Rep. Soto strongly believes that we cannot restore our own economic prosperity unless we invest in the education of our children. . Darren fought against cuts to K-12 education during his five years in the Florida House by exposing frivolous legislator projects, revealing government inefficiencies, and championing economic reform, all in an effort to maximize funding and increase the quality of education for our children. Darren lead the effort to secure funding for the construction of new classrooms at Valencia College and University of Central Florida so our kids have room to learn and growing class sizes can be controlled. He has also strongly supported programs for children learning the English language, the largest segment of our growing and thriving population.
Rep. Soto believes that standardized testing, such as the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), is only one of many measures that can help determine educational effectiveness. He feels our children are over-tested and we need to focus more on teaching skills that will help our children be successful in their daily lives to prepare them for the rapidly changing world we face. In support of this goal, he has fought to reduce unnecessary testing and control inefficiencies by discouraging the overreliance on FCAT scores as the primary means to determine school funding. Darren supports redirecting our educational dollars to improve teaching by incenting and motivating teachers, creating greater efficiencies in our schools, and modifying curriculum to reflect the needs of our children.
Rep. Soto has pushed for the addition of civics to our school curriculum in an effort to assure our children have a strong foundation in the duties of citizens, government and our role as leaders of the free world. He frequently volunteers his time to teach civics classes in and around the district to lead by example and be a role model for our children. He knows that one important role of state government is to understands the needs of the next generation and to stress the duties and responsibilities of good citizens. Darren is a huge fan of history, as seen and heard by his frequent historical references in speeches, as he believes we must respect the teachings of our ancestors as these lessons will serve our children well when the time comes for them to lead our nation.