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Conklin to Crist: Children Are More Than Test Scores

| April 11, 2010

Charlie Crist and Colleen Conklin

Remember who matters. (Rick Flagg & FlaglerLive photos)

Flagler County School Board Member Colleen Conklin wrote the following email to Gov. Charlie Crist today in response to an April 10 email by H. Peter Stolz sent to Crist and copied to Conklin and her four colleagues on the school board. Stolz’s full email is available here. As with Stolz’s email, Conklin’s is reproduced here unedited except for a few added paragraph breaks.

I realize this email was not addressed to me specifically but cc’d to me since I am a local school board member. I feel it is important to share with you my complete opposition to this bill and respectfully ask for you to VETO it.

As a past teacher, who received “highly effective” evaluations, I am completely against this bill. This is not about fighting tenure. It is much, much more complicated than that. I have two children that attend our fine public schools in Flagler County. My children are not widgets. They have moving independent parts, with independent minds. My sons are bright and capable of doing amazing things in their lives. They come from a supportive home with parents that work hard to provide them with positive experiences. I’m certain they would not be a concern for a teacher under this legislation. You and I both know that not all children are provided this environment. Those variables are outside the control of the classroom teacher. It’s ridiculous to think otherwise.

However, there’s even more to consider. My sons are children, who we want to be well rounded individuals. We want them to be judged on more than a test score. We want who they are, how they conduct themselves, how they take care of their fellow classmates, how they embrace art, music and physical education to be considered. Isn’t this a part of what is important to their over all development as fine citizens of this country. They are more than a math and reading test score. Should education not be about more than that?

As the past Commissioner of Education, I know you know that. This is not about tenure. If a principal is doing their job, the teacher can be removed – end of story. This is political and our children are the pawns. It is totally inappropriate and unfair. The system may have a few bad apples but for the most part you have good people in place that do what they do because they love children and have their souls filled when that light bulb goes off in the developing mind of a child. We don’t pay them enough and they are constantly disrespected.

Do the right thing and stand up for them and the students they serve. My sons will not be part of this political game, nor will the students, teachers or parents I serve. Do the right thing Governor Crist and VETO this bill!

Colleen Conklin
A Proud Member of the Flagler County School Board and an angry momma bear!!

Conklin has been a member of the Flagler County School Board since 2000.

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2 Responses for “Conklin to Crist: Children Are More Than Test Scores”

  1. Jim R. says:

    Good for you Colleen Conklin,
    An education is more than proficency in any particular subject, and one can see highly educated
    people that lack compassion or empathy, but very seldom in the teaching profession do you find those types.

  2. Tina Jeffe says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful concern for the teachers and children of Florida. It seems that more and more we see politicians making laws that impact areas about which they know little or nothing. Give each of them a few weeks in a classroom and maybe they would change their minds.

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