Today, Bob White, Republican candidate for Governor of Florida, released his “Children First” Education Policy Paper. Included in the paper are a number of controversial and far reaching reform proposals designed to completely overhaul education policy and practices in the state of Florida. Among the more controversial proposals, White intends to completely sever the relationship between Florida and the Federal Department of Education. “The Federal Department of Education is a wholly unconstitutional agency of the Federal government. The Feds are a burden, not a benefit” said White. “Their unconstitutional involvement has made education worse in Florida, not better. It is time for them to go. We will waste no time kicking them to the curb”.
According to White, ending the involvement of the Federal Government will allow for the immediate scrapping of the controversial “Common Core” curriculum in Florida. A move that White said “is absolutely essential to reestablishing sound and effective curriculum choices at every grade level throughout our K-12 system of public education”. White is also calling for eliminating the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) test and replacing it with a nationally normed test which he said will save Florida millions of dollars without undermining accountability. “It’s more important that we know how Florida students measure up against students from other states than it is to know how we measure up to each other county to county. The over reliance on high stakes standardized testing is undermining the efforts of our teachers to do the job they chose out of a love for children. It’s time for a major course correction in the area of testing” said White.
White’s proposals also address expanding career, vocational and technical education for those students that are not immediately bound for college and he vows to protect private schools and homeschooling families from the efforts of some legislators and bureaucrats within the state department of education that would “seek to force these students into the same curriculum choices as public schools and the same standardized testing requirements”. White also vows to “transform” the Florida Department of Education, remolding it into an agency “that gets down into the trenches alongside local school districts helping them to deliver on their mission to provide a quality education for all public school students”.