Senate President Gaetz follows Bush Playbook and Mocks Citizen Concerns on Federal Interference with Standards and Tests

November, 2013

According to an article in the Orlando Advocate that was written by the Florida News Service, Senate President Don Gaetz openly mocked the concerns of Florida parents and citizens regarding the federal role in the Common Core system of federally incentivized national standards, accompanying federally funded and supervised national tests, and federally required data collection.  Senator Gaetz, as confirmed by his office, defended Common Core by saying the following when "answering a question from the audience after a speech on education policy Monday" (11/4/13):

"You can't dip them in milk and hold them over a candle and see the United Nations flag or Barack Obama's face," Gaetz said. "They're not some federal conspiracy."
"It is bad enough to hear this kind of sneering derision of Florida and American citizens from former Governor Bush who seems to want to run for president, but it is very concerning to see a current Florida official in a major Republican leadership position follow the same playbook," said Randy Osborne, director of education for Heartland Research and lobbyist for Florida Eagle Forum.   

"Apparently both Senator Gaetz and the former governor also believe that nearly the entire US House Republican delegation, the entire Republican National Committee, the National Federation of Republican Women, Home School Legal Defense Association, Focus on the Family, the American Principles Project, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action for America, the American Family Association, the thirty-seven groups comprising the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition, Florida Family Policy Council, and the Florida Parent Home Educators Association, among many others, are all delusional, said Dr. Karen Effrem, president of Education Liberty Watch and co-founder of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition.  "And if you want some trans-partisan flavor, one could add the Florida Progressive Democratic Caucus, the Libertarian Party, and the Constitution Party.  Officials are accountable to the people, not the other way around.  Governor Scott, Mr. Bush, and the current legislature will find it increasingly difficult to get support in the next election cycles if this type of nasty, disrespectful behavior is continued."   
CONTACT:  Chrissy Blevio at 941-737-7743 or

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