Florida governor orders state to dump Common Core testing

Sep 25, 2013 by

ALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida is bowing out of its role as the “fiscal agent” of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers – the group designing the multi-state testing system for the national Common Core standards.

Gov. Rick Scott ordered state officials this week to cut its ties with PARCC, and sent letters to state education officials, urging them to find a new student assessment test that “meets the needs of Florida students, parents and teachers, not the needs of the federal government or other states,” the Associated Press reports.common core protest

Scott appears to be siding with conservative critics of Common Core, who believe the national education standards adopted by 45 states represent a federal intrusion into local school decisions. Scott did, however, stop short of ditching the standards altogether.

Instead, the governor asked the state school board to revisit the Common Core standards and to hold public meetings to solicit input on how they might be improved, the news service reports. Liberals have also bewailed Common Core because of concerns about the new standardized tests through PARCC, which take longer and are more costly than most current assessment tests.

In a letter to Gary Chartrand, chairman of the state board of education, Scott described how Common Core has become a political fight about control over local schools. Scott, who previously supported Common Core, said he wants to end “overreach by the federal government,” the news site reports.

“Unfortunately, what ‘Common Core’ has come to mean in the minds of many in our state is less about a set of high academic standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics and more about an effort ot institute federal control of the policy decisions of state and local governments,” Scott wrote, according to the AP.

Florida lawmakers praised his decision to back away from PARCC.

“What I understand the governor to be saying is ‘We have a system here that hasn’t been fully invented or vetted yet and we’re being asked to comply with.’ That doesn’t seem to make sense, particularly in Florida where we’ve been a leader in developing standards,” state Senate President Don Gaetz told the AP.

Teachers union officials, of course, were also pleased with Scott’s decision, probably because dropping PARCC would mean more money in the system that the union could potentially funnel to its members.

“The actual Common Core is not bothering teachers,” K.T. Caldwell, president of the Seminole Education Association, told the AP. “The time and money that goes into the PARCC is really unconscionable.”

Florida governor orders state to dump Common Core testing – EAGnews.org powered by Education Action Group Foundation, Inc..

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