Is Common Core Out of Florida?

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 7.37.59 AMThe state of Florida is the next state to dump the Common Core State Standards with the controversial standards being declared dead in the Sunshine State by Governor Rick Scott. In an interview with The Report Card, Scott said,

“I signed three bills into law that underscore my commitment to local control of our classrooms, and my rejection of top-down, one-size-fits-all Washington, DC, management of Florida Schools. CS/HB 864 says that the district school board has final responsibility for ALL instructional material in the classroom. The school board must allow parents to be heard. District school boards can no longer pass the buck to Tallahassee or DC.

CS/SB 188 eliminates the prospect of data mining or any other form of inappropriate data collection. And finally HB 7031 eliminates all references to Common Core national standards in Florida law.”

Not so fast, says Channel 13 News in Orlando, in a report on May 29:

“Common Core has been wiped from Florida’s law books, but if you were a critic of the national education standards, don’t get too excited just yet. With a stroke of his pen, Governor Scott stripped Florida’s law books of any and all references to Common Core, but kids won’t see much change in the classroom. While the words, Common Core, are being eliminated, the vast majority of the standards will remain in place in state law, untouched by the legislation. Opponents of Rick Scott are calling the move an “empty campaign gimmick.”

It sounds like Scott’s critics may be right. While Scott claims that The Florida State Standard is now 100% a Florida educational standard, the origin of this standard makes his claim suspect. In an article published on January 13, 2014, The Tampa Bay Times reported, “Hoping to incorporate public input and assuage criticism, state education officials on Monday released 98 proposed changes to the controversial Common Core State Standards and christened them the Florida Standards.”

The changes include “minor tweaks and additions,” including “52 new Calculus standards, requiring students to master cursive writing – a skill not included in the original Common Core Standards – and introducing money concepts in first grade, instead of second.” Common Core opponents are not convinced and are still calling for a complete overhaul of the Florida Standard.

While Scott claims that “The Florida Standard is derived from the Next Generation Sunshine State Standard, which was derived from earlier versions of the Sunshine State Standards (and) these standards pre-dated Common Core and a[re] truly Florida’s own standards,” the Tampa Bay Tribune points out, “The Florida Board of Education adopted the Common Core in 2010, replacing the Next Generation standards in English/language arts and math. When it rebranded everything as Florida Standards, it included the revised Common Core and the state standards in other subject areas.”

So, it sounds like it will be business as usual in Florida’s classrooms next year with no real change in the (Common Core) Florida Standards. Is it really just politics as usual for you, too, Governor Scott?

Katie Abercrombie

Florida PolitiChick Katie Abercrombie, native of North Carolina and a long-time resident in Florida, is a 20-year homeschooling veteran. Now that her four children are grown, she continues to indulge her love for teaching and learning by tutoring, substitute teaching, and teaching writing classes for homeschoolers. She earned her BS degree from Florida Southern College and her MA from Rollins College. BC, or Before Children, she served as the Director of Youth and Family Ministry at her church and has continued to be active in ministry and leadership in her current church. Homeschooling afforded her many opportunities to be politically active and she recently retired from a term on the Orange County Republican Executive Committee. Like Katie's Political Page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @aberaussie.

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