In a lunch time address to state school board members, Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson lectured board members that they were “ignoring” a decade of progess if they move forward with their resolution against high-stakes tests. State Impact’s John O’Connor reports Robinson added this:
“They can express their opinion,” he said. “But let’s also remember the local school board’s obligation is to implement the laws approved by the Florida Legislature; to implement the regulations approved by the state board.
“And if it’s an expression that’s great. It may be more symbolic than binding. But we’ll see how it goes. This is democracy and this is how it works.”
Robinson also continues use this lame slap at opponents of Florida’s high-stakes testing regime:
“What they’re focusing on is high-stakes testing, which is a political way of saying that ‘We just don’t like testing,’”
Does Robinson really want to insult the intelligence of the state’s 67 school boards this way? Perhaps he realizes it’s all he has left. He knows that the opposition to Florida’s high-stakes test regime is fueled by multiple factors.
The silence of the Florida legislators who have been rubber-stamping the test-based initiatives of Jeb Bush – the man who hand-picked Robinson – is not going unnoticed. Answering opponents has been left to Bush loyalists in Robinson, John Winn, Kathleen Shanahan and Patricia Levesque. Not even a peep from Rick Scott who must be feeling like a fool now for insisting upon ranking Florida districts on FCAT scores earlier this year.
Robinson’s dismissal of school boards as merely being there to implement what legislators desire is a desperate cry for help. Even the most zealous of legislators understand the reality of the FSBA’s stand against testing. Long past being called grassroots opposition, a rout is in progress.