With two and a half months to go until the primary, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bob White unveiled his proposals to reform education, calling for an end to high stakes testing and getting the U.S. Department of Education out of Florida schools.

White, who leads the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida, is trying to catch state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., in the GOP primary. Former presidential hopeful former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, has endorsed White.

This week, White brought out his “Children First” education plan which looks to “completely sever the relationship between Florida and the Federal Department of Education. White made his case for that proposal, insisting it will help end Common Core, which he called  “absolutely essential to reestablishing sound and effective curriculum choices at every grade level throughout our K-12 system of public education,” and improve schools across the state.

“The federal Department of Education is a wholly unconstitutional agency of the federal government. The feds are a burden, not a benefit” said White. “Their unconstitutional involvement has made education worse in Florida, not better. It is time for them to go. We will waste no time kicking them to the curb.”

White is also calling for reforming standardized testing, including ending the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) test and moving to national norm tests.

“It’s more important that we know how Florida students measure up against students from other states than it is to know how we measure up to each other county to county,” White said. “The over reliance on high stakes standardized testing is undermining the efforts of our teachers to do the job they chose out of a love for children. It’s time for a major course correction in the area of testing.”

White also plans to include more focus on career, technical and vocational training and protecting private schools and homeschoolers from regulations.

 

Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com 

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