The comments of Leon High School Principal Rocky Hanna, who argued against the increased math and science expectation in SB 4 by saying that if chemistry had been required for high school graduation when he was a student that he would not have graduated, have been picked up by Leslie Postal at the Orlando Sentinel education blog School Zone. Postal also noted that Hanna claimed to be speaking for all of Leon County’s high school principals in arguing against the legislation.
Postal also noted that 65% of Florida’s 2009 high school graduates had passed chemistry.
Of course, Hanna was making a valid point, even if he was doing it badly. In a state where the high school graduation rate is a serious concern, raising graduation requirements should spark some anxiety. But by choosing to say what he did, Hanna undermined his own argument. He demonstrated that the legislature must step in to demand excellence because the educational establishment will not do so on its own.
If the leadership of Leon County Schools doesn’t believe that increased requirements in math and science can be implemented in a constructive way, perhaps they should check with the school districts in Brevard, Duval, Monroe and Polk Counties. These districts implemented more demanding science expectations a long time ago, and they seem to be doing fine.
Apollo Creed must be laughing his head off.