Full FSCCC Press Statment at State Board of Education Hearing 2/18/14

February, 2014

Good morning, my name is Karen Effrem, I am a wife and mother of three trained as a pediatrician.  I am president of Education Liberty Watch and co-founder of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition a group of over 40 state and national organizations representing hundreds of thousands of Florida citizens.  We are here today to protest the sham changes being made to the Common Core standards.
Removing references to Common Core in statute does not remove   from the Common Core system.

Making cosmetic or what the commissioner herself characterized as "minor changes" does not fix the problems with Common Core.
Not only are these standards untried and unproven as Laura just stated, they are as developmentally inappropriate and psychologically manipulative as before these changes. The federal department of education, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and many other organizations and individuals admit that a main purpose of Common Core is to teach and test psychological and behavioral parameters instead of academics.

The commissioner and department ignored much specific documentation by renowned experts about these and other problems with individual standards

Changing the name to the Florida Standards or the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards is merely a bait and switch tactic attempting to ease political pressure from parents and citizens that are outraged at what Common Core is doing to their children, to teachers, and to local control.

All five of the testing companies bidding for Florida's testing contract plus PARCC, of which Florida is still a member, are offering tests that are fully Common Core aligned.  Several of these companies openly admit that they test psychological parameters in their standardized tests.  PARCC is federally funded and supervised.

Those standards were developed by five major architects that never taught in a K-12 classroom, admit they were not qualified, and that these standards are not adequate for a selective four year university.  Two of the nation's greatest Common Core proponents, Bill Gates and Chester Finn, admit the standards are a giant experiment.

Despite the letter from Commissioner Stewart and the 33 other chief state school officers to Arne Duncan, individual student test data will still go to the federal  government as a result of contracts and the weakening of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act via regulation.
In short, nothing has changed.  The people of Florida, especially parents, are not deceived and they are not amused.

The Department spokespeople are saying that the process for dealing with the standards is winding down, but we are here to say that we are just getting started.  We are here today to announce a major campaign with materials, a website landing page and the ability for citizens to call and write their elected officials in one simple fashion at  In addition, we will soon be announcing legislation and events and every other means at our disposal to show that we will not submit our children to this national system with all of its academic and emotional harm.

Even the proponents admit that when people hear the pro and con arguments to common Core, support for Common Core drops substantially.  We are here to say that we will continue to make the opposing arguments.  This, and other polling data shows that politicians who continue to support Common Core will see their support erode.  They need to be aware of this as this election season begins. Thank you.

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