1. Gradebook

Who wants changes to Florida’s Common Core standards?

Not too many respondents to the state’s survey see the need.

In one of his first acts as Florida governor, Ron DeSantis issued an executive order calling for the elimination of the Common Core from the state’s academic standards.

He was making good on a pledge to a portion of the conservative base that helped elect him.

As part of the ongoing effort, which now includes educator experts drafting replacement language, the Department of Education has solicited input from the general public on both the current and draft standards. One of the key questions has been, should each item be replaced, removed or kept unchanged?

One thing stands out in a report of the results through May 28: Regardless of the type of standard, or the role of the respondent, the clear top answer to the question has been, “No change needed.”

That’s true among those listed as parents, who gave that answer 74 percent of the time for language arts standards and 82 percent of the time for math. But it’s even more so among those listed as teachers, who marked that box 84 percent of the time for language arts and 83 percent for math.

Teachers spent years working to incorporate the standards — based largely on the Common Core though renamed Florida Standards to avoid the label — since the state adopted them in 2010. Some have pointed out that the system, intended to help students think more critically, could be time consuming and possibly expensive to replace, particularly with something untried.

The state has set a goal of getting its proposal before the Florida Board of Education for consideration by March 2020.

A review of the drafts so far suggests the educator panels in place have largely offered tweaks to the wording, rather than major changes.

In math, they largely call for clarifying the standards must include “real world scenarios.”

In language arts, they propose adding “content area literacy standards” for science and social studies, but those generally stick to matters such as using textual evidence to support arguments and comparing information from multiple sources. They do not appear to enter the ground of altering the actual content standards for those subjects.

The rewriting continues, as the department surges toward public hearings around the state in the fall.

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