FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION PRESS OFFICE
GOVERNOR’S EDUCATION AGENDA CALLS FOR COLLEGE AND CAREER FIRST
Tallahassee, Fla., October 25, 2012 – Introducing his legislative agenda for education at an education summit in Ft. Myers today, Governor Rick Scott laid out a plan for preparing students for college and career that emphasizes accountability and a smooth transition to Common Core State Standards, supporting teachers, enhancing educational choice options, and offering more district flexibility.
Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart, a panelist at the summit, said that input from a statewide listening tour at the start of the school year had helped shape the Governor’s agenda for education.
“We heard from students, teachers, administrators and parents. One thing was clear. Parents all want their children to have the best education available. They want their children to learn and be prepared for colleges, careers, and a successful future. That same goal is true for teachers. And it is true for students. The Governor’s legislative agenda is built upon what he heard as he traveled the state. It addresses many of the issues that are important to parents, teachers, and students—mentoring programs that can complement parental involvement, innovative support for teachers, and a commitment to K-12 funding.”
Gary Chartrand, Chair of Florida’s State Board of Education, said, “The Governor’s plan lays out innovative goals for colleges, schools, and teachers. It supports educational options for families that include strong traditional public schools, as well as magnet, charter, and virtual schools.
“Having been involved with charter schools, I know firsthand how they can positively impact the student performance of children who come from economically disadvantaged areas. In Jacksonville, for example, economically-disadvantaged sixth-graders in one charter school perform better in math than others in the district and across the state. Governor Scott’s agenda would make those opportunities available for more students in Florida.”
State board member A.K. Desai, MD, stated, “Governor Scott’s legislative agenda for education brings Florida’s education system another step closer to our overarching goal where every student performs at grade level and is prepared for success in college, career and life. “
Board member John Padget added, “Governor Scott’s education agenda clearly links Florida’s education system to Florida’s economic future. I applaud this linkage. His focus on correct implementation of the Common Core curriculum and assessments is most appropriate. Expanding results-based mentoring programs, and more school choice options will help close the achievement gaps, getting all students college and career ready.”
“Providing options for parents and students to make choices about which education environment is best for their learning style is at the core of Governor Scott’s legislative agenda for education,” said board member Barbara Feingold. “All students have the potential to succeed and they deserve the right to make decisions that will prepare them for a successful future.”
State board member Kathleen Shanahan stated, “In the past decade, Florida has made profound improvements to its education system. Currently, we are leading the nation as we prepare our students for a more rigorous curriculum and provide our teachers and schools with the right technology for enriched instruction. Governor Scott’s legislative agenda for education provides Florida’s education system additional momentum for those initiatives.”
A summary of the Governor’s agenda is available at College and Career FIRST.
About the Florida Department of Education: The department’s mission is to increase the proficiency of all students within one seamless, efficient education system by providing them the chance to expand their knowledge and skills through world-class learning opportunities. Serving more than 3.5 million students, 4,200 public schools, 28 colleges, 188,000 teachers, 47,000 college professors and administrators, and 318,000 full-time staff throughout the state, the department enhances the economic self-sufficiency of Floridians through programs and services geared toward college, workforce education, job-specific skills, and career development. Florida ranks first in the nation for teacher quality, first in the nation in advanced placement participation, and first in the southern region for graduation rate and degrees awarded by the Florida College System. For more information, visit www.fldoe.org.