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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

No Common Core repeal likely for Florida, Speaker Weatherford says



With public hearings on Florida's academic standards behind us, the next big question is whether the state will stick with the Common Core or change course.

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart won't be making recommendations at Tuesday's State Board of Education meeting, despite expectations. A department spokeswoman said Stewart is only slated to give board members a general overview of the public feedback from October, and outline next steps for the state.

Stewart is following the playbook of Gov. Rick Scott, who called for the hearings on the standards and has stopped talking about his support of the Common Core. House Speaker Will Weatherford said he believed Scott's approach was appropriate, to give Floridians a chance to have input into the standards.

He suggested, though, that any resulting changes won't completely alter Florida's path, down which schools and teachers have been headed for a couple of years now.

"I don't think you'll see any repeal" of Common Core, Weatherford told the Gradebook.

He said a bill filed to halt the Core would go through the committee process, and he expected the chairmen to handle the matter appropriately.

Florida Senate leaders have been more pointed in their statements, calling on critics to point out specific problems within the standards that can be looked at for possible fixes. No one in the Senate has filed legislation opposing the Common Core yet.

The DOE also is seeking bids for Common Core-aligned tests to replace the FCAT. It has taken no official action on its role with the PARCC consortium, which still has a chance to provide Florida's tests in the end.

[Last modified: Thursday, November 14, 2013 12:07pm]


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