FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business


Education - Florida Newsmakers of the Year

• FRANK BROGAN
Chancellor, State University System

Frank Brogan
[Photo: Ray Stanyard]

Frank Brogan would have been a significant newsmaker in 2010 if his only accomplishment were the resolution of the 3-year-old lawsuit by the Board of Governors of the State University System against the state Legislature over tuition rate-setting authority. Brogan had made the withdrawal of the suit a priority upon taking the chancellor's job in late 2009. His successful lobbying of both the board of governors and lawmakers should improve the overall relationship between the schools and lawmakers. One good sign: The Legislature, which had slashed the universities' budgets with abandon in the previous two years, held cuts to about 1% in 2010 — and also provided $10 million for Brogan's New Florida competitive grant program.

Brogan also entrenched himself as advocate-in-chief for more funding for higher education in Florida. With a detailed top-to-bottom knowledge of the state's entire educational system, he has argued that a big investment in colleges and universities could help "slingshot" the state out of the recession and position it for leadership in education and research.

Also in 2010, Brogan instituted a planning and accountability framework for the university system, along with other measures aimed at improving communication inside the tangled higher-ed governance system, where roles are still not comfortably defined among the Legislature, state Board of Education, Board of Governors and local college and university boards of trustees. The state has a long way to go, but 2010 saw Brogan emerge as a positive force in helping clarify a vision that's been lacking.


Business
Mark Wilson
Wilbur Ross Jr.
Lola Gonzalez
John Textor
Robert Clements
Thomas Gaffney
Hugh Green
R.J. Scaringe
Foreclosure Fighters
Julian MacQueen

Politics
Mel Martinez & The Dominoes

Military
Florida's Fallen Soldiers

Education
Frank Brogan
Maryellen Elia

Science/Innovation
Win Phillips & David Day
Ian MacDonald & William Hogarth

Environment
Extreme Temperatures

CRITTERS
Mystery Monkey

Sports
Tampa Bay Rays' Top Brass
Pat Riley

Volunteer/Non-Profit
Barth Green

Arts/Entertainment
New World Symphony
Pitbull
Pamela Tuscany

Dubious Achievers
Scott Rothstein
David Brooks

Jim Greer
Wayne McLeod
Lewis Freeman
Pawl Hawks
Lee Farkas

• MARYELLEN ELIA
Superintendent, Hillsborough County School District

2010 marked the first operational year of an effort by the Hillsborough County School District, under Superintendent MaryEllen Elia, to change the way the district hires, trains and keeps teachers. The effort will be funded by a seven-year, $100-million award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced in late 2009. The district, the nation's eighth-largest with some 190,000 students, will have to match the Gates funds locally.

The district has begun creating a system in which mentors will be assigned to every new teacher, and every teacher will be evaluated by a team of trained peers, with follow-up aimed at improving their instructional skills. Younger, higher-performing teachers will be able to earn more than some with more seniority. Tenure will be awarded less liberally, and it will be easier to fire poor performers.

Hillsborough's effort drew praise from some because district officials worked closely with union representatives and focus groups that included teachers, parents and community members in developing its plan. It had already taken some steps toward merit pay and incentive pay for teachers who agreed to teach in difficult schools. The
effort also landed Elia on Gov. Rick Scott's education transiton team.

Elia told the St. Petersburg Times the district intended to have nine out of 10 students "college and career ready" by the end of the grant period. In August, her school board rated her performance as "above satisfactory" — two points shy of "outstanding," according to the Tampa Tribune.

Maryellen Elia
[Photo: Mark Wemple]

?

Business
Mark Wilson
Wilbur Ross Jr.
Lola Gonzalez
John Textor
Robert Clements
Thomas Gaffney
Hugh Green
R.J. Scaringe
Foreclosure Fighters
Julian MacQueen

Politics
Mel Martinez & The Dominoes

Military
Florida's Fallen Soldiers

Education
Frank Brogan
Maryellen Elia

Science/Innovation
Win Phillips & David Day
Ian MacDonald & William Hogarth

Environment
Extreme Temperatures

CRITTERS
Mystery Monkey

Sports
Tampa Bay Rays' Top Brass
Pat Riley

Volunteer/Non-Profit
Barth Green

Arts/Entertainment
New World Symphony
Pitbull
Pamela Tuscany

Dubious Achievers
Scott Rothstein
David Brooks

Jim Greer
Wayne McLeod
Lewis Freeman
Pawl Hawks
Lee Farkas