Parent group urges Scott to find new school leader not wed to testingby John Kennedy | August 1st, 2012
With Florida’s top education job open, an advocacy organization is urging Gov. Rick Scott to move in a new direction.
Fund Education Now, founded three years ago by Orlando-area moms opposed to classroom budget cuts, is launching an email campaign aimed at the Republican governor. The group wants Scott to replace outgoing Education Commissioner Gerald Robinson with a new leader committed to reducing Florida’s reliance on high-stakes testing.
Robinson announced Tuesday that he will step down Aug. 31 after a year on the job, to return to his family still living in Virginia.
Fund Education Now also is continuing its fight against legislation defeated last spring dubbed the parent-trigger bill, which would have enabled parents to convert low-performing public schools into charter schools.
“We want a leader that puts the needs of students and their teachers ahead of the high paid lobbyists that represent for-profit charter operators and private voucher programs,” the organization said in its email announcing the campaign.
The organization also chided Robinson for “missteps and blunders” involving the state’s testing system. But former Gov. Jeb Bush on Wednesday was quick to defend Robinson, thanking him for “serving the students and teachers of Florida.”
“He believes all children can learn, and this belief is evident in all he does,” said Bush, chairman of the Foundation for Florida’s Future, a leading advocate of the parent-trigger legislation.