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Educators: Improve, Don't Eliminate, Florida's Academic Standards

In January, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order to eliminate common core and instructed State Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to review the academic standards for Florida’s kindergarten through grade 12 students to find a replacement. (Pixabay)
In January, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order to eliminate common core and instructed State Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to review the academic standards for Florida’s kindergarten through grade 12 students to find a replacement. (Pixabay)
October 21, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — For the fifth time in 24 years, Florida is changing its education standards - this time away from Common Core. But some educators say a complete overhaul is unnecessary.

In January, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order to ditch Common Core, a set of academic standards in mathematics, arts and literacy that outline what students should know at the end of each grade. Some parents argue the guidelines are too rigid and require too much testing for students.

But speaking on The Rotunda Podcast, math instructor Brian Dean with Instruction Partners said teachers, principals and parents have said only small tweaks should be made.

"When I'm out in the communities, they are very much for keeping the standards the way they are, they don't want to change,” Dean said. “They understand the standard, they put in the time and effort to learn about the standards, and they see it working with their kids."

In early October, the Florida Department of Education launched a statewide listening tour with just nine stops throughout Florida's 67 counties. The department said it would keep Common Core in place until at least January. The listening tour for public input on a replacement ends Wednesday in Walton County.

Back in April, the department announced a survey that allowed parents to provide input on individual current standards. According to Dean, there was no overwhelming call to ditch Common Core.

"It was clear the vast majority said leave the standards alone,” he said. “And then those that had suggestions were talking about a tweak here and a tweak there because the standards are from 2010 and we know better now, we know more."

Dean added that 61% of Florida students scored a level 3 or higher in Grades 3-8 mathematics in 2019, compared with 56% in 2015. Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said they've been working with more than 30 organizations and stakeholders through the review process, including the Florida Association of District School Superintendents and Florida PTA.

Reach Dean at 513-305-6244. Standards Survey: https://bit.ly/2tswQif The Rotunda: https://bit.ly/1JgLTj8 Exe Ord: https://bit.ly/2G1KYaj

Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - FL