Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Politics

Entry point is only point Scott makes on federal involvement with education

In a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Monday, Gov. Rick Scott called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers a "primary entry point for the involvement of the federal government in … state and local decisions."

Scott was so concerned that he called on the Florida Department of Education to withdraw from the multistate consortium, which is developing student assessments around the new Common Core State Standards.

But when pressed by a reporter on Tuesday to explain how PARCC is an example of federal intrusion, Scott was short on details.

"If you look at it, it's their entry point into having more involvement in our education system, and my goal is, let's make sure we continue to raise our standards," Scott said. "I want to thank (former) Gov. (Jeb) Bush for his focus on that. He really led that effort, and he's led it around the country, but I want to continue that focus on education, but we don't need the federal government intruding in our lives."

Asked a second reporter: "How can a test that's developed by a consortium of states be federal intrusion? How is that their entry point?"

Replied Scott: "It was their entry point to intrusion and their involvement in our system. What I believe in, is we should be able to come up with an assessment that works for us. Again, we want high standards, but we don't need their involvement."

A third try from a reporter: "But governor, you haven't given us any examples. Give us an example of what you mean by federal intrusion. What specifically has happened?"

Scott: "It's the entry point to where the federal government would be more involved in our education system, and I oppose that."

AG sorry over execution delay

A contrite Attorney General Pam Bondi owned up to a big mistake Tuesday, acknowledging she was wrong to have asked that the execution of a murderer be delayed for three weeks because it would have conflicted with her re-election campaign fundraiser.

Gov. Rick Scott agreed to Bondi's request and claimed he did not know the reason why. Marshall Lee Gore's execution is now set for Oct. 1.

"I should not have requested that the execution be moved," Bondi told reporters after a Cabinet meeting. "I should not have moved it. I'm sorry. And it will not happen again. Next question."

Pressed into immediate damage control, Bondi was eager to change the subject, and a reporter accommodated her by asking about a legal issue involving benefits for same-sex couples in the National Guard. But then it was back to the subject of Gore's execution.

"I made a mistake. I'm sorry. It won't happen again," she said. "I asked that a killer's date be changed, and he was given 20 more days. It won't happen again. I'm sorry."

Redistricting lawsuit continues

A key Republican political operative will not be required to turn over his communications with other Republican Party operatives relating to redistricting, a court official has ruled.

Frank Terraferma, director of House campaigns of the Republican Party of Florida, will not have to release any more documents than he already has, ruled Major Harding, the former state Supreme Court justice assigned to become the special master in the lingering legal feud over the redistricting maps.

Harding was appointed to referee the dispute between the Republican-controlled Legislature and the plaintiffs in the case, a coalition of Florida residents and the League of Women Voters.

Plaintiffs argued that Terraferma should be required to turn over internal communications he had with employees under contract with the party to help them assert that the Legislature violated the constitutional ban against intentionally protecting an incumbent or political party.

Terraferma argued that disclosing the documents would have a chilling effect on his ability to openly communicate with RPOF and its consultants in the future.

Times/Herald staff writer Mary Ellen Klas contributed to this week's Buzz.

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