FSCCC Involved in Media Coverage of Deceptive Standards Name Changes

February, 2014

Two excellent articles have been written in the last several days showing that the press and the public are not buying the name changes and superficial changes to the standards. Both extensively quoted FSCCC.

James Call of the The Florida Current used a literary illusion to 1984 to illustrate the legislature's transparent attempt to alleviate the pressure from angry constituents:

It's not as Orwellian as making a person's existence disappear from the public record but Winston Smith would recognize the maneuver.  

A Florida House ccommittee on Wednesday will discuss a proposed committee bill that expunges the words "Common Core" from state law.  The K-12 Subcommittee is working on a bill, basically a housekeeping measure, repealing terminated programs and clarifying graduation requirements. It would delete 36 references to the Common Core State Standards in sections 1000.21 to 1008.22 of the Florida Statutes governing public education.

The proposal replaces Common Core with "Next Generation Sunshine State Standards." The measure also removes references to Common Core in the definition of the Next Generation standards.  Florida adopted Common Core academic standards in 2010 and was to implement them this fall.  

"Name changes and cosmetic changes to standards will not pull Florida out of Common Core," said Karen Effrem, of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition.  "We're still going to be in the Common Core system."

Allison Nielsen from Sunshine State News also wrote an important story:

The proposed changes to Common Core represent only a small fraction of the standards. There are about 11,000 standards outlining what students need to know in math and language arts. The 98 proposed changes to Common Core, if approved, would equal 0.8 percent of the total standards.

"The rebranding is deceptive, not good," Dr. Karen Effrem of Florida Stop Common Core Coalition told Sunshine State News. "They are trying to get rid of the political toxicity related to Common Core, but have no intention of really changing [the standards]." 

For Effrem and other anti-Common Core groups, the rebranding effort overlooks the testing portion of the standards, which they say is the true issue at hand with regard to data mining and privacy concerns.

"The test companies vying for the state contract are all fully aligned to Common Core," said Effrem.  "The data still goes to the feds. Nothing has changed."

In January, FSCCC spoke out on potential issues with the standards and a new assessment test. 

"These tests are either going to be the federally funded and supervised PARCC or SBAC tests or some other Common Core-aligned national test," the group wrote. "Individual student test scores will be combined with highly personal student and family data to create academic and psychological profiles of students that will be available to the federal government, researchers, and corporations due to the weakening of the federal student privacy law."

The Common Core standards, tests and data collection will likely dominate the legislature, at least in education.  

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