Is Florida’s new educational bill a bandage on a broken system?
By Roger Caldwell
As Governor Scott gets ready to sign a bill that will make it easier for certain students to get a diploma, it is important to determine if this will improve Florida’s education system. The new bill would revamp the requirements for a high school diploma. It would create two different diplomas, one for advanced students and one for students headed into the workforce.
Basically this new system would create two separate systems, one for the smart students, and one for the slower students. Instead of trying to fix a dysfunctional system that is broken, this new law encourages the slower students to be content with their situation.
“This is a transformational bill. It’s one that will change the trajectory of the education. To be standing here on week six and sending this bill to the governor’s desk is a big deal,” says House Speaker Will Weatherford.
This statement makes no sense to me, because this solution to the educational crisis does not correct the fundamental problems inherent the systems. The children are not learning because the subjects they are taught are not relevant to the world they live in and the teachers have too many students to teach. The administrators each year are given less money and resources for each student and our political leaders don’t understand why our children are not getting a world class education.
“It’s the same standard high school diploma for both these designations. Regardless of which designation is on their diploma, students are going to be college ready,” says Rep. Janet Adkins, a Fernandina Beach Republican.
Again I would have to disagree with Rep. Adkins, because there appears to be two educational systems, one with a sub-class of diplomas, and the other with a superior class of diplomas and they are not equal. The students who are at the bottom would be encouraged by their guidance counselors to hit a lower standard, where the advanced students are encouraged to hit a higher standard and go to college. With this new standard it is okay to leave the lower student behind, but they still graduate.
In many of the minority schools, there are a larger percentage of students who are not prepared to go to college, and get an advanced degree to meet the demands of an innovative technical society. Employers will understand the new designations with the diploma system, and they will not hire students with the sub-class diplomas, because they are a bad investment. The students in the sub-class diplomas group are the problem children, and the system has identified them with lower goals and expectations.
Lower students have always been identified in the system, because their classes are not preparing them for college or advanced subjects. The students and the teachers always know who the smart kids are, but now Florida will identify them with a diploma. This is the opposite of no child left behind and now the system will allow students to just do enough to get a diploma.