The Tampa Bay Times Jeff Solochek bagged the first interview with outgoing Florida education commissioner Gerard Robinson. Does it appear that Robinson is revealing something he couldn’t as commissioner? Consider this:
Miami Democrat Rep. Dwight Bullard said Wednesday in a news release that Robinson “has clearly lost confidence in the direction of Gov. Scott.”
Robinson laughed and said, “I disagree with that conclusion. This is politics.”
Still, he acknowledged his tenure included major controversial changes and heated “adult conversations about children.” But the end result, he believes, is that more Floridians are focused on the FCAT, writing standards, testing and aspects of student preparation than before.
“It’s a movement,” Robinson said. “I think that’s healthy. There will continue to be momentum gained. The question is: Does it mean moving closer to testing, or further away?”
Robinson’s summative rhetorical question at the end is a monster. He obviously sees the writing on the wall on high-stakes testing – an expression he unsuccessfully attempted to mock. Perhaps these middle ground words signal he agreed more with his opponents than he could admit as commissioner. At the very least, Robinson is indicating that Florida’s test-dominated accountability system has been weakened in the minds of the powers that be.