Post # 38, Bob McKnight Subscription Commentary
Years ago the Florida Chamber of Commerce specifically recognized the critical importance of public education to our state and economy. It tagged their education recommendations as "World Class." They cited a provision in our Constitution that public education be funded in a quality manner. There were Governors like popular Republican Jeb Bush who said they wanted to be known as "The Education Governor."
Then we elected a new Governor who had not served on any education committees during his brief public service in the Congress--Ron DeSantis. During the campaign, he mentioned almost nothing about public education, but did praise private education.
He has started announcing his appointments and the very first one made was of former Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran as the Superintendent of Education. The Speaker had also never served on any committees dealing with education during his public service. But he had been an aggressive proponent of private education provided by the for profit industry. It is rumored in Tallahassee that Corcoran's brother Michael will become the lobbyist for some of the large private education vendors. Corcoran will have to be formally appointed by the state Board of Education, but that is expected due to the influence of the new Governor.
It should be expected that the education unions will loudly object to the Speaker's appointment, but it is so shocking that the Governor-Elect went around the traditional step of a sweeping national search for the very best in education administration--a World Class appointment.
Perhaps Speaker Corcoran will surprise us and take himself out of consideration unless and until he becomes the selection of a national search by the State Board of Education. That would be a World Class act Mr. Speaker.