Florida State Senator, Gary Siplin has got his priorities right. Instead of concentrating on education reform he turns his attention to the pressing matter of saggy pants:
In an effort to pass Florida’s new “Pull Your Pants Up” law, State Senator Gary Siplin showed up to Orlando schools on the first day of classes to hand belts to students whose pants sagged.
“We want our kids to believe they’re going to college, and part of that is an attitude, and part of that is being dressed professionally,” Siplin said.
Some may feel that this is a worthy cause, but what it actually does is hide some important challenges facing Florida schools:
Florida’s public-school revenue per student and spending per $1000 of personal income usually rank in the bottom 25 percent of U.S. states. Average teacher salaries rank near the middle of U.S. states.
Florida public schools have consistently ranked in the bottom 25 percent of many national surveys and average test-score rankings before allowances for race are made.
If Mr. Siplin wants to do something real and meaningful with belts, I suggest he “Ban the Belts” by passing a law that bans corporal punishment in Florida schools. A 2008 paper revealed that Florida had 7,185 students hit in the name of teacher discipline.
I have been aquainted with some brilliant teachers from Florida through writing this blog. They are decicated and committed to providing quality education. They look beyond appearances and fight for the best outcomes for their students. They have far more pressing priorities than baggy pants.
Perhaps Mr. Siplin should forget about lifting pants and instead concentrate on lifting his game.