While state Sen. John Legg dutifully nods to having executed the education priorities of Senate President Don Gaetz during the 2013 legislative session, the great bulk of Florida’s education reformation bears the stamp of our local wonk. According to the Tallahassee Democrat: “(T)his session showed Legg can be a player in the Senate. As chairman of the Education Committee, he scored some solid victories on charter schools, teacher assessment, and Career and Professional Education (CAPE) academies .… If conservatives want to push education reform in Tallahassee, Legg looks like the man to turn to in the Senate — as his record in the 2013 session showed.” At the heart of this season’s reform, is the state’s dedication to Common Core-compliant Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, even as it postpones implementation of online assessments until all K-12 schools acquire the required technological infrastructure. Legg, R-Lutz, argues, not unpersuasively, that Common Core targets subjects offering scant wiggle room for political mischief: math, science, reading skills. “Two and two will always be four,” he says. “What goes up comes down. And in reading, we’ve gone too long asking students to write their opinion about what they just read. Instead, they need to be able to regurgitate it. Tell us what it said.”
Well. It’s hard to tamp down suspicions when we have beheld politicized balance sheets on which little adds up and science races to contort entire economies over humankind’s suspect role in climate change. Enjoy the victory lap, Senator. The skeptics will be here when you get back from your vacation in Maine.