Press Release - Bennett's DOE Disseminating False Information on Common Core

July, 2013

The Florida Department of Education under Commissioner Tony Bennett is doing exactly what they accuse Common Core opponents of doing spreading misinformation.  In fact, their document entitled, Demystifying the Movement: Answers to Common Myths About the Common Core State Standards[1], contains several misleading and demonstrably false statements.
The worst of these is the one that says, "The federal government does not have a hand in development of the aligned assessments pertaining to the CCSS."[2]  Both state testing consortia, SBAC and PARCC, the latter of which Florida leads as fiscal agent with Commissioner Tony Bennett on the board, are working with over $300 million of federal grant money to develop the assessments.  To make sure the federal "investment" for these national tests is according to the federal plan, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) announced what was called a "technical review panel" in March of 2013. According to the USED website:
"The review will focus on two broad areas of assessment development: the consortium's research confirming the validity of the assessment results and the consortium's approach to developing items and tasks."  (Emphasis added)[3].
This means that in addition to the monetary control, the federal government is supervising the development of questions for the national tests that are aligned to the national Common Core standards.  There can be no bigger federal involvement in test development than that.
"This type of blatantly untrue statement combined with Commissioner Bennett's continued truth challenged data manipulation of the school grading system and his gross miscalculation of the Common Core implementation costs that was off by $342 million, portrays a very disturbing pattern of either incompetence or falsehood.  The students, families, and taxpayers of the Florida need competence and honesty at this critical time," said Dr. Karen Effrem, president of Education Liberty Watch and co-founder of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition.     
The Florida Stop Common Core Coalition urges Governor Scott to fulfill Commissioner Bennett's request to "hold him accountable" if he "capitulates to the federal government" as he stated during an interview with Drew Steele on WFSX in Naples[4] as well as for all of these other serious concerns.
Contact: Chrissy Blevio  941-737-7743

[2] Ibid, p. 1
[3] US Department of Education - RACE TO THE TOP TECHNICAL REVIEW: Announcing a Technical Review for the Consortia of States Developing Next-Generation Assessment Systems, March 2013
[4] Daybreak - Drew interviews Dr. Tony Bennett, FL Education Commissioner on Common Core WFSX 92.5 FM Fox News 5/24/13

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