Where in Florida was Rick Scott?

It is a valid question the parents and grandparents of school-aged children in Florida should be asking themselves. 

Gov. Rick Scott called an education summit in Clearwater last week. Parents, educators, state officials and lawmakers were all on hand to have a full-throated -- and remember this part -- public discussion of the merits and flaws of the state's public school accountability program. 

Guess who wasn't there? Gov. Rick Scott. 

He instead he busied himself at a re-election campaign style event in Orlando hosted by the tea-party affiliated Americans For Prosperity, reports the News Service of Florida.  

There the News Service reports, he promised $500 million in cuts in state taxes and fees, red meat, no doubt, to a ravenous and captive audience. 

But when it came to public schools, it seems the Governor had less appetite for hearing about that. 

The state accountability system has been skewered eight ways from Sunday this year. The education commissioner quit amid a growing controversy in his former state of Indiana over whether he improperly instructed staff to alter the grading formula there to favor the charter school run but a well-heeled political player.  

The state Board of Education had to again invoke the "safety net" rule to keep school grades from plummeting as results of new, tougher Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test standards. 

Students are about to be tested in the new Common Core standards with a test the state has yet to sign off on and about which experts have misgivings. 

It would have been nice for Gov. Scott to squeeze in a little time for the schoolchildren of his state -- and their parents and teachers, who are voters by the way. 

After all, according to the Tampa Bay Times, he found time after the summit to meet privately with former Gov. Jeb Bush (the architect of FCAT as we have known it since 1999), state Sen. John Thrasher and state Board of Education Chairman Gary Chartrand. 

Two lessons to take from this: When given the chance to hear in the sunshine about problems and possible improvements to the state's grading system, Scott chose to stump with tea party advocates to make sure the base that helped propel him to Tallahassee turns out again in 2014 to give him another try. 

Second, when he did choose to focus on education -- a key component of Florida's future -- he did so behind closed doors with a handful of high-powered fellow Republicans.  

In a venue where the echo chamber is sure to drown out things like contrary views and other unpleasantness. 

Remember that when election time rolls around and the talk begins about giving "the people" a voice what goes on in state government.  

Remember which "people" Scott chose to lend an ear to. Chances are those are "the people" who will be getting a voice in what goes on in Tallahassee.