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Florida announces proposed changes to controversial Common Core

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Keeping cursive writing in the classroom and adding some additional math skills are among nearly 100 proposed changes to the controversial Common Core State Standards the Florida Department of Education announced Monday.

Photo: Florida Department of Education
Education Commissioner Pam Stewart

Common Core has been a lightning rod for conservatives – and some liberal groups — in Florida since they were adopted in 2010 and are set to go into effect in the 2014-15 school year. Conservatives argue the new curriculum is an overly intrusive federal reach into a state responsibility. Liberal groups complain about the curriculum’s emphasis on testing.

State Rep. Debbie Mayfield, R-Vero Beach, has filed a bill (HB 25)  to stop Common Core in the Sunshine State. On Friday, before the Republican Party of Florida’s annual meeting, a caucus of state committeemen and women voted to oppose the Common Core curriculum in Orlando. Addressing the party the next day, Gov. Rick Scott said the state would announce proposed changes this week.

According to a Monday news release from Education Commissioner Pam Stewart, the FDOE arrived at the 98 proposed changes announced Monday after analyzing a public review process that included more than 14 hours of public hearings and collected about 19,000 public comments.

“I appreciate all of the feedback from teachers, parents, administrators and people across the state on Florida’s English language arts and mathematics standards,” Stewart said in the release.

“With your input, we have strengthened our standards to ensure they are the best and highest standards, so that all Florida students graduate from high school prepared for success in college, career and in life.”

The changes proposed by the FDOE will be discussed at two webinars Tuesday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. To participate in the 10 a.m. webinar go here.

To participate in the 2 p.m. webinar, go here.

The changes can be found on the department’s website here. Yellow rows indicate current standards; green rows indicate proposed changes. In the math section, blue rows indicate standards that are additional standards the department is proposing.

While Common Core has been controversial nationwide, Florida is the first state to make so many changes after public review, according to Education Week.

Still, the new proposals don’t go far enough, Karen Effrem, a Charlotte County pediatrician and co-founder of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition, told NPR’s State Impact.

“It’s really not going to change much,” she told State Impact. “From the way it sounds, I’m skeptical.”

Stewart is scheduled to present the proposed changes to the state board of education Feb. 18 in Orlando.



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