Miami Herald Highlights Scott's Continued Political Problems with Common Core & Lee County - Mentions Randy Osborne

September, 2014

In a story also published by the Tampa Bay Times and summarized by NewsMax, The Miami Herald's political reporter Kathleen McGrory highlighted the problems that Governor Scott continues to have about Common Core and the state's bullying tactics forcing Lee County to rescind their historic vote to opt out of testing.

McGrory perpetuates the myth that only Tea Party members oppose the standards, tests, and data collection that  is Common Core, leaving out teachers, administrators, school board members, and even moderate business people mentioned in the Gallup poll she references and who are the people that Scott is supposedly courting for votes. She portrays the governor's dilemma and the rising tsunami of opposition this way:

To win on Nov. 4, Scott must rally an active and vocal part of his base: tea party members who want to eviscerate the new standards. But he's also vying for votes from moderate Republicans who support the Common Core standards. And he's keenly aware that former Gov. Jeb Bush has been a powerful driving force behind the standards' success...
...A Gallup Poll released Aug. 20 found that 59 percent of Americans oppose the use of Common Core standards. Of the Republicans surveyed, 76 percent said they objected to the new benchmarks.
Scott's campaign has taken note.

In recent weeks, Scott's top education adviser Kim MacDougal, who is on leave to work with the campaign, has met with Common Core opponents to address their lingering concerns. What's more, Scott called for a review of the standards as part of a larger education plan that boosts per-student spending to a record high of $7,176 and increases spending on classroom technology.

The issue boiled over in Lee County in late August, when Common Core critics persuaded the school board to approve a moratorium on the tests associated with the standards. The school board reversed its decision last week, citing concerns that their district would lose its state funding. But opponents took advantage of the opportunity to increase the pressure on Scott.

During a public meeting, Lee County School Board Chairman Thomas Scott (no relation to the governor) said Florida needed a leader "who had enough courage" to reject the standards.
The governor keeps repeating his hollow talking points that he opposes federal intrusion, while doing nothing about it:

When asked his position on the benchmarks on Thursday, Scott repeated talking points that he and others were "tired of federal government overreach."

"What Florida wants to do is we have our own standards," Scott said. "We've told the federal government they're not going to dictate how we run our education system. And that's what we're going to continue to do."

Randy Osborne of FSCCC and Eagle Forum succinctly explained the fundamental problem for Rick Scott:

Randy Osborne, a member of the Florida Eagle Forum and the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition, said he and others are pressing Scott to take action before the election.

"This issue could really hurt him," Osborne said. "If he can't get his base out, he can't win."

Reports are coming in that the governor's campaign is having a very hard time recruiting volunteers to make phone calls and knock on doors.  Common Core may not be the only reason, but it is a very important one.  Time is running out.


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