Pam Stewart and many others including John Thrasher, John Legg, Joe Negron, Erik Fresen, Anitere Flores, Don Gaetz, Kelli Stargel, and Will Weatherford are being asked to remove themselves immediately from serving on the Jeb Bush Foundation for Excellence in Education as there is a direct conflict of interest with their position and the state’s interest in examining Common Core.
Clearly, the Republicans of this state do not agree with the implementation of standards created and funded by the federal government and corporate entities, like iBloom, who stand to gain billions by the takeover of education nationwide via Common Core. Below is the RPOF Resolution condemning Common Core in Florida:
I received the following reply to an inquiry on Common Core to the Florida Department of Education:
Dear Ms. Quackenbush,
Commissioner Pam Stewart has asked our office to respond to your correspondence regarding Common Core. On behalf of the commissioner, we would like to thank you for contacting us.
In the early 2000s, members of the National Governor’s Association (NGA) and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) were provided research on education standards across the country and how standards from state-to-state compared to the standards of the highest performing countries on internationally benchmarked assessments. Additionally, with the high percent of high school graduates required to take remedial courses upon entering post-secondary institutions or training upon entering the workplace, there was an agreed upon need to provide consistency among states in the definition of college and career readiness. Governors and state school chiefs agreed to the need to address these issues that could negatively affect our nation’s economy and prosperity.
Led by a small group of state school officers, the decision was made to address this need by working as a team to develop research-based high quality education standards in English language arts and mathematics rather than have each state continue to work in isolation resulting in inconsistent, overall poor quality, and varied student college and career readiness rates. The standards that were created define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standards:
- Are aligned with college and work expectations;
- Are clear, understandable and consistent;
- Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
- Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
- Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and
- Are evidence-based.
The number of standards is fewer; however, the standards focus on much deeper understanding of content, critical thinking, rigorous problem solving, and applied learning, as opposed to shallow understanding under previous state standards. For example, students are required to master Algebra 1 and English 10 – both validated as essential levels of knowledge to success in life.
The Florida State Board of Education first adopted state wide education standards called the Sunshine State Standards in 1996 and has been a leader in the United States for ensuring all students have access to education standards and assessments that match those standards. The current set of English language arts and mathematics standards are the third set adopted by Florida. Recently changes to these standards, which were adopted by the State Board of Education. If you would like to look at the changes they can be accessed at: http://www.fldoe.org/
eduaccsummit.asp. A decision on the assessment to be used has not yet been made.
Implementation of state adopted standards occurs at the local level; however, the state is committed to supporting local districts and schools in any and all capacities possible during the transition. Per Florida statute, all school districts are funded through the state legislature. Districts then make appropriate allocations to support local schools during the implementation process. School districts continue to have jurisdiction over the curriculum they chose to teach the standards and teachers continue to have the jurisdiction to determine the instructional methods used in the classroom that best fit the needs of their students. The state is working with districts to ensure they have the capacity to administer the aligned assessments and provide quality instruction to Florida students. Full implementation with aligned assessments will occur during the 2014-15 academic year.
Parents, teachers, concerned citizens and the RPOF are stating in increasing numbers that will never abandon the children of Florida by ceding control of education to corporations and Washington D.Cc politicians and bureaucrats who ARE mainlining our children with what has been called “educaiton propaganda.”
Republican voters are asking Governor Rick Scott to use his executive powers if necessary to stop Common Core in Florida.