The Horizons 2040 Project: Florida Grades K-12 Strategy

Published Thursday, September 12, 2019

About the Florida Council of 100

Formed in 1961, the Florida Council of 100 is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of business, civic, and academic leaders, which exists to promote the economic growth of Florida and a high quality of life for its citizens.

The Council's mission is to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of all Floridians through the relentless pursuit of better, business-driven public policy.


Florida has had almost a twenty-year record of educational improvement including:

  • Rising test scores
  • Closing achievement gaps
  • Skyrocketing graduation rates

However, Floridians can and must do more to prepare future generations to meet the rigorous competition of the next two decades.

Realizing the need to look longer-term, the Florida Council of 100 in the summer of 2016 began discussions on how to approach the work necessary to put together a long-term PreK-12 education plan to complement the shorter-term strategies developed by the state. That short-term state plan:

  • Provides a five-year plan based on known goals
  • Generally remains in the present and builds on improvement
  • Is nearly immediately measurable
  • Is generally agency-driven, focusing on the aspects that the agency can impact

A New Vision & Mission

A long-range plan on the other hand is not bound by the same traditional planning approach. In this particular case, it can be bold and take more risks to establish goals and objectives that are not limited by short term incremental improvement. It casts, instead, the picture of what ought to be created, not what we can get accomplished in the span of one — or even five — legislative cycles.

Therefore, the Council’s PreK-12 Education Committee decided that it could have the most impact by creating a 20-year vision for education in the state — the Horizons 2040 Project. Over the past 3 years, the committee traveled the state, meeting with both subject-matter and pedagogical experts, teachers, leaders, and students from all walks of life. Based on this rich and varied input, the committee has established policy “beacons,” or inspirations, guiding lights, symbols of hope, or shining destinations for the state to reach. Additionally, we are suggesting strategies that can help move Florida toward the beacons, remembering that resource needs may fluctuate over time.

Vision: Florida will have a renewed education culture that provides a customizable learning environment tailored to every student so that they are equipped for life

Mission:  To lead the nation in preparing lifelong learners by providing them with high quality, customizable educational options and tools

Reaching for the Horizon


  • Access: A person’s circumstances (demographic, geographic, economic, or otherwise) must not be a barrier to full participation in the education system.
  • Highest Expectations: Performance standards must be established and maintained at the highest levels—locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Accountability: All participants and providers must be held accountable for their performance.
  • Choice: Students must be provided with as many learning environments and educational options as possible.
  • Personalized Learning: Education should be tailored to meet the needs of each student. One size does not fit all. Resource
  • Prioritization: Resources must be focused on the classroom, not administration.
  • Rewarding Performance: Superior results merit superior benefits.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Resources must be allocated where they have the greatest impact.
  • Cutting-edge Technology: Students and teachers must be provided with relevant, up-to-date learning tools.
  • Partnership: Public and private relationships must be fostered, leveraged, and institutionalized.
  • Data-driven Decision-making: Objective analysis must help inform policy decisions.


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