Florida’s governor throws down the gauntlet on Common Core and federal intrusion into education

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The Orlando Sentinel reports that Florida’s Governor Rick Scott has withdrawn his state from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers testing consortium that is developing Common Core State Standards tests.

Scott is going further, however. The Sentinel reports Scott’s press release says:

“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.”

It looks like Florida understands our Bluegrass Institute positions that the Common Core State Standards should only be a starting “Model, but not a Mandate” and that students need “More than Core.”

Florida has some serious educational turf gains to protect, gains much better than Kentucky posted under KERA.

For example, this table shows the number of states plus Washington DC that outscored or were outscored by Kentucky and Florida in 1992 and 2011 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress Grade 4 math assessment.

Florida Vs KY on G4 NAEP Math 1992 and 2011

The table clearly shows that Florida’s blacks made impressive progress and moved ahead of Kentucky in this nearly two-decade period.

In 1992 no state statistically significantly outscored Kentucky’s blacks (we were at the top of the heap). However, nine states did outscore Florida’s blacks. By 2011, Kentucky’s blacks had dropped behind four states while Florida’s blacks were only outscored by blacks in just one other state.

At the other end of the spectrum, in 1992 no state had black scores statistically significantly lower than Florida’s. By 2011, Florida’s blacks outscored 14 states, more than Kentucky’s blacks outscored.

Florida’s whites, who were already outperforming Kentucky’s whites in 1992, moved further ahead in 2011, moving from being outscored by 17 states to only being outscored by nine states. In contrast, Kentucky’s white students’ performance slipped. In 1992 the state’s whites were outscored by 34 states, but in 2011 we got “whupped” by 40 other states.

Wow!

Quite clearly, Florida isn’t interested in watered down education programs, and they already have posted the results to show it. So, it isn’t surprising that Florida is having strong second thoughts about Common Core and the federal government trying to push that rather undemanding standards program down everyone’s throats. Kentucky would be wise to pay attention.

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