This week honored Sunshine Week, a time when we as public servants are reminded that government in our state is open and transparent to all who seek information and services. This week is special because it helps to serve as a reminder that each and every citizen has the right to access government, whether that is through public meetings, data gathering or simply trying to get a question answered.
We pride ourselves here at the Department for being as open as possible and for always finding ways to respond quickly and accurately to our stakeholders no matter what else may be going on. Being responsive to the public is important, especially in such a critical area as education.
Without access to the information we provide accountability would be meaningless and the overall progress of our children and our education system would suffer. Imagine if state assessment results or graduation rates were confidential, or if Florida College enrollment was off limits to the public. Such a sheltered system would breed failure as our citizens and stakeholders remained in the dark on key issues.
That is why I am so pleased that we live in a state that mirrors its open records laws on its own abundant sunshine. I know for a fact that our unique transparency has only helped to contribute to the incredible progress of our students as stakeholders and citizens alike look for new ways to help us improve.