DeSantis Vows to End Common Core

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Ana Brito, Author

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In a recent executive order, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced the removal of Common Core standards from Florida schools.  The order, issued on January 31st, pledges to eliminate the “the vestiges of Common Core” from our educational system, fulfilling one of DeSantis’ major campaign trail promises.

 

Common Core is a set of standards detailing what students should know at the end of each grade in mathematics and language arts, from kindergarten to 12th grade. It was launched in 2009, and Florida officially adopted it in 2010 in an effort to promote a more rigorous school environment and boost both statewide and national test scores. In 2014, after much criticism, Florida Standards was adapted instead, but there are extensive similarities between the two.  

 

“We stuck with Common Core then we rebranded it … it’s all the same. It all needs to be looked at, it all needs to be scrutinized,” said the governor during his statement at a Ida S. Baker High School in Cape Coral, Florida.

 

For years, both teachers and parents have been complaining about the benchmarks in place, citing the substantial amount of standardized testing and the overemphasis on math and english as majors sources of error within the system.

 

“With Common Core a lot of people just didn’t feel like anyone was listening to them, and I think that’s a big, big problem,” commented DeSantis.

 

The executive order tasks Richard Corcoran, the Education commissioner, with planning the new standards in a year. Under Corcoran’s leadership, the state Department of Education will work to craft the new requirements, a process that will take many months and could be costly.  DeSantis hopes to give civic education a more prominent role in what students learn, with the aim of educating young adults to “discharge the duties of citizenship.” The new state curriculum would be introduced to the Legislature next January, at the beginning of the 2020 session.

 

Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent, expressed wholehearted approval for the Common Core review. To him, the changes are inevitable and necessary.

 

“I applaud the governor’s decision to bring about a significant review and analysis of current standards, which are very, very identical to Common Core,” he said.

Ultimately, students, parents, and educators across the state stand to potentially benefit from the education reform. As DeSantis said,  “We want high quality, we want to demand excellence.”