Parents, teachers and concerned citizens sent an “Open Letter” to Governor Rick Scott by Chris Quackenbush, Co-founder StopCommonCoreFL.com, on the eve of hearings being held in three locations in the state on the implementation of Common Core State Standards in Florida. The open letter is provided in its entirety below.
Open letter to Governor Scott
Subject: Common Core Hearings Oct 15, 16 and 17
Dear Governor Scott,
October 15th, private citizens are bringing two of the best experts on education standards to testify on Florida’s adoption of the Common Core Standards also known at the New Sunshine State Standards. Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Ze’ev Wurman are generously providing their time to help us prevent these flawed standards from being implemented in Florida.
We have previously offered you a private meeting with these experts who wrote standards for Massachusetts, now #1, and California which is close behind. You have not responded. Instead, you have offered only 3 “hearings” in the entire state where parents, teachers, stake holders, or experts must drive or fly for hours and are allowed just 3 minutes to comment only on the standards themselves.
There are only 3 hours offered and your appointed State Board of Education are only accepting 60 requests to speak. This means, with the maximum total of 3 minute, only 180 citizens in the entire state will be able to testify. Your Commissioner of Education, Pam Stewart, was quoted saying she does not expect any changes resulting from our testimony. Written testimony will also be accepted and likely ignored as well.
I must ask, Governor Scott, why is there so much energy expended to quell the experts, parents and teachers who are opposed to Common Core? Why are we paying huge tax dollars to switch to a new set of national standards, Common Core, when Dr Stotsky, the author of the Massachusetts Miracle, has offered her standards used to achieve #1 in the nation for free? To add to the mystery, why would we give up our control over Florida’s education by adopting these copyrighted national standards?
It is only reasonable that you at least listen to the experts on a matter of such great importance. Not only does education spending comprise 25% of our state budget, but our children need our best efforts to insure they have education choices that work for them, as individuals.
Common Core Standards eliminate choice. If all schools are tested and measured by Common Core Standards, and those standards are copyrighted and controlled by Washington DC groups, how can charter schools, religious schools, home schools and others escape? They must teach to the test in order for their students to advance into the goal, Community College. I say community college is the goal because Common Core Standards do not provide for curriculum required to enter institutions of higher education such as Georgia Tech or Stanford.
By moving Algebra 1 to 9th grade, students will not be able to reach calculus or trigonometry. The experimental geometry methods in Common Core have never been tested at all. We have what amounts to a massive experiment on 300 million children with no pilot testing whatsoever.
These concerns should make you realize that powerful interests have a great stake in our state and our country adopting Common Core, but our stakes are higher. Our children and our future are more important and we will fight to break through the fog created by their massive PR and lobbying campaign designed to serve corporate interests over the interests of our children and our state.
We implore you to explore Florida’s options with an open mind and allow us the same access to your attention as has been provided to those corporate interests.