Governor DeSantis really seems to hate public education and teachers. Whether its his terrible pay plans, his support of attacks against their unions, or his plots to privatize, he proves that at every turn. Well now we can add his appointment to the state board of education where he refuses to put an educator on the board.
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday appointed Ryan Petty to the Florida Board of Education, subject to state Senate approval.
Petty’s 14-year-old daughter Alaina was murdered in the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and he has since become a national advocate for school safety reforms.
Petty founded a nonprofit called the WalkUp Foundation. The organization’s mission is to persuade students to “walk up” to their peers who seem like they need a friend and seek help from adults if necessary.
He has also held a seat on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, a state investigative entity created to identify what went wrong before, during and after the Parkland shooting and recommend policy changes to prevent future massacres. Petty said he expects to keep that position if confirmed to the Board of Education.
“As we’ve learned on the commission, the Department of Education plays a role in ensuring that the districts in the state are taking school safety seriously and are complying with state law,” Petty said, “so I take a keen interest in that.”
Petty also ran unsuccessfully for a county-wide seat on the Broward school board in 2018.
Petty may have a tragic and compelling story but that doesn’t mean he is qualified to sit on the state board of education and if he really cared about education, he would say no thanks, please appoint an educator. I also find it very interesting that his own community didn’t want him representing them.
I also don’t think this is a coincidence as Scott Maxwell, on the same day of the appointment published an article about how the state board of education didn’t have any educators and the reason why. Spoiler it’s not a good reason.
From the Orlando Sentinel:
Guess how many members of the Florida State Board of Education are educators? Zero! That’s right, not a single member of the Florida State Board of Education, the group that makes the rules for the education of your children, is a teacher.
Why on Earth is a group consisting entirely of lawyers and business people with absolutely no education background or experience making the decisions about our children’s education? Why are our politicians not required to appoint people with education backgrounds and classroom experience to the state board of education?
Teachers are not treated as professionals. No one without training or experience in the field would think they have the knowledge to make rules governing doctors, lawyers, or engineers, yet that is exactly what is happening in the field of education.
People think that just because they sat in a classroom as a student, they know what is best for education. While it is true that parents and community members also have a right to have input in decisions affecting their children’s education, shouldn’t the teachers educating the children have the same right?
We must have educators represented on the Florida State Board of Education. They are the ones who have been trained to educate your children. They are the ones on the front lines who do educate your children. Why shouldn’t they be on the board that makes the decisions about education?
The reasons there isn’t an educator on the board is twofold they don’t respect the profession and they want to destroy it.
This is Florida. This is us.