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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida adopts national standards in reading, math



With little discussion, the Florida Board of Education voted unanimously this morning to adopt the Common Core Standards for reading/language arts and math.

Florida joins more than two dozen other states in adopting the K-12 standards, which were released last month after a year-long development process directed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The state's current standards aren't too shabby, according to the Fordham Institute, which put out a report last week comparing state standards with the Common Core Standards. Florida, in fact, was one of only four states to earn an A for its math standards, and it earned a B for its English/language arts standards.

But education leaders in Florida and other states say rigorous, common standards will make the country more competitive with the rest of the world. They're also motivated by Race to the Top, which awards points for adopting them.

"This approval marks a vital next step on Florida's long-standing and successful eduation reform journey by strengthening our curriculum standards for these critical subjects," Board of Education Chairman T. Willard Smith said in a statement. "I look forward to seeing the improved outcomes of all Florida students as these new standards are implemented in the coming years."

Florida Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith told the board that adopting the standards is a first step. He said he will report back later with a more detailed discussion about implementation.

The new standards will be incorporated into Florida's benchmarked standards for reading/language arts and math beginning in 2013-14, a DOE spokeswoman said in an e-mail to The Gradebook. New tests will be in place beginning with the 2014-15 school year.

Any idea about cost? "Not at this time," the spokeswoman wrote.


[Last modified: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 1:29pm]


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