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The Logic of Testing  – Common Sense, NOT Common Core

Our Florida State and Federal legislators claim we must hold schools accountable for results so that they, the government, can cost justify the expense of education to the taxpayers.  Since 1985, they have increased their emphasis on testing, culminating in No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top and Common Core.

Well, let’s see how that is working, exactly.  We have over 40 years of information shown on the CATO Institute chart showing the dramatic escalation of costs, while test scores have actually declined:

federal spending per student since 1970

Most logical people would conclude that increased spending on federal government programs has not been an effective tool to increase the effectiveness of our schools.  Logic is not all that common in government, however, and government programs don’t shut down just because they aren’t working.

This is especially evident in Florida, where testing now absorbs nearly 40% of class time available for learning, and billions of dollars are being spent on Florida State Assessments and Common Core.  These assessments are proprietary, however, and do not provide any comparison to other states; so much for accountability.

When actual, nationally normed tests are used to compare Florida’s students, year over year, to other states, we find the troubling truth.  The ACT is such a test and this how Florida’s students measure up over the last 20 years.  We are now a dismal 47th in the U.S.:

florida act scores

I attended our Lee County School Board meeting  where members were barraged with community complaints and tried to weigh options for the onerous burdens of the new bill, HB7069, recently signed into law by Governor Scott.   Similar discussions are being held at all school boards throughout the state.

The State bullies ignored the declining results reported by nationally normed ACT tests since 1998 and doubled down to erode accountability, reduce class time for learning, cede control to the state, dramatically increase cost, and endanger our children’s privacy rights.  They kept Common Core Curriculum and High Stakes Testing in place.

Let’s lay out the facts:

1.)    We don’t have the money to pay for schools to house our kids and yet the State wants us to build, maintain and update elaborate and expensive computer testing facilities.

2.)    The state wants us to pay about $34 per test for required state tests.

3.)    The tests are not validated and scores won’t be available until the middle of the next school year, yet the state wants them to be 30% of the student scores on end of course tests.  This means no report cards could be issued or decisions reached about student progress plans this year.

4.)    The FSA tests have disgracefully and repeatedly crashed, causing delays and confusion all over the state.  Starts and restarts themselves invalidate results.  Crashes were caused by the vendor, AIR, which was paid $220 Million to create and deliver this product.  No information has been presented from the state about recouping the millions of dollars schools lost in the crashes.

5.)    The tests will take about 9 days of student time if there was no conflict with sharing of computers.  Under current computer availability management, students are losing up to 40% of their class time to testing and delays.

6.)    We don’t see the test questions to see if they are appropriate or accurate and can’t use them to inform students.

7.)    Students taking tests on computers are being unfairly and inaccurately measured through the prism of their keyboarding skills, not their actual knowledge.

8.)    We know our children’s information is being data mined when they take tests on computers.

9.)    We have not been given any reason why tests must be given on computer.

10.)Pencil and paper tests are available to measure our students’ progress.

  1. They are MUCH less expensive
  2. They never crash
  3. It is difficult or impossible for the corporate cronies to data mine paper tests.
  4. Students can take them at their own desks without delays and confusion.
  5. Pencil and paper tests fairly represent the student’s knowledge, not their computer skills.
  6. Tests can be reviewed for accuracy and validity, and shared with teachers to inform instruction.

Given these facts it is clear.  Parents, teachers and local districts do not need the federal or state government to tell us how to educate our kids.  Our teachers are certified and the schools are accredited.  The STATE is NOT.  We need to restore local control by following this simple, “Common Sense, not Common Core” plan.

  1. Select from the best “off the shelf”standards which are available for free and not copyrighted
  2. Restore portfolio grading and eliminate high stakes tests
  3. Test on paper to reduce expense, eliminate data mining, and add back as much as 40% class time for learning

It’s a simple plan that will reduce bureaucracy, complexity, costs and inefficiency.  Tools to implement this are immediately available and are not copyrighted.  Our students will thrive in this environment and educational freedom will result in excellence.

Share this with your local school board now.

Governor Rick Scott investigating possible Marshal Law drills in Fort Lauderdale

I spoke to the Governor of Florida in regards to the military special forces operations folks rounding up civilians in Fort Lauderdale as a training exercise with support from the Fort Lauderdale Police Dept. I don’t take too kindly to black hawk helicopters scaring civilians flying over their homes in the middle of the night. Definitely a Marshal Law drill I don’t care how you draw this picture.

The video below shows armed troops arresting “crisis actors” on the street. Black Hawk helicopters are also seen flying in-between the buildings.

I told the Fort Lauderdale Police Department the blow back was coming, its now going to hit the fan. I just turned on the fan. I also spoke to my friends in the CIA and they said this exercise was definitely not good in regards to the good order of the city and the constitutional ramifications.

A full scale investigation is now underway by Governor Scott and I am working with folks from Tallahassee taking statements. One does not invade a city and scare citizens even under role playing controlled conditions and not answer to it. We have military bases for the military to train on. Been there done that.

People just don’t pay me any heed then BAM, I bring a hammer down. Politicians you best wake up and pay attention. We the people are watching and there are more of us than you.

FL Governor Rick Scott, Secretary of State John Kerry Both Lose Spat over Climate

The people can only laugh and shake their heads to see the antics of both Secretary of State Kerry and Florida Governor Rick Scott as they throw darts at each other’s party and their knowledge, or lack thereof, on the subject of climate change.

The latest spat is driven by comments from the ever incredulous Secretary of State John Kerry when he indirectly condemned Governor Scott’s apparent silent policy of prohibiting state employees using terms like “climate change,” and “global warming.”

Kerry’s counter to Scott’s unwritten policy came via a diatribe at the Atlantic Council this week. Kerry said “…by what right do people stand up and just say ‘I dispute that’ or ‘I deny that’ …when science tells us that our climate is changing and human beings are largely causing that change.”

It was a media sop that would have carried even more weight if he were right about the “science” of climate change. Sadly, he was not.

Kerry’s implication is that we should all blindly follow the United Nations and U.S. government climate reports and their science that say mankind’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are the primary cause of climate variation. What Secretary Kerry failed to mention is that the United Nations and their U.S. government counterpart climate reports have been excoriated by a large body of opposing scientists. Further, he should have mentioned that the government’s green house gas based climate models are in error in predicting climate by a wide margin (as much as 300%). He also failed to pass on that a large number of the “leading scientists” who wrote the UN climate reports were exposed in the “climategate” email scandal as having falsified the data, hid opposing data, and came to predetermined conclusions to fit a political agenda.

In other words, the reports were unreliable at best, too flawed for policy making in any case, and quite possibly fraudulent.

What Secretary Kerry also did not say at the Atlantic Council this week were the ‘cold’ facts of the Earth’s climate status:

  1. There is no global warming nor has there been for over 18 long years.
  2. The Earth’s major climate parameters indicate a cooling of the planet is underway according to the most reliable climate change theories and climate models.
  3. Winters are getting longer and more brutal with record cold and snowfalls, despite some climate researchers at the UN saying snow would be a thing of the past by 2003!
  4. We now have more total global sea ice on the planet than ever before recorded since the satellite era began in 1979. This is true even though Al Gore and NOAA scientists said Arctic sea ice should have disappeared completely years ago.
  5. According to a growing body of solar-climate researchers, the Sun is the primary cause of climate variation and that mankind plays an almost insignificant role in global warming or any other kind of climate change.

The Republicans, however, with their weak stance, regularly play right into the Obama-Gore-United Nations climate hand. The Republicans have routinely permitted the Democrats to claim the scientific high ground, even as they make preposterous climate claims with impunity. The policy of ignorance, side-stepping, and ineptness by the Republican Party including in the Governor’s office in Florida, deserves the ridicule it receives.

Now that the planet is heading into what may be the most dangerous cold climate in 200 years, a feud over terminology is the last thing we need from our leaders, in either party.

Yes, we have some fearless Republicans like Senator James Inhofe and Senator Ted Cruz who are unafraid of labeling climate change (manmade global warming) the “hoax” that it is. They have no problem calling out the Democrats for what I have long said is, “the greatest international scientific fraud in history.”

It’s time for Governor Scott and all other Republican leaders to join those good Senators and the legions of scientists like me who are out there, and make a firm unmistakable call for an end to this climate charade and the climate deception of Secretary Kerry, President Obama and the United Nations.

RELATED ARTICLE: Kerry speaks out on Florida’s ‘climate change’ ban

FL Governor Scott Orders Mandatory Health Monitoring for Anyone Returning from Ebola-Affected Areas

Governor Calls on DOH to Determine Risk Level for Returning Citizens, in Absence of CDC Information.

On October 25, 2014 Governor Rick Scott signed an Executive Order mandating twice-daily 21-day health monitoring for people returning from CDC designated Ebola-affected areas.

Governor Scott said, “This executive order will give the Florida Department of Health the authority they need to conduct 21-day health monitoring and risk assessments for all those who have returned or will return to Florida from the CDC designated Ebola-affected areas of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. We have asked the CDC to identify the risk levels of all returning individuals from these areas, but they have not provided that information. Therefore, we are moving quickly to require the four individuals who have returned to Florida already – and anyone in the future who will return to Florida from an Ebola area – to take part in twice daily 21-day health evaluations with DOH personnel.

“I want to be clear that we are taking this aggressive action at the state level out of an abundance of caution in the absence of much-needed Ebola risk classification information from the CDC. We are using what information is available to our Department of Health through the CDC’s Epi-X web-based system, which monitors individuals who travel to areas with infectious diseases, including Ebola. Using this system, we know that four individuals have already returned to Florida after traveling to Ebola-affected areas. Following the news of Dr. Craig Spencer testing positive for Ebola in New York, DOH began working to identify anyone who has already returned to Florida after traveling to an Ebola area and is aggressively investigating how much risk these individuals pose for contracting the disease. We will take further action to protect the health of these individuals, and our communities, if we determine any of them are at a ‘high risk’ of contracting the disease. Further action by the Florida Department of Health will include mandatory quarantine of anyone we suspect is at high-risk of testing positive for Ebola due to the type of contact they had with the disease.

“Mandatory twice-daily health monitoring will help us obtain important information that will assist us in caring for the Floridians who are returning to our state and preventing any spread of this deadly disease if one of these individuals ever develops possible Ebola symptoms within 21 days of their return. Again, we are glad we do not have a case of Ebola in Florida, but we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure we never do.”

Governor Scott’s full executive order is available here.

Governor Scott’s mandate to the Florida Department of Health today mirrors the Department of Defense’s post-deployment requirements for military men and women deployed in Ebola-affected areas.

CDC Agrees to Florida Ebola Preparedness Requests — To little to late? Déjà vu Pandemic?

The first line of defense against the spread of infectious diseases like Ebola is sealing the U.S. borders. The second line of defense, once the border is breached by omission or commission, is Florida’s hospitals. We can learn important lessons from another recent and ongoing pandemic – HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS and Ebola are pandemics. Both are transmitted by physical contact. Both kill horribly. Both could have been stopped from reaching our shores. Neither was.

Are we making the same mistakes twice? Is this a case of “Déjà vu Pandemic?”

A new study of the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus shows that the disease’s origin was in the small town of Kinshasa, Congo.  National Geographic’s Brandon Keim reports, “As the Ebola epidemic spreads, new information has emerged on the origins of a far more deadly killer. A new family history of the HIV virus that causes AIDS, reported Thursday [October 2, 2014], is troubling but instructive: Modernization in mid-20th-century Africa, especially in the city Kinshasa, played a profound role in shaping that global epidemic.”

How did the HIV/AIDS virus initially spread in Africa? Via their rail system, eventually reaching the shores of the U.S by boat and by plane.

While public support for a travel ban on countries with the Ebola virus grows, President Obama refuses to implement any such travel ban. On October 16, 2014 The Daily Signal’s Rob Bluey reported that U.S. Embassies in Ebola-stricken countries are still processing visas for non-U.S. citizens.

Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid in his column “Seeing Ebola Through Obama’s Eyes” writes:

The nephew of the black African who brought Ebola to the United States doesn’t blame his uncle. He blames us. He writes in The Dallas Morning News that his uncle did everything right in Liberia, but still got Ebola, and wasn’t treated correctly in the U.S. The claim is that he had a right to be on U.S. soil and that it’s our fault he’s dead.

I suspect this is how President Barack Obama views Ebola. How else do you explain his opposition to a common-sense ban on travel to the U.S. by people from Ebola-infected countries?

Tragically, Obama’s alternative is for the U.S. to become infected. Then, he must figure, there will be more pressure to find a “cure,” or at least a vaccine. But who knows how many will die in the process? It could be hundreds, or thousands, or more.

Florida Governor Scott announced that the CDC has agreed to two of the state’s requests for enhancing Florida’s Ebola preparedness efforts, including holding a conference call with healthcare workers on best practices and federal approval of the state’s repurpose of more than $7 million in federal grant funding. The CDC, has still not provided the additional 27 testing kits, or contacted the passengers that flew on the Frontier flight from Dallas to Ft. Lauderdale.

Governor Scott said:

“We want to thank the CDC for agreeing to hold a conference call with Florida hospitals on Monday, October 20th at 3:30 p.m. Our healthcare workers need to hear directly from the CDC on what happened in Dallas that allowed Ebola to be transmitted to two nurses, and what can be done to protect our healthcare professionals in Florida who are on the front lines. Florida hospitals also have questions of their own and the CDC must provide guidance.

“We appreciate the CDC’s preliminary approval to move forward with redirecting more than $7 million in federal grant funds to purchase the necessary equipment and supplies to protect healthcare workers who may come into contact with Ebola. The CDC indicated that we will receive formal approval next week, but based on this preliminary approval, we have already begun using these funds to enhance our Ebola preparedness efforts.

“While this is great progress, we’re waiting on the CDC to provide additional testing kits. With a population of more than 19 million people, tens of millions of tourists, and numerous ports and international airports, we must ensure Florida can rapidly test any future patients who have the potential for Ebola.

“The CDC still needs to identify, notify, and monitor all of the passengers that flew from Dallas to Ft. Lauderdale after nurse Amber Joy Vinson flew on the same plane. We know she had a low grade-fever when she traveled to Dallas, and the plane then came to Florida. While this risk is low, there have been reports she was potentially symptomatic, and the CDC should take any potential threat seriously – no matter how small. We’re continuing to hope for the best, while preparing for the worst and we expect the CDC to do everything possible to ensure our communities are kept safe.”

The CDC has agreed to hold a conference call with Florida hospitals on Monday, October 20th at 3:30 p.m. This call will cover critical areas of preparedness and training for our Florida hospitals. Officials with the CDC’s state and local readiness section will be hosting the call with Florida’s hospital executives. The call will provide guidance for proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), safe handling of medical waste and effective clinical strategies within the hospital setting.

Florida Governor Rick Scott asks ‘every hospital mandate Ebola training programs’

We have reported on three cases in Florida of people with “Ebola like symptoms.” The state of Florida is particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases due to its porous water borders, international air and sea ports. As the Ebola virus spreads, and American concerns heightened, Governor Scott has asked all precautions be taken to protect Florida’s citizens and healthcare professionals.

Last week, Governor Scott requested the CDC provide 100 units of protective gear to Florida, and to date, the CDC has not fulfilled the request. The Governor also requested 30 additional Ebola testing kits – of which only three have been provided by the CDC to date. The 30 testing kits would ensure each Florida public hospital has access to an Ebola testing kit, which are used to test for Ebola at the Department of Health’s lab in Miami.

Governor Rick Scott announced that he is asking every Florida hospital to mandate all healthcare professionals undergo Ebola protection training programs to ensure their safety.

Governor Scott said in a press release:

“In light of what happened in Dallas, we want to make sure those healthcare professionals on the frontlines have the training and equipment they need to protect their health and safety. We are asking every Florida hospital to mandate that all healthcare professionals undergo Ebola preparedness training to ensure knowledge of protocols and availability of necessary personal protective equipment. It is very important for Florida hospitals to have the protective gear recommended by the CDC to ensure our healthcare professionals are safe in the event we ever have a case of Ebola in Florida.

“We’re asking Florida hospitals to notify the Department of Health when their personnel have undergone the mandatory training programs. In Florida, we are continuing to hope for the best while we prepare for the worst and learn from the developments in Dallas to further improve our own preparedness efforts.”

To help ensure hospitals provide the training and education to all personnel, the Department of Health, in collaboration with the Agency for Health Care Administration, will provide a new reporting structure to all of Florida’s 210 acute care hospitals. This comprehensive outreach to Florida’s hospitals will document each facilities’ preparedness in terms of available protective equipment as well as the healthcare worker education and training that has taken place.

It is the expectation of Florida’s public health agencies that each acute care hospital be fully capable and prepared to identify a potential Ebola case, protect healthcare workers on the frontlines, isolate the individual for evaluation, and inform the Health Department immediately. The Department of Health is continuing to work with partners across every county in Florida, including the Florida Hospital Association and the CDC, to ensure Florida maintains a posture of readiness.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Here’s Why Budget Cuts Have Nothing to Do With Developing an Ebola Vaccine

W.H.O. contradicts CDC, admits Ebola can spread via coughing, sneezing and by touching contaminated surfaces

New Ebola Cases May Soon Reach 10,000 a Week, Officials Predict

Charlie Crist Concedes Election Finance Violations, Forced To Refund Donations

During the first of three gubernatorial debates between Florida Governor Rick Scott and Democrat gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist, viewers were treated to a sort of political ‘Lucha Libre’ where both heavyweight contenders took their turn landing political jabs and body blows at one another.

One of the jabs Crist threw at Scott was that of the Florida Governor whisking around the state on his private jet.

This is true.

Rick Scott flies around on his own private jet doing state business, and even has the nerve to pay for the fuel from his own pocket, instead of billing taxpayers.

The nerve of him!

Crist’s hypocrisy here is rich.

When Crist was governor of Florida, the former Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat use to fly around in private jets that were billed to the taxpayers, and or the Republican Party of Florida.

Now Charlie ‘Hypo-crist’ and his gubernatorial campaign have been called out and busted by Republicans for committing campaign finance violations.

Republicans filed a complaint against Team Crist for “repeated” finance violations. After the complaint was filed, Crist & Co. refunded thousands of dollars to donors who exceeded the legal limit of $3,000.

Here is a partial list of those “super donors” to Crist’s campaign:

donors

Click on the image for a larger view.

In addition, the GOP contends that Crist and his political committee have spent well over $64,000 on private airfare, that according them,  appeared on their finance reports, but only after the complaint was filed.

Honest mistake by the Crist campaign?

Probably not.

Political hypo-Crist-y?

You betcha!

EDITORS NOTE: The column originally appeared on The Shark Tank. Follow The Shark Tank on Facebook and Twitter.

‘Ringing Hollow and Phony’ Senator Bill Nelson Plays King Canute

The ancient King of England, Denmark, Norway and “some Swedes” was King Canute (985-1035 AD).  Modern writers have ascribed to him a story in which he took his courtiers down to the sea and in a fit of royal arrogance, commanded the tide to not come in and soil his regal boots. The tide won.

On Thursday, Florida’s Democrat Senator Nelson and others tried in a modern equivalent, to repeat old King Canute’s famous act by standing amongst the newly installed tidal pumps and pipes of Miami Beach and in effect commanding the tides to stand back. This time, though, the pumps worked well and many areas of Miami normally with inches of water on the roads were bone dry. King Canute would have proved his point as well a thousand years ago if he had Nelson’s pumps and a sea wall surrounding him!

The occasion was during one of many so-called “king tides,” and was a convenient backdrop for Senator Nelson to continue to spread the myth of manmade climate change while stumping for Charlie Christ and dissing his Republican opponent, current Florida Governor Rick Scott.

King tides are the result of a natural alignment of the Sun, Moon and the Earth that maximizes the gravitational pull on the Earth’s oceans thereby making tides higher than normal. In any case, the $15 million spent on the equipment to cure the problem worked just fine. That’s it. Problem solved! Hat’s off to the city engineers for fixing a problem that politicians, mostly Democrats like President Obama, Senator Nelson and candidate Crist have wasted $30 billion of taxpayer money trying to solve.

So here we are in Southeast Florida at “ground zero” for climate change. According to the Democrats and major environmental organizations, this is the most sensitive spot in the United States to sea level rise – the primary ill-effect of CO2 emissions. Yet, supposedly the worst effects of man’s industrial CO2 output has been cured with only $15 million worth of good plumbing and a few talented civil engineers.

The scare tactics of Senator Nelson, Charlie Crist and others in the Democrat party that Miami Beach flooding is but a sign of things to come, continues to ring hollow and phony.  The reasons are widely available for those who deal in facts and not political correctness. Here they are:

First, global warming (a.k.a. climate change), the nemesis for all global coastal regions, actually ended eighteen years ago, by one measurement. That’s right folks. THERE IS NO GLOBAL WARMING! Second. Not only has global warming ended, but the Earth’s oceans and atmospheres have been COOLING for roughly eleven years! Third and most important, the Sun has gone into a once-every-206 years ‘solar hibernation’ which ALWAYS, brings record cold climate lasting for decades. Fourth, with these solar cold cycles also come our worst earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, making the cold eras even more destructive to crops, livestock, and people. Fifth, this normal natural cycle will bring much colder oceans and shrinking sea levels for decades. By 2030 we should be at the same sea level we were in 1810! Please tell all you know – THERE IS NO THREAT TO ANYONE FROM SEA LEVEL RISE CAUSED BY MANKIND’s CO2!

What does all this mean? It means that we have been deceived by our leaders who wasted billions of taxpayer dollars. It means we have been conned by local, state, and federal officials and corrupt scientists using bad climate science as a tool for achieving political objectives.

This sad era in the history of the US is fortunately coming to a close as the Sun’s hibernation cuts back on the energy by which it warms us, bringing a long, potentially dangerous cold epoch. In the past, these solar events have brought massive global crop failures, social upheaval, and loss of life.

Here are our choices, for the elections in November, if not the rest of our lives. We can believe in the omnipotent, greenhouse gas politicians of today as in the story of the arrogant King Canute. Or, we can believe in honest, objective climate science and natural cycles.

How will you chose?

Governors Rick Scott and Rick Perry join forces to fight Ebola

Today, Governor Scott issued an update on Ebola preparedness activities throughout the state, following the news that the Miami patient tested for Ebola has tested negative in a preliminary test. Further testing will be completed later this week to rule out any possibility of Ebola.

Governor Rick Scott said, “We are glad to hear that the test for the Miami patient was indeed negative for Ebola and we are hopeful that further CDC and Department of Health analysis will back up this preliminary negative result later this week. While we have no confirmed cases of Ebola in Florida, we are continuing to take every step possible to best protect our citizens and our tourists.

“Today, I spoke to Texas Governor Rick Perry about what their state has learned from responding to the confirmed Ebola patient in Dallas. We will stay in communication with Texas officials as their response and treatment efforts continue to develop. Florida state agencies also held conference calls with our state’s airport and port leaders today to share information on preparedness steps at each of their facilities. Supporting the preparedness efforts of our airports and our ports means we must have a tremendous partnership between the state, federal officials and local leaders on the ground. We will continue to communicate regularly with these leaders in the days ahead as Florida continues to hope for the best even while we prepare for the worst.”

JOINT INFORMATION CENTER AFTERNOON UPDATE:

Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA):

  • The Agency identified hospitals that have the proper treatment kits and isolation facilities suitable for the treatment Ebola cases.
  • The Agency distributed information on the identification, handling, and reporting of a potential Ebola case to staff members at Agency call centers/area offices and in the offices of Agency partners.
  • Agency staff members have been trained and placed on alert in the event that they should need to support hospitals in coordinating with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) relative to pertinent waivers and related federal guidelines during the course of management of a declared emergency and commensurate diversion of facility resources.
  • Agency staff members have been trained and placed on alert in the event that they are required to provide expedited reviews of any requests from hospitals relative to protocols for identification and management of suspected Ebola viral disease; including those related to the patients, transport, and the physical plant of the facility, as necessary.

Florida Department of Health (DOH):

  • Additional patient screening and care guidance is being provided to all local Hospitals, Urgent Care Centers, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and all private providers of care to address the full range of issues posed by potential Ebola cases.
  • Distributed Ebola-related medical guidance to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and Faith-Based Organizations (FBO) throughout the state to protect humanitarian volunteers who may travel to or from regions where the disease is present.

Republican Governors like Rick Scott are Saving the American Dream!

Governor Rick Scott of Florida turned around Florida with sound economic principles, and is one of those celebrated Republican Governors. Let’s face it, without a vibrant economy, strong jobs and a healthy middle class… America fails! The Republican Governor’s success across America broadcasts hope for our nation, especially when compared to the federal out-of-control debt ticking towards $18 trillion, jobs dissolving into disability checks and freedom hanging in jeopardy. Florida is a pivotal contest for Republicans, which is why Governor Scott is under a deceitful attack by the failed ex-Governor Crist/Obama Team.

Let’s be honest, Crist has to cover-up his miserable record: The second largest increase in unemployment, 828,000 private sector jobs loss, $5.2 billion in added debt, $3.6 billion deficit, raising taxes by $2.2 billion, raiding the budget and devaluing home prices by 47%. Since then flip-flopper Crist has undergone a massive identity crisis by changing parties like changing clothes. He lost as an Independent against Marco Rubio who quipped the “next change by Crist will probably be going to Cuba.” Instead of Cuba, Crist was next seen embracing President Obama at the DNC convention which marked his current change to democrat.

While Governor Scott tenaciously fights to lower taxes and refreshingly named his budget: “Your Money Tax Cut Budget.” Governor Scott’s excellent command of the checkbook, reversed the “Crist sinking ship” by impressively adding almost 700,000 jobs, $500 million in tax cuts, 4.8% decreased unemployment to 6.2%, cut 3,000 regulations, over $1 Billion to Florida’s environment, 40 tax cuts, teacher incentives, cut government waste, paid down a $4 billion debt and created an attractive tax-atmosphere to welcome businesses to the sunshine state … and the list goes on!

rga map

Red states have Republican governors.

Voters Need to Know Why Freedom is in Jeopardy!

Billionaire environmentalist, Tom Steyer, in a New York Times article on May 22, 2014 revealed a new left-wing-campaign-gimmick to commit $100 million to defeat candidates who question global warming. He further projects “We want 2014 to be a pivotal year for climate to be a wedge issue in policial races.”

Mr. Steyer’s scheme seems misguided due to his claim at the American Renewable Energy Institute that “only .5% of the super-sophisticated people” in the United States believe in global warming. He might have to resort to magic to swing his 95.5% non-believers … or it’s just a staggering waste money.

In the world of reality, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity called out Steyer for “bankrolling candidates … whose efforts are leaving hard-working Americans without work, without economic security and without hope for the future.” Wake up voters, false gimmicks to destroy Republican principles will lead to the collapse of America – not “The American Dream.”

Governor Scott works hard and wins!

Yet critics blame Scott for issues that are beyond his purview! For example, it’s clear that Governor Scott objects to Common Core through his 2013 Executive Order against a curriculum funded by federal non-profits. Using strong words against the Federal government’s un-constitutional authority to unilaterally set academic standards for Florida Scott states: “Floridians will not accept government intrusion into the academic standards that are taught to our students.” Yet dissenters vow to disregard Scott’s successes and are prepared to walk-the-gang-plank for a single issue that has already swung towards Florida state and local standards. The voting public is well aware that Charlie Crist is salivating over this Common Core confrontation and waiting in the wings to re-install the federal Obama/Crist Common Core standards.

My bet goes with Governor Scott’s solid state’s rights record and outspoken policies against federal-anything! The best option for Floridians against Common Core is to keep running-the-ball towards sharpening the best and most creative standards for kids! Scott will support his state and Crist will support the feds – it’s a no brainer!

Another raging battle is the emergence of All Aboard Florida’s fake fanfare as the first private passenger train in the world! Henceforth, the claim of private has morphed into a Federal Rail Association $1.8 Billion loan. It’s difficult for Governor Scott to speak against free enterprise due his hard-work on a pro-growth, pro-jobs platform in Florida. Let’s hope the final resolution to this controversey will be denial of the FRA massive loan (a loan of this magnitude has never been granted). Or, the powerful legal team will triumph against the trains following California and Nevada defeats.

Scott is not promoting the 2009 White House vision for a European-style national train network to “phase out cars and fossil fuels,” as specified in the All Aboard Florida’s Transit Oriented Development scheme. Instead Governor Scott doubled tourism in Florida and aims his transportation budget towards highways/airports. A vote for the Crist platform = a vote for the Choo-Choo!

Governor Scott is particularly sensitive to medicaid expansion and, as a kind-hearted man, chose to back the poor and elderly heightened by a personal family challenge. Governor Scott, using republican principles, only backed the Medicaid expansion after the federal authorities agreed to fully privatize medicaid and only the three-year period the Feds agreed to pony-up 100% of the total cost. In the meantime, under the radar, Governor Scott focuses on cancer research, healthcare workforce shortages and extra care for alzheimers patients. It’s clear from Goveror Scott’s record that he will support free market solutions to healthcare reform in Florida.

Charlie Crist has flip-flopped three times on his healthcare position but as part of the Crist/Obama Team he’s a steadfast Obamacare supporter!

The Left Lies!

The heavy-handed Left-Wing machine has already run dishonest ads against Governor Scott regarding water pollution, big sugar and “pleading the fifth” accusations. They can’t win with their ideas, so they tell lies.

The joke is that those so-called Scott “corporate polluters” turned out to be Obama supporters. In fact, the Chairman of Duke Energy, who appeared at 2012 Democratic National Convention, along with greenie Tom Steyer, all had ties to billions in stimulus funds. Scott never plead the fifth and was exonerated!

Voters can be sure the Crist/Steyer/Obama Team will bolster third-party candidate Adrian Wyllie to swing the election to Crist – this is what they do! Voters need to consider what’s at stake in Florida as the gateway to South America, globalism, chinese Panama Canal imports, immigration and the 2016 presidential election.

The National Republican Governors and Governor Scott have a proven track-record of success and will continue the fight to Save the American Dream, as Freedom is the only answer!

Is Charlie Crist Barack Obama light?

There is a standing joke in Florida which goes something like this: A Republican, Independent and Democrat walk into a bar. The bartender says, “And what can I get you Mr. Crist.”

Charlie Crist is making Florida history as the first politician to run for the same seat as a Republican and Democrat. Crist has changed his campaign strategy to keep from talking about his previous political positions, rather he is trying to talk about his opponent, and sitting Governor, Rick Scott.

A recent Crist fundraising email shows how much he has embraced Barack Obama’s  pro-Pot, pro-Gay, pro-Big Government, and pro-Abortion agenda.

Jessica Clark, Deputy Campaign Manager Charlie Crist for Governor, in a fundraising email states, “What would Rick Scott do with four more years and no electorate to face? With no reason to temper himself, we’d find ourselves with an even more extreme version of Rick Scott.”

The questions Clark asks are ones many Americans are asking about Barack Obama. Americans see what a Democrat can do with “four more years and no electorate to face.” America now finds itself with a “ever more extreme” Barack Obama with “no reason to temper himself.”

Clark states, “He [Rick Scott] cut $1.3 billion from our schools. He signed bills requiring medically-unnecessary ultrasounds for women seeking abortions. He limited access to the polls, and absolutely savaged our beautiful state. And that’s all when he knew he’d have to face the voters again.”

Clark refers to Governor Scott exclusively but her accusations are highly questionable.

Charlie Crist wants to spend more money on public education. However, the amount of federal tax dollars poured into public education since 1970 has failed to change student performance (see the below chart).

doedataonfunding

Federal spending on education compared to student achievement. For a larger view click on the chart.

free abortion tattooed womanCrist opposes women having an ultra-sound before having an abortion. Crist is worried that if women have an ultrasound it will show a live fetus, a baby, moving in the womb. Why? Because he supports and is supported by those few radical Planned Parenthood members who demand free abortions without limits, on demand and without apology. It does not matter that a study by Dr. Priscilla Coleman and Dr. David Reardon of nearly 500,000 pregnant women reveals abortion is much more dangerous to women than giving birth.

Crist is against any of Florida’s sixty-seven Supervisors of Elections updating voter rolls as required by law, period. Crist wants dead people, felons and illegals aliens on the voter rolls. Why? They vote Democrat.

Crist makes the absurd statement that Governor Scott “absolutely savaged our beautiful state.” Why? As Joseph Goebbels wrote, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

Charlie Crist believes in the power of the state, the truth be damned.

Finally, Charlie Crist does not want to talk about his boss John B. Morgan, head of the Morgan & Morgan law firm. Why? Well just watch this video titled, “Crist-Morgan for Florida“:

You see Charlie Crist is depending on the pot head vote.

crist-morganAna Cruz, former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, said, “I wish that it didn’t take medical marijuana on the ballot to motivate our young voters. But listen, we’ll take it any way we can get it.”

Ben Pollara, a Democratic fundraiser and campaign manager for the United for Care group, stated, “We want to be able to have our stereotypical, lazy pothead voters to be able to vote from their couch.”

Crist is considered by many as the white Barack Obama. When Obama ran for president in 2008 he had positions much different than those he has today. Crist has fully embraced Obama and his political positions. Any questions?

RELATED ARTICLE: Doubling Down on Pot: Buffett Sells Upper Deck, Room to Grow – Bloomberg

Florida: Since 2000 52% of jobs went to legal immigrants and illegal aliens

Steven A. Camarota is the Director of Research, and Karen Zeigler is a demographer at the Center for Immigration Studies. Camorata and Zeigler released a report titled “Who Got the Jobs in Florida?

Their report found that, “While Florida has been among the states with the most job growth in both the short and long terms, much of the increase has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal).”

“Immigrants accounted for 52 percent of the net increase in employment among the working-age (16 to 65) since 2000, while accounting for only 33 percent of population growth among the working-age. The labor force participation rate of Florida’s working-age natives has fallen significantly since 2000 and remains low relative to other states. Despite these long-term trends, both of Florida’s senators supported the Gang of Eight bill (S.744), which would have roughly doubled future legal immigration and granted legal status to illegal immigrants,” note Camarota and Zeigler.

Specific findings include:

  • Relative to other states, Florida ranked second in the nation in employment growth among 16- to 65-year-olds over the last 14 years, but most of these gains have gone to immigrant workers (legal and illegal).
  • From the first quarter of 2000 to the first quarter of 2014, 52 percent of the net increase in employment among Florida’s working-age (16 to 65) population has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal), even though they accounted for only 33 percent of population growth.
  • Since the jobs recovery began in 2010, 64 percent of net employment growth among the state’s working-age population has gone to immigrants.
  • Even though the state ranked high in employment growth, Florida still ranked 34th in 2014 in terms of the labor force participation of its native-born population (16 to 65).
  • Among young natives 16 to 29 years of age, Florida ranked 35th in labor force participation.
  • In 2000, two million working-age natives were not working (unemployed or out of the labor market entirely); by 2014 it was nearly 3.3 million — a 62 percent increase.
  • Perhaps most striking, through the first quarter of this year, the labor force participation rate of natives shows no improvement in Florida, even after the jobs recovery began in 2010.
  • If the employment rate of natives (16 to 65) in the first quarter of 2014 were what it was in 2000, 768,000 more natives would be working.
  • New immigrants took jobs across Florida’s labor market, including lower-skilled jobs such as maintenance and construction, middle-skilled jobs such as sales and office support, and higher-skilled jobs such as management and health care professions.
  • While agriculture gets a lot of attention in the state, it employs a tiny share of immigrant workers — less than 1 percent.
  • The supply of potential workers in Florida is enormous: half a million native-born college graduates were not working in the first quarter of 2014, as were one million with some college and 1.4 million with no more than a high school education.
  • The labor force participation of black, Hispanic, young, and less-educated workers in Florida show the biggest declines.

In September 2013, many of Florida’s biggest employers including Disney, American Airlines, UPS, and Honeywell, along with a number of other companies, jointly signed a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) arguing that there are not enough workers in the country — skilled and unskilled. The letter read in part that, “many of our companies continue to have difficulty finding sufficient American workers.” Both of Florida’s senators supported the Gang of Eight bill (S.744), which would roughly double legal immigration as well as grant legal status to illegal immigrants. In fact, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio was one of the bill’s chief architects. However, the employment picture for Florida’s native-born population continues to look bleak.

Read the full report by clicking here.

Janelle Irwin from WMNF Radio reports that more refugees from Syria are on their way to Florida. Irwin writes:

Nearly 30,000 refugees come into Florida every year from countries all over the world.

With ongoing violence in Syria, Simon Henshaw from the State Department says very few Syrian refugees have arrived in the U.S., but that’s about to change.

“We have pledged to take a significant number and we will start interviewing Syrian refugees soon. But it takes about 18-24 months for someone to run through our system. So, we will not, as a country, see a significant amount of Syrian refugees come into the U.S. until the end of next year and then into 2016.”

Henshaw works in the bureau of population, refugees and migration. He’s visiting Tampa on World Refugee Day to see how Tampa is integrating refugees. Most are from places like Haiti and Cuba where refugees have been displaced for years.

“Despite how horrific the Syria situation is, it’s really just reaching the point where refugees have been out of their countries for a long enough time to consider a resettlement program.”

Read more.

During the 2014 legislative session the Republican controlled Florida Senate and House rewarded illegals with in-state tuition. Additionally, lawyers who are here illegally now have the right to practice law in the sunshine state. Guess who these lawyers are going to represent? Any questions on why?

Will Florida’s 67 School Districts empower parents to decide what their children learn, or not?

During the 2014 session the Florida legislature passed, and Governor Rick Scott signed into law, Senate Bill 864. SB 864 took effect on July 1, 1014. All 67 of Florida’s school districts are now in the process of implementing the provisions of this bill. However, some question whether the bill’s intent, to empower parents and stakeholders, will be fully realized.

Sherri Krass, founder of Eye on U.S. Education (EUSE), has done an analysis of SB 864. Krass writes:

Senate Bill 864, sponsored by Senator Alan Hays, initially stated that all counties SHALL create an “instructional materials committee” consisting of parents and teachers. The word SHALL dictates that this must be done. Parents would be able to provide input into the approval of the textbooks used by their children.

Unfortunately, by the time the bill left the House and a “compromise” was agreed upon, the body of the legislation was “hollowed out” – where only a “skeleton” remains of the original legislation.  The legislation now states:

(2)(a) If a district school board chooses to implement its own instructional materials program, the school board shall adopt rules implementing the district’s instructional materials program which must include its processes, criteria, and requirements for the following, but need not be limited to:  1. Selection of reviewers, one or more of whom must be parents with children in public schools.

Therefore, the creation of such a committee falls within the domain of each County School Board.  They can choose to not have one.

The legislation does provide an “opening”. Parents can still insist on a committee being formed.

A date is provided when School Boards have to “certify” the instructional materials.  Textbooks must align with the “Florida Standards” – a pseudonym for “Common Core”.

The district school superintendent shall certify to the department by March 31 of each year that all instructional materials for core courses used by the district are aligned with applicable state standards.   

But, parents can still reject a textbook and insist on another one. Textbooks can be found that align with the “Standards” and are not specifically written for “Common Core”. A major problem with “Common Core” are the textbooks that have been published for it. Rejecting these textbooks is a step forward in removing its influence.

Question: Will every school district empower parents and let them decide what textbooks and instructional materials are best suited for their children?

There are several indicators of a school district’s intent to empower parents and stakeholders in the adoption of textbooks and instructional materials.

  1. The establishment of a district Instructional Materials Committee, codified in district policy;
  2. Who selects the committee members, the Superintendent or School Board;
  3. The makeup of the committee (e.g. do parents or district staff have the majority of votes on the committee);
  4. Has the district established a fair and equitable process whereby parents can file a complaint directly to the local District School Board requesting rejection of a committee educational materials selection.

I asked Lori White, Superintendent of the Sarasota County Schools, if an Instructional Materials Committee would be formed and if so, when? Here is Superintendent White’s reply:

It is our intent to continue to participate in the state adoption process as outlined in the School Board policy 4.21. Our current policy requires that one or more laypersons participate in the district council. In most cases, these community members are parents with children in the system. Our School Board policy will be revised to incorporate the new requirements outlined in SB 864 regarding the process for a parent to protest the School Board’s decision to adopt a specific instructional material.

Krass wants to make sure parents are empowered and has asked Floridians to sign a petition stating so to Governor Scott and Florida’s legislators. Krass states, “EUSE suggests that a petition be submitted to each County School Board stating that parents want an ‘instructional Materials Committee’ to be formed.”

Krass has an online petition asking the Florida legislature to amend SB 864 to “require” that school districts establish a district Instructional Materials Committee. Interested citizens may sign the petition by clicking here.

The Common Core Fight: What Went Wrong, What Went Right, What To Do Next

The Washington Post reported that within two years of an organizational meeting at Bill Gates’ Seattle headquarters, 45 states and the District of Columbia had adopted the Common Core State Standards. President Obama, whose administration was “populated by former Gates Foundation staffers and associates,” was “a major booster.” 

After legislative battles this year, 42 states and the District of Columbia remain in the vise of Common Core, the federal education dictates.

One of these states, Georgia, illustrates the incredible hurdles citizen-activists face in their fight against the united forces of big government and big business.  Senator William Ligon (R-Brunswick) was blocked in his efforts to pass a Common Core withdrawal bill by the Republican governor and Republican-dominated House.

Jane Robbins, senior fellow at the American Principles in Action, which supported Ligon’s bill, comments, “During the last hearing on the bill, we saw dozens of corporate and other well-funded lobbyists parade up to the podium to explain why their interests should trump those of Georgia families.”

I observed this parade, and the smear-campaign against citizen-activists concerned about educational quality and government overreach.  While teachers and parents spoke about developmentally inappropriate assignments, mind-boggling busy-work math, and ideological curricula, the pro-Common Core lobbyists, legislators, superintendents, principals, and teachers seemed to follow a script.  I heard the same phrases repeated – “state-led,” “critical thinking skills,” “locally controlled,” “standards, not curriculum,” and on.

And then I learned that they were following a script.

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Bill Gates. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The script was linked in the June 7 Washington Post front-page article, “How Bill Gates pulled off the swift Common Core revolution” – published after legislatures had recessed.  These were “Talking Points” developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers, the supposedly independent organization behind Common Core.  CCSSO received over $11 million from the Gates Foundation in 2013.

That Bill Gates was “de facto organizer,” influencing states through donations to teachers unions and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was hardly a revelation.  In August 2013, blogger Mercedes Schneider reported, “the four organizations primarily responsible for CCSS–[National Governors Association], CCSSO, Achieve, and Student Achievement Partners – have taken $147.9 million from Bill Gates.”  Jane Robbins and others also made the charge long before the Washington Post’s exposé.

The Post reported that within two years of an organizational meeting at Gates’ Seattle headquarters, 45 states and the District of Columbia had adopted the standards. President Obama, whose administration was “populated by former Gates Foundation staffers and associates,” was “a major booster.”

In the Post interview, Gates denied that he had any self-interest, but the article noted, “In February, [Gates’ company] Microsoft announced that it was joining Pearson, the world’s largest educational publisher, to load Pearson’s Common Core classroom materials on Microsoft’s tablet, the Surface.”  This allowed Microsoft to compete for school district spending with rival company Apple, whose iPad dominates in classrooms.

According to a tape released by Glenn Beck last September, in 2009 Gates told the National Conference of State Legislators that he anticipated a “large uniform base of [Common Core] customers.”

More recently, Microsoft’s website warned schools to migrate to the new Microsoft Windows operating system.  Opponents had predicted that computer-administered Common Core tests would require expensive upgrades.

Still, Common Core promotional sites, such as the Georgia pro-Chamber of Commerce Republican blog, Peach Pundit, mocked the notion of “Obamacore” and called Gates’ profit-motive a “conspiracy theory.”

Editor-in-Chief Charlie Harper testified against the Common Core withdrawal bill, while directing the smear campaign through posts and comments. He also is executive director of the non-profit PolicyBEST.

In February, PolicyBEST Policy & Research Director – and Peach Pundit blogger – “Eric the Younger” called a rally in support of Ligon’s bill a “train wreck,” filled with “crazy talk”: “It’s [sic] attendees included Jane Robins [sic], Sen. Judson Hill, Sen. William Ligon, Ralph Hudgens’ wife, “and a few of the other usual suspects.”

He promoted a new coalition that included PolicyBEST, “Better Standards For A Better Georgia.”  The “diverse group . . . brought together through the Georgia Chamber” includes 100 Black Men, Georgia Association of Educational Leaders, Georgia Association of Educators, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Georgia school board and school superintendents associations, Technical College System of Georgia, and the University System of Georgia.  In 2013, 100 Black Men received $583,531 from the Gates Foundation; Georgia Association of Educational Leaders received $179,015 in 2012.

Eric the Younger’s creativity only extends to name-calling, however.

Consider the CCSS “talking point”: “This has always been, and continues to be, a state-led and driven initiative. States voluntarily adopted and are currently implementing the standards. . .  .  These standards are in no way federally-mandated. . . .”

Eric the Younger dutifully wrote, “The Origins of the Common Core State Standards are here in Georgia with our former governor Sonny Perdue and State School Superintendent. . . .”

Elders, like “youngers,” also recited CCSSO’s script.  The U.S. Chamber’s President and CEO Thomas Donahue wrote in the Washington Post, “Common Core is a not curriculum, a federal program or a federal mandate.”

Peach Pundit continued its campaign of smearing and repeating with a February 10 Courier-Herald column.  After charging Common Core opponents with “a campaign of misinformation that at times borders on hysteria,” the writer essentially repeated a talking point: “Common Core is not a curriculum,” but “a set of benchmarks. . . .  The curriculum – what is taught and how – remains up to states and local school systems…”

Cited also was a June 2, 2010, press release announcing then-Governor Sonny Perdue’s release of Common Core state standards that featured a panel discussion with the CEO of the PTA and Leah Luke, 2010 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year.

Where did this idea come from?

The CCSSO toolkit recommends as key spokespeople “State Teachers of the Year,” “Award-winning school leaders and principals,” and “Heads of local PTAs.”

Nothing was left to chance in CCSSO’s well-orchestrated campaign that included strategies for “engaging” teachers, “stakeholders,” elected officials, etc. Provided were fill-in-the-blank “Scene-setting Op-ed,” “Letters to the Editor,” “Local Op-ed and Blog,” and “Teacher Communication Preferences Survey.” There were tips for pitching stories and providing background information to reporters.

Most reporters, indeed, repeated CCSSO’s “talking points.” Now an NBC reporter is on Gates’ payroll.

In spite of overwhelming odds, a couple states rejected Common Core this year, following changing public sentiment.  Pitfalls lie ahead, though.  What these are and tips for fighting them will be discussed next time in Part II.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the Selous Foundation.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

North Carolina Governor Signs Bill to Revise Common Core
Common Core in Louisiana: Two Days, Two Lawsuits
A July 21, 2014, Update on Common Core, PARCC, and Smarter Balanced
American Federation of Teachers: “Remediating” Duncan and Retaining the “Corrupted” Common Core

Florida: Education the Defining Issue in the 2014 Governor Race?

On Tuesday, November 4th Floridians will go to the polls to select their governor. Currently there are thirty-two active candidates running. The gubernatorial race is the only statewide race in Florida. So what will make one of these candidates standout from the crowded field? If a recent election is any indicator, the defining issue will be – education – specifically Common Core State Standards (CCSS). People are rising up in Florida and across the country to stop Common Core. As George Will wrote, “Viewed from Washington, opposition to the Common Core State Standards Initiative still seems as small as the biblical cloud that ariseth out of the sea, no larger than a man’s hand. Soon, however, this education policy will fill a significant portion of the political sky.”

Chris Quackenbush in her column Common Core: The Chain of Betrayal notes, “Political battles are now being won and lost on the education issue as in the Florida Congressional District 19, where an ‘outsider’ Curt Clawson, beat sitting State Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benaquisto by 12 points largely because of her duplicity on Common Core.  Her conservative base was not fooled by her superficial conversion after sponsoring a bill in 2013 to implement Common Core as she is allied with Jeb Bush.  His tentacles reach far in Florida where he is a major donor and supporter of many State Legislators including Governor Scott.”

Quackenbush states, “Common Core is the final nail in the coffin of American Exceptionalism.” That’s how heated the debate has become in Florida.

Associated Press reporter Thomas Beaumont wrote, “Raising U.S. educational expectations through national goals was a priority for Republican President George W. Bush. But many of his would-be successors in the GOP are calling for just the opposite of government-set rules, and it’s splitting the party as the GOP class of 2016 presidential hopefuls takes shape.” Common Core is splitting the party between those who support Jeb Bush and those who support parents, teachers, administrators, academics and citizens who favor keeping local control of education.

While Florida Democrats want to focus on income equality, the minimum wage, legalizing marijuana and abortion rights, and the Republican Party of Florida focused on the economy, jobs and tax reform, the defining issue remains public education.

Will the Florida race for governor in 2014 be a harbinger for the 2016 race for president? Those interested in a winning formula will, by all indications, be keeping a close eye on Florida on November 4th.

Candidates for Florida Governor

Candidate Status Primary General
GibsonKyle Chaderwick (NPA) Active
AdeshinaYinka Abosede (REP) Active
AllenJoe  (NPA) Active
AndersonRubin Lewis (NPA) Active
AngiolilloVincent Dominic (REP) Active
CristCharlie  (DEM) Active
Cuevas-NeunderElizabeth  (REP) Active
DevineTimothy Michael (REP) Active
FraleighJames Edward (INT) Active
GazetasVassilia  (NPA) Active
GigerHerman Lee (NPA) Active
GriffisMark D. (NPA) Active
HorwathJefferson L. (NPA) Active
KhavariFarid A (NPA) Active
LeeMonroe  (DEM) Active
LipnerRyan Adam (DEM) Active
MartellyMarcelle  (DEM) Active
McCoyRoland  (DEM) Active
MurrayPaul  (WRI) Active
ReedC. C. (NPA) Active
RichNan H. (DEM) Active
RolleLeonard  (NPA) Active
SamuelBerthram B. (REP) Active
ScottRichard L. (REP)  *Incumbent Active
SmithDr. Joe  (REP) Active
SmithJohn Wayne (LPF) Active
StewartJessica Lana (DEM) Active
TolbertCharles Frederick (NPA) Active
TrujilloLesther  (NPA) Active
WyllieAdrian  (LPF) Active
YarrowAtlee David (SPF) Active
ZapataRandy  (DEM) Active

Active candidate list courtesy of the Sarasota Supervisor of Elections.

RELATED STORIES:

The Dying of the Light: How Common Core Damages Poetry – by Esolen, Highfill, Stotsky
AP: Common Core a Defining Issue for GOP 2016 Hopefuls
Revolt: Common Core gets gored