Media Continues to Contrast Mayfield's Strong Anti-Common Core Record with Workman Contradictions

July, 2016

Another publication closely monitoring the District 17 Republican Senate primary between Reps. Debbie Mayfield and Ritch Workman and a statewide radio talk show host both continue to contrast the anti-Common Core records of the candidates as did my recent letter to the editor.

Here is an excerpt from Kathleen Sloan's well written article in explaining Workman's problems:

Ritch Workman has some explaining to do, but he's not returning calls or email. He and Debbie Mayfield both Republicans who hold state house seats, both reaching term limits and both running for state Senate District 17 will face off during the primary election Aug. 30.

Workman bragged in a recent campaign ad that he had "voted to remove Common Core from our schools," which brought down the wrath of anti-Common Core groups who never saw him in the trenches, pushing for legislation to oust Common Core standards. 

Workman appeared clueless when he used the verb "voted."

Then-Education Commissioner Eric Smith, appointee of the Florida Board of Education, signed off on President Obama's "Race to the Top" program in 2010, promising to adopt the Common Core standards.

In exchange, the state got $700 million to switch to new standards, new curriculum and new testing. But there was no public hearing, legislation, rule-making or other opportunity to vote for or against anything.

Since his initial gaffe, Workman has posted on his website: "Ritch worked with Governor Rick Scott to issue executive orders severing ties and funding from the Federal education takeover."

Again, Workman appears clueless. In the first place, it was Scott's appointees on the Florida Board of Education who approved Eric Smith's adoption of Common Core. Second, if Workman was even remotely familiar with Scott's Sept. 23, 2013 executive order addressing educational standards, he wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole.

The order renamed Common Core the Florida Standards and dropped the state's job overseeing the flow of federal funds related to the programs.

But the name change and step back from administering funds is seen as a sham by anti-Common Core forces.

"It's putting lipstick on a pig," said Karen Effrem, executive director of Florida Stop Common Core Coalition. "It's still 99.1-percent Common Core. It's FED-ED."
Sloan then rightly contrasts Workman's wery spotty record with Mayfield's dedicated work against the standards and other components of the Common Core system:

Mayfield, on the other hand, has consistently carried the anti-Common Core banner. She authored House Bill 25 two years ago, which sought to stop Common Core standards and assessments from being implemented.

Mayfield's bill died in the Education Appropriations Subcommittee a year after it was introduced, but did its job, Zorc said, adding pressure and "forcing the conversation about Common Core."

Mayfield's bill mandated public hearings be held on the Common Core standards and assessments in every senate district. "You know how many we had?" Mayfield said in disgust. "Three."

The bill also sought to prevent the state Board of Education from giving power to the federal government ever again, forbidding a contract which "cedes to an outside entity control over curricular standards or assessments."

Mayfield is currently advocating the education commissioner's position become an elected one, to break up the coziness among the Board of Education and the Governor's office, giving citizens a voice.

In a similar vein, statewide radio talk show host Ed Dean, who also does a column at Sunshine State News made the strong contrast (starting at 4:20) in a similar way, also making an excellent point about how Mayfield's bills were squashed because the pro-Common Core establishment did not like them:


"Debbie Mayfield is the one who wanted to push to get rid of Common Core. And by the way, and I'm not holding water for Debbie Mayfield, but when Ritch Workman talks about, "Well Debbie Mayfield hasn't gotten anything accomplished," because the Republican establishment  in Tallahassee underneath Ritch Workman who is the House Rules Committee, which is a very powerful position killed bills like Debbie Mayfield's."

Workman is now putting out deceptive ads saying he had "appealed directly - and successfully -  to Governor Scott to take executive action and sign the legislation that repealed Common Core" and that  Mayfield "voted with every single  Democrat to keep Common Core" As with the bill Rep. Janet Adkins sponsored in 2014, all it did was to remove the term "Common Core" from statute.

Even Politifact has in this case correctly figured out how inaccurate his statements are on his votes and alleged work to remove Common Core from Florida.  They rated his statements as "Mostly False."

Another Workman mailer asserts that he is the "workhorse that you can count on to continue the fight against Common Core."  So which is it? Is Common Core repealed from Florida or is he still fighting against it? As accurately queried by another anti-Common Core group,  "These two ads are contradictory, thus untrustworthy.  Is Common Core in our schools or not?"

These many contradictions by Workman are likely in a large part responsible for Mayfield's very large lead in two different polls (HERE and HERE)


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