Social Media Aflutter with Florida's Education Achievements, New Standards
Around the State
The Foundation for Excellence in Education has a new campaign to promote Florida’s education successes, taking to social media and television airwaves to speak about the positive strides made in the Sunshine State’s education system.
"Learn More. Go Further." began in last fall, with a heavy focus on Florida’s education system. Its mission: to educate the public about Florida’s “education success story and great results for students, teachers and schools.”
Emhof told Sunshine State News that there just wasn’t a lot of information regarding Florida’s achievement readily available for public consumption -- and so "Learn More. Go Further." was born.
Teachers from across the state have recently become involved in the campaign. Four involved in LMGF have their own Twitter accounts where they tweet messages in support of Florida’s achievements and vouch for Florida’s new education standards.
“As a teacher AND a parent, I want what's best for ALL children -- that's why I support Florida's higher standards,” wrote Faye Adams, a teacher from Tampa.
Former teacher -- now assistant principal -- Beth McClaulin is another educator who joined forces with LMGF on a volunteer basis to promote Florida’s new education standards. Her Twitter account, FLTeacherBeth, bears a striking resemblance to Adams’ and other teachers affiliated with the campaign. Many tweets are identical.
Emhof told SSN the LMGF team works “on the ground,” meeting with teachers, parents and community leaders to get them involved in the campaign.
For McClaulin, it was her firsthand experience in dealing with questions about education standards that led her to get involved in the campaign.
“I was concerned about the message that parents were coming to me as an educator, asking me about these Common Core standards and the Florida Standards and the misconceptions that they had about the whole process,” she said. “I felt like I wanted to have a voice and help everybody that has school-age children … be educated on what the standards were really and truly all about.”
The teachers have appeared on social media as well as in TV ads.
While the campaign promotes the positive steps Florida’s made over the last several years, it also promotes a topic that has gathered significant controversy over the last year -- Common Core.
LMGF’s website speaks highly of the standards and attempts to dispel “myths” propagated by anti-Common Core activists, condemning the notion that CCSS is a federal program and assuring that the new standards will give students a deeper understanding of classroom material.
“The standards provide clarity and consistency for what students across our country are expected to learn. This initiative helps provide all students with an equal opportunity for a high-quality education, regardless of where they live,” reads the site.
LMGF has plans to continue hitting ground zero in education as Florida transitions to the new Florida Standards and a new assessment test next year. LMGF ads will run for 10 weeks, but Emhof said the campaign to promote Florida’s education achievements will go on for the next two years -- and possibly beyond.
“This year and next year are particularly critical years,” said Emhof. “[The campaign] may not always be specific ‘Learn More. Go Further.’ in the outer years, but I don’t think the conversation really ends.”