Students, parents, and certain organizations filed a lawsuit at the Leon County Circuit Court on Wednesday voicing their dissatisfaction with the Florida public school system. The defendants are claiming that low graduation rates, in addition to Florida’s low ranking in education spending, severely low teachers’ salaries, and high rate of school violence attribute to the fact that the state is not taking accountability for its duty to educate children.
While Commissioner Eric Smith believes that Florida’s performance, education-wise, in “outpacing the nation”, the numbers speak for themselves. Florida’s teachers are some of the lowest paid in the nation, while its administrators are ironically some of the highest. In recent months we’ve seen a series of stabbings, shootings, beatings and other violent crimes in schools all across Florida. Florida also has one of the highest dropout rates in the nation.
It is about time parents, teachers, and students unite and stand up to what is a serious problem in Florida. Administrators and representatives need to be held accountable for the decisions they are making regarding Florida’s educational system, and start considering the needs of students and teachers when making these decisions. While leaders such as Commissioner Smith may have the luxury of closing their eyes and feigning ignorance to the state of Florida’s education, the students who are attending these schools every day do not have that same privilege.
Entirely too many students are falling behind grade levels, aren’t learning basic skills and are too distracted by violence and misbehavior in schools to be able to actually sit down and receive an education. Something has got to change, and Wednesday was hopefully the spark that will ignite that change.