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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Jeb Bush, State Board members react positively to Gov. Rick Scott's education plan



A few days after a soft launch, Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday officially unveiled his education plans for the coming year during a conference in Fort Myers. The response has come back positive from key leaders whose support will be critical for the proposals to gain traction.

Jeb Bush/Patricia Levesque joint statement: “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.”

State Board of Education chairman Gary Chartrand: “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.”

Florida Chamber of Commerce president Mark Wilson: “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 FIRST education plan and the Florida Chamber of Commerce will continue to lead and unite the business community for reform.”

[Last modified: Thursday, October 25, 2012 10:57am]


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