Commissioner Stewart Admits No Real Significance of Governor's Orders

Since the release of Governor Rick Scott's executive order and letters last week, Commissioner Pam Stewart has been admitting what we have documented in our analysis regarding their significance.  Most importantly, she is signaling that the upcoming standards hearings are likely to be directed to a pre-determined outcome just as in the case of the education accountability summit.

In an interview with the Ocala Star Banner on September 30th, the commissioner basically said that the upcoming standards hearings will be just for show and that the "curriculum" is not likely to change:
"While the Department of Education plans to hold community town hall meetings to hear from the public about the pros and cons of the new Common Core State Standards, she expects little changes in the curriculum as a result. For three years, districts have been phasing in Common Core curriculum, which she said was a better bridge for high school students to become college and career ready."

In an email to superintendents, Commissioner Stewart admitted that while Florida will no longer serve as fiscal agent (money manager) for PARCC, PARCC is still on the table for consideration as Florida's state assessment, contrary to the wishes of the governor, Speaker Weatherford and President of the Senate Gaetz:
Will we still have an assessment for 2014-15 and must it be something other than the PARCC assessments? Florida will have an appropriate assessment in place to assess our students' success on our standards in the 2014-2015 school year. As the governor's plan indicates, we are withdrawing as fiscal agent for the PARCC consortium. At the same time, we continue to consider PARCC among potential options while we conduct a competitive procurement, so we can review every option available to ensure we have the best test for Florida. 

The governor, commissioner, and legislature are playing a dangerous game by thinking they can insult the intelligence of Florida parents and taxpayers by playing this shell game.


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