Obama Echoes Republican Ideas

So why do I have to come all the way to Washington D.C. to hear how successful Florida has done in improving its education and how the rest of the country should look at Florida’s policies that helped reshape its schools?  Don’t forget these are Republican ideas that were implemented 10 years ago when Florida had a Republican governor and a majority in the State House and Senate.  Right when Jeb Bush took office Florida schools were ranked 47th in the nation and in January of 2009 we have been ranked at one of the top 10.  Why aren’t Republicans owning up to the moment and expressing their achievements?  Why did only one newspaper in Florida pick up on it?  Yes there is still room for improvement, however if the public is not aware of it they could continue to loose faith in the party in the years to come. 

Yesterday, I attended a White House briefing where President Obama rolled out his Education plan in front of the US Hispanic Chamber.   His focus was the need to enforce accountability from schools, to educators, and students through means of transparency and testing.  Obama gave credit to Florida in having a transparent online system where the public is able to view schools scores as well as parents able to view their child’s individual results.  He talked about school choice and charter schools, something that teacher unions are not fond of which favor the Democratic Party.  Obama also addressed the need for a nationwide Pre-Kindergarten program emphasizing studies that show young children who enroll in Pre-K are more likely to earn $10 to $1 over students who don’t.   Everything he mentioned is what Florida has been doing since before the No Child Left Behind Act.

A few hours later I attended a panel discussion where Dan Lips, from the Heritage Foundation, shared Florida’s school improvements and how other states need to look at Florida’s success when finding ways to improve their schools.  He further explained how these initiatives also help shrink the achievement gap between minority students (especially Hispanics) and the whole without sacrificing higher achievers.  At the end all four panelists also expressed the need for early education programs such as the VPK program in Florida.

I know at the end of the day today the economy will continue to be a major concern for the public and politicians, however the consistent message I heard throughout my visit in DC was that education is the key to improving and remaining competitive in the future.  There is a direct link between education and the future work force and economy.  My suggestion to my party is to not allow the left to claim responsibility for coming up with education reforms when this was ideas that Republicans have long championed for. 

My Latina POV….Successful education reform that has lead to the improvement of Latino students should be another reason why Republican leaders need to stress what they have been long advocating for.  Is that not the group that made a difference in the last election cycle in Florida?  Numerous polls over the years have indicated that Education was and is the number one concern for Hispanics (it came in a close 2nd recently due to the economic downturn)? The main reason for these numbers is because the average age of Hispanics is 27.  A young group due to the fact that the largest segment is under 18, therefore many Latino parents who have children in our public school system.  Does the party want to reach out to a growing electorate?  Then talk to us about education. 

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6 Responses to Obama Echoes Republican Ideas

  1. Pingback: Obama Echoes Republican Ideas : The State of Sunshine

  2. Ron Mills says:

    Florida Schools Rank 49 not 10 that is one less than the very bottom, Thanks to the GOP and Jeb Bush

  3. Read the article from the St. Pete Times from January.

    Or go to the Education Week’s website. There is still room for improvement, but then why did Obama give credit to Florida schools during his speech. He wants to implement every program Florida has implemented in the past 10 years. He has seen rapid improvement in Florida Schools and thinks we should all learn from our ideas.

  4. Ron Mills says:

    and that same newspaper said this week:

    Florida recently flunked “college readiness” on its annual report card from the newspaper Education Week, said House sponsor Erik Fresen. Internationally, testing shows that U.S. students are falling behind in science and math.

    If Florida does not raise its standards, it is “putting our children at a competitive disadvantage to the global community,” said Fresen, R-Miami.

  5. Betty DiMaio says:

    Florida ranks 50th in per pupil spending. The budget gap for the current school year will require cuts in the classroom if more revenue is not allocated to public education. We are currently going in the WRONG direction.

  6. Well, if you all are concern then you should voice your concern to your man Obama who wants to use Florida’s model across the board. I guess he wants the entire nation to fail.

    Overall, our country spends more per pupil than other countries, yet those countries are producing kids more advanced then ours. Like I said we still have room for improvement and have to look at these countries to see how & what they are doing with less money. Raising the Per pupil spending is not going to solve anything. Look at DC for example, they are ranked as having the worse school system in the nation yet they spend the most per pupil according the the Education Week report as well as many articles from the Washington Post.

    Just another little tidbit: I personally went to both private (4 yrs) & public schools (8 yrs) in the DC area and I remember a few of us asking one of our teachers (Ana Lopez as a matter of fact) one day why she left the public school system to teach in private even though she was paid less? She told us that she rather teach to kids who wanted to learn and knowing that parents were more involved in the private setting. Charter schools are taking the same approach and requiring parents to volunteer a certain amount of hours or asking for financial support. I actually commend Obama for wanting school accountability, testing, teacher merit pay, charter schools, vouchers, creating competition and allowing parents to decide what is best for their children. So if you don’t like what he is proposing then I would take it up with him.

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