear 

        14          that.  So go ahead and continue.  That --

        15              DR. POPHAM:  Okay.  The -- the second 

        16          recommendation that the folks in Pinellas would 

        17          like to offer you is some possibility of making 

        18          an adjustment for poverty variables on the -- 

        19          on the FCAT. 

        20              And the reason for that is fairly clear.  

        21          If it is the case -- big if -- if it is the 

        22          case that the FCAT contains many items such as 

        23          the -- you just saw on the screen, if that is 

        24          the case, then you do need to make some kind of 

        25          adjustment, because you're perennially dooming 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            291
                  December 14, 1999
         1          people who are not scoring well enough. 

         2              In other words, teachers who are serving 

         3          high populations of low income youngsters, 

         4          they're never going to be able to succeed as 

         5          well as -- as they would like to.  And -- and 

         6          that's not fair to -- to low income kids for 

         7          sure. 

         8              I don't think there's anyone in Pinellas -- 

         9          I can't speak about Pinellas County, but in the 

        10          Pinellas County leadership, that doesn't think 

        11          that minority kids can't succeed, low income 

        12          kids can't succeed. 

        13              The question is:  Does this test provide 

        14          the opportunity to measure that.  And they're 

        15          simply not sure of it. 

        16              So what they'd like you to consider is the 

        17          possibility of making some kind of statistical 

        18          adjustment to see whether or not people are -- 

        19          oh, are serving large chunks of low income 

        20          youngsters can do very well on that test.

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  The -- the implication in 

        22          that -- the troubling implication is that leads 

        23          us to where we are today, which is high 

        24          expectations for one group of people, low 

        25          expectations for another. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            292
                  December 14, 1999
         1              And if you look at -- and you may not have 

         2          been here when we recently had this -- a 

         3          version of this topic receive a lot of 

         4          attention, which relates to an initiative that 

         5          I proposed related to admissions policies -- 

         6          you would find that there were large sections 

         7          of student populations in high school that were 

         8          not able to take the PSAT, would not be able to 

         9          access AP courses, were not being given the -- 

        10          nothing near the same level of support that was 

        11          existing in other schools.  And the 

        12          expectations were lower. 

        13              And my concern about factoring in income is 

        14          that we create expectations different between 

        15          one group and the other.

        16              And -- I mean, I -- let me just quote 

        17          something that -- that I have said in a 

        18          version, but I won't tell you who said it. 

        19              But we don't want anyone -- we don't want 

        20          to do anyone any favors by holding them to high 

        21          standards.  Often we do -- I didn't say that 

        22          right. 

        23              We don't do anyone any favors by not 

        24          holding them to high standards.  Often, when we 

        25          see people in difficult circumstances, we feel 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            293
                  December 14, 1999
         1          compassion for them, and we should.  But when 

         2          this compassion leads to expecting less of 

         3          their children, that is a mistake, for it sells 

         4          their future down the drain. 

         5              I'm tired of being told that children 

         6          cannot succeed because of the difficulties of 

         7          their circumstances.  All we do is consign them 

         8          to staying in the same circumstances. 

         9              We must not replace the tyranny of 

        10          segregation with the tyranny of low 

        11          expectations.

        12              And that's what we've done in this state, 

        13          and across the country, is we've lowered 

        14          expectations for people.  And put aside the 

        15          cultural aspects of the test, which we can sort 

        16          out some other place, by including factors of 

        17          income, or race, because other people have 

        18          advocated that, then we move to this system, 

        19          and we institutionalize it. 

        20              Bill Clinton said this to the NAACP 

        21          convention.  I could have given this speech, 

        22          and that was why I am an advocate of this. 

        23              And to suggest as -- and as with the best 

        24          of intentions, I know, Superintendent, that you 

        25          all are grappling with this, and trying to find 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            294
                  December 14, 1999
         1          suggestions of why the outcomes are as it is, 

         2          why don't we focus, you and I, on -- on saying, 

         3          this is the outcome, let's improve it.  And 

         4          that's what we're trying to do.

         5              DR. POPHAM:  Let me say why I so 

         6          thoroughly --

         7              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Whoa.  It -- 

         8          this --

         9              GOVERNOR BUSH:  It's a --

        10              DR. POPHAM:  -- agree with what you --

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  It's a --

        12              DR. POPHAM:  -- just said. 

        13              Okay.  I agree totally with it.  The -- the 

        14          only issue that we're discussing here is the 

        15          extent to which the FCAT is a legitimate 

        16          assessment of what those kids need to learn.

        17              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- moved on to income now.  

        18          I -- I gave you a break on the FCAT.  But 

        19          moving to income as a factor.

        20              DR. POPHAM:  It's -- right.  But -- wait a 

        21          second.

        22              The -- the income is an important 

        23          adjustment factor, only if the FCAT is used as 

        24          the prime grading criterion.  It's only then.

        25              If the FCAT is devoid -- if the FCAT is 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            295
                  December 14, 1999
         1          devoid of the kinds of items that I just 

         2          flopped on the screen, then you don't need an 

         3          adjustment.  You're quite right. 

         4              But if it does have a strong, powerful 

         5          relationship to poverty status, then it has to 

         6          be adjusted.

         7              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  I agree.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  If you believe that the 

         9          FCAT test is biased so that it -- it is unfair 

        10          to people of lower income, then that's a good 

        11          point. 

        12              But if you say because of people's low 

        13          income, we have lower achievement, and it's not 

        14          fair to grade kids, which is what we hear over 

        15          and over again, then I beg to differ.

        16              DR. POPHAM:  Okay.  We're -- we're in 

        17          agreement on the central premise.  The issue is 

        18          the extent to which --

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Then why --

        20              DR. POPHAM:  -- the FCAT --

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- for the past five years, 

        22          this whole state has had a broad consensus that 

        23          this test was a meaningful, culturally neutral 

        24          test, and all of sudden it isn't now that we're 

        25          attaching it to accountability.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            296
                  December 14, 1999
         1              DR. POPHAM:  Not talking about cultural 

         2          bias.  Indeed, I know Tom Fisher very well.  

         3          We've worked together for many years. 

         4              And I cannot imagine he'd have a -- a test 

         5          emerge from his shop that didn't undergo very 

         6          serious scrutiny for bias factors.

         7              The question is:  Once you have a test 

         8          created, and the Sunshine State Standards, and 

         9          you turn it over to a commercial testing firm 

        10          that historically has created items designed to 

        11          spread out examinees, you still may have some 

        12          items in there that are, in fact, correlated 

        13          with poverty.

        14              Right now you have correlations of .8.  

        15          That's a very strong relationship.  What's 

        16          going on?  Why is that so related? 

        17              Pardon me? 

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  We're going back and forth 

        19          now.  Let's move on.

        20              DR. POPHAM:  Okay.  The last point, and 

        21          then I will conclude.  And thank you for your 

        22          patience.

        23              I guess if -- if you, in fact, can make 

        24          this system work well, you have to attend to 

        25          some of the things you've heard today.  


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            297
                  December 14, 1999
         1          Leon Russell said that every child has a 

         2          capacity to learn.  You -- they can learn with 

         3          a decent school grading system. 

         4              If you make the kinds of changes that 

         5          Pinellas is suggesting, powerful improvements 

         6          where you're looking at other data, or you're 

         7          making some realistic adjustments for poverty, 

         8          if it's -- if it's a problem with the FCAT. 

         9              If you make those kinds of changes, then 

        10          I think you'll have a system that'll do the 

        11          State some good.

        12              On the other hand, if you don't, it's going 

        13          to be bad for the teacher, it's going to be bad 

        14          for the kids.

        15              If, on the other hand, this is simply a 

        16          mechanism to install vouchers statewide, don't 

        17          change a thing, because no harm will be done.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you for coming all 

        19          the way from Hawaii.

        20              DR. POPHAM:  You're welcome.

        21              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Let me mention 

        22          a -- a couple of things.  I just want to 

        23          mention to the Cabinet just in a second before 

        24          our next speaker comes up. 

        25              Throwing poverty into the -- into the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            298
                  December 14, 1999
         1          grading system without -- just the way it is, 

         2          we have three elementary schools that are As, 

         3          with a poverty level of 77 percent free and 

         4          reduced lunch; one is a 74 percent free and 

         5          reduced lunch; one, a 52 percent free and 

         6          reduced lunch. 

         7              By the way, it goes all the way down to 35, 

         8          and they're all As.

         9              In Bs, we have 76 percent free and reduced 

        10          lunch, 72, 69, 66, 65.  We have 22 schools that 

        11          are rated B that have a 50 percent poverty 

        12          level or above.

        13              So we know that there are schools in this 

        14          state that have overcome income in regards to 

        15          getting good grades by those students.  And 

        16          I think that's the kind of thing that we should 

        17          try to emulate, as opposed to take the other 

        18          ones, and lower those standards. 

        19              And I think we have a -- a speaker that'll 

        20          probably talk to the FCAT now as to help --

        21              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  I have a -- 

        22          make one --

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  General Butterworth.

        24              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- comment 

        25          here. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            299
                  December 14, 1999
         1              I -- Tom, I agree with you there, and maybe 

         2          we have the same list here.  But we also 

         3          have -- have a couple of schools that are Ds 

         4          that have only a 7 and 8 percent poverty. 

         5              My question would be:  Those schools where 

         6          we have a high poverty level and a high grade, 

         7          are those -- are the neighborhoods that -- that 

         8          we're doing more school readiness in and -- and 

         9          such like that, and -- and maybe --

        10              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Good question.

        11              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- what 

        12          you're dealing with is not -- not affecting the 

        13          grade, but pretty much looking at the school 

        14          readiness of the -- of the issue. 

        15              And I think that -- it'd be interesting to 

        16          find out what those particular districts have 

        17          been doing, because that might be our -- our 

        18          whole key right there.

        19              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well, you know, 

        20          we're strong believers in that, and there is a 

        21          major move on readiness.  So I don't want to --

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Commissioner Nelson.

        23              TREASURER NELSON:  Governor, I -- from the 

        24          list that Bob had showed me here, I counted on 

        25          here only 11 schools in the entire state that 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            300
                  December 14, 1999
         1          had an A or a B rating that came with a poverty 

         2          rating of 50 percent or more. 

         3              Now, that's what I counted on this list was 

         4          11.  You said it was 22.  But whether it's 11 

         5          or 22 --

         6              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Actually it's 25 

         7          if you count 50 percent poverty level or higher 

         8          As and B schools. 

         9              TREASURER NELSON:  Whatever we --

        10              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Elementary 

        11          schools.

        12              TREASURER NELSON:  Whatever the number is, 

        13          is the point not fairly dramatically made that 

        14          out of how many schools we have, 1,000 plus 

        15          schools in the state, that only 11 or 25, 

        16          in fact, score high that have high poverty 

        17          rates.

        18              So it seems to me that the point is 

        19          dramatically made, the flip of what you were 

        20          saying, which is that the correlation is there 

        21          dramatically that, from high poverty as 

        22          measured by eligibility for the Federal school 

        23          lunch program, it correlates with the schools 

        24          being designated Ds and Fs.  And it doesn't 

        25          seem to me that those statistics are 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            301
                  December 14, 1999
         1          contradicted.

         2              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well, let's hear 

         3          from our next speaker, and we can get back to 

         4          that debate.

         5              MR. PIERSON:  Tom Fisher. 

         6              Next speaker is Dr. Tom Fisher.  And for 

         7          the record, Dr. Fisher is the Educational 

         8          Policy Director responsible for the Assessment 

         9          and Evaluation Section, 24 years of service. 

        10              He has a Master's degree from the 

        11          University of Toledo; doctorate from 

        12          Wayne State University; responsible for 

        13          implementation of the State testing programs in 

        14          K to 12, including the nation's first required 

        15          high school graduation test, implementation of 

        16          Florida's College Level Academic Skills Test, 

        17          and several other tests.

        18              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  This is the same 

        19          Dr. Fisher that Dr. Popham talked about, right? 

        20              DR. FISHER:  Yes, sir.

        21              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Just checking.

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Like there's two of them.

        23              DR. FISHER:  I want to hit a couple of 

        24          highlights, and stay within a very short period 

        25          of time.  But there are some things that have 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            302
                  December 14, 1999
         1          been said that I think need to be corrected.

         2              First of all, you need to put this in the 

         3          context of what it is.  I believe this is about 

         4          standards.  Standards are very important to us, 

         5          they have been to previous members of the Board 

         6          of Education and to our Legislature for some 

         7          time. 

         8              Florida doesn't do too well compared to 

         9          national comparisons, and the United States 

        10          doesn't do too well compared to international 

        11          comparisons.  It's very easy to say this is 

        12          about academic standards.

        13              The FCAT program is now approaching its 

        14          third administration.  It is going through an 

        15          expansion. 

        16              As I said, there have been some comments 

        17          made that I think are erroneous about FCAT, and 

        18          I wish to take a second to clarify some of 

        19          that.

        20              The purpose of FCAT is articulated in the 

        21          law.  Basically it is to assess learning gains, 

        22          inform parents, and provide data for decisions.  

        23          That's what we're all about.

        24              The FCAT measures challenging content.  It 

        25          includes a variety of item types, including 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            303
                  December 14, 1999
         1          20 percent performance items in which the 

         2          student actually has to do something.  They 

         3          have to show their work or write a paragraph. 

         4              The items are written all within the 

         5          context of a variety of subject areas that 

         6          correspond to everything that the 

         7          Sunshine State Standards covers. 

         8              The math items are not simple computation, 

         9          single step items, they require the student to 

        10          think.  That's what makes the FCAT math test 

        11          harder than the minimum competency tests that 

        12          we're used to dealing with. 

        13              FCAT is not a minimum competency test.  You 

        14          have to keep that in mind.  The items span a 

        15          range of difficulty, from easy to moderate, to 

        16          more difficult.

        17              It's been said that we were perhaps at the 

        18          beck and call of our test contractor, 

        19          CBT/McGraw-Hill, as this test was constructed.  

        20          Nothing could be further from the truth. 

        21              We were in complete control of the 

        22          development of the test.  It is true that 

        23          CBT had item writers who provided draft items 

        24          to us, but we had a series of extensive 

        25          committees that reviewed those items for 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            304
                  December 14, 1999
         1          factors such as geographic possible bias, 

         2          linguistic problems, race-ethnic bias, gender, 

         3          facton (phonetic) individuals with 

         4          disabilities, socioeconomic factors, prior 

         5          knowledge, clear wording, and so forth. 

         6              Every single item was reviewed by a 

         7          committee of people, or several committees, for 

         8          that matter.  And on several of those 

         9          worksheets, it specifically asked for comments 

        10          about whether or not the item was reviewed -- 

        11          or had problems for socioeconomic bias.

        12              I'd point out that Pinellas County has had 

        13          extensive development in the Sunshine State 

        14          Standards, as well as their review.  And there 

        15          are 19 people from Pinellas County currently 

        16          involved with the development of the FCAT 

        17          program this year.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  So they've got -- they -- 

        19          they basically -- they -- they administer the 

        20          test, they helped build it, they have a pretty 

        21          good idea what it's -- what it's like.

        22              DR. FISHER:  That's correct.

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay. 

        24              DR. FISHER:  As far as the issue of 

        25          inclusion of non-FCAT type of evidence in this 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            305
                  December 14, 1999
         1          program, I would say that it's reminiscent of 

         2          the program I helped administer in the 

         3          mid-1980s called the Meritorious School 

         4          Program. 

         5              Each school was permitted to establish its 

         6          own improvement goals and its own criteria for 

         7          measurement.  And what we ended up with was 

         8          trivial improvement objectives.

         9              This state, since 1976, has moved 

        10          consistently and constantly in the direction of 

        11          common measures.  I'll remind you, common 

        12          high school exit tests, college -- college exit 

        13          tests, a common teacher and principal 

        14          certification test, common college placement 

        15          test, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.  The 

        16          public deserves a common standard, and that's 

        17          what FCAT does.

        18              As far as poverty as an adjustment factor, 

        19          I'd point out that correlation does not imply 

        20          causation.  Florida is --

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Repeat that.  I'm going to 

        22          write that down.

        23              DR. FISHER:  Correlation does not imply 

        24          causation.  Has a certain rhythm to it. 

        25              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  And a truth -- and 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            306
                  December 14, 1999
         1          a truth to it.

         2              DR. FISHER:  Yeah.  Think of it this way:  

         3          Florida is measured against about 42 other 

         4          states and territories on the National 

         5          Assessment of Educational progress. 

         6              We have a ranking of Florida compared to 

         7          other states.  I said we didn't do too well.  

         8          Suppose we adjusted those scores for whatever 

         9          factors you wish, and it changed Florida's 

        10          ranking? 

        11              Policymakers like yourselves and 

        12          legislators would then have a different 

        13          impression about what the problems are and what 

        14          the solutions are.

        15              I'd also point out that, if adjustments are 

        16          made for any factors of this nature, it may 

        17          help low schools score higher, but it will 

        18          reduce the scores of higher scores -- schools.  

        19          Excuse me.  They move toward the middle any 

        20          time you make adjustments of this nature.

        21              There are a couple of comments made by 

        22          people who testified earlier today, and I just 

        23          want to touch on a couple of them.

        24              The point was made that the curriculum is 

        25          being narrowed, that the book Johnny Tremain 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            307
                  December 14, 1999
         1          can't be used; not using the science class; 

         2          only thing we do in English is Florida Writes, 

         3          no poetry, no literature.

         4              I don't understand that.  I just don't 

         5          understand it.  Take the book, Johnny Tremain, 

         6          or any of these other things here. 

         7              Johnny Tremain, look at the reading 

         8          content, some of the reading benchmarks that 

         9          could have been taught using that.  Word 

        10          meaning demonstrates -- or determines the main 

        11          idea or essential message, recognizes cause and 

        12          effect relationships.  I could go on. 

        13              There's not one thing in the Sunshine State 

        14          Standards that could not be reenforced by any 

        15          of the common materials that are used in an 

        16          instructional program. 

        17              Science.  Not using science to teach 

        18          mathematics and reading and writing is part of 

        19          Sunshine State Standards is beyond -- I have a 

        20          science minor. 

        21              Just imagine the math that's involved in 

        22          that, the writing that could be done in that. 

        23              Poetry?  You can write and write and write 

        24          about interpretations of the great poems, and 

        25          poetry of our ages.  I can't imagine why anyone 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            308
                  December 14, 1999
         1          would say that Florida Writes Program 

         2          suppresses creativity. 

         3              I've seen some of those essays.  They're 

         4          beautiful essays.  They're written in 

         5          45 minutes as a first draft, that's true.  But 

         6          no one has ever suggested that that is all we 

         7          are supposed to teach in our schools.

         8              Lastly, the point was made that FCAT 

         9          contains norm reference test items.  Perhaps 

        10          there's a bit of confusion about that.  The new 

        11          FCAT expanded program will include a national 

        12          norm reference test.  But FCAT Sunshine State 

        13          Standards version is completely separate.

        14              Closing point, I want to share with you a 

        15          sentence that I took from something that was 

        16          written in 1981.  Talking about minimum 

        17          competency tests at a time in which we -- at 

        18          the height of the national debate over minimum 

        19          competency tests, and we were still in the 

        20          Debra P. versus Turlington litigation. 

        21              Quote:  Educational tests, albeit, 

        22          imperfect, are sufficiently accurate for the 

        23          purposes of discriminating between competent 

        24          students and those who are not competent with 

        25          respect to the skills being measured by the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            309
                  December 14, 1999
         1          tests. 

         2              The use of these tests is preferable to 

         3          other less database methods of examinee 

         4          categorization. 

         5              And going on:  The investment of money in 

         6          tests are minimal when compared to the costs to 

         7          society, both fiscal and humane, of having our 

         8          schools produce numbers of students who are not 

         9          competent with respect to the basic skills.

        10              Written by Dr. James Popham in conjunction 

        11          with an NIE presentation in Washington in 

        12          July 1981.

        13              Thank you.

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I hate that when they --

        15              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Thank you, 

        16          Dr. Popham.

        17              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- do that to me, 

        18          Dr. Popham.  I hope you --

        19              I've been there.

        20              MR. PIERSON:  We -- we're going to -- to be 

        21          perfectly fair, we're going to switch over and 

        22          let a few pros have a chance to speak before 

        23          you all leave.  And -- 

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  No, no.  We're not leaving 

        25          until we've -- the people have come from other 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            310
                  December 14, 1999
         1          parts of the state --

         2              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well, we're going 

         3          to let some of those that have come from far 

         4          away places like Miami, that are in favor of 

         5          this plan, speak before they miss their 

         6          flights, too, if you don't mind.

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Absolutely. 

         8              I mean, I just -- this is -- I don't know 

         9          what other -- other people have going on, but 

        10          this is pretty important.  And people have been 

        11          here since 9:00 in the morning. 

        12              So onward.  If we can be --

        13              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Well, we heard --

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- brief, it'd be great, 

        15          but I think -- 

        16              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- from the people 

        17          from Miami.

        18              MR. PIERSON:  Leonard Miller, Council of 

        19          100. 

        20              And next will be Rheb Harbison, 

        21          Florida Chamber; and Dr. Tina Dupree from 

        22          Miami. 

        23              MR. MILLER:  Good afternoon. 

        24              I'd intended to say good morning. 

        25              I -- I want to thank the Governor, 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            311
                  December 14, 1999
         1          Commissioner Gallagher, and the Cabinet for 

         2          letting me address this group.

         3              My name is Leonard Miller, and I'm here in 

         4          really three capacities:  Number one, as the 

         5          spokesperson for the Annenberg Challenge, which 

         6          I'll describe in a minute; number two, as the 

         7          spokesperson for the Council of 100; and 

         8          number three, as a fellow who's lived and been 

         9          in business here in Florida for now 45 years.

        10              And I have one other characteristic, and 

        11          that is, I love children.

        12              You know, it was about two years ago that I 

        13          took over as the Chairman of the 

        14          Annenberg Challenge.  And I'd like to describe 

        15          what that challenge is, and it is so relevant 

        16          to what we've been talking about today. 

        17              You know, the Annenberg Challenge is a 

        18          hundred million dollar effort, a partnership, 

        19          with its sole goal to make systemic change in 

        20          K through 12 education.  And it's made up of 

        21          the private sector versus both profit and 

        22          nonprofit, and also the public school system.

        23              And one of the things we did early on a 

        24          couple years ago -- actually before the A+ plan 

        25          came out, was to visit low performing schools, 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            312
                  December 14, 1999
         1          many of them poverty schools, to try to see how 

         2          we would put out our hundred million dollars in 

         3          grants. 

         4              And as we went to poverty schools, we tried 

         5          to pick -- and these were for our Board 

         6          meetings -- we tried to pick poverty schools 

         7          that were failing, but for some reason had 

         8          turned around, and become good schools.

         9              And what we found, as we went to those 

        10          schools, was that they had certain 

        11          characteristics in common. 

        12              And, yes, there are schools that are 

        13          poverty schools that make it, minority schools, 

        14          what have you.  And those characteristics are 

        15          invariably a strong leader, a strong principal, 

        16          one who marshals the teachers around him, 

        17          inspires those teachers on, who deals in 

        18          professional development, who deals in 

        19          incentivizing the teachers that are there 

        20          working, who brings in -- for parents and has 

        21          parental involvement, who does all the good 

        22          things that we've been talking about on and off 

        23          today. 

        24              And what my message is, is don't give up on 

        25          these kids, they can make it.  Don't blame the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            313
                  December 14, 1999
         1          customer for the product.  The product has to 

         2          be adjusted, and, therefore, the customer will 

         3          learn if you have done that.

         4              And the Council of 100 now that I'm also 

         5          representing is a group of some 150 business 

         6          leaders, academic leaders, from across the 

         7          state who've always had a marked interest and 

         8          desire to help in the system of education. 

         9              And the reason is because education is so 

        10          important, not only to our economy, but to our 

        11          very way of life in this great state. 

        12              So we're all about children, and we want to 

        13          see children learn.

        14              Now, I must tell you that -- speaking both 

        15          for Annenberg, and for the Council of 100, 

        16          myself personally, I want to thank you from the 

        17          bottom of my heart, because from what I've seen 

        18          in the last two years, and spending countless 

        19          hours out in the field, out at schools, giving 

        20          grants, meeting after meeting, there has been a 

        21          whole change in this state, a whole change in 

        22          the thinking process of schools. 

        23              People all of a sudden -- and I attribute 

        24          it to the A+ plan.  People are now starting to 

        25          think, hey, we do have a problem.  These kids 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            314
                  December 14, 1999
         1          aren't learning.  How are we going to turn it 

         2          around?

         3              So it's -- it's more now the system of 

         4          accountability, the system of setting 

         5          standards.  And this business of, hey, let's 

         6          not look at those poverty kids, let's put them 

         7          in another category.  Another category be 

         8          damned.  They're every bit as good as anyone 

         9          else.  Those children can learn, just like 

        10          everyone else.  And to please, I implore you, 

        11          stick with where you are.

        12              Last but not least, let me say that it was 

        13          two weeks ago that I was representing the 

        14          Annenberg Challenge, and we announced a 

        15          partnership with the Barbara Bush Foundation 

        16          for family literacy. 

        17              And at that meeting -- it was a great 

        18          meeting -- it was at a school.  And that school 

        19          was the Fisher-Feinberg (sic) School -- 

        20          Elementary School in Miami Beach. 

        21              Jeb, you certainly know about that.

        22              And I sat on that podium, and I looked down 

        23          over the hundreds of children that were sitting 

        24          in the audience.  And they were great kids.  

        25          They were beautiful kids. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            315
                  December 14, 1999
         1              But, you know, they had to miss it all 

         2          because 90 percent of those kids were minority 

         3          kids, 90 percent of those kids were on either a 

         4          free lunch or a reduced lunch program, 

         5          40 percent of the kids came to that school 

         6          speaking virtually no English, and 60 percent 

         7          was the mobility -- mobility rate in that 

         8          school.

         9              Well, as I looked down, I had a smile on my 

        10          face.  And the reason I had a smile on my face 

        11          was because those children were not an F school 

        12          constituency.  They were not a D school 

        13          constituency.  I'm proud to say, they were a 

        14          C school, and within 6 points in math of being 

        15          rated a B school. 

        16              Now, that's damn impressive.  It shows you 

        17          what we can do.  So stick to your guns, keep 

        18          the standards, don't make exceptions.  You're 

        19          on the right road. 

        20              I implore you.  Please.

        21              Thank you.

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, Mr. Miller.

        23              MR. MILLER:  Yes.

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.

        25              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  I have one 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            316
                  December 14, 1999
         1          question on the --

         2              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yeah. 

         3              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- if I can.

         4              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Go ahead.

         5              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Mr. Miller, 

         6          thank you very much for your good presentation, 

         7          and all your good works at all levels of 

         8          education, even my -- our alma mater, the 

         9          University of Miami, that you've served with 

        10          also. 

        11              But let me ask about the 

        12          Annenberg Challenge.  Is that -- is that 

        13          limited to Dade County District, or is that --

        14              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Dade, Broward, and 

        15          Palm Beach.

        16              MR. MILLER:  No, it's actually Dade, 

        17          Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.  And what we 

        18          are doing now is in concert and collaboration 

        19          with the Council of 100, doing some initial 

        20          planning on expanding it across the state.

        21              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  That will 

        22          need additional money; will it not? 

        23              MR. MILLER:  What's that?

        24              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  That will 

        25          need additional money? 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            317
                  December 14, 1999
         1              MR. MILLER:  Yes.  All the time.

         2              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  All right.  

         3          And I'd like to work with you on -- on getting 

         4          money into that. 

         5              Does Annenberg work at all for preschool, 

         6          early childhood learning?  Or they only --

         7              MR. MILLER:  We have --

         8              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- deal 

         9          with --

        10              MR. MILLER:  -- what Annenberg is is a 

        11          program where we put in pilot programs in a 

        12          very -- a myriad number of areas, and some are 

        13          in preschool right now.  Yes.

        14              So we are doing -- we are setting up a test 

        15          program of all these different pilots to show 

        16          that they work, then expand them out, and 

        17          that's the -- that's the program.

        18              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Okay.  

        19          Thank you. 

        20              Very good program.

        21              MR. HARBISON:  Governor, members of the 

        22          Cabinet, my name is Rheb Harbison with the 

        23          Florida Chamber of Commerce. 

        24              We represent the largest federation of 

        25          businesses, large and small, and by type in the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            318
                  December 14, 1999
         1          state of Florida.

         2              A lot of people that we talk to on the 

         3          education issue ask us, well, why would the 

         4          Florida Chamber be interested in education? 

         5              A little known fact is that the Chamber has 

         6          a long history of being active in the education  

         7          arena from world class schools on forward to 

         8          today. 

         9              And I wanted to be here today to make sure 

        10          that you knew that education and work force 

        11          education far and away are the number one issue 

        12          among the minds -- on the minds of our members, 

        13          Florida businesses, who hire the students of 

        14          our school system.  It has been that way for a 

        15          number of years, and it continues to grow in 

        16          significance each and every year.

        17              Number one, to the extent that it's often 

        18          surprising when I tell someone that education 

        19          really is a bigger issue among the minds of our 

        20          chamber members than legal reform.

        21              So, in essence, we have been operating on 

        22          what we consider to be a mandate at the Chamber 

        23          over the last several years to try to make some 

        24          significant difference in our education system. 

        25              And when we saw an opportunity with a new 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            319
                  December 14, 1999
         1          Governor, we were happy to see that, and we 

         2          were happy to support with extreme vigor, 

         3          passage of the A+ plan.

         4              Let me tell you what our members say.  And 

         5          I guess I'm a little disappointed that, among 

         6          all the conversations, some entertaining, this 

         7          morning and -- and this afternoon, I've heard a 

         8          lot of discussion about administrators, and 

         9          I've heard a lot of discussion about teachers. 

        10              And I've heard a lot of -- of folks say 

        11          things like, don't grade us using rewards and 

        12          punishment.  Grading people using Ds and Fs is 

        13          demoralizing.

        14              But I haven't heard a whole lot of 

        15          discussion, if any at all, about what our 

        16          school system is producing in terms of an 

        17          employable Floridian. 

        18              And I will tell you just an example of what 

        19          I hear on a day-to-day basis, it's a -- it's a 

        20          huge operating issue for our members. 

        21              Sun Trust Bank in Tampa had one opening for 

        22          a bank teller, took in 120 plus applications.  

        23          Of those 120 plus applications, found nine 

        24          individuals who were qualified for an entry 

        25          level position in a bank. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            320
                  December 14, 1999
         1              What we hear from our members is that the 

         2          applicants that they're seeing today don't read 

         3          well, don't write well, can't compute, don't 

         4          have a fundamental grasp of grammar, have very 

         5          poor interpersonal skills, and those -- those 

         6          kinds of basic things.

         7              And so we look at this as the sort of 

         8          Y K-12 problem I guess.  So we're -- we're on a 

         9          mission. 

        10              And I, like the previous speaker, would 

        11          urge you not to back away.  We have a 

        12          significant situation in our state today.  Our 

        13          members that would normally be here to speak on 

        14          this issue are -- happen to be in Jacksonville 

        15          today, because Mr. King is having a work force 

        16          education meeting in Jacksonville, which is 

        17          another piece of this whole puzzle.

        18              But I just wanted to be here today, again, 

        19          to tell you that education and work force 

        20          education are far and away the number one issue 

        21          on the minds of business men and women, large 

        22          and small across this state.  And ultimately, 

        23          that's where our students end up.  And the vast 

        24          majority of our students don't go on to 

        25          postsecondary education. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            321
                  December 14, 1999
         1              And so we are looking for a way to make 

         2          those students employable right out of the -- 

         3          the high school system.  And that's where our 

         4          interest lies in the K through 12 issue.

         5              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  I have a 

         6          real --

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  General.

         8              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- quick 

         9          question, sir.

        10              I'm really pleased to see what a 

        11          Florida Chamber is insofar as education of 

        12          being its number one priority next year. 

        13              And since we have what -- what 

        14          Commissioner Gallagher has said a few months 

        15          back, perhaps over 50 percent of our 

        16          high school kids are not graduating. 

        17              In order to have a fully funded school 

        18          system, we will then have many more people who 

        19          will be qualified to be tellers, and every-- 

        20          and everything else.

        21              MR. HARBISON:  Right.

        22              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Therefore, I 

        23          would assume that the Florida Chamber then will 

        24          be four -- four square behind of a fully funded 

        25          educational system in this state.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            322
                  December 14, 1999
         1              MR. HARBISON:  I think the Chamber has been 

         2          there when it comes to -- as long as those 

         3          factors of accountability are in place.  I 

         4          don't think you'll have any problem -- 

         5              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Even when it 

         6          comes to money, additional money going into --

         7              MR. HARBISON:  I --

         8              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- 

         9          education. 

        10              MR. HARBISON:  -- we were --

        11              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  A whole lot 

        12          of it.

        13              MR. HARBISON:  -- we were there last year, 

        14          and I -- as long as there is an accountability 

        15          factor involved in that, I don't think you'll 

        16          have any problem with the Chamber on that 

        17          issue.

        18              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Thank you.

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.

        20              MR. HARBISON:  Thanks. 

        21              DR. DUPREE:  Good afternoon.

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good afternoon.

        23              DR. DUPREE:  My name, for the record, is 

        24          Reverend Dr. Tina Dupree.  And I am delighted 

        25          to be here today --


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            323
                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  And we're delighted that 

         2          you took -- you've showed tremendous patience, 

         3          and --

         4              DR. DUPREE:  Thank you.

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- hung in there with us.

         6              DR. DUPREE:  Thank you.

         7              I would like to thank the Governor and the 

         8          Cabinet for hearing my comments. 

         9              I am standing here today speaking to you as 

        10          a grandmother and a pastor.  I am an advocate 

        11          for quality education for all children. 

        12              I've been involved in public education for 

        13          about the past 13 years.  And just some of the 

        14          involvement, I've been a past PTA president.  

        15          Also part of the County Council of PTAs; the 

        16          Past President of ACE, Alliance for Career 

        17          Education; and the list goes on and on and on 

        18          for my involvement in public schools. 

        19              I am here today in support of keeping the 

        20          high standards for all children.  Lowering the 

        21          standards will send the wrong message and 

        22          create yet another negative label for our 

        23          children. 

        24              We don't want to give any student a cheat 

        25          sheet.  I think they should all be able to 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            324
                  December 14, 1999
         1          measure up to the standards, and I think they 

         2          can measure up to the standards.

         3              I believe that our educational system has 

         4          been able to change because of the A+ plan, and 

         5          these are very needed changes that we needed. 

         6              I have never seen my grandson read so much.  

         7          I have never seen him go off and willingly turn 

         8          off the TV because he has to catch up with his 

         9          reading. 

        10              So I would like to thank you all for the 

        11          A+ plan in my home. 

        12              I'd like to say that we do need better 

        13          prepared teachers for -- in the low income 

        14          schools, because they do have more of a 

        15          requirement.  So the teachers are the ones who 

        16          need to be prepared, because the teachers are 

        17          the ones who teach the students.

        18              I believe that the grading of schools is a 

        19          good choice.  It allows every parent, and the 

        20          community to better understand what the 

        21          contributions that their child is receiving in 

        22          their education.  In other words, grading of a 

        23          school will allow us to see a total picture.

        24              A grade is a tool that shows where you 

        25          stand.  And I believe that all students need to 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            325
                  December 14, 1999
         1          know where they stand, parents needs to know 

         2          where the child stands, and also where the 

         3          children stand.

         4              I don't believe that we should send the 

         5          wrong message, because if we send a message 

         6          that we lower the standards, I believe that 

         7          what we're saying, that if you're poor, you 

         8          cannot learn. 

         9              I bought into the A+ plan when I heard the 

        10          Governor give his inauguration speech when he 

        11          said, all children can and should learn a 

        12          year's worth of knowledge in a year's worth of 

        13          time.  And that sold me.

        14              So when someone said earlier, where's the 

        15          buy-in, I was willing to jump up and say, here 

        16          it is right here.

        17              I grew up in the inner city, and was 

        18          challenged by my teachers.  No one lowered any 

        19          standards, and I'm happy for that, because 

        20          that's the reason that I believe that I have a 

        21          Ph.D. today is because no one ever lowered any 

        22          standards for me.  So I always stressed, 

        23          achieved the highest. 

        24              I believe that the teachers are underpaid 

        25          and underappreciated and frustrated and not 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            326
                  December 14, 1999
         1          motivat-- motivated.  So let's prepare them to 

         2          become motivated. 

         3              I'm in the training field, and I know that 

         4          motivation really helps you to learn, because 

         5          then you have the desire to learn. 

         6              There are certain things that -- that -- 

         7          that we know in the training industry as 

         8          accelerated learning techniques, which puts the 

         9          motivation in the training and gives you 

        10          creative ways to teach, which we saw in a 

        11          presentation earlier with the schools that have 

        12          made the improvements because of the 

        13          innovation, because of the motivation that's 

        14          been put back into the school.

        15              I have spoken to more than 1 million 

        16          teenagers internationally.  I tell students, 

        17          it's not where you live, it's who you are that 

        18          is important.

        19              If we lower the standards, we'll be sending 

        20          the opposite message.  Don't send the wrong 

        21          message.  Give our children the best education 

        22          that they can receive. 

        23              My daddy always told me that can't was 

        24          dead.  So I believe that my daddy, who's been a 

        25          roofer for 40 years, should get down off the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            327
                  December 14, 1999
         1          roof, get a teaching certificate, and teach the 

         2          kids, can is alive.

         3              Thank you.

         4              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you very much.

         5              MR. PIERSON:  Next speaker is 

         6          Lora Holcombe, Dr. Patrick Heffernan, 

         7          Janice Gilley, and Donna Calloway.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  If we can be relatively 

         9          brief, it'd be great.

        10              MS. HOLCOMBE:  Good afternoon.

        11              I had some prepared remarks, but given 

        12          what's been said here today, I've sort of 

        13          changed them, so I'll -- I'll be brief. 

        14              My name is Lora Holcombe, and I'm a parent 

        15          of three young boys that are in the Leon County 

        16          school system.  They're all in public school, 

        17          and one of them is taking advantage of the 

        18          wonderful things that have happened because of 

        19          the A+ program.  My son has been allowed to go 

        20          to the pre-IB program in south Leon County, 

        21          which would not have been possible without the 

        22          A+. 

        23              So I want you to know how much I appreciate 

        24          that, and what's also happening at my sons' 

        25          schools.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            328
                  December 14, 1999
         1              There are a lot of facts and figures that 

         2          you can take on any -- either side of the 

         3          school choice issue, and I don't -- I'm not 

         4          going to try to argue that kind of data with 

         5          you.  But to me, school choice is a lot more 

         6          than that. 

         7              It's -- it's matt--

         8              (Treasurer Nelson exited the room.)

         9              MS. HOLCOMBE:  -- more a matter of personal 

        10          liberty, being allowed to make the choices 

        11          that -- that you know are right for your own 

        12          children, not having someone tell you what 

        13          those choices should be.

        14              I also want to say though that I understand 

        15          the frustration coming from the teachers and 

        16          the principal from that school in Bradenton. 

        17              If my child were at that school, I tell 

        18          you, I'd be stressed out, too.  But it doesn't 

        19          have to be that way. 

        20              My children go to a school here in 

        21          Leon County that's a B school, but we all know 

        22          it's really an A school.  I mean, it's the 

        23          greatest school -- I can't even imagine a 

        24          better school than the one my children go to. 

        25              Our teach-- our principal -- we have a 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            329
                  December 14, 1999
         1          really strong leader.  And our principal sets 

         2          it up such that everybody knows that FCAT is 

         3          important, but it's not everything.  And they 

         4          do other things at that school as well. 

         5              And I feel like as -- as long as the school 

         6          has strong leadership, and the principal puts 

         7          the teachers in the right direction, that you 

         8          don't have to have that stressful situation.  

         9          It doesn't exist at my son's school.

        10              And by the way, I'm on the SAC, too, so I 

        11          know some of what the pressures are.

        12              But anyway, I'd like to say, I also like 

        13          the A+ plan for several other reasons.  First, 

        14          it finally really introduces accountability in 

        15          my way of thinking. 

        16              I am an economist by training.  And to an 

        17          economist, accountability is nothing like what 

        18          you are talking about.  Accountability is if 

        19          you can take your dollars and walk away from a 

        20          situation that's not providing you with the 

        21          services and the goods that you want. 

        22              The A+ plan finally introduces 

        23          accountability as far as I'm concerned, and 

        24          that is by allowing parents that don't have the 

        25          opportunities to -- to move to a better school 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            330
                  December 14, 1999
         1          district, or to enroll their child in private 

         2          school.  It finally gives them some 

         3          accountability, too.  So that's my best thing 

         4          about the A+ plan is the accountability that it 

         5          introduces. 

         6              But I also appreciate it for other reasons, 

         7          and that is the standards -- I finally know 

         8          what my third grader is supposed to know.  I -- 

         9          I love the FCAT test.  I'm so happy to -- to 

        10          see him tested to find out what he has learned 

        11          based on those standards. 

        12              And this is something that I have been 

        13          interested in for years.  When my sixth grader 

        14          started at kindergarten, I went to my principal 

        15          that year and asked, well, what's he going to 

        16          be learning this year?  What are the standards? 

        17              And she told me, well, we don't have any 

        18          standards. 

        19              I said, well, how do I know the first grade 

        20          teachers won't reteach him everything that he 

        21          learned in kindergarten?

        22              Oh, no, we -- we talk, you know.  But there 

        23          was nothing for me as a parent that I could 

        24          take home and look at and try to supplement and 

        25          augment at home. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            331
                  December 14, 1999
         1              So I just want you to know how much I as a 

         2          parent appreciate what the A+ plan has done for 

         3          us.

         4              Thank you.

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you very much.

         6              Mr. Heffernan.

         7              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  I know it's tough 

         8          to keep it to 3 minutes, but we're really 

         9          tight. 

        10              DR. HEFFERNAN:  Good afternoon. 

        11              I'm Patrick Heffernan.  I'm known, and 

        12          I think beloved, by many people in the room as 

        13          the President of Floridians for School Choice. 

        14              But I -- it is really my academic --

        15              (Treasurer Nelson entered the room.) 

        16              DR. HEFFERNAN:  -- background.  I've been a 

        17          public school teacher; head of a private 

        18          school; and most importantly for these remarks 

        19          today, I was on the -- I was a lecturer in 

        20          philosophy of education for six years at 

        21          Cambridge University, and did much of my 

        22          postgraduate work on the analysis of a test. 

        23              My points are going to be fairly 

        24          straightforward.  And I think the first one's 

        25          perhaps the only one I need to make. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            332
                  December 14, 1999
         1              Grades are one thing, explanations of what 

         2          led to them are another.  The grading of the 

         3          schools should simply say to us, and does 

         4          simply say to us, as designed, what -- that -- 

         5          that a certain percentage of students have 

         6          failed to learn what the State considers 

         7          important for them to learn, a significant 

         8          percentage have failed to learn that, period. 

         9              Now, what caused that is now up for us to 

        10          explain.  And the variables are enormous.  It 

        11          could be that the child didn't apply himself 

        12          very well, it could be that there was a high 

        13          level of absenteeism in that school, it could 

        14          be that the teachers at that school were less 

        15          qualified than the teachers at better schools. 

        16              It could be that the materials that were 

        17          needed for that child to learn weren't there.  

        18          It could be that what the child should be 

        19          learning wasn't even being taught at all, 

        20          because people had assumed the child wasn't 

        21          capable of it.

        22              For us to try to put into the grade the job 

        23          of explanation, rather than simply the job of 

        24          identifying what has happened, is to make a 

        25          terrible mistake.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            333
                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  So it's back to that 

         2          correlation versus causation.  

         3              DR. HEFFERNAN:  Absolutely. 

         4              I was so delighted -- other than I was 

         5          hoping to say that myself.  Dr. Fisher took 

         6          that one.

         7              The value of the grade from my point of 

         8          view absolutely depends on its specificity.  It 

         9          should be a distinct measure of what the 

        10          children have learned. 

        11              It simply says to the people, not this is a 

        12          bad school, or that it's full of ineffective 

        13          teachers, or that they don't care. 

        14              It simply says, a high number of children 

        15          in this school didn't learn what we consider 

        16          important for them.

        17              Now, let's roll our sleeves up and figure 

        18          out why.  And will poverty be part of that?  

        19          Certainly. 

        20              But if we try to blend into that grade all 

        21          these others factors, it would -- here would be 

        22          the exact equivalent.  When I see my child's 

        23          report card now, he gets an academic grade, a 

        24          grade for effort, and a grade for conduct. 

        25              Because they are distinct, they tell me 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            334
                  December 14, 1999
         1          three very meaningful things about my child.  

         2          If we blend those into some overall blended 

         3          grade for the student, and someone were to 

         4          propose that, I now have something that is 

         5          quite useless. 

         6              I don't know whether the B or the C is 

         7          because he didn't master the material, is it 

         8          because he didn't try, is it because he was 

         9          acting up, et cetera, et cetera.

        10              So the value of this grade depends on its 

        11          specificity. 

        12              The poverty factor.  All I want to say on 

        13          that is it's one completing -- competing 

        14          explanation, among many others.  I've already 

        15          touched on those.  I won't repeat myself on 

        16          that. 

        17              It's absolutely wrong to single it out, 

        18          it's irrational, and I think it's immoral 

        19          because it takes a factor that the child has no 

        20          control over, and uses it, while exonerating 

        21          the adults involved with any -- any 

        22          responsibility or blame. 

        23              All of those things that they control, like 

        24          whether or not the child had books, or was even 

        25          taught what he was supposed to be taught, or 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            335
                  December 14, 1999
         1          whether the teacher was there on a regular 

         2          basis.  No one has proposed that those be 

         3          entered in as factors on the grade.

         4              Finally, I want to say this, that I think 

         5          the primary purpose of the grade, and I believe 

         6          this was in the legislation, if not the 

         7          argument, is to help parents understand the 

         8          school. 

         9              It's -- it's to -- it's to help a parent 

        10          know simply this:  There are or are not large 

        11          numbers of children at that school who are 

        12          meeting the State's expectations. 

        13              It's then up to the parents, with their 

        14          intelligence and their judgments, to make an 

        15          assessment of whether the reason for that is to 

        16          be laid at the door of those who are providing 

        17          the school, or at their own door of those who 

        18          are providing the children.

        19              So thank you very much.

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, Patrick. 

        21              Ms. Calloway. 

        22              MS. CALLOWAY:  Governor Bush, and 

        23          Cabinet --

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I'll see you tomorrow.

        25              MS. CALLOWAY:  You'll see me tomorrow at 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            336
                  December 14, 1999
         1          8:00 o'clock in the morning.  We've already 

         2          checked it out.  You're on target. 

         3              I don't know if we'll do breakfast or not 

         4          yet though.  We'll see -- I'll see when I get 

         5          back to school this afternoon.

         6              Thank you for the opportunity.  And I'm -- 

         7          there have been -- there's been lots said 

         8          today.  Let me just say that I'm a very 

         9          optimistic person. 

        10              The last two years as an administrator, I 

        11          have been more optimistic than I've ever been 

        12          in my life, because I see hope.  Most of us 

        13          believe that all children can learn.  I believe 

        14          that.  We formed our school with that as a 

        15          basic premise.  And I think we've proven that. 

        16              Last year, we were the only secondary 

        17          school in this district to be a school of 

        18          recognition.  But my school, according to many, 

        19          is an inner city school.  We have a 32 percent 

        20          minority; we have all exceptionalities there; 

        21          we have two EH classes, emotionally handicapped 

        22          classes; community-based instruction classes; 

        23          some kind of every child we have at Raa Middle 

        24          School.  And yet we work very hard to make it 

        25          happen.  And this plan is helping us. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            337
                  December 14, 1999
         1              It's giving us money -- and I'm going to 

         2          talk about money.  That's been skipped over 

         3          sometimes today.  But we've gotten money the 

         4          last two years, and I'm delighted with that. 

         5              Let me tell you how the system works, 

         6          I think.  I'm not an A school.  I'm a B school.  

         7          And the reason for that -- all of our subgroups 

         8          achieved what they were supposed to achieve, 

         9          but we were just a few small perc-- tenths of a 

        10          point over the State average in out-of-school 

        11          suspensions. 

        12              And when I got that, I thought, wait a 

        13          minute.  I even talked to the Governor.  I 

        14          said, wait a minute.  We've got zapped for, 

        15          you know, making our kids behave. 

        16              But the more I thought about it, the more I 

        17          thought we need to look at this.  So we formed 

        18          a committee, we brainstormed throughout the 

        19          community, throughout our -- our school.  And 

        20          what we decided was, that does -- does need 

        21          attention.  We looked at it. 

        22              We in-serviced our teachers, we explored 

        23          programs for kids in interventions, how to 

        24          handle stress and anger, all those kinds of 

        25          things we thought kids should learn, and we 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            338
                  December 14, 1999
         1          were responsible for teaching. 

         2              And I could do that because I had the money 

         3          to pay for the staff development, and the 

         4          in-service.  I bought the programs through the 

         5          money that I got through the school of 

         6          recognition money.

         7              It has made differences already.  We're 

         8          only one semester into the next year, but our 

         9          out-of-school suspension rate is lower now 

        10          because we are getting --

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Let me ask --

        12              MS. CALLOWAY:  -- kids before they get to 

        13          the point.

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Have you gotten squishy 

        15          though?  Have you gotten soft because you're 

        16          worried about the -- 

        17              MS. CALLOWAY:  No way.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I didn't think so.

        19              MS. CALLOWAY:  No way.  No way. 

        20              No.  One of the things that I know that I'm 

        21          not the only person in the wor-- in the state 

        22          of -- that one thing made me think about 

        23          looking at the thing was -- at the -- the score 

        24          was that I knew that I was not the only law and 

        25          order choice and consequence principal in the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            339
                  December 14, 1999
         1          state of Florida.  There has to be other 

         2          schools that do that same thing. 

         3              But we zapped them right off the bat.  

         4          I mean, my parents sent me e-mail messages and 

         5          said, we don't care if you're a B school, as 

         6          long as you have law and order at Raa.  And we 

         7          do have it there.

         8              But there are kids who need attention 

         9          before they get to the point that they need to 

        10          be suspended.  And we were using that maybe as 

        11          a crutch, and we don't have to do that.

        12              Now, as far as what I got this year, I'm -- 

        13          all my subgroups came up, so I have $82,000, 

        14          wonderful dollars, and I will not be giving you 

        15          a check back today, because it's already been 

        16          spent on staff development and providing 

        17          resources for my kids.

        18              I thank you for what you're doing for the 

        19          kids of the state of Florida.  We wanted to do 

        20          this for a long time.  And it's no surprise.  

        21          We've known for years that schools had grades, 

        22          you just were brave enough to say it for all of 

        23          us.

        24              Thank you.

        25              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Thank you.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            340
                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.


























                  December 14, 1999
         1                    CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER




         5     STATE OF FLORIDA:

         6     COUNTY OF LEON:

         7              I, LAURIE L. GILBERT, do hereby certify that 

         8     the foregoing proceedings were taken before me at the 

         9     time and place therein designated; that my shorthand 

        10     notes were thereafter translated; and the foregoing 

        11     pages numbered 158 through 340 are a true and correct 

        12     record of the aforesaid proceedings.

        13              I FURTHER CERTIFY that I am not a relative, 

        14     employee, attorney or counsel of any of the parties, 

        15     nor relative or employee of such attorney or counsel, 

        16     or financially interested in the foregoing action.

        17              DATED THIS 27TH day of DECEMBER, 1999. 



        20                   LAURIE L. GILBERT, RPR, CCR, CRR, RMR
              100 Salem Court
        21                   Tallahassee, Florida 32301





                T H E   C A B I N E T 

           S T A T E   O F   F L O R I D A


              REPORT:  TEAM FLORIDA 2000

                      VOLUME III
                Pages 342 through 412
         The above agencies came to be heard before 
THE FLORIDA CABINET, Honorable Governor Bush 
presiding, in the Cabinet Meeting Room, LL-03, 
The Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida, on Tuesday, 
December 14, 1999, commencing at approximately 
9:17 a.m. 

                     Reported by:

                  LAURIE L. GILBERT
           Registered Professional Reporter
               Certified Court Reporter
             Certified Realtime Reporter
              Registered Merit Reporter
               Notary Public in and for
            the State of Florida at Large

                   100 SALEM COURT
              TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32301



         Representing the Florida Cabinet: 

         JEB BUSH

         Commissioner of Agriculture


         Attorney General

         BILL NELSON

         Commissioner of Education

                      *   *   *


                  December 14, 1999
                      I N D E X

ITEM                  ACTION                PAGE

(Presented by Wayne V. Pierson,
    Deputy Commissioner)

 4 Continued   Approved                     410

         CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER            412
                      *   *   *


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            345
                  December 14, 1999
         1                     P R O C E E D I N G S

         2          MR. PIERSON:  We're going to close out the con 

         3          list.  We have Patricia Lucas, Wayne Blanton, 

         4          Kathy Davis, Dr. Jim May. 

         5              I guess that's everybody.

         6              GOVERNOR BUSH:  How about Anna Cowin? 

         7              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  She's --

         8              MR. PIERSON:  She's only --

         9              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  She's --

        10              MR. PIERSON:  She's coming.

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  She's here.  Okay.

        12              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  She's here. 

        13              We're going to let her do cleanup. 

        14              MS. LUCAS:  Good afternoon, Governor --

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good afternoon.

        16              MS. LUCAS:  -- and Cabinet members. 

        17              I'm here speaking on behalf of 

        18          Superintendent Gene Denisar from Manatee County 

        19          Schools. 

        20              On behalf of Manatee County's 34,000 

        21          students and 2,000 teachers, I thank you for 

        22          this opportunity to share our thoughts on the 

        23          State system of school improvement and 

        24          accountability. 

        25              Since most of us believe that well reasoned 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            346
                  December 14, 1999
         1          accountability is a giant step towards 

         2          educational excellence, our District welcomes 

         3          school accountability as an important tool to 

         4          help identify the progress of our students and 

         5          the effectiveness of the learning process.

         6              We appreciate your willingness to receive 

         7          input from around the state through public 

         8          hearings, and to learn from the experiences of 

         9          the 67 counties in -- in managing the impact 

        10          the school grading process has had upon our 

        11          students, teachers, and administrators.

        12              The negative effects that the school 

        13          grading process has had on the public opinion 

        14          of our schools are a concern for -- to us. 

        15              Our public believes that the quality of 

        16          education is superior in schools with grades of 

        17          A or B, and inferior in schools of lower 

        18          grades.

        19              Clearly, some adjustments are in order.  We 

        20          strongly support rule revisions as follows:  

        21          Revise the design so that we are measuring the 

        22          same students.  There is compelling evidence

        23          of the strength of longitudinal studies; focus 

        24          upon student gains, not student achievement. 

        25              Of our 26 elementary schools, our greatest 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            347
                  December 14, 1999
         1          gains were achieved by three of our D rated 

         2          schools.

         3              Reward the highest performing teachers, not 

         4          the highest performing schools.  Avoid the 

         5          implementation of any school grading formula 

         6          which would lure or drive high performing 

         7          teachers out of low performing schools.

         8              Finally, in any way possible, please help 

         9          us reduce the negative impact the school 

        10          grading process is having upon our students and 

        11          teachers.  We pledge our full cooperation and 

        12          support of equitable accountability measures. 

        13              We encourage you to change those things in 

        14          the current process that do not promote equity 

        15          and fairness.

        16              Sincerely, S. Gene Denisar, Superintendent.

        17              Thank you.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you very much. 

        19              Good afternoon.

        20              MR. BLANTON:  Good afternoon.  I'm 

        21          Wayne Blanton, Executive Director of the 

        22          Florida School Board Association.

        23              I would like to start one of those 

        24          Tom Fisher introductions, if I could.  I got my 

        25          Ph.D. at Florida State, I got my Master's at 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            348
                  December 14, 1999
         1          Florida A&M, I got my undergraduate at 

         2          Florida State. 

         3              I want to say that, because I'm a native 

         4          Floridian, and I got educated in Florida, and I 

         5          could answer all those test scores that were -- 

         6          those test questions that were -- by the way.  

         7          I want everybody to know that for the record.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Sixth grade.  That's --

         9              MR. BLANTON:  And I was able to get most of 

        10          those.  And -- and I got a good education in 

        11          Florida. 

        12              And one of the things that we're missing 

        13          today, and we're going to miss in the future --

        14              (Treasurer Nelson exited the room.)

        15              MR. BLANTON:  -- if we're not careful, is 

        16          we have to do what's right for all Floridians.  

        17          That's education, that the business community, 

        18          that's for the students we represent.  And I 

        19          mean all of us. 

        20              And the last thing we should do is to turn 

        21          this in an us versus you or us versus them or 

        22          whatever it may be.

        23              I'm glad to hear the public -- private 

        24          schools start to talk about being held more 

        25          accountable, and we're going to try and help 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            349
                  December 14, 1999
         1          them with that.

         2              And -- and they want to work with us.  I'm 

         3          sure we're going to work with them. 

         4              But the grading system you're talking about 

         5          has to be fair.  It has to be fair.  Because, 

         6          Governor, if we're not careful, and we're not 

         7          fair with the test, and we're not fair with the 

         8          grading system, we will again disenfranchise a 

         9          large segment of our community when we should 

        10          not be doing that.  We have to be very, very 

        11          careful with that.

        12              We should allow opportunities for everyone.  

        13          We need to make sure that we do not turn this 

        14          into us versus them in any capacity.  There's a 

        15          lot of things we need to do in that -- that 

        16          area. 

        17              I don't believe in grading schools.  I know 

        18          the reason for grading schools.  But what 

        19          I believe is is what every parent wants is to 

        20          grade their student. 

        21              And what we need to have in this state is a 

        22          system that can tell every parent at every 

        23          grade on every subject exactly where their -- 

        24          where they are being tested, exactly what their 

        25          test scores are, and exactly where their 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            350
                  December 14, 1999
         1          strengths, and exactly where their weaknesses 

         2          are. 

         3              And until we get to that point, grading a 

         4          school is not going to mean a lot.  We need to 

         5          be grading individual students, and following 

         6          them through their career. 

         7              That way we can strengthen our curriculum, 

         8          we can strengthen our students, and then we 

         9          will have true parent accountability, because 

        10          they will know exactly where their child is. 

        11              And I think we can do that as a group.  

        12          I think we can go to the Legislature and ask 

        13          for substantial dollars to do some of those 

        14          things.  There are states that are doing that 

        15          right now.  I have visited one of them.  You 

        16          have a good friend in one of them that's doing 

        17          that right now. 

        18              You have a brother that's in one of them.  

        19          Texas is doing those kind of things. 

        20              We need student accountability on a 

        21          grade-by-grade level, on a test-by-test level, 

        22          if, in fact, in our state --

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  You mean that with the FCAT 

        24          test? 

        25              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Sure.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            351
                  December 14, 1999
         1              MR. BLANTON:  It is -- when -- when we get 

         2          there.  We're not there. 

         3              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Well --

         4              MR. BLANTON:  We're -- we're not there.  

         5          We're not there.  We're trying to get there --

         6              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Those three --

         7              MR. BLANTON:  -- and I compliment you --

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  It's not --

         9              MR. BLANTON:  -- on that. 

        10              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- it's not trying.  

        11          It's -- it's a done deal --

        12              MR. BLANTON:  We should get there --

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- in grades 3 through 10.

        14              MR. BLANTON:  -- in two or three or 

        15          four years.  I believe when you -- when you 

        16          design -- when you design all the tests, and 

        17          you have all the test scores for each 

        18          individual student, how they're testing out, 

        19          and you can report that back directly to each 

        20          parent, grading of schools is not a big issue 

        21          anymore. 

        22              And I think that's one of the things we 

        23          have to -- we have to look at.  Because 

        24          currently right now, we have A schools that 

        25          have F students in some of them, we have F 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            352
                  December 14, 1999
         1          schools that have A students in there. 

         2              And we need to make sure that the parent 

         3          accountability portion of this is the strongest 

         4          thing we have in there.  And I think we can do 

         5          that by working together. 

         6              And I just compliment you on what you're 

         7          trying to do.  But I do want to say that -- 

         8          that there's a lot of problems in a program 

         9          this large.  Remember what's happening in 

        10          Florida.  Remember how big we are. 

        11              We employ -- just us -- employed 

        12          260,000 employees.  We have 2.5 million 

        13          students showing up every day.  What you're 

        14          doing here today, and what we're going to do in 

        15          the next couple of years impacts millions and 

        16          millions of parents. 

        17              And we have to make sure those parents get 

        18          the right information on their students, on 

        19          their children.  And we have to assure them, 

        20          under any circumstance, that what we give them 

        21          is fair.

        22              (Treasurer Nelson entered the room.)

        23              MR. BLANTON:  Thank you.

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.  

        25              Good afternoon.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            353
                  December 14, 1999
         1              MS. DAVIS:  Good afternoon.  And I am one 

         2          of those parents.

         3              I'm Kathy Davis from Escambia County, 

         4          Florida.  And as a parent of children in our 

         5          priv-- public and private school systems, I am 

         6          deeply concerned about the effects of this 

         7          plan. 

         8              It is time for us to look at the impact at 

         9          the local level.  And there are some very 

        10          serious changes that need to be made to the 

        11          plan.  Too much focus is being placed on 

        12          testing, rather than learning. 

        13              For example, during his fourth grade year, 

        14          my youngest child will take the FCAT reading, 

        15          the FCAT writing, the Stanford 9, the FCAT 

        16          field testing. 

        17              And my question to you is:  How much time 

        18          is left for my child to learn, when this 

        19          inordinate amount of time is spent preparing 

        20          for these high stakes tests that are producing 

        21          very high levels of anxiety in our children?

        22              While accountability is a very realistic 

        23          goal of education, let's look at the actual 

        24          effects.  The FCAT introduced the testing of an 

        25          entirely new level of learning, that of applied 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            354
                  December 14, 1999
         1          knowledge. 

         2              While this is a very worthwhile goal, our 

         3          students were only given a few short years to 

         4          transform to this level before they were being 

         5          graded by the A+ plan.  Teachers have been 

         6          diligently working to adjust to the changes 

         7          needed for this higher level. 

         8              But it's unrealistic to expect that one or 

         9          two years of adjusted curriculum will transform 

        10          the results of many years of instruction that 

        11          have been geared toward multiple choice type 

        12          questions.

        13              The FCAT is not the problem.  The problem 

        14          is that the measurement device is being changed 

        15          at the same point in time that our schools are 

        16          being graded, and determinations are being made 

        17          with respect to their financial funding, and 

        18          their reputations. 

        19              This serves no purpose, except to 

        20          negatively impact the morale of our teachers 

        21          and our students.

        22              I'm also concerned about the inaccurate 

        23          measurement of different groups of children.  

        24          Instead of tracking my child's individual 

        25          progress, his school is being graded by 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            355
                  December 14, 1999
         1          comparing his present group with that of a 

         2          completely different group of students from the 

         3          prior year. 

         4              Without taking into account any of the 

         5          variables even associated with the voucher 

         6          program, it's unrealistic for us to expect a 

         7          sampling of one fourth grade class to be the 

         8          same from one year to the next. 

         9              How can a school's success be determined by 

        10          using different samples in the measurement 

        11          comparison?

        12              The A+ plan does not take into 

        13          consideration many of the external factors that 

        14          influence the result of this testing.

        15              If we want to -- to track the progress of 

        16          our schools, then what we need to do is take 

        17          the same class and pre- and post-test them on a 

        18          regular schedule.  The desired result of 

        19          accurately measuring growth within the same 

        20          sample would then be achieved. 

        21              Testing the same class at the end of each 

        22          grade is another viable alternative.

        23              Why is it necessary to attach a grade to 

        24          the school, especially so early in the 

        25          implementation of this plan?


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            356
                  December 14, 1999
         1              Is the goal to measure the growth of our 

         2          children, or is it to produce a competitive 

         3          atmosphere that ultimately is producing 

         4          unreasonable pressure in our children, and 

         5          demoralizing our teachers.

         6              Businesses recognize the value of having 

         7          satisfied employees as it relates to 

         8          productivity.  On a regular basis, I see the 

         9          dedicated work of the teachers and the need for 

        10          them to be compensated for the level of the 

        11          expertise being required of them, rather than 

        12          rating them with unjust measurements of their 

        13          value. 

        14              Is it plausible to believe that the 

        15          teachers in the lower performing schools will 

        16          be better teachers if they are placed in a 

        17          competitive, comparative situation? 

        18              That belief is demoralizing to anyone who 

        19          knows what it takes to be a teacher.  The 

        20          scores are lower in the D and F schools because 

        21          of external factors.  External factors such as 

        22          poverty, poor nutrition, lack of parental 

        23          involvement, and lack of preschool stimulation.

        24              Sending students with low performance to 

        25          other schools will not solve the problem, it 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            357
                  December 14, 1999
         1          will only serve to disburse the problems 

         2          throughout your school system.

         3              Prior to my -- the first of my three 

         4          children being born 16 years ago, I was a 

         5          teacher in the Florida public school system, 

         6          with plans of returning to the classroom when 

         7          they became older. 

         8              In the meantime, I've been active in all of 

         9          their classrooms.  But I do not feel that I 

        10          would be able to effectively teach in the 

        11          environment that has been developed as a result 

        12          of the A+ plan. 

        13              Teachers are being unfairly judged, and the 

        14          thought of their salaries being connected to an 

        15          unjust grading system is absurd.

        16              The morale of teachers is the lowest that 

        17          I've ever witnessed, regardless of the plan 

        18          that is put into place, if we do not take care 

        19          of our teachers, our schools will not be 

        20          successful.

        21              We all want the same thing.  We all want 

        22          the same things for our school.  But it's 

        23          mandatory that we take a second look at the 

        24          effects of this plan.

        25              Let's get back to meeting the educational 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            358
                  December 14, 1999
         1          needs of our children.

         2              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you very much for 

         3          coming.

         4              MS. DAVIS:  Thank you.

         5              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Mr. May, welcome back.

         6              DR. MAY:  I'm the one you've been waiting 

         7          for, I think.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Oh, yeah.

         9              DR. MAY:  Well, by that I mean, I'm the 

        10          last one, Governor, and --

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Oh, no.  There's one more, 

        12          I think.

        13              DR. MAY:  Oh, there is.  Okay.

        14              Well, Honorable Governor, and -- and 

        15          Cabinet, thank you so much.  I really would 

        16          like to begin --

        17              My name is Jim May, I'm the Superintendent 

        18          from Escambia County schools.  I also am the 

        19          only school system in the county that had two 

        20          schools that were graded F two years in a row 

        21          that are eligible for the voucher program.

        22              I want to begin though by complimenting 

        23          you, first of all, on listening.  And I -- and 

        24          I do mean that, gentlemen. 

        25              You -- you really have paid attention, you 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            359
                  December 14, 1999
         1          really have tried to give every speaker an 

         2          opportunity to come before you and voice their 

         3          concerns and voice their feeling. 

         4              And I want you to know, I admire that.  

         5          That truly is what public service is about.  

         6          And I thank you for that.  And that is not an 

         7          easy thing for you to do.

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  You mean, you guys don't do 

         9          that at the School Board in Escambia County?

        10              DR. MAY:  I will tell you this:  Our 

        11          School Board limits speakers to 2 minutes.  And 

        12          I am -- now, don't take that for a suggestion, 

        13          please.

        14              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  We would like you 

        15          to follow your School Board's --

        16              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I just --

        17              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- good lead.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- my fellow Cabinet 

        19          members might --

        20              DR. MAY:  However, I do mean that 

        21          sincerely.  Thank you so much for the kind of 

        22          men you have been today.  And I do appreciate 

        23          it.

        24              I want to ask you this:  I think we have 

        25          some beliefs in common, and if you disagree 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            360
                  December 14, 1999
         1          with any of these, please let me know 

         2          immediately. 

         3              I believe our first belief that we have in 

         4          common is that you want what's best for 

         5          Florida's children.

         6              Secondly, I believe you all feel that all 

         7          students can learn.

         8              Third, we want, and accept, that there must 

         9          be accountability for public education in the 

        10          state of Florida. 

        11              Do we have any disagreement on that at all?

        12              I didn't think we would.

        13              I would also like to ask you what is your 

        14          aim.  And I really believe it's important for 

        15          any group to have developed an aim for whatever 

        16          they're trying to accomplish. 

        17              I do believe after having had the 

        18          opportunity to talk with many of you, that your 

        19          aim is to ensure that every child receives a 

        20          year's worth of learning for a year of 

        21          schooling. 

        22              Am I -- am I inaccurate at all in that aim?

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I would add particularly 

        24          the bottom 25 percentile.

        25              DR. MAY:  Thank you. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            361
                  December 14, 1999
         1              And I support that 100 percent, Governor, 

         2          and thank you for saying that.  And I mean that 

         3          to you sincerely.

         4              You know, you've heard from parents, and 

         5          you've heard from a lot of individuals.  But I 

         6          want to just talk to you about something I 

         7          heard Mr. Blanton mention briefly, and that is 

         8          the idea of fairness. 

         9              Is everything that we're doing fair to 

        10          students?  And they are our number one 

        11          customer, and I hope we never lose sight of 

        12          that. 

        13              Is everything that we're doing fair to 

        14          parents, is everything that we're doing fair to 

        15          teachers, is it fair to principals, is it fair 

        16          to every citizen in the state of Florida?

        17              Do all students start school with the same 

        18          readiness level?  In answering that question, I 

        19          would do very little more than referring you -- 

        20          and I think Mr. Pettis has a copy that I'd like 

        21          to just hand to you of the results of the 

        22          A+ grading system in terms of distribution 

        23          based on free and reduced lunch.

        24              In handing you this distribution package, I 

        25          want to answer the question:  Do all students 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            362
                  December 14, 1999
         1          start school with the same readiness level?  

         2              And by the way, I will not stand here and 

         3          make any excuses, because that's not what we're 

         4          about.  We're about success for all students, 

         5          and I believe you are, too.

         6              But if you look at this distribution 

         7          package, you will find, 80 percent of all A and 

         8          B schools were above the State average for free 

         9          and reduced lunches -- or by the way, by above, 

        10          I mean they had less than the 43 percent State 

        11          average for free and reduced lunches.

        12              If you go for those schools that were above 

        13          the 43 percent for free and reduced lunches, 

        14          that would be in the far right-hand corner at 

        15          the bottom, you'll notice 96 percent of all F 

        16          schools would be included in that group.  They 

        17          were below the State average.

        18              Why do I make that point?  Because I do 

        19          believe that not every child starts at the same 

        20          readiness level.  And you don't have to go far 

        21          to prove that.

        22              What I want to ask you to do is what I hope 

        23          is somewhat of a compromise, because it does 

        24          meet your aim, and it meets every aim that I've 

        25          heard here today.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            363
                  December 14, 1999
         1              What about us holding every school 

         2          accountable for every child, and demand that 

         3          they have a year's worth of learning for a 

         4          year's worth of schooling?

         5              That's what I ask you to do.  Let us test 

         6          every child --

         7              Let me give you two examples of why I bring 

         8          this up now.  We have the only two failing 

         9          schools in the state of Florida that have done 

        10          that two years in a row. 

        11              One of those schools had NCE gains of 2 -- 

        12          and those of you that know much about testing, 

        13          like Mr. Fisher -- Dr. Fischer back there will 

        14          tell you, that's a pretty incredible gain. 

        15              The other of those failing schools had NCE 

        16          gains of 4.  That's almost unheard of.  I would 

        17          challenge how many A schools in the state of 

        18          Florida had NCE gains of 4, because I don't 

        19          think they did.

        20              So what I am saying to you is, those 

        21          students didn't just have a year of progress at 

        22          those two failing schools, they had 1.3 years 

        23          of progress, and yet they're still labeled 

        24          failing. 

        25              Doesn't mean we don't want to be held 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            364
                  December 14, 1999
         1          accountable.  I'm just asking:  Is that fair? 

         2              If that's not acceptable, there are some 

         3          other factors that we could use.  I want to end 

         4          with just a few suggestions, and -- and -- and 

         5          I do think that you've been so tolerant and so 

         6          patient in listening to each and every one of 

         7          us today, and I commend you again.

         8              But I would like to hand out to you some 

         9          other pieces of paper.  One, rather than for me 

        10          to stand up here and say this, I'm going to ask 

        11          Gene Pettis --

        12              MR. PETTIS:  I did them all.

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I think we already did it.

        14              DR. MAY:  You've already handed this out. 

        15              Okay.  There are some suggestions to 

        16          amending the State Board of Education rule, 

        17          which we've all been discussing.  There is a 

        18          synopsis, which I think you might find very 

        19          handy when you want to look at the changes as 

        20          they occur from year-to-year.  And we 

        21          appreciate our data people putting that 

        22          together, and I think that you'll find that 

        23          quite useful for yourselves.

        24              And finally, there's an errata sheet to 

        25          help correct just some errors in language, 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            365
                  December 14, 1999
         1          and -- and perhaps bring about some more 

         2          clarity that would help, for all of us to 

         3          understand what's happening.

         4              I want to end with this:  As long as you 

         5          have so many laws and lawmakers, there probably 

         6          will be rules that seem inherently unfair to 

         7          some of us.  And that's not really a problem to 

         8          me, or to anyone else.

         9              Not doing something about that unfairness 

        10          does become a problem.

        11              I want all of us to really examine the 

        12          factor that I've kind of stressed today, not 

        13          about poverty, not about anything else, but 

        14          about do all children start with the same 

        15          readiness level? 

        16              And I think that anybody that you ask would 

        17          say, no.  It's not about making excuses.  

        18          I believe all students can learn.

        19              All that we ask of you today is correct the 

        20          inequities.  It's not really that complicated.  

        21          It's not something that we have to develop this 

        22          elaborate plan that goes into all kinds of 

        23          categories that probably you need a Ph.D. to 

        24          understand. 

        25              It can be about this:  Let us measure every 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            366
                  December 14, 1999
         1          child's progress, and every school, and see if 

         2          they make a year's worth of progress for a 

         3          year's worth of school.  And I beg you, let 

         4          that be the measure of success.

         5              Thank you so much for letting me speak to 

         6          you today.

         7              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, 

         8          Mr. Superintendent.

         9              Now we're getting near the end, I think, 

        10          aren't we?

        11              MR. PIERSON:  The final three --

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Oh, three.

        13              MR. PIERSON:  -- final three speakers in 

        14          this order:  Janet -- Janice Gilley --

        15              (Comptroller Milligan exited the room.)

        16              GOVERNOR BUSH:  We'll all be here, General.

        17              MR. PIERSON:  -- Marva Collins, and 

        18          Senator Anna Cowin. 

        19              MS. GILLEY:  Well, I had no idea when I got 

        20          up at 4:00 a.m., it would take this long to get 

        21          up here.

        22              I come to you -- 

        23              GOVERNOR BUSH:  How's your child? 

        24              MS. GILLEY:  Pardon me?

        25              GOVERNOR BUSH:  How's your baby?


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            367
                  December 14, 1999
         1              MS. GILLEY:  Just wonderful.  Just 

         2          wonderful.  I did get to kiss him good-bye this 

         3          morning.

         4              I come to you today -- get to see my 

         5          neighbor.  Superintendent May's one of my 

         6          neighbors in the rural community that we live 

         7          in.

         8              I come to you today as a -- as a resident 

         9          of Escambia County, a lifetime Floridian.  I 

        10          come to you as a taxpaying citizen, I come to 

        11          you as a small business employer. 

        12              I also come to you as a -- as someone who 

        13          has had the opportunity to sit on a 

        14          school board; and I also come to you as the 

        15          mother of two beautiful babies, even if I do 

        16          say so myself.  I have pictures.

        17              I would like to tell you that there are -- 

        18          our community -- I come from a community where 

        19          there are challenges.  Pensacola's been 

        20          challenging St. Augustine for centuries as to 

        21          which one of us was the first settlement. 

        22              We're the cradle of naval aviation where 

        23          young men and women are trained every day to 

        24          protect our country around the world.  We're 

        25          the model for welfare reform across the nation. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            368
                  December 14, 1999
         1              We have also -- we are looking for new and 

         2          innovative ways to provide services to the 

         3          developmentally disabled.  We're one day going 

         4          to be a good front porch Florida community. 

         5              Now, I want to tell you that some of our 

         6          other challenges are --

         7              (Comptroller Milligan entered the room.) 

         8              MS. GILLEY:  -- we had two hurricanes in 

         9          one year.  That's devastating to a community.

        10              But there have been very few challenges 

        11          that have affected our community as education 

        12          reform has affected our community. 

        13              What we have seen in our community is, no 

        14          matter where you are, whether it's at the 

        15          grocery store -- I get stopped at the grocery 

        16          store.  Whether it's in business meetings, 

        17          whether it's at your Rotary luncheon, whether 

        18          it's at your -- whether it's at your 

        19          women's club, dinner with friends, or a family 

        20          dinner on Sunday afternoon, the issue always 

        21          comes around to education. 

        22              In the past, those discussions have been, 

        23          education is important, we need to do something 

        24          about it.  Well, let me tell you what it is 

        25          today.  Today it is, education's important, and 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            369
                  December 14, 1999
         1          we're all going to do something about it in our 

         2          community.

         3              As a School Board member, I had the 

         4          opportunity to tour 14 different schools in our 

         5          community.  What I saw in those schools were 

         6          teachers working hard, students working harder, 

         7          parents who were dedicated to making sure that 

         8          that community and that school was a success. 

         9              The principals are very, very dedicated and 

        10          very hard.  They pull everything together.  

        11          There is no doubt in my mind that a principal 

        12          has one of the most difficult jobs in the 

        13          country. 

        14              I also want to tell you what else I saw.  I 

        15          saw community organizations and businesses who 

        16          have come into those schools, not just one and 

        17          two at a time, by the dozens; not just one and 

        18          two employees at a time, but as many as 50 and 

        19          60 employees. 

        20              People ask me, they say, what can we do to 

        21          be involved?  I tell them, one -- for example, 

        22          one of my friends has an engineering firm.  I 

        23          said, you have engineers proficient in math, 

        24          let your employees go tutor.  They're letting 

        25          their employees take time to go tutor math, 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            370
                  December 14, 1999
         1          students that need that.

         2              Business partnerships in Escambia County no 

         3          longer mean a pizza party for students who 

         4          have -- who have excelled somewhere.  They mean 

         5          active participation, not one -- one day a 

         6          week, but every day a week.

         7              Our community has -- has risen to the 

         8          challenge, and we are -- the community 

         9          awareness has been phenomenal.

        10              I think one of the things that I want to 

        11          make sure that's -- that's expressed here is we 

        12          need to talk about facts and not fiction. 

        13              The facts are -- these are not my numbers.  

        14          These are numbers from our junior college -- 

        15          47 percent of the students that graduate from 

        16          our high schools need some form of remediation 

        17          when they go to junior college. 

        18              We can argue about what type of certificate 

        19          they receive, or what type of -- what type of 

        20          high school edu-- diploma they receive.  But 

        21          the bottom line is, they need some form of 

        22          remediation. 

        23              And Department of Education, their numbers 

        24          are that we have dropout rates of 35 percent.  

        25          I don't think those numbers are acceptable to 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            371
                  December 14, 1999
         1          anyone in our community.  We want to make 

         2          changes.

         3              Also, I want you to know that, when 

         4          education reform came to Escambia County, not 

         5          one teacher has been fired in Escambia County 

         6          because of education reform.  Remember that. 

         7              Also I want you to know that those two 

         8          failing schools received a phenomenal amount of 

         9          attention, fiduciarily, as a responsibility 

        10          from the Board.  And the other seven whose 

        11          names you don't know also received that kind of 

        12          support.

        13              You can name the two that you've heard 

        14          about, but there are seven others that you 

        15          can't name.

        16              I also want to tell you that the best and 

        17          the brightest --

        18              (Attorney General Butterworth exited the 

        19          room.) 

        20              MS. GILLEY:  -- students didn't flee.  

        21          Opportunities were provided, it was a mixed bag 

        22          of students who took advantage of those 

        23          opportunities.

        24              I -- I wish I had more factual information.  

        25          But I can tell you from all of the studying 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            372
                  December 14, 1999
         1          that I have done from across the country, 

         2          poverty does not equal failure.

         3              In Escambia County, poverty equals 

         4          opportunity.  People are going and being active 

         5          participants in those schools.

         6              Now, I also want to tell you one final 

         7          thing.  It doesn't matter how I feel, it 

         8          doesn't matter how you feel, it doesn't matter 

         9          how any other adult feels about this particular 

        10          rule. 

        11              We've all exited the public education 

        12          system.  This rule is about students.  This 

        13          rule is about student's achievements and what 

        14          their successes are, where there is room for 

        15          improvement, and where there is need for 

        16          improvement.  This rule is about their future. 

        17              You and I are tested every day.  Every day 

        18          we're tested.  When we get in our car and 

        19          drive, can we follow the proper driving rules?  

        20          If we don't, we get a ticket.  That's -- that's 

        21          elementary. 

        22              I'm -- I'm tested.  Can I grammatically and 

        23          properly prepare correspondence.  In my 

        24          small -- in my husband's company, in our small 

        25          business, simple mathematics.  Can an employee 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            373
                  December 14, 1999
         1          calculate percentage of shipping, whether it's 

         2          from Pensacola to Atlanta, Georgia; Canada; 

         3          Europe; or California.  Simple mathematics.

         4              (Attorney General Butterworth entered the 

         5          room.)

         6              MS. GILLEY:  If those students fail those 

         7          tests, ladies and gentlemen, they don't succeed 

         8          in life.  And none of us will be standing there 

         9          with them when they make those failures.

        10              Now, I want to tell you, education reform 

        11          is not easy, and it's not a panacea.  But the 

        12          sky has not fallen in Escambia County as of the 

        13          time I left this morning. 

        14              I'm very passionate about this issue, and I 

        15          hope all of you will favorably consider this 

        16          rule.  It's very important to our future, and 

        17          it's very important to the future of our 

        18          children.

        19              And I do have one more comment I must make.  

        20          I don't have a law degree -- it would have been 

        21          nice to have had one.  But --

        22              Well, that's probably good. 

        23              -- I don't have a CPA degree, and I don't 

        24          have a medical degree. 

        25              But I do know that when you go and you 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            374
                  December 14, 1999
         1          pursue those activities, there is a minimum 

         2          standard that you must meet to be accepted as a 

         3          lawyer, to be accepted as a doctor, and to be 

         4          accepted as a CPA. 

         5              And if you don't meet that minimum 

         6          standard, you don't get those designations.  So 

         7          I think that, when we talk about people making 

         8          minimum standards, there are minimum standards 

         9          that have to be met for the rest of your life.

        10              Thank you very much for your attention, and 

        11          I do hope you will favorably consider this 

        12          rule.

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, Janice. 

        14              I'm glad that the 2-minute rule didn't 

        15          apply to you when you're at the Escambia County 

        16          School Board.

        17              Who's next?

        18              MR. PIERSON:  Marva Collins.

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Marva Collins.

        20              Welcome.  What an honor to have you here. 

        21              MS. COLLINS:  I suppose I must have sent 

        22          out the wrong karma or something.  Every touse 

        23          that I endeavor is always the most difficult.  

        24          So since I'm the last, that means I must 

        25          somehow hold the attention of the audience.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            375
                  December 14, 1999
         1              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I think you'll be able to 

         2          do that.  I'm pretty sure.

         3              MS. COLLINS:  And, Governor Bush, I'd like 

         4          to say to you that our -- if there are anything 

         5          I say about what can happen, you can use your 

         6          parents as references.  They have visited our 

         7          school.  Okay.

         8              I think I've heard the word poverty here 

         9          today more than I ever have in a lifetime.  I 

        10          still cannot understand what poverty has to do 

        11          with the brain.  And I often think of 

        12          Abraham Lincoln, who at fourteen, had yet not 

        13          learned to read. 

        14              And yet if he were in today's school 

        15          system, he never would have had the opportunity 

        16          to become President of the United States. 

        17              I think it's about exposure, or I'm -- also 

        18          it's a matter of personal pride.  Having grown 

        19          up in Atmore, Alabama, a very, very rural town.  

        20          So rural that you have to give some proximity 

        21          as to where it is, and that's near Pensacola, 

        22          Florida, at a time when black kids had no 

        23          libraries, there were no private schools, or my 

        24          one sister and I came from a very nutured home.  

        25          My parents, grandparents, made a very, very 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            376
                  December 14, 1999
         1          good living. 

         2              But are -- in order to obtain a book, I 

         3          either -- either had to get them through mail 

         4          order or travel all the way to Pensacola or 

         5          Mobile just to purchase a book.

         6              We had teachers who only had a tenth grade 

         7          education, or most of the kids -- I was very 

         8          fortunate.  I'm 14 years older than my sister.  

         9          I was tenth grade in high school when my one 

        10          sister was born. 

        11              But usually sometimes I was the only kid in 

        12          school, because the other kids had to pick all 

        13          of the cotton before they could come to school. 

        14              But when they did arrive at school, every 

        15          teacher -- I never remember having one teacher 

        16          who had the attitude that the kind of homes 

        17          some of those kids came from had something to 

        18          do with what they could achieve. 

        19              And I think again -- I call it stepping 

        20          outside the square.  To me it would be a 

        21          personal affront to have someone set standards 

        22          for me.  Usually other people's standards are 

        23          not good enough for me. 

        24              I am always a bit embarrassed that if I 

        25          worked on a job, or -- and if I was due there 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            377
                  December 14, 1999
         1          at 9:00 o'clock, I was always there by 7:30, 

         2          8:00 o'clock.  It didn't make me very popular 

         3          with the other employees. 

         4              I always took it as a personal affront if I 

         5          had to be warned; or if I was typing a report; 

         6          or I remember coming from our -- Alabama, I 

         7          went to Chicago, and I talked my way into a 

         8          medical secretary job. 

         9              And I had never heard a medical term in my 

        10          life.  But when I'd get to a word that I 

        11          couldn't spell, I would call the medical 

        12          association, made friends with the secretary 

        13          there, play the machine over and over until she 

        14          heard the words and told me how to spell it.

        15              I never got one rewrite back again.  It's 

        16          taken the personal pride and what we do, or the 

        17          schools in Quincy have done very, very well 

        18          here, just doing half of what I've asked them 

        19          to do.

        20              Or -- children are phenomenal -- children 

        21          and animals, I say, really know when people are 

        22          real. 

        23              Or two weeks ago, I was at Quincy, and I 

        24          remember two or three of the young lads peeking 

        25          in the room, and then they would run.  Well, 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            378
                  December 14, 1999
         1          that's what children are supposed to do.  

         2          That's what young people -- or, I mean, that's 

         3          their behavior. 

         4              And I stopped the teacher training seminar 

         5          and actually chased these kids down until I 

         6          found them.  And the teachers kind of thought, 

         7          well, you know, you should continue the 

         8          seminar.  But what you see in me is who I am. 

         9              I chased these kids down, and I said, my 

        10          wonderful bright ones, because you're so 

        11          wonderful, a small peek is not enough. 

        12              So I want you to come in the full -- in the 

        13          room so you can have a full view.  So they sat 

        14          and they participated -- I involved them in the 

        15          teacher training sessions.

        16              Every one of these kids when I left, they 

        17          were hanging their heads from the buses, and 

        18          they said, we love you, Mrs. Collins, are you 

        19          going to come back?

        20              You know, I think somehow I worry about us 

        21          as Americans.  We whine, we complain.  The 

        22          greater the standards, the more unfair 

        23          something is for me, it really empowers me to 

        24          excellence. 

        25              I remember speaking to 30,000 people at the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            379
                  December 14, 1999
         1          Astrodome in Indianapolis in the morning; and 

         2          flying out to Boston, speaking to 20,000 in the 

         3          afternoon. 

         4              And there are times when people will tell 

         5          my husband one word -- my southern accent comes 

         6          out in some words.  They will tell my husband 

         7          one word that I've misenunciated. 

         8              But again, we can either get anger -- 

         9          angry, we can take a negative attitude, or I 

        10          really feel that the higher the standards, the 

        11          more -- the greater it empowers me. 

        12              How we see the problem is really the 

        13          problem.  I'm very worried about the standards 

        14          of Americans.

        15              I collect old textbooks, and we've actually 

        16          recitivated in the name of progress.  In 1890, 

        17          you should see the handwriting in some of the 

        18          textbooks, the careful calligraphy, the careful 

        19          handwriting. 

        20              Children in 1818 -- I have a second grade 

        21          reader where children read Oliver Goldsmith, 

        22          William Shakespeare, or Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 

        23          Emerson, Thoreau, the very same things today we 

        24          say are not age appropriate.

        25              Our children are saying to us as 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            380
                  December 14, 1999
         1          cacophonously as they can, that enough is too 

         2          much, their behavior.  I find it fascinating 

         3          that we say children cannot learn certain 

         4          facts. 

         5              Watch a three or four year old handle a 

         6          computer.  Why is it then they turn to idiots 

         7          when they come to school? 

         8              Or watch a three or four year old that will 

         9          watch television, and do a Hopi Indian dance 

        10          backing out of the room to keep from using the 

        11          washroom. 

        12              Why is it that television holds their 

        13          interests, and they're so bored when they come 

        14          to school? 

        15              Whenever I teach a class -- and give me any 

        16          school, your worst achieving schools here in 

        17          the worst areas, the greatest problems, and I 

        18          will do the same thing I did with public 

        19          schools in Chicago.  They have -- there they 

        20          are -- they are actually putting schools on 

        21          probation, and they're being taken over by the 

        22          State. 

        23              At least here, you are primarily right now 

        24          just being graded.  Things could always be 

        25          worse.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            381
                  December 14, 1999
         1              I took over two of the lowest achieving 

         2          public schools there, brought those schools off 

         3          probation in just three months. 

         4              It can be done, I think again, as I say, we 

         5          must once again, ourselves return to 

         6          excellence.  The word responsible means able to 

         7          respond.

         8              I would be truly embarrassed to have 

         9          someone walk in and monitor my school as an 

        10          F school.  We have a school in the inner city 

        11          of Chicago, we will be beginning a high school 

        12          in our -- February of the coming millennium. 

        13              It -- really we have -- keeping true to the 

        14          lesson in Plato's republic, which was the first 

        15          noble lie. 

        16              Our children believe that every child is an 

        17          achiever.  I remember the police once made a 

        18          mistake and came to our school. 

        19              And one little seven year old walked up to 

        20          him and said, excuse me, Officer, sir, but here 

        21          we are self-generated, self-motivated, and 

        22          self-propelled.  You must have the wrong 

        23          address. 

        24              We have a school in the inner city where 

        25          children -- we've never had a substitute 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            382
                  December 14, 1999
         1          teacher.  Our children keep themselves.  

         2          Imagine that, if you can.

         3              Our entire school is monitored on a 

         4          discipline where children choose.  At one of 

         5          the schools here, they learn from 

         6          choices/consequences. 

         7              We teach children to think critically, 

         8          analytically, and they can pass any test. 

         9              I really think the test here is a very 

        10          simple one.  Or -- ours are much, much more 

        11          difficult.  Or we get the law exam from 

        12          Princeton and Harvard and Yale and Dartmouth, 

        13          and we let our sixth and seventh graders 

        14          practice on those tests. 

        15              We get the medical exams.  You know, no 

        16          one's dead.  If they don't do well, I mean, 

        17          it's a positive enterprise. 

        18              Our children are given play money in each 

        19          of the math classes for the correct answers, 

        20          whatever, and we actually buy stock from the 

        21          Wall Street Journal and Barron's.  Our children 

        22          have learned to get positive attention.

        23              Or I remember your dad had a Board meeting 

        24          down in Florida, and I was the only one that 

        25          took a young man to the Board meeting. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            383
                  December 14, 1999
         1              So President Bush is sitting here, and 

         2          here's this little seven year old, single 

         3          family home, welfare mother, sitting in front 

         4          of the President. 

         5              And or -- President Bush said to him, you 

         6          have impeccable manners.  I see you do this 

         7          often. 

         8              And Jason said, Mr. President, sir, if I 

         9          didn't do this on a frequent basis, I perhaps 

        10          would shuffle off my mortal coil, wouldn't I?

        11              So going back to the lessons from 

        12          Shakespeare.  So I think again what we -- 

        13          I think the indomitable spirit, I -- I look at 

        14          what we miss. 

        15              I decide what I want my students to be.  

        16          They are each pieces of me.  I have many Marvas 

        17          where -- there are girls.  I decide the kind of 

        18          mind my students are going to have, and they 

        19          are pieces of me.  They are mirrored by who I 

        20          am.  I think we lose the power. 

        21              And to me as a teacher, that is just 

        22          phenomenal, that I have little kids running all 

        23          over the west side of Chicago, or saying -- or 

        24          the Canterbury Tales -- Chaucer's, The 

        25          Canterbury Tales in old English.  Memorizing 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            384
                  December 14, 1999
         1          one great poem every week, reciting the great 

         2          lines in Latin.  We begin to teach children 

         3          Latin in third grade. 

         4              Or if you think the expectations here are 

         5          high, I don't think any of you would want to 

         6          work in our school. 

         7              Again, we stand at the door each morning, 

         8          we bond with every child. 

         9              If I ever have to put equipment in the 

        10          school to see whether children have weapons, I 

        11          will close the doors. 

        12              We stand at the door each morning, we bond 

        13          with each child, we greet each child. 

        14              Before each of those 200 students can leave 

        15          every evening, they must show us what they have 

        16          accomplished.  They have -- the little folders 

        17          are all ready.  That's their ticket out of 

        18          there. 

        19              They must have those folders ready to show 

        20          us what they have accomplished. 

        21              We say to our students, you bring a 

        22          credit card to this school each day and we 

        23          stamp it.  We said, would you go to the 

        24          merchant and say, Mr. Merchant, stamp my 

        25          credit card.  I don't want any merchandise, 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            385
                  December 14, 1999
         1          just stamp the card. 

         2              Every child learns that, without them, 

         3          there would be no us.  I think we need to stop 

         4          and think, they purchase our cars, they 

         5          purchase our homes. 

         6              Right now, each of my three children get 

         7          three years to run the school, so I'll see 

         8          which child I need to yank out while I'm still 

         9          here on earth.  They have done a phenomenal 

        10          job.  It's that pride:  Mom, your name is on 

        11          the school. 

        12              It's that personal pride of carrying on 

        13          that family legacy.  Our children take personal 

        14          great pride.  Imagine a group of second graders 

        15          keeping themselves. 

        16              We discipline our children with very simple 

        17          methods.  I think we've complicated things, and 

        18          I'm going to repeat again, Ralph Waldo Emerson 

        19          was right. 

        20              We have thousands of people from all over 

        21          the world who come to see what I call plain, 

        22          common sense.  I decide what our students will 

        23          be.  It's -- you can use excuses, but they're 

        24          parents. 

        25              And then I must ask who educated the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            386
                  December 14, 1999
         1          parents?  We as a system have messed up the 

         2          parents, and now we're messing up the kids.  So 

         3          it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle. 

         4              We're either willing to bridge the gap.  

         5          There's a space between my hands.  I either can 

         6          reach over and pull a child over, or they're 

         7          going to fall in the cracks.

         8              So, again, I decide that every child will 

         9          be a winner, every -- those of you who might 

        10          have seen the 60 Minutes follow-up after 

        11          17 years, every one of our students go on to 

        12          college.  We've never had a police report. 

        13              Our children are -- disagree the way most 

        14          children will, but they've learned to settle 

        15          those in a civil, humane, amicable way. 

        16              Now, we can keep using excuses.  This isn't 

        17          about the edicts that's in place here.  It's 

        18          about us as a nation. 

        19              I'm begging you to give to yourselves this 

        20          holiday the greatest gift -- I tell everyone, 

        21          don't give me anything for Christmas that I 

        22          can't eat, because my greatest gift to me has 

        23          been what I have done for children. 

        24              The greatest gift to me was to see these 

        25          bus loads of kids in Quincy yelling from -- the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            387
                  December 14, 1999
         1          same kids I had chased and brought back into 

         2          the library -- yelling, I love you, 

         3          Mrs. Collins. 

         4              The greatest gift that has been given to me 

         5          is the black kids that are doctors at 

         6          Presbyterian St. Lukes in Chicago; the letters 

         7          that I get from young men in prison saying, if 

         8          I'd had a teacher like you, I would not be 

         9          here; the letters and the praises that I get 

        10          from young people. 

        11              Those are gifts that can't be purchased, 

        12          they can't be purchased from Tiffany's, they 

        13          can't be put on a credit card.

        14              We as Americans are seeking -- we call them 

        15          holidays.  I call them h-o-l-l-o-w days, or 

        16          h-o-l-l-e-r days. 

        17              We are going to find peace, we're going to 

        18          find the power that we innately have as 

        19          Americans when we stop the whining, when we 

        20          stop having someone put rules on us. 

        21              You know, my school would be an A+ school 

        22          because that's what I deserve.  Once we 

        23          internalize that excellence is my birthright -- 

        24          I say to every student that comes to my school, 

        25          failure is not one of your choices here, you're 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            388
                  December 14, 1999
         1          going to learn, or you're going to die.  Now, 

         2          take your choice.

         3              Because when they fail -- when you walk 

         4          into that school, you don't know who their 

         5          parents are.  But you know that my name is on 

         6          that building.  It says Marva Collins 

         7          Preparatory School.  You don't know their 

         8          parents. 

         9              But when you walk in that classroom, the 

        10          way our children speak, just standard English.  

        11          All across America, I hear teachers say, 

        12          good morning, John, how are you?  The kid looks 

        13          at the floor, and say, okay.

        14              Our children give you the eye contact and 

        15          say, I am fine, thank you, Mrs. Collins.  And 

        16          you?  

        17              It's speaking in complete sentences, 

        18          speaking in standard English.  It is a sin of 

        19          omission to lower the standards for me. 

        20              I don't want anyone doing anything ever for 

        21          me because I'm a woman; because I am a black 

        22          woman; because I'm from Atmore, Alabama. 

        23              I tell the children, weep and you weep 

        24          alone for the sad old earth has troubles of its 

        25          own. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            389
                  December 14, 1999
         1              To hear a little three or four year old 

         2          say, we don't give pity parties here.  To hear 

         3          a little new three year old say to a four year 

         4          old who's weeping about a pencil, he has my 

         5          pencil.  The three year old looks at that new 

         6          students, and say, in this school, we are here 

         7          to own the pencil company.  We don't worry 

         8          about one pencil.

         9              You see, the way we see the problem -- it's 

        10          a problem.  We can't believe that that can 

        11          happen without discipline, common sense. 

        12              Now, how do we discipline our children?  

        13          There's no screaming, yelling, sitting kids in 

        14          corners. 

        15              I say to children, see this sheet of paper?  

        16          It's a nice, clean sheet of paper.  Then I take 

        17          that paper and I do this. 

        18              And I hang it -- that doesn't look nice 

        19          decoratively.  Whenever they get a little loud, 

        20          I -- all I do is point to that, and they go, 

        21          bad choice.

        22              Now, as they walk the hallways, they say to 

        23          each other -- they monitor each other.  When 

        24          one is out of line, they'll say, not a great 

        25          idea.  Bad choice.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            390
                  December 14, 1999
         1              I said to the teachers at one of the 

         2          schools in Quincy, today children -- one of the 

         3          really unruly classrooms, you will show your 

         4          teach-- you will take your teacher to lunch.  

         5          The teacher looked at me in disbelief. 

         6              I says, the teacher will follow you.  You 

         7          will go first. 

         8              Now, in order for them to go first, I says, 

         9          you remember now, you're modeling behavior for 

        10          your teacher.  If you misbehave, your teacher 

        11          will misbehave --

        12              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Ms. Collins, can we -- can 

        13          you close it down? 

        14              MS. COLLINS:  The -- so the children did -- 

        15          I mean, as they say, they will do --

        16              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Get in trouble.

        17              MS. COLLINS:  -- whatever we ask.

        18              And I'm going to say again:  While we are 

        19          debating about the rule that's here, let us 

        20          look at us, and do it because it's right to do 

        21          it, do it because it's excellent to do it, and 

        22          not because someone forced us to do it. 

        23              To do less than that would truly be a sin 

        24          of omission.

        25              Okay.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            391
                  December 14, 1999
         1              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Thank you.

         2              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you so much.

         3              SENATOR COWIN:  It's great to stand. 

         4              Let me tell you, you are all much better 

         5          than a lot of senators, sitting and listening.

         6              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Senator Cowins (sic), I 

         7          know you've been waiting for a long time, but 

         8          if you could be very brief, I would -- I'll 

         9          give you a huge hug.  Or -- or I won't hug you, 

        10          depending on which one you want.

        11              SENATOR COWIN:  The bottom line is that the 

        12          rule that we have here complies with the 

        13          intent, the spirit, and everything in the law 

        14          that the Legislature had. 

        15              I want to mention a -- four things that 

        16          I -- well, a few more -- that have -- that are 

        17          key in -- in this legislation, or in this 

        18          amendment rule. 

        19              One about the lowest quartile that must 

        20          gain as well.  That was a very important aspect 

        21          by the legislators.  All the students must 

        22          perform.  It separates the schools by 

        23          performers, and separates students by their 

        24          performance. 

        25              Relaxing the regulations for student -- for 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            392
                  December 14, 1999
         1          schools, not only A schools, but those that are 

         2          doing well for two years in a row and 

         3          exceptionally gaining, the expectation being 

         4          the same for all students in schools. 

         5              One thing that this rule I think is doing 

         6          is bringing the parents and the public into the 

         7          loop of the education. 

         8              I have seen that -- when I've gone to 

         9          school in previous -- in the previous years 

        10          when we were talking about levels, that the 

        11          parents didn't know anything about it.  By 

        12          actually grading schools by grades, we're 

        13          actually making something that's understandable 

        14          to all.

        15              The Legislature was concerned about the 

        16          mobility and the stability.  I believe by 

        17          enrolling the students, and according to this 

        18          rule where they're in both the second and the 

        19          third quartile of the -- quarter of the school 

        20          addresses that issue.

        21              It changes the F school from what's saying 

        22          critically low performing to failing to make 

        23          adequate progress, which is, I think, a very 

        24          fine distinction.  But what it states is that 

        25          we're going to be looking at the gains of the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            393
                  December 14, 1999
         1          students.

         2              It gives assistance and intervention to F 

         3          and D schools on different levels.  On the 

         4          Commission -- Commissioner level with his 

         5          grants, and the improvements assistance and the 

         6          resources and identifying etiologically similar 

         7          schools; and on the District level by 

         8          increasing their levels of assistance; and -- 

         9          and providing emergency action; and on the 

        10          State Board act-- level, for those schools that 

        11          are not performing well, for the F schools.

        12              I did want to mention something on the 

        13          analysis by Pinellas County, and -- and mention 

        14          a few things that have been addressed.

        15              Number one is the poverty factor.  I don't 

        16          believe that that is -- really has any basis.  

        17          It's an inclusion of a -- a fudge factor.  

        18          It -- the A schools have a -- a lower percent 

        19          of students on free and reduced lunch than 

        20          F schools. 

        21              But we have found, as a -- we have found 

        22          that as we've -- with Dr. Fisher, something 

        23          that happens to be in a -- in a school, there's 

        24          not necessarily a correlation. 

        25              Just because something is in the same spot, 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            394
                  December 14, 1999
         1          it doesn't show that there's a causal 

         2          relationship.  And we can relate that to any 

         3          issue, water and fish happen to be in the same 

         4          position, and if you throw a coin in, one 

         5          doesn't mean that one is always present with 

         6          the other.

         7              The logic is false.  As a scientist by 

         8          background -- and I didn't go into my 

         9          background. 

        10              But I was Chairman of the -- I'm Chairman 

        11          of the Senate Education Committee, and was 

        12          prime sponsor of this legislation as well, as 

        13          Co-Chair on the -- the Senate and the House 

        14          Conference Committee.

        15              But -- and my background, I have my 

        16          graduate degrees in science.  And I was very 

        17          interested, not only during our discussion in 

        18          the Legislature, but --

        19              (Treasurer Nelson exited the room.)

        20              SENATOR COWIN:  -- in this analysis as far 

        21          as trying to put the poverty factor, or any 

        22          other factor in the data. 

        23              The collection of the information must be 

        24          pure.  And as we know, we can correct for these 

        25          variables by including controlled experiments, 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            395
                  December 14, 1999
         1          as you know in comparing one group to another. 

         2              The Board should reject the factor of -- of 

         3          poverty.  This was completely discussed and 

         4          debated in the Legislature, but was rejected 

         5          when it, in fact, was presented by an 

         6          amendment.  And it was never what the 

         7          Legislature wanted.  And I believe it's 

         8          actually contrary to the law and its intent.

         9              Furthermore, when we did an interim study 

        10          with the Senate Education staff, we found that 

        11          students that are in F and D schools have 

        12          inflated grades. 

        13              If we put those same students, and put them 

        14          in higher level schools, we find that they do 

        15          poorer.  And so when we're looking at the 

        16          F schools, we're doing things differently.  

        17          We're giving students grades perhaps to make 

        18          them feel good.  And I heard a lot about this 

        19          feel good attempt by different legislation.

        20              I think it's important to have the learning 

        21          gains.  The Legislature supported this as a 

        22          measure of performance in schools, and even 

        23          specifically debated this one issue, and put it 

        24          in as a value added model when measuring and 

        25          rewarding teacher performance, which in a few 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            396
                  December 14, 1999
         1          years hopefully we'll be coming to that point 

         2          by looking at the gains of the students in the 

         3          D and F sch-- and in the -- in the A and 

         4          B schools.

         5              The attendance and discipline measures -- 

         6          the Senate Committee on School Safety had 

         7          concerns regarding the out-of-school 

         8          suspensions, and this was addressed during this 

         9          summer as a measure of grading schools. 

        10              It was thought, not that it's a bad 

        11          indicator of actually a good school or a school 

        12          that has had some problems.  And in a perfect 

        13          world, discipline data such as the 

        14          out-of-school suspensions might be a good 

        15          indicator of the grading of the school. 

        16              But what's -- there was a fear that the --

        17              (Treasurer Nelson entered the room.)

        18              SENATOR COWIN:  -- some principals might 

        19          sacrifice doing the right thing for discipline 

        20          to get a better grade for the school. 

        21              Attendance was a major concern.  But, 

        22          in fact, we put in an average daily attendance 

        23          in the formula as a way of achieving dollars in 

        24          FTE, instead of doing FTE week, so I would 

        25          think that it would be also a great indicator.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            397
                  December 14, 1999
         1              I think the -- there is one problem, which 

         2          I have noticed, and I only -- it -- it came to 

         3          me actually very early this morning from 

         4          something that was said to me yesterday. 

         5              And I think we really need to look at this, 

         6          and perhaps by administrative rule, that when 

         7          we're doing the measurements, especially in 

         8          elementary schools and in the fourth grade, 

         9          that we should look particularly to the 

        10          movement of the students mid-year, because 

        11          there is an attempt at least in one school to 

        12          move students from the fourth grade into the 

        13          fifth grade mid-year so that they don't test in 

        14          the fourth grade reading and writing, and 

        15          actually test in the -- perhaps in the -- in 

        16          the math.

        17              I -- I think we should monitor the student 

        18          acceleration mid-year in all grades as a -- 

        19          when we discuss that social promotion, but 

        20          specifically before we get to the testing this 

        21          year.

        22              The use of other data to measure schools.  

        23          The Legislature wanted each school to have a 

        24          profile.  And this is -- this is important in 

        25          that the -- when they're talking about the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            398
                  December 14, 1999
         1          school accountability reform, the profiling and 

         2          all those extra things that we put in the law, 

         3          like school suspension and the distribution of 

         4          the grades and the graduation rate and the 

         5          stability and the dropout rate and attendance, 

         6          that was put in not as a way necessarily of 

         7          only grading schools, but as giving information 

         8          to -- to parents so that they would know what 

         9          schools they would go to.

        10              And --

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Can I ask you -- just -- 

        12          the -- the rule as amended complies with 

        13          legislative intent.

        14              SENATOR COWIN:  Yes.

        15              GOVERNOR BUSH:  You started that.  And -- 

        16          and we -- you have -- we have a letter from -- 

        17          I don't know what it -- the Joint 

        18          Administrative --

        19              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  JAPC.

        20              GOVERNOR BUSH:  I don't want to say that.

        21              Whatever it's called -- that -- that also 

        22          states that as well.

        23              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  That's correct.

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Which seldom do we have 

        25          rules that have already gotten kind of a 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            399
                  December 14, 1999
         1          Good Housekeeping seal of approval by the 

         2          Legislature in advance.  I've not seen that 

         3          before. 

         4              And that kind of -- that's the bottom line, 

         5          isn't it? 

         6              SENATOR COWIN:  Absolutely.  And I want to 

         7          encourage you --

         8              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Not the -- it's not the 

         9          final line, but it's the bottom line.

        10              SENATOR COWIN:  Exactly.

        11              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  It's the bottom 

        12          line.

        13              SENATOR COWIN:  There -- there's a book, 

        14          Who Moved My Cheese?  And I'm -- obvious-- it's 

        15          a very short book, but it really tells us --

        16              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  She's going to 

        17          read it to us.

        18              SENATOR COWIN:  And I'm -- I'm not going to 

        19          read it to you.

        20              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Even though it's 

        21          short, it's too long.

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  It's been a long day, Anna, 

        23          and I -- first of all, I -- it's been a long 

        24          day.  That -- that is for sure. 

        25              I appreciate everything that you did.  This 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            400
                  December 14, 1999
         1          was a comprehensive bill that took a lot of 

         2          work and a lot of leadership to get passed, and 

         3          we haven't commended --

         4              SENATOR COWIN:  And you shouldn't change a 

         5          thing.

         6              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- the reporters said I 

         7          haven't commended you for it, and I want to 

         8          publicly commend you again.  But I think we got 

         9          the gist as it relates to the rule.  Don't --

        10              SENATOR COWIN:  Don't -- don't change a 

        11          thing, just move ahead and vote -- vote for the 

        12          rule.

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.

        14              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Okay, Governor.  

        15          To set the parameters, I'd like to move that 

        16          the State Board of Education adopt the proposed 

        17          amendment to Rule 6A-1.09981 as modified by the 

        18          changes presented in my memorandum of 

        19          December 14th, 1999, to the members of the 

        20          State Board of Education.

        21              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Second.

        22              GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a motion and a 

        23          second.

        24              Any discussion?

        25              Commissioner Nelson.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            401
                  December 14, 1999
         1              TREASURER NELSON:  Are we in the posture --

         2              GOVERNOR BUSH:  We have now --

         3              TREASURER NELSON:  -- to discuss?

         4              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- eliminated -- there's no 

         5          more public discussion.  We've -- there's been 

         6          a motion and -- of the -- of the rule as 

         7          amended.  And there's been a second.

         8              There's discussion now.

         9              TREASURER NELSON:  Well, Governor, I have 

        10          not said much today, and I've listened 

        11          carefully to all of the testimony. 

        12              And I -- I want to point out a couple of 

        13          things that I think that have been very 

        14          important statements of policy here today.

        15              The first is something that 

        16          Superintendent May said that what he is looking 

        17          for is a year's worth of progress in a year's 

        18          worth of work and learning.

        19              And as we look to the future on how we are 

        20          going to measure and hold accountable our 

        21          school system, of which all of us are trying to 

        22          get to the same goal, it seems to me that his 

        23          suggestion is a very worthwhile one in bringing 

        24          about accountability of the students' progress. 

        25              My concern is not the FCAT, which we've had 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            402
                  December 14, 1999
         1          a lot of testimony about that today.  The FCAT 

         2          is designed to measure what it's designed to 

         3          measure.  My concern is the system that we have 

         4          set up, and then the distribution of resources 

         5          according to that system.

         6              It seems that the system distributes 

         7          resources to those who do the best.  And now 

         8          you're trying to amend that in this rule, and 

         9          I think that's a -- a salutatory amendment.

        10              But there's a provision in the basic law, 

        11          perhaps you and the Legislature may want to 

        12          address that as a policy matter by the 

        13          year 2002, the salary schedule adopted by the 

        14          School Board must base at least 5 percent of 

        15          the salary of school administrators and 

        16          instructional personnel, teachers, on the 

        17          annual performance measured by the grading 

        18          system that we've seen, which you're measuring 

        19          the school instead of the individual students' 

        20          performance, and that school is ranked with 

        21          other schools. 

        22              And I just don't think that that's the 

        23          appropriate way to measure the progress.

        24              If a -- if a wonderful teacher were to go 

        25          into an F school and give tremendous vitality 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            403
                  December 14, 1999
         1          to her class, and there were substantial 

         2          progress, and yet that overall school is still 

         3          rated an F school, that tremendous measure of 

         4          accomplishment is not being recognized in this 

         5          particular system.

         6              And as a matter of policy, I wanted to 

         7          state my concern for the record, and let 

         8          you know why I will be voting -- for this 

         9          member of the State Board of Education, that I 

        10          will be voting against this proposed rule.

        11              Thank you.

        12              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  If I --

        13              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Commissioner Gallagher.

        14              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- may, just 

        15          quickly correct a statement that you made, 

        16          Commissioner Nelson, and that is that if, 

        17          in fact, under the rule that you read there in 

        18          regards to teacher pay, that would be based not 

        19          on where the school is, but on where that 

        20          teacher's students are, and the improvement 

        21          that those students made. 

        22              And the truth of the matter is, that there 

        23          are many teachers in D and F schools today that 

        24          are doing a tremendous job, and we can use 

        25          exactly what Superintendent May said about 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            404
                  December 14, 1999
         1          Bibbs and Dixon and the increases of learning 

         2          in those students. 

         3              And that law that you're referring to 

         4          allows those teachers in that school to get the 

         5          rewarded increase of 5 percent based on the 

         6          outcome of those students that they deal with.

         7              And so what you're saying is that you think 

         8          it's good, actually is what happens under the 

         9          law as it now exists.  And so that's probably a 

        10          good reason --

        11              GOVERNOR BUSH:  What -- 

        12              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  -- why it 

        13          shouldn't change.

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  To clarify this for a 

        15          second, we also -- year 2002 will be when there 

        16          will be annual student learning -- 

        17              COMMISSIONER GALLAGHER:  Measurement.

        18              GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- gains measured, because 

        19          you'll have the baseline and the second year's 

        20          test -- you know, the first year's test.

        21              So the -- which, you know, again, for a 

        22          sense of history, this proposal was outlined in 

        23          a campaign, got beat up pretty good, was 

        24          proposed by people in the Legislature, annual 

        25          learning gains was always part of it, was 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            405
                  December 14, 1999
         1          passed.  The rule reflects the law. 

         2              And it's always been our intent to do that, 

         3          because not only is Superintendent May an 

         4          advocate of -- of annual student learning 

         5          gains, so am I, and so are you, and so is 

         6          everybody else that I'm aware of.  And teacher 

         7          performance should be measured by how teachers 

         8          do in that regard. 

         9              And by year 2002, they'll be able to do it, 

        10          based on an individual child's year-to-year 

        11          performance, based on their -- their FCAT test 

        12          scores I think.

        13              TREASURER NELSON:  Governor, if I might --

        14              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yes, sir.

        15              TREASURER NELSON:  -- true accountability 

        16          means creating positive consequences for 

        17          success, and negative consequences for failure. 

        18              And when you judge that success or failure 

        19          on the basis of the whole school, you have 

        20          missed a major part of the incentives that we 

        21          are trying to induce into the system. 

        22              That's why I hope that you all as -- as -- 

        23          and I will be here for the next year, and will 

        24          continue to articulate this.  I think you're 

        25          moving in the right direction. 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            406
                  December 14, 1999
         1              I think the legislation that was passed by 

         2          the Legislature was significantly flawed.  It 

         3          had a reverse Robin Hood philosophy of taking 

         4          from the poor, and giving to the rich. 

         5              And I think you are beginning to start to 

         6          correct that with some of the changes 

         7          articulated in this rule today. 

         8              But ultimately, we're going to have to be 

         9          able to measure a student's progress, and the 

        10          ability to reward a teacher in the classroom 

        11          for that teacher's performance, not based on 

        12          some bell curve of all schools rated against 

        13          each other.

        14              And so I -- I commend you, Governor, for 

        15          the progress that I think is starting on a 

        16          flawed system that was adopted by the 

        17          Legislature, which in large part was driven by 

        18          a political objective of vouchers. 

        19              But in the process, I think that, as so 

        20          many have articulated here today, that the 

        21          discussion is -- is very healthy. 

        22              I commend you, Governor, as I have stated 

        23          on many occasions, for being able to have 

        24          policy discussions, as we have, and I think 

        25          that we're moving in the right direction.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            407
                  December 14, 1999
         1              Thank you.

         2              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.

         3              Commissioner.

         4              COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD:  Yes, Governor, just 

         5          briefly. 

         6              My wife taught this -- public school in the  

         7          state for many years, my -- my kids went to 

         8          school here.  In fact, my daughter's still in 

         9          public school. 

        10              I -- I think we've got a -- a very -- a 

        11          great public education system in Florida.   

        12          In fact, some of our best schools in the nation 

        13          I think are -- are maybe not too far from where 

        14          we sit. 

        15              But I think also our leaders here, and -- 

        16          and across the nation are -- are asking more 

        17          out of this country's education system, 

        18          particularly as we're compared to other 

        19          nations.  When you see Japan and Germany, even 

        20          Russia, have achievements in some areas that 

        21          are greater than ours, I think we have to ask 

        22          for more. 

        23              And that's the quote that Governor Bush 

        24          read from President Clinton, I think that's 

        25          what got President Clinton to make those 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            408
                  December 14, 1999
         1          statements. 

         2              I read another quote of a leader:  All 

         3          students must be expected to achieve at higher 

         4          levels, even the face of unpleasant results on 

         5          new tests. 

         6              That's Governor Lawton Chiles in his 

         7          commission on education in 1998. 

         8              So I think what we're here -- saying here 

         9          today to the public education, we're raising 

        10          our -- our standards.  The heat is on.  And I 

        11          think in the end, we won't have any failing 

        12          schools in this state, and our students will 

        13          benefit from that. 

        14              And -- and I think this rule today will go 

        15          a long way in achieving that, and that's why 

        16          I'm voting for it.

        17              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  Governor, if 

        18          I can --

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yes, General.

        20              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  -- I agree 

        21          with what most people have said about this 

        22          being a very good, strong, positive step and 

        23          corrects a lot of the problems in our past.  

        24          And I do think that what we are doing is 

        25          dramatic for education, and especially the 


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            409
                  December 14, 1999
         1          person we care about the most, that being a 

         2          child.

         3              What concerns me though is that we -- that 

         4          we appear to be blaming public education as the 

         5          sole cause for our children's failure in 

         6          school.  I don't think we want to -- we don't 

         7          want it to be that way.  When I set forth, it's 

         8          not. 

         9              That's why, as I advocated before, we have 

        10          to put money into that early childhood 

        11          learning, we have to deal with the children, we 

        12          need a principal in the feeder neighborhoods 

        13          before they get to school. 

        14              The one thing I don't like about this, 

        15          and -- is the fact that we can have a -- a D or 

        16          an F school do real, real great things, and -- 

        17          in providing, as was stated in Pensacola, more 

        18          than one year of education in one year. 

        19              Therefore, for that, I'm going to vote 

        20          against this also.

        21              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Any other discussion? 

        22              COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN:  Well, I -- I guess I 

        23          might as well ring in here, too.  Everybody 

        24          else seems to want to talk, so I might as well 

        25          talk.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            410
                  December 14, 1999
         1              Let me -- let me just say, I -- I've been 

         2          sitting on this Board now for five years.  And 

         3          four and five years ago, I heard the dialogue 

         4          about the level of education we were providing 

         5          to our young people in this state, and how 

         6          atrocious it was, how ill-prepared they were to 

         7          go into the marketplace. 

         8              And I listened to a guy sitting down at the 

         9          other end there named Frank Brogan, who talked 

        10          about trying to bring a world class education 

        11          system to Florida, about raising the bar of 

        12          academic standards. 

        13              And, by God, the bar has been raised.  And 

        14          I'm not going to be one of those that's going 

        15          to even lower it an inch.  If anything, I want 

        16          to see it go higher. 

        17              So I enthusiastically support the direction 

        18          we're going, and I support this rule.

        19              GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.

        20              Any other discussion? 

        21              Well, there's a motion and a second.

        22              All in favor, say aye.

        23              THE CABINET:  Aye.

        24              GOVERNOR BUSH:  All opposed? 

        25              ATTORNEY GENERAL BUTTERWORTH:  No.


              STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION            411
                  December 14, 1999
         1              TREASURER NELSON:  No.

         2              The ayes have it.

         3              Thank you all very much. 

         4              (The State Board of Education Agenda was 

         5          concluded.)

         6                              *   *   *

         7              (The Cabinet meeting was concluded at 

         8          4:12 p.m.)



















                  December 14, 1999
         1                    CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER




         5     STATE OF FLORIDA:

         6     COUNTY OF LEON:

         7              I, LAURIE L. GILBERT, do hereby certify that 

         8     the foregoing proceedings were taken before me at the 

         9     time and place therein designated; that my shorthand 

        10     notes were thereafter translated; and the foregoing 

        11     pages numbered 342 through 411 are a true and correct 

        12     record of the aforesaid proceedings.

        13              I FURTHER CERTIFY that I am not a relative, 

        14     employee, attorney or counsel of eddy of the parties, 

        15     nor relative or employee of such attorney or counsel, 

        16     or financially interested in the foregoing action.

        17              DATED THIS 28TH day of DECEMBER, 1999. 



        20                   LAURIE L. GILBERT, RPR, CCR, CRR, RMR
              100 Salem Court
        21                   Tallahassee, Florida 32301