Putting Education Reform To The Test

Columnist: Gov. Scott’s Panel Will Sell Out Higher Education

Joe Raedle / Getty News Images

Gov. Rick Scott has appointed a "blue ribbon" panel to suggest changes to the state higher education system..

Stephen Goldstein, writing in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, opens up both barrels on Gov. Rick Scott’s plan to overhaul the state’s higher education system.

Scott has appointed a panel, but Goldstein says the recommendations are already written: Sell out state universities and turn them into glorified vocational institutions.

The real solutions are simple, he writes:

What Scott knows about education could fit in a thimble. He made millions as a bean-counter, vulture capitalist, and financial bottom-feeder. He cannot see beyond benchmarks of profit-and-loss. He cannot deal with what he can’t quantify. He’s nervous in the face of nuance. He’ll always opt for short-term gain over long-term perspective, because in business he was out to make as fast a buck as he could before bailing. Once a CEO, always a CEO. He will never grow into a governor with true vision. He is beyond being able to learn anything, especially about education.

Anyone who knows and cares about higher education, especially in Florida, knows you don’t need a Blue Ribbon Task Force to tell you how to reform it: Invest mega-bucks, as you would in any business — to hire the best faculty, attract the best students, and provide the best campus facilities.

Do you agree? Should state universities focus more on what comes out of the university than what’s going in? Can state policy address training students for future job growth, or will the market solve the problem?


  • Jeff Robison

    If one simply follows the money, the conclusion is straightforward: Florida’s universitiies have recieved poor state funding going back to the administration of Governor  Bob Martinez. Low tuition and a lack of state support has compromised the development of a university system worthy of the Nation’s fourth most populist state.

    Stephen Goldstein”s assessment that, “Invest mega-bucks, as you would in any business — to hire the best faculty, attract the best students, and provide the best campus facilities” is 100 percent on point. Allow differential tuition as proposed and torpedoed by the politicos, bring back and fund the matching gift program and take the power of funding away from the legislature and vest it with a rejuvenated Board of Govenors , becomes a platform for true educational reform from which Goldsteins plan can be launched.

  • This columnist has obviously read my book, Rick Scott:Enemy of the State and I applaud him for doing so. Job well done.  

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »