Online knowledge center launched
Gov. Rick Scott unveiled a promise to create a resource for teachers during his 2010 campaign.
"I propose to create a centralized knowledge center to ensure teachers and students have access to the highest quality virtual content available, shared curriculum and best practices while maintaining consistency in delivery systems, instructional models, requirements, quality, funding and accountability," Scott wrote in his Let's Get to Work campaign document about his education plans.
Scott wrote that promise within a section about transforming the future of education through technology and virtual education.
We've already rated promises the governor made that relate to virtual education including authorizing virtual charter schools and expanding school options.
Jaryn Emhof, a spokeswoman for Foundation for Florida's Future chaired by former Gov. Jeb Bush, pointed us to the state's Department of Education virtual curriculum marketplace. DOE announced the opening of this website on May 31, 2011, and it is intended to provide "a single point of entry for Florida teachers to search for and assign educationally proven, national- and Florida-standards aligned and safe digital content." The 2009 Legislature approved creation of the website in Senate Bill 2600, which stated "the Department of Education shall establish a virtual curriculum marketplace to assist school districts in the provision of online or digital content. The virtual curriculum marketplace must contain free or fee-based digital assets and full courses that align with the Sunshine State Standards." Learning.com was selected as the sole provider in September 2010.
So the Legislature approved creating the website and the state chose a vendor before Scott won election in November 2010, but the website launched early in his first year as governor.
Some of the materials are free while others have a cost. Anton Leof, vice president of corporate development for Learning.com, said that teachers can draw from materials from providers such as NASA as well as lessons provided by other educators. In Florida, teachers can search for materials that relate to specific Sunshine State standards and can find specific lesson plans, interactive games and assignment suggestions.
It's not necessary to be a teacher to access the website -- we registered on the teacher sign up page as a third-party user to test it out.
Scott promised to "create a centralized knowledge center to ensure teachers and students have access to the highest quality virtual content available." The state already agreed to create this resource and chose a vendor before Scott took office, but it was implemented while he was the governor. We rate this Promise Kept.
Rick Scott campaign, "Let's Get to Work," 2010
PolitiFact, "Whether or not Scott had to do much, he is getting his wish," May 6, 2011
PolitiFact, "Scott signs several school choice bills into law," June 13, 2011
Florida Department of Education, Virtual curriculum marketplace website, Accessed Dec. 7, 2011
Florida virtual curriculum marketplace, An overview, Accessed Dec. 7, 2011
Interview, Jaryn Emhof, spokeswoman for Foundation for Florida's Future, Dec. 6, 2011
Interview, Jackie Schutz, spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Scott, Dec. 5, 2011
Interview, Alia Jackson, outreach manager for Learning.com, Dec. 7, 2011
Interview, Anton Leof, vice president of corporate development for Learning.com, Dec. 7, 2011