Common Core

The Nation's Report Card, released this week, finds declines in reading and math across the country. Another report, this one from the Council of Great City Schools, finds kids are taking too many standardized tests. We begin the hour with a look at both reports and their implications with Colleen Wood, founder of 50th No More and Vice-Chair of the Network for Public Education Action, a national political advocacy organization.


Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

The Duval County school system expects to save around $10 million over the next two years by switching from traditional textbooks to free, online courses for elementary math and reading classes.

Ray Hollister / WJCT

Adopted by educators in Florida and in most other states, Common Core standards set benchmarks on what students should know as they prepare for college. But this overhaul of the nation’s public schools has angered both the right and the left. Some conservatives see Common Core as government overreach, while some progressives are criticizing what they see as the punitive aspects of testing and grade retention around the standards.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

  Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush took a first step toward becoming a 2016 presidential candidate Tuesday.

And that has many asking how his position on education issues would affect both a Republican primary candidacy and, if Bush survives, a general election candidacy.

Duval County Public Schools

The first Duval County School Board meeting of the new school year was supposed to focus on several local issues, but instead, much of the night was dedicated to controversy over more far-reaching concerns.

Members from two multi-county groups--Florida Voices for Choices and Florida Parents Reclaiming Individual Children's Sovereign Education (R.I.S.E.) --turned out in force at Tuesday’s meeting.

As we're detailing this week, teachers and school leaders have a lot of work to do to adopt curricula aligned with the new Common Core State Standards.

Jackie Mader / The Hechinger Report

For the past few years, the new nationwide Common Core state standards have been slowly rolling out in Florida’s schools.

The Florida Department of Education is revising its timeline for when schools will begin facing penalties under a revised state accountability system.

The biggest change is next year’s switch away from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment tests to new statewide exams aligned with the “Florida Standards”.

Florida House of Representatives

An anti-Common Core rant by Florida State Representative Charles Van Zant is making the rounds online.

Governor Scott Hits Common Core With Education Bills

May 13, 2014
Meredyth Hope Hall / The Office of Governor Rick Scott

TALLAHASSEE (The News Service of Florida) — Gov. Rick Scott's office announced Monday he had signed a trio of bills aimed at allaying fears about the state's version of the Common Core education standards — even though Scott apparently didn't have one of the bills when the signing was announced.

Scott also signed another education bill dealing with school grades.

According to Scott's office, the three Common Core-related measures he signed Monday included:

Rhema Thompson / WJCT

This time next year, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test will be a distant memory and Florida students will sit down to an all-new assessment. But local school officials want more time to get ready.

Greg Daly / Flickr

This week marks the last time state students will take the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, known as the FCAT.

National anti-crime group Fight Crime: Invest in Kids released a position paper last week in favor of Florida’s new standards for English language arts and math. The group argues assessments and higher standards can prevent crime.

Here’s the paper’s summary of the connection:

Charter schools, the Jacksonville Riverwalk, and Common Core are in the headlines today.

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