Florida Republican’s “Strategic Plan to Undermine Public Education”

In a weekend interview with GRADEBOOK, Democrat Rep. Rick Krisemen didn’t hold back  when he characterized what Florida Republican legislators have been up to as “a strategic plan to undermine public education.”

 But what I have seen in my five years has been a strategic plan to undermine public education, to neuter it so they are not performing in the way we would like to see so as to push the agenda of expansion of vouchers and charter schools and destroying the teachers union. I think that is what the agenda has been. If you look at the past five years and the policies that have been put forth, that I think it pretty clearly what the agenda has been. And unfortunately to the negative impact on our state’s education, they have been successful

At some point, Florida’s bottom ten percent ranking on per pupil spending and a similar ranking for teacher salaries will take a tremendous toll. Maybe it has already.

According to  Education Week, Florida has the most schools by percentage who have failed to meet NCLB’s Average Yearly Progress (AYP) – a whopping 89%. This is a far cry from the success of the state’s school grade system which awarded A’s to 58 percent of it’s schools.

These results, which are available on the Florida DOE’s own website, show Florida swimming along with ease on a state grading system, while failing miserably on the federal one of No Child Left Behind.

Which one are Florida voters supposed to pay attention to?

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is still at the helm of the state’s system and has been on a nation-wide tour touting the “Florida miracle.”  Not so fast says William Mathis of the National Education Policy Center. Mathis’ presentation, which serves as a rebuttal to Bush, is cleverly titled,The Florida Formula (Or How Global Warming Causes High Test Scores

Does Floridians want to simply acquiesce to Jeb Bush’s vision and narrative or will they be willing to heed that warnings of people like Mathis and Kriseman?


About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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