Coalition Statement on the Appointment of Randy Osborne to Governor's Education Standards Task Force

August, 2013

Governor Rick Scott has called for a statewide education task force to be convened on Monday August 26th.  This panel will deal with the Common Core standards, the state assessments, teacher evaluations, and the school grading system.  The group will be composed of educators, legislators, and citizens from across the state. Included will be the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition's (FSCCC) lobbyist and political strategist, Randy Osborne, who also serves as director of education for the Florida Eagle Forum and Heartland Research.

"We are gratified that Governor Scott is willing to include voices that oppose the Common Core system of national standards, national tests, and invasive student and teacher data collection on this task force," said Dr. Karen Effrem, president of Education Liberty Watch and a co-founder of the FSCCC. We are especially proud that the fine work of Mr. Osborne along with the research, lobbying, and grassroots activism of our large and growing coalition has reached his and other policymakers' attention.  This is an opportunity to try to deal with the many serious issues associated with the Common Core standards, tests, evaluations and the related, arbitrary and complicated school grading system. We hope that Florida's education leaders will hear the concerns and do what is best for the students and citizens of this state by returning control of education to the local level where it belongs."

Here are details about the meeting from the Governor's office:

~Florida's top education leaders to discuss state standards for students, school grades, student assessments and teacher evaluations~
Tallahassee, Fla. As the school year is beginning for Florida's students across the state, Governor Rick Scott has asked a panel of Florida education leaders to discuss the sustainability and transparency of the state's accountability system to ensure each student has the opportunity to succeed.
Governor Scott asked Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart to convene the summit to provide the opportunity to openly discuss ideas and options to continue improving Florida's public school system.
"Florida's education accountability system has become a national model, but we are at a critical point in our history," said Governor Scott. "Our students need and deserve a quality education that emphasizes critical thinking and analysis. Our teachers and schools need our support as we continue to compete nationally and globally in preparing students for success in college, career and in life."
Governor Scott asked Stewart to lead the summit with a focus on four strategic priorities:

  1. State Standards. Continuing to raise the bar on education standards, by including an emphasis on critical and analytical thinking, to drive continued improvement by Florida students;
  2. State Standard Assessments. Ensuring the assessment that replaces the FCAT will accurately measure the more challenging standards that will be taught to our students, provides meaningful performance information to our students, is cost effective, results are timely provided and we do not unnecessarily become intertwined with the federal government.
  3. School Grades. Improving our education accountability system to further ensure transparency and fairness while providing meaningful and useful information to our parents and educators about how our students and schools are performing; and
  4. Teacher Evaluations. Understanding how our teachers are evaluated, ensuring transparency throughout the process and using a fair system to identify, recognize and reward our highly performing teachers.
Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford are key partners in the summit and have designated leaders from the Legislature to participate.
"Governor Scott's Education Accountability Summit will provide the leaders of our Senate Committees on Education and Education Appropriations the opportunity to collect various perspectives and ideas which will be used in committee meeting discussions scheduled to begin next month," said President Gaetz. "The Senate looks forward to working with the Governor to build on the gains Florida's public education system has made over more than a decade and we appreciate the opportunity to have a seat at the table for this significant event."
"Florida has made significant progress in improving education over the last 15 years, and it's important to have a vision so we can continue to ensure our children are succeeding and have the skills they need to compete in today's global economy," said Speaker Weatherford.  "I commend Governor Scott for convening this education summit and taking a strong leadership role on the future of educational standards, assessment, school grades and teacher accountability in Florida."
"Everyone attending this summit shares the same goal:  Ensuring that every student in Florida is given the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in the career of his or her choice," said State Board of Education Chairman Gary Chartrand. "This is a great opportunity for educators, business leaders, and policy makers to share strategies that will benefit not only our students but our state as a whole."
To view the meeting via live webcast, visit Florida Department of Education.
To submit ideas or feedback, please share via email at
WHAT:          Education Accountability Summit
WHEN:          Monday, August 26, 1 p.m. through Wednesday, August 28, 4 p.m.
(A more detailed schedule will be posted at
WHERE:        EpiCenter
Collaborative Labs at St. Petersburg College
13805 58th Street North
Clearwater, FL
Attendees include:
Invited by Governor Scott and Commissioner Stewart with the assistance of education partners:
  Gary Chartrand State Board of Education
  Marshall Criser Business Community Leader
  Mark Wilson Business Community Leader
Superintendent Alberto Carvalho Miami-Dade County  
  Superintendent Joe Joyner St. Johns County
  Superintendent Bill Husfelt Bay County
  Patricia Levesque Foundation for Florida's Future
  Andy Ford Florida Education Association
  Jeff Wright Florida Education Association
  Joanne McCall Florida Education Association
  Patty Hightower School Board Chair, Escambia County
  Wayne Blanton Florida School Boards Association
  Eileen Segal Florida PTA
  Linda Kearschner Parent
  Juhan Mixon Florida Association of School Administrators
  Laura Zorc Parent, Florida Parents Against Common Core
  Anthony Lockhart School Principal, Atlantic Community High, Palm Beach County
  John Kirtley Florida Charter School Alliance
  Doug Tuthill Step Up For Students
  Keith Calloway Professional Educators Network, Broward County
  Steve Chambers Professional Educators Network, Okaloosa County
  Dorina Sackman 2014 Teacher of the Year, Orange County
  Alex Lopes 2013 Teacher of the Year, Miami-Dade County
  Apryl Shackelford Teacher of the Year, Duval County
  Jennifer Grove Business Community Leader, Workforce Florida Inc. Vice Chair
  Randy Osborne Community Leader
  Joe Gruters CPA, Sarasota County
  Mark Wilson Florida Chamber of Commerce
  Maureen Wilt Florida Power & Light
Invited by President Gaetz:
Senator John Thrasher
Senator John Legg
Senator Bill Galvano
Senator Bill Montford
Invited by Speaker Weatherford:
Representative Marlene O'Toole
Representative Erik Fresen
Representative Janet Adkins
Representative Reggie Fullwood

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