Joe Gruters - An Original Advocate of the Common Core Rebrand

August, 2016

The Common Core standards's devastating failure, unfolding like a slow motion train wreck, and the parental backlash to them, have derailed many politicians this year. Joe Gruters, a Republican candidate for Florida House District 73 with many ties to the party establishment and understanding that trend, claims in surveys and forums that he wants to get rid of Common Core. While it is commendable that he helped secure the Sarasota Republican Executive Committee support for an anti-Common Core resolution, people should be fully aware of .the other side of his Common Core activity. 

As a trustee of Florida State University and very active in the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), he was invited to participate in the 2013 Governor's Accountability Summit, where they basically ignored and suppressed parental concerns about the standards and concentrated more on the testing and accountability system even though they are based on these incredibly flawed standards.  Still, understanding that something must be done to deal with the parental fury, Gruters took the first step in what would be come the massive Florida Common Core rebrand that started with the governor's executive order in September 2013, moved on to the sham public hearings, the name change of Common Core to the Florida Standards by the State Board of Education and then the "lipstick on a pig" legislation that merely removed the term "Common Core" from statute.

Here is what Gruters said:

Whether this was his original idea or he was just doing what he was told by the governor and the Department of Education is immaterial. Tragically, to the great harm of students and teachers in Florida, instead of replacing Common Core with real academic standards like those in Massachusetts or Indiana, the state did exactly what Mr. Gruters suggested. Now we have declining SAT scores, unjust retention of reading proficient third graders based on not taking a validity challenged test, a teacher shortage, and many other problems. While FSCCC dies not endorse individual candidates, we also do not countenance deception and do not believe that  any candidate that engages in it should be rewarded at the ballot box. 

Please ask these questions of your candidates before you vote:

1) Do you support Common Core (many are likely to say "No")
2) Do you believe that Common Core is out of the state of Florida as Governor Scott and Jeb Bush have proclaimed? (If they answer yes, please show them the information at these links!)
3) If you think Common Core is still in Florida, what will you do to see it removed?
4)  If you oppose Common Core, what did you do during the last year or term to get rid of it? (for incumbents, some of whom supported anti-Common Core bills in the legislature after they knew they would not be heard).
FSCCC Common Core and Related Education Issues Comparison

We have answered these questions by examining the candidates' records and statements.  Our review for House  District 73 is as follows:

Joe Gruters (R) -  Grade D-

Steve Vernon (R) - Grade A-

James Golden (D) - Not graded due to lack of information
The chart with details, links and the grading scale we used is available in this document.
Vote informed and beware Common Core Deceivers!


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