Greater FL Consortium of School Boards Discusses Legislatve Agenda

September, 2014

The Greater Florida Consortium of School Boards is meeting tomorrow and Saturday (September 19th and 20th. This organization of eleven boards on both coasts of Florida represents 42% of the students, 55% of the tax base and 51% of the legislative members in the state of Florida. They will be discussing their legislative agenda for 2015.
Unfortunately there is no language in their proposals opposing the Common Core, AKA Florida Standards. However, in light of the Lee County vote to opt out of state mandated tests; the Florida Association of School Boards vote and tabling of a resolution against testing; and the decision of the Department of Education to halt the invasive, ineffective FAIR testing for grades K-2, the issue of testing will certainly be on the agenda.
While we believe that parents already have significant rights to opt their children out and that boards should inform their parents of those rights, The Florida Stop Common Core Coalition definitely supports the following language that has been or will be proposed:
  • Insure that parents can "opt-out" of state mandated high stakes testing without penalty to their children or schools;
NOTE: This language is offered by Bob Cerra, legislative liaison for Lee County as part of this resolution:
-Insure that parents can "opt-out" of state mandated high stakes testing without penalty to their children or schools;
-Reinstate 3.5 as a passing writing score on the state writing exams; and
-Bear all costs of district EOCs required as part of the state's teacher evaluation and teacher performance pay requirements to be paid by the state.

  • Lee County School Board Member Jeanne Dozier is also planning to offer the following language similar to her FSBA proposal:
Compel the state to adopt a comprehensive "Opt Out" policy that would allow parents to have their students to be excused, without penalty, from participating in statewide standardized or state required assessments and;
Compel the state to bring to an immediate halt the practice of using statewide standardized or state required assessment results for any purpose other than diagnostic purposes.
We also support the following language offered by both the Sarasota and Charlotte Boards having to do with returning sovereignty and local decision making to the duly elected Florida School Boards, particularly liking the Sarasota version offered by Caroline Zucker:
  • Preserve school board constitutional and home rule authority and oppose legislation that would subvert, bypass, or undermine that authority.
Here is what you can do:
  1. If you live in one of these districts, please contact the members of the following boards to voice your support for parental opt out of the tests and local decision making under the Florida Constitution:
2. If you are able to come, the meetings are public. They will be held in the Palm Beach School District headquarters at 3300 Forest Hill Blvd.  West Palm Beach, FL 33406. Here is the schedule:
Friday - 11:30 AM Rally and Press Conference led by several anti-Common Core groups. 
1 PM - 5 PM meeting of the consortium
Saturday - 9 AM - 11AM final legislative proposals to be decided
Please wear red and thank members for working to opt out of testing and re-establish local control and ask them to reject the standards and psychological testing as well. You may bring signs for the rally but will not be able to bring them into the meeting. There will be no public comment time as the agenda will be discussed at individual school boards. 

You may watch the meeting live HERE.

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