Florida Politics, a media platform,* has a weekly feature whereby it names the biggest winners and losers of the week in Florida politics. This week, it named Richard Corcoran, Commissioner of Education and erstwhile-House Speaker who was known for always getting his way (is that code language for a bully?), as the week’s biggest loser for issuing a memo to school superintendents to suggest (go back and read the previous parentheses) that mandatory mask policies serve no purpose and should disappear when the next school year begins.
That’s the highest one-day increase since Feb. 5.
That makes the pronouncement by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran all the more bizarre.
In a memo to public school district superintendents, Corcoran recommended they drop the mandatory mask requirements for the 2021-22 academic year.
Corcoran’s memo said, “they serve no remaining good at this point in our schools.”
It’s long been obvious to Florida educators that politicians like Richard Corcoran are ignorant about public schools, Florida’s school districts, and what actually goes on inside the walls. They never ask. They are arrogant in their dictates and infuriating in their dismissal of experts and practitioners in the art of learning.
Seriously? How does anyone know at this early date what things will look like in August?
Hey, while we wait, let’s ask the opinion of people who actually studied this stuff in college. They have wide agreement that masks make a big difference in safety. John V. Williams, a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, answered it this way.
“There isn’t really a lot of evidence for six feet versus three feet, and the masks are much more important than the distance,” he told the New York Times. “Three feet would allow much more capacity in schools.”
To give Corcoran his due, the good commish won the day with his battle to reopen schools for in-person learning. Fears of an apocalyptic virus rampage through classrooms never happened.
But what’s the benefit of telling schools now they shouldn’t require masks when they return?
That seems like a foolish move from someone high on legislative adrenaline.
Or someone jealous of a governor, a job Corcoran wanted until it was obvious that no one really liked him and his chances of winning the primary were about those of the proverbial snowball in Hades, a governor who is riding high as most-favored for the GOP presidential 2024 nomination as long as you-know-who decides not to run, a governor much beloved by the give-me-Covid-or-give-me-death crowd, but don’t ever make me wear a mask. The governor obliged.
Maybe if the governor succeeds, Corcoran will be heading to the city on the Potomac to usher in a new Devosian assault on education.
If that happens, public schools will become the biggest losers.
*Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.
Publisher: Peter Schorsch