FL Senate Majority Leader & Congressional Candidate Benaquisto Sidesteps Questions About Getting Rid of Common Core

February, 2014

Florida Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benaquisto, now a candidate for the congressional seat in District 19 vacated by the resignation of Rep. Trey Radel, did an interview on the Drew Steele Show ( about her candidacy on February 5th.  This state senator, who was endorsed by Jeb Bush during her last election, completely evaded questions about whether she supported getting rid of the Common Core standards system. Instead she played into the deceptive Common Core cover-up game perpetrated by the establishment by talking about "Florida standards, Florida assessments and Florida curriculum."    Here is an excerpt from the Common Core exchange that started at 8:40:

Drew Steele:  "Are you concerned at all with the lessons that are being taught and what's happening nationally, the stories that you hear, to the point that you would be willing to say, 'Listen, I would like to put a stop,' because for me, and you know how I feel about this.  I don't think it's enough.  I would like to see a stop to this.  I don't think we need it here in this state.  Quite frankly, when you are talking about the governor and his re-election, I think it's a positive if he would just get rid of it altogether.  If there are groups that are out there, and there are that say, 'We need to get rid of it completely,' would you back such a group?"

Lizbeth Benaquisto:  "Well, first of all, let me say as a mom with a daughter in public school and a conservative Republican, I do not want President Obama determining the education curriculum that will guide my daughter's educational journey.  We are going to do all that we can to develop Florida standards, Florida assessments, and Florida curriculum that is based in what we feel, on the local level, is best for our children.  And I will continue to fight for that."
There are only two possibilities here.  The first is that the senator is completely clueless about the facts that changing the name, removing references to Common Core in statute, changing or adding a mere 0.8% of the standards, choosing among six fully Common Core aligned tests, and the state being required to send individual student data to the consortium which is required by contract to give it to the federal DOE in no way pulls Florida out of this federal and national system.  The other possibility is that she, like her mentor, Governor Bush, and the foundations and corporations that stand to profit from this system regardless of what it does to our children, is being deceptive and disingenuous.  Neither option reflects very well on a potential member of Congress. 
We will bring you analysis of the statements about Common Core by other candidates for this seat as they become available.

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