Putting Education Reform To The Test

Florida Parent Group Offers Recommendations For Next Education Commissioner


A group that’s glad to see Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson go hopes you’ll inundate Gov. Rick Scott with suggestions about choosing his replacement.

Robinson submitted his resignation Tuesday. His last day on the job is August 31.

Orlando-based Fund Education Now says they want a commissioner that will listen to parents and educators more than lobbyists.

From the group’s press release:

During his short reign, missteps and blunders left parents and community members with fundamental doubts about the high-stakes accountability program Florida’s politicians and bureaucrats pride themselves on.

We are hopeful that Governor Scott will choose a commissioner that values a well-rounded, high quality public education and reduces the emphasis on high-stakes testing. 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.

We urge Governor Scott to find a commissioner who supports the 2.5 million students that choose Florida’s public schools every year. Our schools deserve a Commissioner of Education who responds to the needs of Florida’s diverse student population, relies on the expertise of professional educators, and maintains open and constructive discourse with parents and community members.

In a letter to Gov. Scott, Robinson said living far away from his family was a challenge he could not overcome. His wife is a law professor in Richmond, Virginia and they have three daughters.

Robinson’s resignation letter included a long list of what he considers his accomplishments. Highlights include:

  • New achievement level scores for grades 3 – 10 in reading and grades 3 – 8 in math on FCAT 2.0 assessments.
  • The creation of a Florida 2.0 Digital Learning Group to advance best practices for digital learning.
  • Adopted new competency and skill standards for STEM teachers taking the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations.
  • Participated in Conversations with the Commissioner, town hall meetings, and other events with stakeholders in 26 counties.

Robinson was known for bucking the recommendations of education experts regarding test scores and school grades.

Fund Education Now doesn’t see Robinson’s tenure as being full of accomplishments.

They are encouraging parents to send a note to the governor about who should get the job.

What do you want from the next education commissioner? Who should be considered?


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