A goal of all third-graders in the state of Florida reading at grade level and a 100 percent high school graduation rate with students earning either a diploma or trade certification was the big hairy audacious goal — or vision statement — that emerged for K-12 education policy makers at the first SayfieReview.com Florida Leaders Summit. Bob McClure, president and CEO of the James Madison Institute, said the statement is an attempt to incorporate about 15 separate ideas into an overall mission statement.
“We thought if we could crystallize it into one goal it would take care of the other 14,” McClure said. He quickly dismissed a suggestion that achieving a 100 percent graduation rate was more aspirational than a realistic goal.“You have to start somewhere and this is supposed to be a big hairy audacious goal. You set one of those and then see if we can get there. And I think we can,” McClure said.Health policy makers huddled in seven groups of seven to nine participants and then selected having Florida as the undisputed healthiest state in the nation with clear emphasis on wellness, prevention, innovation and accountability by 2020 as its goal.“We have top-notch medical facilities and better talent than anywhere else in the country. We have visionary leaders in the health care industry doing prevention and wellness activities,” said Jason Altmire, senior vice president of public policy for Florida Blue. “When you add all that together we do have the opportunity to do it.”Other BHAGs, as the vision statements were dubbed, agreed to include:
* From the energy group — Having Florida the first state to have in place a full statewide public access infrastructure to refuel alternative-fueled vehicles by 2025 as its big hairy audacious goal;* From the tourism group — A goal of attracting 150 million visitors annually by 2020 and increasing international tourism numbers by 25 percent.* From transportation policymakers — To create an environment where people rely less on traditional modes of transportation. To accomplish that goal they proposed allocating 2.5 percent of the transportation budget to research and development.
Justin Sayfie, publisher of the SayfieReview.com, organized the two-day meeting in Orlando with the idea that getting state “leaders” in the same place at the same time it would produce fruitful discussions about policy challenges.“We live in a dynamic world so we’re always going to have challenges,” Sayfie said. “I thought it was important to help address some of those challenges and even solve some of those challenges.”Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek, was among the group that set the goal for health policy but he panned its vision statement.”It’s very easy to say we want to be the healthiest state in the nation, but the question is ‘How do we get there?,” Waldman said.Waldman, however, added that the summit’s speakers were informative and that the ideas presented during the summit were quite good and something that people need to hear.“That’s what needs to be done. Politicians need to hear what do the people out in the trenches really say: the people who run businesses, who run organizations. What do they think? From that standpoint it’s been very good, certainly been helpful to me,” Waldman said.Reporter James Call can be reached at jcall@thefloridacurrent.com.http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=34460513