WHAT THEY ARE SAYING… Education and Business Leaders throughout Florida Applaud Governor Scott’s “College and Career FIRST” Initiatives
CONTACT: GOVERNOR’S PRESS OFFICE
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING…
Education and Business Leaders throughout Florida Applaud Governor Scott’s “College and Career FIRST” Initiatives
Dr. Wayne Blanton, Executive Director, Florida School Board Association said, “We applaud the Governor for making education a top priority for the upcoming legislative session, not only in terms of funding, but also in terms of policy revisions. We are particularly impressed with Governor Scott’s recommendations aimed at providing greater flexibility and deregulation to local school districts so that we may customize learning opportunities to fit the needs of students, their families, their communities and local businesses.
“We are also grateful for the Governor’s positive response to our concerns with his recommendation for the successful transition to Common Core Standards and new assessment instruments in a manner that maintains accountability but also promotes greater fairness. School boards across Florida look forward to working with the Governor on these, and other, initiatives that will provide our schools with the support they need and will help ensure our children receive a quality education.”
Frank Brogan, Chancellor of the State University System said, “Florida’s future depends on a commitment to education. From science and engineering to medicine, biotechnology, the arts and more, our citizens are being trained in fields that will spur a powerful, innovative sector of the economy. An investment in education is an investment for us all. The Governor’s legislative agenda focuses on investing for results. That will pay dividends for years to come as Florida is better positioned to compete in a global marketplace.”
Jeb Bush, Florida Governor (1999-2007) and Chairman of the Foundation for Florida’s Future (along with and Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of the Foundation for Florida’s Future) said, “The Foundation for Florida’s Future applauds Gov. Scott for placing an emphasis on college and career readiness for all Florida students. Though Florida’s education system has made significant progress over the years, in order to successfully prepare our students for 21st century jobs, we must redouble our commitment to high expectations, accountability, and customized learning options for all students.
“Investing in education, transitioning to more digital content, and preparing students, teachers and parents for Common Core State Standards are critical to effectively equipping today’s students for the jobs of tomorrow.
“We look forward to reviewing Gov. Scott’s proposal in detail and working with the governor and legislative leaders next session as we continue to improve education in Florida.”
Gary Chartrand, Chairman of the Florida 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.”
John Delaney, President, University of North Florida, Jacksonville said, “High quality education can make a significant difference in the life of a student, a community and a state. We appreciate the Governor’s efforts to prepare Florida’s K – 12 students for success at the University of North Florida and other institutions of higher education. The better prepared students are for the next step in their education, the more they will benefit from that opportunity.”
A.K. Desai, MD, State Board of Education Member said, “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.”
Tom Feeney, President and CEO of Associated Industries of Florida said, “Governor Scott’s legislative agenda for education is another step to move Florida forward in growing a world class workforce. By adopting the Common Core State Standards, Florida is developing a seamless education system where students will be better prepared to compete nationally and globally.”
Barbara Feingold, State Board of Education Member said, “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. All students have the potential to succeed and they deserve the right to make decisions that will prepare them for a successful future.”
Randy Hanna, Chancellor of the Division of Florida Colleges said, “The Florida College System is the primary access point to undergraduate education for Floridians, including recent high school graduates and returning adult students. We offer low cost, high quality education opportunities. Our colleges respond quickly to meet employer demand of employers by aligning certificate and degree programs with regional workforce needs. Our vision sets out an aggressive and transformative ‘student success’ plan with four goals: expanding and maintaining access, enhancing distance learning, increasing college readiness and success, and preparing for careers. The Governor’s education agenda with its focus on putting college and careers first aligns precisely with what our colleges are doing.”
Bill Herrle, Florida Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses said, “Florida’s small businesses are the fabric of our local communities and the backbone of Florida’s economy. Small-business owners predominantly hire directly out of their communities, and rely heavily on students and recent graduates. Governor Scott’s legislative agenda for education raises the bar for all students in all grade levels and will help strengthen the state’s workforce. NFIB supports the Governor’s education agenda to grow our workforce and expand opportunities for Florida businesses.”
Nikki Lowrey, StudentsFirst Florida State Director said, “I commend Governor Rick Scott for standing tall for our students, and continuing the state’s tradition as a leader in education reform. As we move forward, I encourage our state’s leaders to put our students first and push for transformative policies that the Governor has outlined. Our kids deserve better, and their future cannot wait.”
Bernie Machen President of the University of Florida said, “The University of Florida is truly our statewide university. As such, the caliber of students who come to us from the Panhandle to the Keys is as critical to UF’s future as it is to our state. Governor Scott has laid out a comprehensive, carefully considered, innovative legislative agenda that focuses on preparing students for success in careers and higher education. This vision is essential to ensuring that Florida’s students have access to high quality education from kindergarten through post-graduate studies.”
William J. “Bill” Montford, III, Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents said, “Having worked more than 40 years as a former school superintendent, high school principal and teacher; I know first-hand the critical importance of education. Whether it is job creation or quality of life; it all hinges on a good, sound, public education system. Florida superintendents appreciate the Governor reaching out to them for input, recognizing their role as Constitutional officers charged to oversee the education of Florida’s 2.6 million public education students. We are encouraged by the Governor’s support for additional funding for public education, and commend him for his initiative to eliminate unnecessary and burdensome rules and regulations that currently hinder optimal operation. Additionally, we are committed to working with the Governor to increase education options for our students including charter schools; with a fundamental goal of ensuring that all school choice options are accountable, accessible to all students, and ultimately responsible to the taxpayer.”
John Padget, Member of the State Board of Education said, “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.”
Eileen Segal President, Florida PTA said, “Florida PTA is encouraged with Governor Scott’s College and Career 1st Education Goals and the Governor’s commitment to focus on Florida’s education system by prioritizing investments to K-12 education. Florida PTA believes education should always be considered a top priority. Education, though, should begin long before entering Kindergarten. Providing high-quality early education programs taught by qualified educators, along with mentoring programs and health and wellness instruction is crucial before our children enter Florida’s school system. This combination will lead the way for true student success. By prioritizing the needs of our students and teachers, providing the proper tools, and including parents as key stakeholders in education, we are confident Florida’s education system will become a model to be envied. Florida PTA looks forward to working with Governor Scott in building a bright future for our children and our state.”
Kathleen Shanahan, Member of the State Board of Education said, “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.”
Pam Stewart, Commissioner of Education said, “As students were going back to school this year, I traveled with the Governor on a statewide listening tour. 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 has 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.”
Mark Wilson, Florida Chamber of Commerce President and CEO said, “I have said repeatedly, creating a talented workforce through a high quality education should be our No. 1 strategy for securing Florida’s future. In just five years, Florida has gone from 31st out of 50 states to 11th highest in education achievement rankings. Florida’s gains now serve as a model for other states, including Louisiana, Indiana, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, and now even North Carolina. Florida’s students are being equipped for a changing world and a highly competitive workforce. But we know that we have more work to do to prepare our students to be globally competitive.
“Part of that work includes transitioning to a new, national ‘Common Core’ set of academic standards for English, language arts and math that are benchmarked to international standards and aligned with college entrance and employer expectations. Education is the new economic development currency and our jobs governor has it right. I commend Governor Scott for placing the transition to Common Core standards at the top of his College and Career 1st education plan and the Florida Chamber of Commerce will continue to lead and unite the business community for reform.”
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