Scott announced yesterday that he is ordering Florida’s Department of Education to pull out of the multi-state consortium that is developing programs and testing around the new Common Core Standards.
Common Core is being implemented in 45 states through the national organization PARCC, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. PARCC is not a federal government entity - it is managed by leaders from various participating states.
Meanwhile, Governor Scott made this statement in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan:
Unfortunately, PARCC has become a primary entry point for the involvement of the federal government into many of these state and local decisions. […] The federal government, however, has no constitutional authority to involve itself in the state-level decisions on academic standards and assessments.
In an editorial published last Friday, Charlie Crist voiced his support for education reform in Florida:
[O]ver the last few years, management of Florida’s public schools has been an unmitigated disaster. In addition to cutting school funds during the current governor’s tenure, Florida has had four different education commissioners in less than three years, and countless missteps, including once having to redo school grades because so many schools were rated poorly.
We need to right the course of public education. Here’s a start.
First, Gov. Rick Scott needs to get off the fence and lead Florida’s embrace of the national Common Core Education Standards. These standards have been adopted by 45 states and will allow our children to be equal to their peers nationally. Further, these standards — which cover language arts and math — are much more in depth than the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test and our own Sunshine State Standards. That is why as governor I supported the movement to Common Core.
I’ll leave it to you to assess who is prioritizing education policy in the Sunshine State. Scott’s decision to pull out of PARCC shows that he continues to cater his policies and decisions for the Tea Party base. Note that the Governor has not completely shut down Common Core implementation - because even he recognizes the need to do something about FCAT.