Rick Scott, Education Summit Host ... Where'd He Go?
Around the State
Can you imagine former Gov. Jeb Bush calling an education summit and then giving it a miss?
That's what Rick Scott did this week -- stoked the fires for a strong, four-pronged concentration on state standards, state standard assessments, school grades and teacher evaluations. But he never showed his face.
My guess is this: He thought he would get good press for his education initiatives by hosting a splashy summit at the start of a new school year. But his tea-party base gave him a world of grief about Common Core State Standards. So, instead of using the dias at the event to stand up for CCSS, a strong education reform that better prepares students to cope with tomorrow's challenges, he bails. Skips the whole event.
If somebody or somebodies in his administration or his campaign gave the governor that bad advice, he should have tied them up and left them in a meat locker somewhere. Shame on them.
Since his first year in office, when a struggling Florida economy forced him to put the budget in full retreat, the governor has built a series of education successes and innovative programs in K-12 and in higher education.
In April he signed an education reform bill into law which some have called “an education revolution.” The bill is aimed at revamping high school education in Florida so that more students will be able to get a job upon graduation.
Clearly, Scott understands that education is not one-size-fits-all and that students need better options. His base, if it continues to shun the man who is pushing the Sunshine State ahead, is going to kill its golden goose. Florida is fortunate. Needier states are watching his moves and taking notes.
Time to take charge, not run and hide. Rick Scott shouldn't just have appeared at the summit, he should have presided over it.
Reach Nancy Smith at email@example.com or at 228-282-2423.