TALLAHASSEE — We at the Florida Education Association (FEA) look forward to being able to comment on Florida’s new BEST Standards once they are publicly available. While it initially appeared that the standards review and comment process would be transparent, that has not been the case over the past few months, and it remains unclear exactly when the current draft of the standards will be made public.
“I was surprised to hear Gov. DeSantis and Commissioner Corcoran were releasing Florida’s new K-12 standards today,” said Fedrick Ingram, president of the Florida Education Association. “And then I was even more surprised to hear they had a big press conference to announce new standards that they haven’t actually released to the public yet.”
Florida’s teachers are committed to excellence, and that commitment is evidenced by the continued success of Florida’s students. There is no doubt that this state’s teachers will continue to be world class and lead students to excellence regardless of what standards are in place.
That being said, the implementation of any new set of standards – including training for educators on the new standards, textbook adoption and revised standardized tests – is of the utmost importance. It is vital moving forward that the state Department of Education (DOE) as well as local school districts work to ensure that teachers are not only consulted but respected and listened to during the transition to these new standards.
“A lack of respect for teachers is, along with low pay, a primary motivator for educators who leave the profession and for young people who choose not to become teachers,” Ingram said. “If this state is serious about addressing our severe teacher shortage, policymakers will heed the voices of the education experts in Florida’s classrooms as these standards are put in place.”
CONTACT: Joni Branch, firstname.lastname@example.org, (850) 201-3223 or (850) 544-7055
The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest association of professional employees, with more than 145,000 members. FEA represents PreK-12 teachers, higher education faculty, educational staff professionals, students at our colleges and universities preparing to become teachers and retired education employees.