DeSantis announces executive order eliminating Common Core in Florida

'I told you I would do something about it,' governor says

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced that he will issue an executive order eliminating Common Core education standards from Florida schools.

DeSantis wants to streamline standardized testing, as well as increase the rate of literacy in schools.

"One of the things we would constantly hear about on the campaign trail is frustration from parents with Common Core and the testing," DeSantis said.

The Common Core standards cover mathematics and arts & literacy. The standards cover what students should know at the end of each grade level.

Parents have long argued against Common Core, complaining guidelines were too rigid with too much testing for students.

"When you complained about Common Core, I hear you. I told you I would do something about it, and today we're acting to bring those promises into reality," DeSantis said.

Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said he welcomes the change.

"I welcome the opportunity to work with the governor and the commissioner of Education on revising standards and regulations to give local districts greater flexibility on curriculum and testing," Runcie said in a statement. "We need fundamental reforms in public education that will give our teachers the freedom they need to better engage students. It is time to reduce our reliance on a testing culture that is more about ranking students on their potential, when our focus should be more on developing their potential."

Meanwhile, at about the time of the announcement, Miami-Dade County Public Schools leaders at a meeting gave a collective if tempered "Hallelujah."  

"There's balance between appropriate standards and appropriate assessment of tests. When you over-test, you are doing harm to both teachers and students," Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said. 

"Teachers don't want to teach to a test. Teachers want to make sure they instill the knowledge in the students to get them ready for the real world," said Karla Hernandez, of United Teachers of Dade.  

One School Board member said rising school grades touted under Common Core may be window dressing.

"Even some of our A schools will not show you that our children are proficient," Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall said. 

Once Florida's new education commissioner and department comes up with a new roadmap, the order goes to the legislature.

"It's very easy to say, 'We're going to come in and reduce testing.' But when you start looking into the intricate parts of the state system -- the third largest state in the union -- it's complicated," State Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. R-Hialeah Gardens, said.  

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