Ron DeSantis Has ‘Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals’ for Florida Education and That’s Bad

For years, policy makers and pundits hyped Florida as a model for “education reform” that other states should follow. The claim was never true, but now with a green-light from new Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida lawmakers have been cut loose to prove that bad education policy can always be made substantially worse.

Since 1998, when Florida state government became a GOP trifecta controlling the governor’s mansion and both chambers of the state legislature, politicians have passed dense layers of public school “accountability” policies that former Governor Jeb Bush referred to as BHAGs or “Big Hairy Audacious Goals.”

These BHAGs include using high-stakes tests, assigning schools A-F grades (labeling impoverished kids and their public schools as “failing”), retainingthird-graders who flunk the state reading test, spending billions in public funds on unregulated private and religious school vouchers, expanding corporate charters, busting unions, suppressing the teaching profession,silencing locally elected school boards and dismantling public school altogether.

Ron DeSantis Has ‘Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals’ for Florida Education and That’s Bad