Former Governor Jeb Bush's foundation and all three gubernatorial candidates have put out statements on high stakes testing. These tests are related to the implementation of Common Core, renamed as the Florida Standards.
As the tsunami of opposition to the developmentally inappropriate, invasive and expensive high stakes testing scheme associated with Common Core continues to build, Jeb Bush's foundation is running for cover and trying to back off some of the tests. Executive Director Patricia Levesque wrote a letter posted on Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education website that first tries to defend all of the testing:
Schools have the freedom to teach however they think is best. But standardized tests ensure schools teach all children to the same high expectations. Without them, history shows some schools set lower expectations for some students. And we shouldn't have a system that discriminates. (Emphasis in original)
The problem is that there is little evidence historically that statewide standards and tests mandated by the federal government have worked. to improve achievement or close the achievement gap. Despite spending $2 trillion dollars at the federal level, student achievement has remained stagnant and the achievement gap is essentially unchanged:
Other research by Neal McCluskey of Cato reveals that the US does both better and worse on international comparisons than nations with national education standards. Research by Dr. Chris Tienken of Seton Hall University shows that the US leads the world in innovation and entrepreneurialism without national standards.
Levesque later admits that excessive testing is a problem and throws a bone to parents:
While I strongly believe in tests, I agree there is such a thing as too many tests...Tests need to serve a purpose and not simply take up valuable classroom time. It's refreshing to see that some districts are reviewing their local tests. Read more