State Says Schools Will Now Follow ‘Florida Standards’

January 22, 2014

State education officials are pushing forward with a plan to rebrand the standards for what students are expected to learn in Florida schools, hoping to tamp down an uproar among conservative activists who view the current standards as part of a federal takeover of local schools.

Almost 100 changes to the “Common Core State Standards” will be considered by the State Board of Education in February, said Education Commissioner Pam Stewart, who outlined some of the changes to board members during a meeting Tuesday.

“At that time, I think that it is completely appropriate for us to call our standards the ‘Florida Standards,’ ” Stewart said.

Supporters of the guidelines have taken to using the term “Florida Standards” in recent months as some conservatives have continued to decry Common Core. Those benchmarks were crafted by a coalition of officials from about four-dozen states, but have come to be seen by grassroots conservative groups as an example of federal overreach.

Earlier this month, a gathering of the Republican Party of Florida’s state committeemen and committeewomen voted to oppose Common Core, though the resolution is not binding on the GOP and is not expected to be taken up by the party’s executive board.

Stewart said the changes — which include 60 new standards, 37 clarifications and two deletions — and the inclusion of standards beyond the reach of Common Core, which only covers English and math courses, justifies the new name.

“I think when we strengthen our standards, make these standards our own, provide clarification of 37 standards — that clearly is saying that Florida is out on our own, making stronger standards and doing so in a very autonomous way,” she said.

About 52 of the new standards would restore calculus to the state guidelines, though some calculus courses would have been offered regardless. Stewart said the deletions were to get rid of redundant material.

“It’s picked up somewhere else, we don’t really need it and there’s no reason to have repetition,” she said.

John Padget, who said he was not aware when the board approved the math standards that they didn’t include calculus, said he was “overjoyed” at the change.

“I think I’m able to say that Florida Standards, with respect to math, are higher than the so-called Common Core,” he told Stewart.

But it’s not at all clear that the effort to rename the standards will calm groups opposing the benchmarks. A message posted Tuesday on the Facebook page “Floridians Against Common Core Education” slammed Stewart’s changes to “the Communist Core.”

“They really believe we are stupid,” the post says. “This re-branding is meant to make us feel they are doing something for our children.”

by Brandon Larrabee, The News Service of Florida


14 Responses to “State Says Schools Will Now Follow ‘Florida Standards’”

  1. JLLaw on January 23rd, 2014 7:53 pm

    We have 2 children in Kindergarten. Both of their teachers are absolutely awesome. Our son is excelling. Our daughter however, because of this common core, is on the verge of failing kindergarten! My children are supposed to know things I learned in first or second grade.

  2. patti on January 23rd, 2014 6:47 pm

    I’m so thankful that my children did not have to battle the public school system. School has changed so much in the last 50 years. They don’t teach Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, English, Geography, Music, Art as they did those many years ago. I understand with the electronics that we have now and all the other technology out there that teaching needs to change some. BUT, REALLY! Don’t our children need the basics before they start on the higher education. Gee! have you noticed how many young folks can’t write, if you want to read what they write, they need to print so it’s at least legible. How about counting (Just basic arithmetic), if you doubt me, just go to a fast food place. What happen to physical education? If you look at the obesity in our young folks, you wonder. I know that in the culture that we have now, fast good (anything boxed, precooked, etc.) it’s easy to prepare, but good old basic food is much better for our young ones. There again, change, change, change. I tend to agree with whoever said our country seems to be going toward communism, looks more like it everyday. I can’t say anything good about our ” LEADER”, ,so I want say anything. THIS country has gotten so far away from GOD, and the morals that use to be taught in every home, it’s scary to think about what is to come. I pray for change, but change that is good for every AMERICAN, not just chosen ones. I also pray for ALL the children of this old U.S.A. of North America!! AND I Pray for better leadership and for better teachers!!!

  3. FLA GIRL on January 23rd, 2014 8:21 am

    Precisely why we homeschool. BIG BROTHER GOVERNMENT reaching further into our lives. FL may have made some changes to Common Core…but most likely to appease the “sirens” against this…and once the law is passed….it will be changed yet again. Wake up people…the Federal Government is absolutely taking over the states little by little.

  4. Susan on January 22nd, 2014 9:48 pm

    DOER is right. The standards should not be one size fits all once you get to high school. Required classes should not prepare all kids for college. College is a good path, but it’s not the only path. I know too many kids that couldn’t handle the additional math load that we’ve already put on them and quit high school. Why in the world would we expect everyone to know Calculus? I just took it in college two years ago and came close to quitting because of it. I was an A student–barely squeaked by with a C. The class was required for Business Administration–a field I’ve been in for 30 years and never had a need for calculus. Honestly, I’ve never used anything but basic algebra and basic geometry for that matter.

  5. Ms. B on January 22nd, 2014 3:07 pm

    I completely agree with -Doer and -Robert S.

  6. Tina on January 22nd, 2014 2:50 pm

    I think that are children are required to learn stuff in Pre-K that we learned in 1st grade. We did not have VPK, Kinder was drawing inside the lines and social skills with the basics of phonics. As I watch my children do math they struggle with basic multiplication and division because it is something that they just learn and forget. We do math EVERY DAY and they are so burned out before they get out of elementary school that they are ready to give up. What happened to the teacher being able to make it fun, make it individualized, the teachers know their students…they know who needs what. They don’t need some crazy rules to tell them what to teach, how to teach, LET them do their jobs and teach what they know is needed. I graduated with great grades, loved school, and my teachers because they were allowed to teach me not push me through a set of guidelines.

  7. The DOER on January 22nd, 2014 10:31 am

    Robert S. –
    Thank you for your comments. I am one of many in this county who truly, truly see what is happening and is willing to take a stand against it. I have been an educator for 24 years, and I have never seen our education system go through the ringer as we have for the past two years. Many people may not even be aware of what is happening. The Obama Administration’s point man promoting Common Core, U. S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, has never even taught school before. What could he possibly know about how to teach our kids?

    Common Core advocates say they are preparing students for college and career, but can someone please tell me which career will be the same when these kids graduate from high school? Careers change, just as computers, fax machines, record players, etc.

    Yes, we need some real life skills that are mandatory. These can turn into REAL jobs for kids. We are trying to make every kid think he/she is college material. What a joke! You do not need a college degree to make it in this world.

  8. Ms.B on January 22nd, 2014 8:59 am

    My children are in Elementary school and they are learning but they are learning to much to quickly. As soon as they get to knowing what they are doing and doing it well, they change to something else. I took calculus in highschool, it was a very hard class especially when the teacher was not good at teaching it. If you were to ask me today how often I use calculus on a daily, monthy or yearly basis? My answer would be never. The schools need to teach the highschool kids how to be responsible, such learning how to bugdet when you graduate. Balancing your checkbook, things like that are what you need to know before you get out of school. And helping them more with know what they might want to go to college for.

  9. Robert S. on January 22nd, 2014 8:40 am

    @ the DOER — You can say ALL of that Again….Amen.

    Question, when was the last time You used Algebra?
    Question, when was the last time You used Calculus?

    Back in the dark ages when I went to school all took Algebra and had to pass it to graduate but the Calculus and other high level courses were geared for the kids who had interest in them and wanted the challenge.
    Now, it seems the challenges are thrust onto the kids whether or not they are prepared for or desiring to take them.

    Years ago Florida had tests that kids had to pass to graduate.
    Those became Sunshine State Standards.
    Those were redone and renamed FCAT.
    Now along comes the Fed and pushes Common Core onto ALL states except those whose leadership chooses to not participate — then lose funding.

    Florida Leaders, whose kids usually attend private schools, now want to “REBRAND” the testing and call it “Florida Standards” because they have come up with some changes in the instrument.
    Common Core: “Which came first the chicken or egg?”
    Florida Standards: “Which came first the egg or chicken?”

    Teachers can’t teach subjects because they have for many years had to “Teach for the Test” or have the kids and school and them suffer negative consequences.

    Rebranding does not change things. You can “Rebrand” a cow but it is still the same cow and you may just be jumping someone else’s fences which is called stealing — as in stealing from the kids REAL education by imposing excessive testing on them and taking away from a true global education.

    “DOER” Thank you for your service…..we need more educators like you.
    We need less “Rebranding” — same pig just different lipstick.

  10. southerner on January 22nd, 2014 8:38 am

    I was in the public school system in the ’70’s. Much of my time in public high schools was a waste. My time may have been much more profitably used learning a good trade OUTSIDE of the system (I took vocational classes in high school). Common core is too much about indoctrination.

  11. Rod Wen on January 22nd, 2014 8:13 am

    Because Florida has such a fine reputation when it comes to education

  12. smokey on January 22nd, 2014 6:28 am

    Its not common core. Its communist core. Take a stand against this.

  13. The DOER on January 22nd, 2014 6:11 am

    What a joke. As a public educator in this county, increasing academic rigor is certainly important and paramount, so that our students can keep up with other countries, but what are we doing? We have taken away so many of the hands-on programs, all in the name of state testing. When a lot of our borderline students make it to 10th grade, they cannot handle the academic standards, so guess what? They just quit. Their skills are so limited, so they depend on us (taxpayers) to take care of them. They cycle just keeps on and on.
    We need to offer mechanics, music, art, and I’m not talking about a part-time 50-minute class — IF the student has passed every single course in the world either.
    Do you actually think every single high schooler is going to take and pass (let alone understand) calculus? Does that mean that student is stupid or useless or academically inferior?
    Florida needs to truly wake up!

  14. Erin on January 22nd, 2014 3:36 am

    You mean Florida thinks they can convince people that they’re going to teach kids more than just how to pass the FCAT? That’s funny.

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