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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Gov. Rick Scott calls for Florida to drop out of PARCC



Word is out that Gov. Rick Scott wants to pull Florida out of the PARCC testing consortium affiliated with the Common Core State Standards.

Tampa Bay Times bureau chief Steve Bousquet is reporting on Twitter that Scott wants to sever ties with PARCC, for which Florida has served as the fiscal agent since it began. That would "end the federal intrusion in education policy," Scott wrote in his order. "Federal government has no constitutional authority to unilaterally set academic standards for Florida."

He joins legislative leaders who also pressed for a "Florida plan" for testing earlier in the summer. Read his executive order and letters to Gary Chartrand and Arne Duncan here.

The Associated Press adds that Scott also has called upon state officials to take further action to calm the roiling debate over the standards, perhaps by holding public hearings and considering new standards the state.

Scott cannot pull out of PARCC on his own, though. As Education Week noted last week, he needs the support of the State Board of Education chairman and the education commissioner to make that move. And unless things have changed, commissioner Pam Stewart and others plan to meet with PARCC officials on Wednesday outside Washington, D.C., to discuss Florida's plans.

Stewart has said she doesn't intend to make a decision on testing until the spring.

Scott also raises the red flag of "federal intrusion." There have been concerns raised that Race to the Top required some of the aspects of the standards for funding, but many state officials have made clear that there's no federal government involvement in the standards. They are recommended across the nation and adopted by individual states, as was the case with the Florida Board of Education.

We'll have more on this story as it becomes available. See also our reports on the Buzz here and here.

[Last modified: Monday, September 23, 2013 1:19pm]


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