Robinson’s Departure Creates Opening to End Misuse of FCAT
Reactions are coming in following the abrupt resignation announcement of Florida Education Commissioner, Gerard Robinson, on Tuesday night.
Fund Education now, an Orlando-based non-partisan group reacted swiftly to Robinson’s upcoming departure noting that, “his term was marked by a total disintegration of Florida’s infamous accountability system.” The group added that while Robinson had claimed many victories in his Letter of Resignation, “none of which can be said to improve the educational experience of Florida’s 2.5 million students.”
“We call on Gov. Rick Scott to appoint an education leader who values Florida’s 2.5 million students and the teachers who educate them,” the group said.
Meanwhile Florida House Democratic Leader-designate Perry Thurston (D-Plantation) said in a statement that, with Robinson’s departure, Scott now has an opportunity to apppoint a new commissioner who will work to bring an end to the misuse of FCAT.
“The FCAT has failed students, teachers, and our state,” he said. “A new state education commissioner can help Florida install a better and broader education accountability system for every school receiving taxpayer dollars that takes into account all the things students and teachers accomplish throughout the year.”
Thurston added that, the time is right to start a public conversation about developing “a new education accountability system that can be approved by the Florida Legislature as we move toward the new Common Core State Standards that take effect in 2014.”
State Representative Dwight Bullard (D-Miami), the Democratic ranking member on the House Education Committee issued the following statement:
“The resignation announcement by Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson should be a clear indicator to the governor and legislative leaders that recent destructive education reform measures and continued reliance on the FCAT are harmful to the morale and productivity of students and teachers. Commissioner Robinson may have started his tenure as education commissioner as a supporter of education reform but he has clearly lost confidence in the direction of Governor Scott.”
Former Gov. Jeb Bush, largely out-of-step with the prevailing view of public education in Florida, tweeted:
“Thank you Gerard for serving Florida’s students (and) teachers (and) for your work to keep Florida education a model for the nation.”