DeSantis Highlights Media Silence on Florida’s Top Education Ranking

Once again, Florida has claimed the title of ‘Best State for Education’ according to the annual US News and World Report, but the state’s governor has still criticized the report.

Number 1 for Education

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Floridians are celebrating the annual rankings for “best states”  by the U.S. News and World Report, which named the Sunshine State as the top state for education in the U.S.

Gov DeSantis Isn’t Happy

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But while some lap up the praise, others – like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – have responded by criticizing the publication, and US media in general, for not wanting to admit it. 

“They Didn’t Want to Admit It”

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“You could tell that they didn’t want to admit that,” DeSantis claimed during an appearance at Port Canaveral on Tuesday, the same day that the annual rankings were released. 

A National Debate

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The education system in Florida has been a massive point of contention in the US in recent years, frequently making national headlines and becoming a heated topic in political debates on both a state and federal level. 

A List of Problems

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Florida school systems on the elementary, high school, and tertiary levels have been skewered by Democratic politicians and organizations due to book bans, low teacher pay, axing diversity initiatives, and more.

Under DeSantis

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Most of these controversial decisions that have put Florida education under the spotlight came about under DeSantis, who has served as the state’s 46th governor since 2019. 

Shock for Some

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It explains why so many were surprised by the announcement that Florida had come first in the US News education rankings, in a repeat of the number 1 ranking last year. 

Praise and Addendums

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Though the news outlet praised Florida’s education system overall, DeSantis pointed out that the US News article accompanying the announcement also provided some addendums to the ranking.

One of the “Most Contentious Debates in America”

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It described the highly contentious issues surrounding the state’s education system, including controversial policies put forward by Republican lawmakers like DeSantis. It specifically referred to the “debate around education in Florida is among the most contentious in America.” 

Not an Accurate Reflection?

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US News also pointed out that the effects of some policies, including the most controversial ones, may not be accurately reflected in the rankings due to the period it was collected.

Taking Time to Play Out

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“Data used also can lag behind more recent developments due to when it’s released by a source and to the time needed for analysis. Many education metrics are tied to the year 2022, for example, and policy shifts may take time to play out,” it wrote.

Is It Actually Controversial?

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DeSantis shot back at these addendums, claiming that “When the media says you do things that are controversial, that just means you’re doing things that they don’t like, it doesn’t mean it’s actually controversial.” 

“It’s Common Sense”

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 “What we’re doing, the vast majority of people know, is common sense. But that’s just kind of how they cloak it,” he continued, referring to his policies that banned the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, as well as restrictions on teaching critical race theory, among others. 

Willing to Fight

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“But you know, maybe part of the reason we are No. 1 in education is because we’ve been willing to take on those fights and win those fights on behalf of the people of this state,” he concluded. 

The Culture Warrior

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DeSantis’s aggressive stance toward identity politics and DEI policies, particularly those that concern race, sex, and gender, has seen him garner a reputation as a ‘cultural warrior,’ earning both praise and derision across the political spectrum.  

Affordability, Accessibility, and Achievement

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However, despite the furor around cultural and political issues in education, US News maintained that Florida still won out for the “aspects of affordability, accessibility, and achievement” that it excelled in. 

Number One in Higher Education

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In particular, it shot to the top spot for its performance in tertiary roles, as it also ranked number one in the US for higher education. 

Excellent College Record

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Florida excels at the collegiate level due to its high graduation rates, affordable tuition costs, relatively low average student debt, and more.

Across the Board

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In fact, the Sunshine State performed well across the board. It came 9th for K-12 education, and 13th for Crime & Corrections and Natural Environment. Overall, Florida ranked 9th as the best state across 50 states. 

Low On Opportunity

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Its weakest point was in ranking for Opportunity, defined by “metrics reflecting economic opportunity, affordability and equality within a state.” Florida was ranked as the 45th, the sixth worst state for economic opportunity.

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The post DeSantis Highlights Media Silence on Florida’s Top Education Ranking first appeared on Liberty & Wealth.

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