Scott's Latest Attempt to Mollify Common Core Critics - A Review Commission

August, 2014

According to an article by Gary Fineout of the Associated Press, Governor Rick Scott's latest attempt to quell the rapidly growing rebellion to Common Core and the standards' deceptive re-brand as the Florida Standards will be to announce later today the convening of an "independent committee" to review the standards and potentially make more changes to them.  The governor also wants to have the committee conduct "thorough and comprehensive investigation" about the standardized tests.

Apparently, one large sham exercise where they pretended to care what the people thought was not enough; even though the commissioner, two high education officials, Speaker Weatherford and recently Jeb Bush all admitted were not going to be or were not substantial changes, fooling no one..  Now they are going to go through this song and dance with a panel of experts to do another re-brand like Indiana did that will likely change nothing.

Fineout described the process this way in this article

Last year Scott called for public hearings into the benchmark standards in writing, reading and math that were the result of an initiative sponsored by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. State education officials tweaked the standards, including adding a requirement for cursive writing. Then during the spring legislators adopted new laws that officially removed the words "Common Core" from state statutes. In response to fears from activists, the state also changed laws regarding textbook reviews and banned districts from collecting biometric data from students.

Scott has insisted this means Common Core is "out" of Florida schools but activists have refused to drop their campaign against the standards. Meanwhile, other Republican governors have pushed to jettison the standards in recent months and school board races and legislative races around the state have featured candidates announcing their opposition to Common Core. Amid this uproar the Scott campaign quietly dispatched a top aide this summer to explain to GOP groups what steps the state had taken. That, however, has also not quieted the criticism.

The answer to Fineout's questions about whether the governor "Still Has a Common Core Problem" is a resounding YES!  That large problem will not be solved by more maneuvering or deception. This will NOT relieve the terrible burden of poor academics, indoctrination, and loss of privacy, parental, and local control. Governor Scott needs to either use his executive authority or call for the legislature to pass a true repeal bill as was done in Oklahoma and as Scott Walker called for in Wisconsin.  One way or another, the standards and tests should be rejected.  Ultimately, we need to return to local decision making  for both, but truly Florida developed standards and tests would be a welcome start, along with a prohibition on psychological testing, real data protection that doesn't rely on the gutted federal law, and true local choices in curriculum.  This is more lipstick on a pig that will continue to be problematic for the governor and other politicians that continue to deceive the people.


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