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Ron DeSantis’ Common Core plans won’t halt Pasco textbook purchase

Proposed changes, if any, won’t occur for a while.
Ron DeSantis has said he wants to eliminate the Common Core from Florida's academic standards.
TAILYR IRVINE | Times Ron DeSantis has said he wants to eliminate the Common Core from Florida's academic standards.
Published Feb. 13, 2019|Updated Feb. 13, 2019

Floridians appear to love Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal to get the Common Core out of the public schools.

A newly released Florida Atlantic University survey shows 52 percent support for the idea, compared to just 21 percent opposition. That makes the Common Core stance DeSantis’ second most popular position, behind only his creation of a task force to deal with Red Tide.

Noting the move to review and change standards, several school districts — including Martin and Duval counties — have taken steps to ensure their adoption of new textbooks won’t become obsolete. One board asked the governor’s office for direction before taking action.

The Pasco County School Board, which has several math, history and fine arts books up for approval on Tuesday, is not pausing its plans. Board members had few questions during a Feb. 5 public hearing on the recommended materials, and no one from the community spoke.

Superintendent Kurt Browning suggested it’s too early to have major concerns.

Browning noted that DeSantis signed an executive order calling for a standards review, which is expected to take close to a year. In 2020, the Legislature is supposed to convene in January instead of March, which could set back any lawmaker debate over whatever recommendations emerge.

“It’s questionable as to whether they will even have the time to deal with it next session,” Browning observed, suggesting it could take three years before any changes get considered or implemented.

“There’s a long way to go,” he said. Meanwhile, “the Florida standards are still there.”

Students will take tests on them, and the schools need materials to support instruction. The board is expected to move on the recommended new books as scheduled.

“We are ensuring we have great materials that are aligned with the standards for next year,” said Lea Mitchell, Office of Leading and Learning director. “We didn’t take the executive order ... as a cause for use to stop the train in motion.”


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