Putting Education Reform To The Test

Three Questions About The Florida Education Commissioner’s Resignation

Sherman Dorn / ShermanDorn.com

University of South Florida education professor Sherman Dorn.

University of South Florida education professor Sherman Dorn literally wrote (well, edited) the book on Florida’s education reform policies.

So we grabbed him for a few minutes to ask what Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson’s resignation might mean long-term.

Dorn says Robinson was put in a particularly difficult position and that Florida’s education chief is a more political post than in other states. And despite complaints — and errors — with the state’s school grading system, Dorn doesn’t think Robinson’s resignation will cause state leaders to rethink Florida’s accountability system.

You can listen to our interview:

We cut it from the interview, but Dorn believes the Florida Legislature undercut Robinson on the state’s federal No Child Left Behind waiver. One of the most useful parts of the waiver, Dorn said, was the ability to cut private after-school tutoring programs.

There’s no evidence the programs work, Dorn said, and the money could be spent elsewhere. But the Legislature passed a law requiring the use of private tutoring programs.

Robinson listed the NCLB waiver among his accomplishments in his resignation letter.


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 »