FL DOE Weaves Tangled Web of Deceit About Common Core in NCLB Waiver

June, 2014

The Florida Department of Education renewed its NCLB waiver on June 4th and twisted itself into knots trying to say that it wasn't really involved in Common Core.  The only problem with that line of reasoning is that it will break the rules of the waiver.
Principle 1 of the waiver is "College- and Career-Ready Expectations for All Students." Principle 1a in that section of the waiver application says, "Adopt College- and Career-Ready Standards."  As can be seen from Florida's document below, states are given the following two choices regarding the standards: 

As shown, Florida chose the option of adopting standards "common to a significant number of states."  The only standards that fit that definition were Common Core.  Yet, the master deceivers in the FL DOE try to convince the feds that they have complied with that requirement while at the same time convincing the public that the Florida standards are something other than Common Core with a new name or "lipstick on a pig." Here are some examples from the waiver renewal application:
As can be seen, they are busy crossing out the phrase Common Core in their narrative, but leave it in their chart.  This is typical of the whole document.  FL DOE tries to pretend that the standards adopted in 2010 were something other than the Common Core.  They also attempt to change the narrative to Florida standards, but leave Common Core in in numerous places.  They are following in the footsteps of Orwell's Big Brother by removing the Common Core from the public record as if it never existed, when clearly it has and still does. If Florida wants everyone to believe that they made up their own standards from the beginning, then they violated the waiver, because that, as shown above, requires that they adopt standards "common to a significant number of states."

If the DOE did not adopt Common Core, then they also violated the memorandum of understanding (starting on p. 121 of the PDF) for the Race to the Top application saying explicitly that Florida was adopting Common Core. That memorandum stated, "States that choose to align their standards to the common core standards agree to ensure that the common core represents at least 85 percent of the state's standards in English language arts and mathematics." It is signed by Charlie Crist and Eric Smith:

The undersigned state leaders agree to the process and structure as described above and attest accordingly by our signature(s) below.

In 2010, the Department clearly refused to take even the original option of 15% as evidenced by this statement about the English standards (there is an identical statement for math):

"In summer of 2010 the Florida Department of Education convened a state committee to determine if additional content (up to 15%) was needed to satisfy English language arts requirements in Florida. Based on the results of this study, in the fall of 2010 the Department recommended no additions be made to the original Common Core State Standards adopted in July 2010." - Northeast FL Education Guide.
Even after the change to the "Florida standards" that Commissioner Stewart, Speaker Weatherford,, and other department officials all essentially admitted was a sham, the 99 changes in over eleven thousand standards make them still over 99% Common Core.

When having this many problems telling the truth about basic facts, do we really want these people in charge of the academic standards filling the hearts and minds of our children?

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