She said she thinks Scott should focus more broadly, coming up with a comprehensive education policy that defines his administration. She noted that former Gov. Jeb Bush and his foundation still have a prominent voice.
“Gov. Scott needs to put his own personal stamp on what kind of system that he wants,” Detert said. “Most of the ideas have been coming from a previous governor, so what we need is the current governor to let us know what his thoughts are.”
By virtue of his highly publicized education listening tour, Scott has heightened the stakes for his education agenda.
If he appears to acquiesce to unions and advocacy organizations too much, he could lose favor with the tea party activists who embraced him as an outsider. On the other hand, if the education community doesn’t see its thoughts incorporated into his plan, the recent goodwill could erode.
For example, Scott has said he would like to tie school funding increases to student achievement. Depending on the specifics, unions and school districts might balk at the idea that schools with more-affluent student bodies could get more money by virtue of higher test scores.
Scott also must overcome criticism that he is not serious about education policy, and he must deflect accusations that he is using teachers and schools as the first wave of his 2014 reelection campaign.
Already, the Republican Party of Florida has aired two television ads touting Scott’s commitment to public education.
And during Scott’s listening tour, a Tallahassee parent was rejected from a panel with the governor because she could not pass a background check. Scott’s office has since invited the woman to meet one-on-one with the governor next week.