Florida school choice, present and future

Beginning Monday, we have a special treat for you at redefinED – commentary about how far we’ve come with school choice in Florida, and where we may be headed.

The prompt for this came at an April meeting of the Florida Alliance for Choices in Education, which includes many of the state’s choice groups. An alliance member noted the national spotlight had shifted in recent years to states like Indiana and Louisiana. Had Florida, so long on the cutting edge of the choice movement, lost some of its mojo?

Clearly, Florida remains a national leader and a national model. But the comment made us wonder. What will school choice in Florida look like in five or 10 years? How do we best continue expanding options so students benefit?

We turned to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson and other leading voices for choice and asked. Graciously, they offered their thoughts and visions, which we’ll be running all next week.

Individually, the contributions are thoughtful and thought provoking. Collectively, they offer the outlines of a bigger picture – not just of the future of school choice in Florida, but of the future of public education.

First up on Monday: Commissioner Robinson.

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at rmatus@stepupforstudents.org or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at facebook.com/redefinedonline.

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