The Florida Board of Education intends to adopt new student performance expectations today which are essentially no different than the current ones. Meanwhile, other states are raising the bar regarding what they expect from their students. Why isn’t Florida following suit?
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Over the past five years, the board has listened to the business community and increased the rigor of Florida’s educational standards and assessments in order to raise graduates’ skill levels. In fact, in July, the board committed to “keep Florida moving forward toward national and international competitiveness” by designating one of its annually measurable objectives to be the attainment of the same achievement levels as the top five states on the Nation’s Report Card.
Unfortunately, our students can’t remain competitive with students from around the country if we maintain lower expectations. Florida students may score well on the Florida Standards Assessment, but the education gap between our students and the students from around the country will likely widen. Too few of our students will be adequately prepared to enter our higher education systems.
As noted by board member, John Padget, this will make it harder for businesses to hire Floridians.
Dean Colson, Miami