Writes J. Earle Bowden from the Pensacola News Journal:
Gov.Rick Scott, an amateur education mechanic working under a shade tree, knows better. His latest nonsense debases the liberal arts, an essential component of higher education, targeting Florida anthropology students — even if his daughter studied the diversified field that contributes greatly to science and discovery.
His stirring words: “We don’t need a lot more anthropologists in the state. It’s a great degree if people want to get it, but we don’t need them here. I want to spend our dollars giving people science, technology, engineering, and math degrees. That’s what our kids need to focus all their time and attention on, those types of degrees, so when they get out of school, they can get a job.”
Yes, a job. Yes, plenty of jobs. But we need less of Scott’s cold arithmetic trying to establish “measurable goals” for Florida’s universities. His self-chosen curriculum drawn for his bottom-line ideology says: If it costs money, shut it down.
Scott and his handlers knew he’s get little support from the state’s editorial boards, but he’s making it easy. There’s more Scott’s anthropology smear. From State Impact Florida:
According to federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data, job prospects for anthropologists are nearly as strong as they are for the math and science graduates Scott prizes.
Scott is correct that math and science jobs dominate the list of the 30-fastest growing jobs between now and 2018.
Biomedical engineers top the list with a bullish 72 percent growth expected. The list also includes skin care specialists, dental assistants and environmental engineering technicians.
But the difference in job growth between those jobs and anthropologists is slight. Anthropology jobs are expected to grow by 28 percent, while computer software engineers and environmental engineering technician jobs will
grow by 30 percent.
When delving deeper into Scott’s anthropology foot-in-the-mouth, Bowden is justified in referring to the Florida governor so pointedly. Scott’s daughter earned a degree in anthropology before becoming a special education teacher. So he used a single anecdote to justify policy. You’d think that a political party establishment which (correctly) mocked then candidate Barack Obama’s simple-minded auto tune-ups and air-in-your-tires suggestion as an answer to energy woes would know better.
Such narrowly filtered takes on education policy aren’t new for Scott. During his transition, he provided a screening of Waiting for Superman for Florida legislators. The charter school propaganda film has done little else than serve as an infomercial for Michelle Rhee’s career. His education transition team was filled with charter school and education entrepanuers while excluded anyone from the traditional public schools. The inclusion of Hillsborough schools superintendent MaryEllen Elia was transparent as it is her district which is currently implementing a Gates Foundation funded merit-pay program.
Scott’s surrounds himself with only the like minded on education policy. Such psychophanic staffing should be limited to places like Jeb Bush’s corporate-funded foundation. Scott is still politically wounded for signing SB736 at the failing charter school of a crony, and his anthropology gaffe demonstrates he’s not learned his lesson yet. Like the rest of the corporate funded ed reform crowd, Florida’s governor is driven by false assumptions about education.