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  • Why Florida Was the "Smart" Choice for LeBron

    Everyone has speculated about why LeBron James chose Florida as his next home court. Maybe it was the lower tax rate, perhaps the sunny beaches, or perhaps to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in pursuit of countless championships. Here’s another possibility: LeBron wants to be in a state that wins both on the court and in the classroom.

    In Cleveland, 58 percent of eighth-grade students are below basic in math, compared to just 36 percent of students in Miami. Similarly, 27 percent of 8th graders are below basic in reading in Miami versus nearly half of all eighth-graders in Cleveland.

    And Cleveland spends a full $2,000 more per student than Miami.

    On a positive note, Cleveland does have a successful school voucher program which allowed more than 6,000 low-income children to attend private schools last year. But while Ohio has pockets of reform, such as the voucher program, Florida has implemented a state-wide education reform program to the benefit of all children in the Sunshine State.

    Beginning in 1998 under the tenure of Governor Jeb Bush, Florida began implementing a suite of sweeping education reforms. They introduced merit pay bonuses, began grading schools on an A-F scale, created high state standards, ended social promotion and allowed for alternative teacher certification.

    The result? African American students in Florida now outpace or tie the statewide average of all students in reading in eight states. Impressively, Hispanic students in Florida now outpace or tie the statewide average of all students in 31 states. Florida has significantly narrowed the achievement gap, while at the same time improving results for all students. Talk about Miami heat!

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Why Florida Was the "Smart" Choice for LeBron

    1. Charley Miller says:

      I agree, but lets look at whats really happening here.

      "No_Child Left Behind" is a faliure, and the current administration's attempt to prop it up will only continue these kinds of disparities.

      Florida has it right, to get away from the ineffective systems of grading, NCLB has encourged.

      Wow, no wonder he bailed on coming to Colorado. Our Governor and State just decieded to just fire the teachers who were around the longest and had low scores, because logic tells us they must be bad teachers….

      Makes sense huh, guess we need to look to Florida, to save a few dollars, at least Gov. Bush didn't trim 100's of teachers from the schools to save a few million.

      Charley Miller

      Unaffiliated for US Congress


      Untill people take a stand for accountibility the broken down two party system will continue to rill on down the road. I want a new bike, that one is a mess.

    2. Brian Day, Columbus says:

      Was this article a jest? What a misleading and poorly linked article – Lebron James decision and school. I watched his TV special for the full hour, and not once did he mention schools as the reason!

      Lebron had to make a decision based upon what was best for Lebron and his family. This is an incredibly selfish reason and gives no legitimacy to the greater good. King James has abandoned his kingdom. Rather than achieving his previously announced goals of bringing an NBA championship to Cleveland, he jumped ship to play with his buddies. If his plan was to play with Wade and Bosch all along, then he misled Cleveland, the Chicago Bulls, the NY Knicks, the NJ Nets and the LA Clippers. His decision process, his antics, his hour long special, his narcissism and lack of champion caliber leadership revealed the epitomy of self centeredness.

      It had nothing to do with schools, and your linking the two diminishes your authority and leadership. Shame on Heritage!

    3. Ingy B (Beverly Hill says:

      Brian Day, shame on you! How dare you insinuate that this article was in jest! Couldn't you see in LeBron's eyes that he wanted to play in Florida for the children? Even D-Wade and Chris Bosh realize that the children are our future and that we need to teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside!

    4. Drew Page, IL says:

      We have become a society where people think that anything can be done if we just psss a law and say the problem is now solved. Remember, nothing is impossible to the person who doesn't have to do it. For how many years have we had a "War on Drugs" or a "War on Poverty"? How much tax money has been spent on these "Wars"? Have we eliminated drugs or poverty? How can these things still exist? After all, we passed laws against these things.

      It is a good thing to have goals and aspirations, and to pursue those goals. It's another thing entirely for the government to try and mandate these things. The old "We know what's best for you and by God you're going to do it or be penalized" approach. While I don't think much of this approach, there are others that think this is the only way to go. So, we wind up with things like "No child left behind". We have the government giving McDonalds all kinds of hell because people are getting too fat. We have the government taxing things like soda pop and candy because "they" have determined what's bad for you.

      How much longer until a government functionary appears at your door, toting a bathroom scale, tape measure and blood sample kit taking your vital statistices, giving you a diet and exercise plan to achieve "government standards" for body fat content, muscle tone and blood chemistry, subject to tax penalties for non-compliance?

    5. MIke Lombardo says:

      The player you referred to, is more concerned about himslf, and his needs than he is about the plight of minority children and their families quest for a quality education.

      If you watched this "superstar", who has referred to himself in deity like reference as "The Chosen One", (even has this tatooed on his back), in his one hour special, the only thing anyone got out of it was another case of an athlete with an overblown ego, enamored with his own self-importance.

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    7. Ty says:

      Just stumbled upon this.

      Isn't conservatism selfish in nature? You do what's best for yourself and your family. Lebron did what he wanted to do. There was/is a huge market for him and he exploited it legally. He could have achieved a championship in Cleveland had the owner acquired good players alongside him. Charity towards Cleveland is not part of Lebron's job description. A fellow player said it best:

      "It's like somebody giving you money and taking care of you, giving you a home and then after seven years, 'You're like OK, you're on your own now.' And you being like, 'What? You're going to leave me?"

      One must only see the Cavs record now to see how good the team essentially is. He did tie up the Cavs by announcing his decision so late in the free agency period but the owner obviously doesn't know business and didn't prepare a backup plan. The Texas Rangers, unlike the New York Yankees, prepared for the possibility of not signing Cliff Lee signing with them even during his free agency. The Yankees put all their eggs in one basket and is now facing a quandary.

      But I doubt that Lebron came to Miami for their education system. It's a nice jumping point toward your argument for FL's education reform, but there is really no correlation between his decision to come to Miami and the education of Miami. Lebron can pick the best school for his children to go; one which doesn't rely on governmental reform/change and is miles above the Miami average.

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