With Florida Rep. Richard Corcoran (R) stepping down as Florida’s Education Commissioner and Florida state Senator Manny Diaz (R) potentially stepping up to the position, some are lauding Corcoran’s efforts while in office. Corcoran has been a staunch supporter of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ (R) positions, including controversial stances such as children not wearing masks in the classroom.
This has gained Corcoran some detractors, but political pundits argue that some of his efforts have had a significant 'impact' on education in Florida.
While it hasn't been confirmed whether or not state Senator Diaz will be replacing Corcoran as Educational Commissioner, Diaz has pursued educational efforts as the legislative session comes to a close.
With SB1048, the state will be replacing its annual standardized testing format for one that is “a computer-based progress monitoring screening in English language arts and mathematics.” This entails "three sets of assessments throughout the year," and "the idea is to keep track of students throughout the year and potentially reduce testing time." However, though Republican lawmakers have championed this new effort in the state, detractors have warned of its effectiveness because Federal education law calls for state testing to take place.
Having previously served as Speaker of the Florida House, Corcoran's exit comes with some praise from activists, who argues that "Corcoran had more impact on how Florida educates its students than anyone since Jeb Bush."
Regarding his time in office, Henderson argues that Corcoran "pushed through a major overhaul of how the state funds its colleges and universities," adding that "Corcoran was a big advocate for workforce education and what used to be called community colleges." Moreover, Corcoran also received praised because "he believed strongly that Florida's children, particularly those in the poorest areas, weren't getting the education they deserved to break a cycle of poverty," which "was the impetus behind his push for charters and school vouchers."
The Florida lawmaker has signaled that he will probably return to practice law, and DeSantis has not commented on who will be replacing Corcoran.