Upon assuming office in 2011, Florida governor Rick Scott waged a negative assault on Florida’s educational system by slashing funding to public schools and backing a legislation fight against public school teachers. He has subsequently altered his course on education, and has made efforts to move Florida to the top of the list when evaluating overall educational systems.
StudentsFirst was formed in 2010 in response to an increasing demand for a better educational system in the United States. Led by Michelle Rhee, a former teacher and Chancellor of Washington, D.C., public schools, the mission of StudentsFirst is, “To build a national movement to defend the interests of children in public education and pursue transformative reform so that America has the best education system in the world.”
StudentsFirst created the State Policy Report Card to evaluate the education laws and policies in each state in an effort to reveal more about what states are doing to improve the nation’s collective public education system.
The most recent Report Card by StudentsFirst gives Florida an overall grade of 2.73 out of a possible 4.0. While the grade does not appear to be overly impressive, it actually rates as the second best overall grade among all states. To be ranked second in the United States with that grade says more about the relative pedestrian level of education in the United States compared with other developed countries. According to the global report by the education firm Pearson, the United States places seventeenth among developed countries.
The Report Card provides grades in three general areas; Teacher Evaluation, Parent Empowerment, and Governance & Spending.
Efficient and effective evaluation systems are the foundation to improving teacher quality and identifying and correcting ineffectiveness. The areas of evaluations are; teacher, principal, contract, staffing and tenure. Under the heading of Teacher Evaluation, Florida is ranked second.
Empowering parents with information and options, through an interactive internet based system, has become a model for other states. The areas of empowerment are; report cards grading schools, parent notification of teachers who have poor ratings, and charter school establishment & expansion. Under the heading of Parent Empowerment, Florida is ranked fourth.
Streamlining bureaucracy and emphasizing spending accountability creates a great starting point for problem solving across the educational spectrum. The areas of governance and spending are; fiscal transparency, management alternatives, class size, and pension reform. Under the heading Governance & Spending, Florida is ranked 13th.
Governor Rick Scott has been one of the lowest rated governors in the country, and has not been a popular governor, even within his own party at times; however, with a course change in his approach to public education and putting students first, Florida is establishing itself as a national leader in effective educational systems for public schools.
To receive email alerts when new articles authored by Armand Colson are available, click on the “Subscribe Button”. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org