Gaetz: Common Core Educational Standards Are Not A Conspiracy

November 5, 2013

Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, defended the Common Core State Standards against attacks by some conservative activists who fear the standards could lead to federal overreach in the state’s education system.

Answering a question from the audience after a speech on education policy Monday, Gaetz dismissed some of the concerns that were raised by conservatives during a series of public hearings on the standards, based on national benchmarks developed by state officials.

“You can’t dip them in milk and hold them over a candle and see the United Nations flag or Barack Obama’s face,” Gaetz said. “They’re not some federal conspiracy.”

The Senate president did leave open the possibility that the standards might be tweaked as a result of the public hearings if they’re not strong enough in some areas.

“I think the common core standards are good, solid standards. … So if there are ways that we ought to raise standards in order to reach higher and expect more of our students and more of our educational system, then let’s do that,” Gaetz said.

by The News Service of Florida


15 Responses to “Gaetz: Common Core Educational Standards Are Not A Conspiracy”

  1. David Huie Green on November 9th, 2013 12:27 pm

    Zip code does not determine mental ability or work ethic. People in certain areas tend to do more like each other but it is not a cause and effect thing. More of a “birds of a feather tend to flock together” type thing.

  2. Escambia teacher on November 6th, 2013 3:30 pm

    I am sad to see all the misconceptions about Common Core expressed here, so let me address a few comments. First, teaching kids to think is one of the biggest strengths of Common Core design, and is so much better for our students than continuing to raise these multiple choice bubble-babies as we have for the last 15 or so years.
    Second, every survey I have seen shows the vast majority of teachers support Common Core standards as better than our existing standards. Most teachers do have reservations about implementing the Common Core-based tests before we have had time to implement the standards and develop our local curriculum plans. That is just not fair to our students.
    The standards require more complex understanding and are much more focused on math and reading application, with fewer ideas that build from year to year rather than the current scatter-gun approach of many shallowly understood topics skimmed at every grade. Those of us who have been teaching a while keep saying that Common Core is simply what we called “good teaching” before the era of teaching to the bubble test.
    Read the standards for yourself grade by grade to see how much better these are than our current standards. See for yourself if what you have been told is true.

  3. panhandleobserver on November 6th, 2013 10:31 am

    IF Common Core is such a good thing , then why do most teachers dislike it, ,as for believing anything from this man,, Who can trust a man who fired a teacher for not “GIVING” a passing grade to an athlete so he could play

  4. Dennis HE Wiggins on November 6th, 2013 8:09 am

    Mr. Gaetz obviously has not seen and read the same things I have. (Which most politicians don’t anyway ~ “But we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what’s in it . . . .”) Everything I have read points to the federal government buying authority it does not have in the Constitution. Futhermore, the “standards” are nothing more than an attempt not to teach our children HOW to think but WHAT to think! Dumb them down and put garbage in their minds and soon they are zombies walking around and will do whatever you want them to do without considering the ramifications!

  5. Glad to be Green on November 6th, 2013 6:27 am

    Here’s something to chew on: If the State of Florida showed it could care for its own people properly (we’re need the bottom on education, btw), then the Federal Gov wouldn’t need to impose these standards.

    Everyone wants to lay around and do as little as possible until mom and dad come home. Then it’s all finger pointing and whining about the chores we need to do. Same thing with environmental standards, minimum wage laws, HEALTHCARE…I mean people in FL wouldn’t need to rely on the Federal Health Exchange website if Rick Scott had got off his duff and built one for Floridians. But nooooo…he really showed Obama who’s who. Yeah, right.

  6. Patsy Green on November 6th, 2013 6:22 am

    Education has not been in local hands for at least 50 years.

  7. Sick and tired on November 6th, 2013 4:25 am

    People want to talk about needing a government program to raise the education standards. Seems to me that the state of FL can raise the standards any time they want. You don’t need Common Core to do that.

    Why would any state want to give up control to the Feds? Oh that’s right….follow the money.

  8. JimmyR on November 6th, 2013 2:24 am

    @Glad To Be Green: Put down the Kool-Aid and walk away from the cup!!! It’s for your own good!

  9. Glad to be Green on November 6th, 2013 12:47 am

    Kudos to Mr. Gaetz for calling “Crazy” when he sees it (and in a funny way, no less!). People, there are no death panels, no ones coming to kill grandma or take your guns, or impose Sharia Law on you; you can say Merry Christmas all you want, and no one’s going to come in the night and teach your children any of the following: Evolution, how to exercise, or what a vegetable is.

    I applaud Mr. Gates in this situation because it’s difficult to watch progress in our nation get hamstrung by “chain e-mail-intellectuals” who think their opinion, or how they “feel” about science is just as (if not more so) valid than a scientist’s. Researchers and professionals who make decisions based on data and academic consensus are motivated by getting things right; by doing the right thing; by getting the best answer for all of us.

    Science isn’t a conspiracy theory.

  10. INFERNAL BEAR on November 5th, 2013 4:31 pm

    Fran, it has to be whole milk. 2% won’t do it.

  11. Kim on November 5th, 2013 3:48 pm

    Agree with E Bell’s comment! We see what a hot mess the government has created with healthcare and the economy. Do we really want its hand even further in our education system? Leave education in local hands!

  12. Delta Zelda on November 5th, 2013 8:55 am

    Explain to me how 2 x 2 can equal 5 in the Core Curriculum.

  13. Fran on November 5th, 2013 6:01 am

    I disagree with so much of the Common Core. However, I have never heard about dipping them in milk and seeing things. That is a little outrageous.

  14. E Bell on November 5th, 2013 5:50 am

    Mr. Geatz, Common Core is nothing more than the latest “cure” for the problems in education. It to will pass. Until the elected folks who spend our money realize that a students zip code has way more impact on these stupid standarized test than anything else. Their time would be well spent on the economy and jobs and job training and not a one size fits all nationally from Washington ran program. Never froget the saying follow the money.

  15. Jane on November 5th, 2013 4:56 am

    Higher education standards should be a good thing for our students. You need a good education to get a job these days. And in the end, that is what pays the bills for our children when they grow up.

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