1. Gradebook

Draft revisions to Florida high school math, language arts standards released for comment

Gov. Ron DeSantis has called for the removal of Common Core from Florida’s schools.

Sticking closely to its posted timeline, the Florida Department of Education on Friday announced the release of a first draft of high school math and language arts standards revisions for input from the general public.

Groups of experts from around the state have been reviewing the current standards, based primarily on the Common Core, in virtual meetings. They submitted their first set of proposals earlier in May.

Their work continues as their ideas now appear online.

A similar effort is under way for middle school math and language arts standards, while the elementary level initiative is set to kick off in June.

In a January executive order, Gov. Ron DeSantis stated that he wanted to remove the Common Core from Florida’s public schools, and to ensure a “return to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic.” He gave the department until January 2020 to prepare its recommendations.

The executive order went further than just the two subject areas, though, calling for a comprehensive review of academic standards. Some observers have watched anxiously to see whether battles over science and history might ensue, as hinted in some legislation that discussed “controversial theories” and aimed to remove certain materials from schools.

A department spokeswoman confirmed, though, that the review is focused solely on math and language arts, because those are the components of Common Core, which DeSantis primarily focused upon in his order.

Public hearings on the recommendations are expected to take place in September or October. The State Board of Education is scheduled to consider the final version in early 2020, after the Legislature gives its input.

The department already has received more than 15,000 comments, including some raising strong concerns about the state’s education system, through two online surveys.