TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Monday tapped a former public school teacher to take a spot on the panel that oversees the state's public schools. Scott appointed Rebecca Fishman Lipsey to a four-year term on the State Board of Education.
Lipsey, who is from Aventura, taught in New York City for two years. But she also worked as executive director in Miami-Dade County for Teach for America, a program that has tried to improve classroom teaching by placing recent college graduates in low-income schools and is often criticized by teacher unions.
"Rebecca is committed to student success and accountability, and it is clear she will be a tremendous advocate for all Florida students,'' Scott said in a statement.
The 32-year-old Lipsey will take the spot now held by Kathleen Shanahan.
Shanahan, who once was a chief of staff for former Gov. Jeb Bush, will remain on the board until the end of the year. The seven-member panel hires and fires the education commissioner and is responsible for approving changes to education standards and the state's school grading system.
Shanahan had also been chairman of the state board until a year ago when she abruptly resigned from the position. At the time, she said she wanted to make sure that the next education commissioner would have a board chairman whose term would span the same time period. Shanahan also said her job demands were growing.
Shanahan, who has been an outspoken advocate for new standards known as "Common Core State Standards,'' did not apply for another term on the board.
But she was not ending her tenure quietly. Just last week she took a swipe at Scott for failing to attend the three-day schools summit he abruptly convened last month in Clearwater.
She also faulted Scott for preparing to issue an executive order that deals with Common Core even though board members and school superintendents had no clear indication what it was going to accomplish.
"It's embarrassing for him that he's disrespecting the statutory integrity of this board,'' Shanahan said.
*Pictured above are former Gov. Jeb Bush, left, and Gov. Rick Scott, right.