Florida Board of Education Information
Florida Board of Education Members
Florida's Governor appoints the Florida Commissioner of Education, who is responsible for, and manages, the daily operations of the Florida Board of Education. Dr. Eric J. Smith is the current Commissioner of Education, and was appointed in 2007. Dr. Smith, as Commissioner, is aided in his management duties by the other six appointed members of the Board of Education. Other members include Mr. T. Willard Fair, Chairman, of Miami, whose term expires in December of 2010; Dr. Akshay Desai, of St. Petersburg, term expiration of December 2010; Mr. Mark Kaplan, Tallahassee, term expiration of December 2013; Mr. Roberto Martinez, Coral Gables, term expiration of December 2012; Mr. John R. Padget, Key West, term expiration of December 2012; Ms. Kathleen Shanahan, Tampa, term expiration of December 2013; and Ms. Susan Story, Pensacola, term expiration of December 2013. The Board meets in Tallahassee at least bi-monthly, or more often if matters require it. The Florida Board of Education (FBE) also holds periodic public hearings at various locations around the state.
Florida Board of Education - Mission
The Board of Education has stewardship for multiple aspects of education within the state of Florida. As such, the FBE holds as its mission the creation of one efficient, seamless system which seeks to increase the proficiency of all Florida students, from preschool students to students enrolled in college, by making possible the opportunity to enlarge skills and knowledge through learning environments and research which students, families and communities value. The Board also seeks to maintain a system of accountability which includes the following goals: highest possible student achievement; seamless communication and maximum access for all stakeholders; creation of a skilled workforce and heightened economic development; and delivery of efficient, high quality services. To help in accomplishing this mission, the Board of Education has organized commissions, committees and task forces to focus on various key responsibilities of education delivery within the state of Florida.
Florida Board of Education - Functions and Goals
In its daily functioning, the Department of Education (as overseen by the Board of Education), provides a single repository of educational data received from school districts, universities, community colleges and independent postsecondary schools. This enables the Department of Education (DOE) to track student performance over time and in various educational venues. The DOE is also charged with providing support and services for more than 2.6 million students, 318,000 full-time staff, 180,000 teachers, and 3,800 public schools. Additionally, the DOE serves as the teaching credentialing body for the state of Florida.
One key goal of the DOE is to have every child be able to read at or above grade level by 2012. To this end, the DOE administers a reading initiative for all public schools throughout the state of Florida, and among volunteer organizations and community groups which support these schools.
Another of the Department's charges is to strengthen the independence and economic self-reliance of Florida citizens. To that end, the DOE manages services and programs which provide apprenticeships, workforce education, career development and job-specific skills. These programs and services include outreach to individuals who are blind, visually impaired, or disabled, aimed at helping them succeed in school or in careers.
In addition to the divisions of Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services, the Department oversees 44 school district technical centers, 28 locally-governed public state colleges, and some 4000-plus other schools, including elementary, middle/junior high, senior and combination schools.