Decisions regarding education should be as close to the parents as possible. I do not see how “State Standards” can be made to fit, much less “National Standards”. I think standardized testing in general homogenizes curriculum to the point of teaching the test and not teaching how to think or problem solve. Time and time again these standard tests or common standards are linked to publishing houses that are profiting from the stress put on teachers and students alike. If you want to utilize a standard test as a point of reference to measure and evaluate objectively then make the administration of them random with no preparation and truly asses where students and teachers fall. The shell game of performing for jobs and educational dollars is truly a disservice to our children and professional educators. I do not believe any measurement test should determine teacher pay or student passing. A student passing should be determined by the consistent work preformed at consistent levels throughout the year. A single day of production does not make for education and holding teachers accountable for how the students preform that single day is unreasonable at best. Hold teachers accountable for how they teach everyday and give the Principals and School District the ability to do just that.
I plan on working hard with the Seminole County School Board to work for legislation that provides for more local rule with less unfunded mandates by the state. At the same time, I will be finding ways to lessen bloated bureaucracy to help fund increases in teacher compensation and support programs. There is plenty of money in the educational system of Florida, it like many other budgets, just needs the correct allocations. I believe we could cut administration, and bureaucratic costs while increasing teacher salaries, support staff, and bring back music, art, and sports in areas that have had to sacrifice these important areas of public education.
We don’t need to be producing test takers, we need to produce innovators.