Potential Interim Education Commissioner is Pro-Common Core - We Need to Withdraw from Common Core!

August, 2013

Thanks to your strong opposition to Common Core that helped result in Tony Bennett's resignation, on Friday, August 2nd at 11 AM, the Florida State Board of Education is meeting in an emergency conference call to appoint an interim commissioner.  They are likely to appoint current public schools chancellor Pam Stewart who held the post of interim commissioner before Bennett was appointed.  She is a strong supporter of the Common Core system as she has worked to implement Florida's federal Race to the Top grant.  That grant required adoption of the Common Core national standards and tests and the state longitudinal data system responsible for the horrible data mining bill SB 878, that thanks to your united voice, Randy Osborne's lobbying, and Dr. Karen Effrem's research, we were able to kill in the 2013 session. 
We believe we need to raise our voices again against Pam Stewart, show the SBOE and Governor Scott that we want the whole Common Core system repealed, and that we do not want another pro-Common Core commissioner.  Although Dr. Effrem is very grateful for the kind recommendations of her to fill Tony Bennett's position, she feels that there are great people with much more experience in state education that would fit the bill.  The two currently at the top of her list are:

Michael Sentance - According to the Las Vegas Sun, "Sentance was formerly a longtime secretary of education in Massachusetts and served as a regional representative for the U.S. Education Department. A former assistant attorney general in Massachusetts, Sentance has law degrees from Duquesne University and Boston University and a bachelor's degree in American studies from Georgetown University." He presided over what has been called the "Massachusetts Miracle" during which the Bay State drastically improved its students' academic achievement to first in the nation due to strong and challenging state-derived academic standards.   (Details are available HERE.)  He understands that the Common Core standards are far inferior to the ones Massachusetts had before.  He is currently a finalist for the state superintendent's job in Nevada.  If that state is not wise enough to choose him, we believe that he would make an incredibly good commissioner in Florida.
Sandra Stotsky  Dr. Stotsky was a member of the Common Core validation committee for English that refused to sign off on the final version of the standards.  She was heavily involved in the development of the very rigorous and effective Massachusetts standards, made excellent suggestions on standards all across the country as states developed their standards before Common Core, and has bravely testified all over the nation about the many problems with and dangers of the Common Core English standards.  She has also written a set of academic, content rich standards that could be used in place of the Common Core that she is making available to any state that wants them for free. (More information is available HERE.
We urgently request the following actions for the board meeting Friday, August 2nd at 11 AM:

1)      Please, if at all possible, listen in by dialing 1-866-318-8612 and passcode: 59457686.
2)      During the public comment time, please say who you are and the GROUP to whom you belong so that we can create an impression of widespread opposition to Common Core and the people that promote it.
3)      If you agree, please consider including some or all of these types of points in your comment time, which is likely only to be 2 minutes:
·         Tony Bennett's grade fixing in both Florida and Indiana shows how corrupt and unworkable Common Core is and that we want out of the national standards, tests and data mining, not a continuation of it.
·         Pamela Stewart should not be brought on to continue implementing Common Core and the Race to the Top, especially the data mining, nor anyone that supports Common Core.
·         Michael Sentence or Sandra Stotsky would be far better alternatives.

If you cannot join the conference call, please make your voice heard with these contacts:
Governor Rick Scott (850) 488-7146 or by clicking HERE to email him.
Board Chairman Gary Chartrand leave a message with the clerk at 850-245-9661 or email
Thank you for all of your work and support to end Common Core in Florida.

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