Common Core Q&A
TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Rick Scott is directing state officials to withdraw from a national testing system that would evaluate how students perform under the new Common Core standards being adopted by 45 states.
Scott sent a letter to State Board of Education Chair Gary Chartrand Monday that directed the board to withdraw from the testing consortium creating Common Core tests and create a Florida-centric exam to evaluate how well students are doing against national standards.
Scott also directs the board to hold a series of public meetings to take public comment on how to improve the adopted Common Core standards in reading and math and also to identify any "risks for federal intrusion in Florida's standards."
Scott also penned a note to U.S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan signaling his intentions for the state to withdraw from the testing group called Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers, but said he remained committed to high educational standards in the state.
Florida's involvement in Common Core has become politically volatile over the last few months with Scott's Tea Party base arguing fervently against the national educational standards and their tests. They have argued that the federal government is overstepping its bounds.
Said Scott in a press release: “While the debate surrounding Common Core Standards has become polarized into a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ discussion, we heard during the Education Summit that most education leaders agreed on two things. We agree that we should say ‘yes’ to high standards for Florida students and ‘no’ to the federal government’s overreach into our education system. Therefore, I notified the federal government that Florida would be withdrawing from PARCC, and at the same time we will hold public comment sessions to receive input on any alterations that should be made to the current Common Core Standards. We are committed to maintaining high standards for our students."
House Speaker Will Weatherford immediately applauded the governor's decision, saying it struck the right balance "between states' rights and states' responsibilities."
"While I support our current standards, I think it is appropriate to undertake a transparent and thorough review with public input," he said. "We will not retreat one inch from our ambitious pursuit of the highest quality education system in the nation.”