Governor Scott Wins Re-Election While Avoiding Bush Support for Common Core Amid National Backlash

November, 2014

As in 2010, Florida Governor Rick Scott eked out a 1.2 per cent electoral victory on Tuesday over Democrat Charlie Crist and Libertarian Adrian Wyllie.  The governor's very disciplined campaign won by spending tens of millions of dollars on negative ads, the most in Florida history, and focusing on his strengths, the most prominent of which was clearly the economy and his excellent and successful efforts to increase jobs. Scott was also aided by tying Crist to President Obama's deeply unpopular policies

At the same time, the issue of Common Core, on which he was clearly vulnerable, was rarely mentioned openly on the campaign trail.  The issue of testing was brought up in the second debate, but the standards were discussed by the Scott campaign only in the context of yet another review commission in Scott's policy paper on education.  Even Jeb Bush, one of the nation's strongest proponents of Common Core could not mention the standards in the campaign commercial he cut for the current governor in his home state.  When Bush did discuss the standards on the campaign trail, all he did was make matters worse by admitting that the changes to Common Core that became the Florida Standards were "not substantial."  This was similar to the awkward incident where North Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis has to publicly distance himself from Bush at a campaign event.  Clearly, Bush's support of Common Core was a big loser in the 2014 midterms and will be an albatross around his neck should he choose to run for president in 2016. 

FSCCC congratulates Governor Scott, hopes that he will do what he stated in his public and private discussions on this topic, and pledges to work with him and the legislature to remove Common Core from our state to protect our children's lives and futures.

Elsewhere in Florida, dozens of school board candidates and several state legislative candidates or incumbents won election or re-election opposing Common Core and or high stakes testing as a significant part of their platform. Even for a few of the school board candidates, whether winning or losing, who may not have been sincerely and strongly opposed to Common Core, it was clearly the major issue in contested races.  The list of winning school board candidates is below and HERE. FSCCC thanks all those, whether winning or not who stood for the hearts and minds of our children. This is especially true of those who were not victorious like Don Armstrong, Terry Kemple, Dipah Shah, and Chase Basinger who had to deal with significant amounts of support from pro-Common Core or pro-testing forces. The legislative candidates included anti-Common Core champion Rep. Debbie Mayfield, as well as Jennifer Sullivan, and Julio Gonzalez.

And across the nation, Common Core was strongly repudiated in Arizona and Georgia with the elections of Diane Douglas and Richard Woods, respectively as state superintendents.  Both ran on a strong anti-Common Core platform, which significantly boosts the likelihood of repeal efforts in those states. Idaho, South Carolina, Wyoming also elected state superintendents that will be more likely to work against the standards.

It will now be up to all of us to work at every level to remove these academically inferior, developmentally inappropriate, and psychologically manipulative standards from our state.  Thank you for your support.

 Winning School Board Candidates

Unless otherwise indicated, these candidates publicly opposed Common Core (AKA Florida) standards.
District 3 Gunnar Paulson (testing)
District 5 - Rob Hyatt
District 1 Lee Swift (testing)
District 4 Ian Vincent (testing)
District 1 Kelly Lichter
District 3 Erika Donalds
District 1 Betsy Condon
District 2 Janet McDonald
District 2 Sally Harris
District 1 Rusty Williams (Incumbent - no challenger, but opposes Common Core)
District 3 Alan Justice
District 5 Sid Johnson
Indian River
District 1 - Shawn Frost
District 4 - Charles Searcy
District 3 Marc Dodd
District 5 Stephanie Luke (testing/inappropriate standards)
District 1 Mary Fischer (Incumbent - testing)
District 4 Ken Teuber (Indicated some concern about Common Core and testing)
District 1 Alva Striplin (testing)
District 1 - Christina Roberts
District 3 Bobby James
District 5 - Kelly King
District 1 Dr. Lamar White
District 1 Joe Arnold
District 1 Bill Sublette (Incumbent - testing)
District 1 Jay Wheeler
District 4 Clarence Thacker (testing/teacher evaluations)
District 5 Ricky Booth (testing/teacher evaluations)
Palm Beach
District 6 Marcia Andrews
District 5 - Steve Luikart (Incumbent)
District 4 Ken Peluso
Santa Rosa
District 3 Carol Boston
District 1 Jeff Bauer
St. Lucie
District 3 Donna Mills (Incumbent)
Suwanee County
District 5 Ron White
District 1 Dr. John Hill
District 1 Verna Brock
District 2 Kim Kirby
District 3 Bill Eddins
District 5 Jason Catalano

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