John Legg’s Arm Chair Flippancy on High School Curriculum


Although his degree is in Social Work, Sen. John Legg (R-Port Richey) fancies himself to be an educator by virtue, I assume, for owning a charter school. Feeling frisky from his  recent appointment as chairman of the Senate Education Policy Committee, Legg offered this piece of commentary:

“If we don’t do something different, we might as well cancel the eleventh and twelfth grades,” he said. “It can’t just be a wasteland of high school football, proms and homecoming. We need something more relevant.”

While Legg was weighing in on the important topic of alternative high school graduation paths, his creepy justification shows him to be on an equally creepy fringe. His airy dismissal of the traditional social fabric of the nation’s high schools as a “wasteland” is arrogantly contemptuous. Not a good quality for a man in his position.

Legg furthermore shows he detached from facts on the ground by not seeing now his idea meshes with the high school testing regimes he’s been voting for as a legislator. PERT along with five end-of-course exams are now mandated for high school students. Nevermind Florida’s multiple test-based accountability measures he presumably favors as well. It’s impractical to consider curriculum changes without considering Florida’s accountability systems.

But has Legg talked himself into facing the reality of what he and his colleagues have been imposing on Floridians? Curriculum matters, but republican legislators like Legg have been prioritizing standardized tests. As a result, Florida has designed it’s curriculum goals to tests. Will Legg realize that his good idea about high school alternatives means that the state’s focus shouldn’t have been on high-stakes tests all along?

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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7 Responses to John Legg’s Arm Chair Flippancy on High School Curriculum

  1. Steven Thomas says:

    Interesting , I think they may have wised up. Even a stopped watch is right twice a day. But what is with the social work comment, Legg senate bio says he has a mpa or is that a different Legg.

  2. Kenny Blankenship says:

    John Legg is co-founder of Dayspring Academy and is on staff at Dayspring as the Business Administrator. John also taught History and Government at Dayspring for several years. He currently serves in multiple education leadership roles around the state. John has served as Chairman of the Pre-K – 12 Policy Committee and is currently the Speaker Pro-Tempore of the Florida House of Representatives. He is a certified History and Government teacher, and has his Bachelors of Social Science and Master of Public Administration from the University of South Florida. From http://dsa2000.org//index.php?cID=137

  3. 3D Learner says:

    The present high school graduation requirements are unattainable by many students. We would do well to have an Academic Diploma for those who can meet these rigorous standards and are university bound, and a college and career ready degree for those who meet specific requirements, but are not able to meet all the new requirements.

  4. JaxJags says:

    @ 3D Learner- I think there may be some talk along those lines. I have heard that new rep Travis Hutson (from Palm Coast) is interested in sponsoring legislation that would change the requirement to take Algebra 2 and Chemistry/Physics for students who are not on a “college-bound” track- however that is determined. Don’t know the details yet, but sounds like some getting that this isn’t working.

    I would think Legg would be interested in reading some of the stats on the increase in AP testing over the last few years. Since the legislature included it into school grading, and even before that with state AP training grants and bonus money for teachers, enrollment has shot up. Does that not count for anything with Legg? Or must it be state-mandated tests for all 11th/12th graders to prove that their time in school is well-spent?

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