The Florida Department of Education has launched a new website aimed at gathering more detailed public views about the standards Gov. Ron DeSantis has demanded be revised.
The site, which requires registration, details language arts and math standards by grade level. For each, it asks respondents whether they would like to eliminate, revise, move or leave unchanged the language.
It leaves space for added comments, as well.
For readers who seek a frame of reference, the department has offered on its overview page spreadsheets comparing Florida’s expectations to those in California, Indiana and Massachusetts. Indiana has often been compared to Florida for its education policies, while Massachusetts is frequently referred to as having among the best and most successful education systems.
The comparisons, compiled by department officials, indicate where the states have similar standards, where they differ and where they have nothing at all in common.
For instance, in the kindergarten language arts section, the document shows that all the states expect children to identify characters, setting and major events in a story, with support. But Florida alone has a standard calling for children to “actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.”
On the other hand, California and Indiana have standards for kindergartners to “write by moving from left to right and top to bottom,” while Florida does not have a similar expectation.
The new information comes as the state puts forth a more detailed timeline for completing its standards review, which also will include other subject areas.
The plan now has the state completing its initial round of public input to have proposed revisions to the State Board of Education by September. A new round of public hearings based on these would follow, with a final recommendation draft due to commissioner Richard Corcoran by December and to DeSantis by January. Legislative commentary would follow, with the expectation that the State Board would hold an adoption vote in spring 2020.
New course and instructional materials information, which have been delayed during the review, would follow.
The last time the state conducted a standards review, it ended up making only minor changes.
DeSantis, like Scott, requested a closer look at the standards — particular the Common Core — amid criticisms from the conservative wing of the Republican party.