For several months now, groups of educators have worked with Florida Department of Education officials to revise the state’s English-language arts and math standards, with an eye toward eliminating the Common Core.
They’re two drafts in now, with a final report due to the Governor’s Office by January. So the department is taking its proposal on the road.
The next ‘listening session’ is set for 5:30 p.m. today in Gainesville. And you can watch on The Florida Channel, which is scheduled to air it live.
So far, according to local media reports from Highlands and Seminole counties, the feedback the department has received hasn’t been positive. Speakers have used words like “vague” and “weak” to describe the recommended changes, offered to meet Gov. Ron DeSantis’ pledge to get rid of the standards that have come under tea party criticism as a federal intrusion into the education curriculum.
To be clear, the states — not the federal government — came up with the Common Core and adopted it. And, the Common Core is not a curriculum, but rather a set of learning expectations for students.
And it’s the standards that Florida is revising. Curriculum and instruction decisions would remain with teachers and schools.
Still, the discussion continues. So if you want to hear how the department is describing its effort, and how the people of Gainesville are reacting, today might be an interesting session to watch.
And don’t forget, the state also is rewriting its civics curriculum, too. Again, it’s to meet a DeSantis objective based on his campaign statements that Florida needs to return the Constitution to the classroom.
For now, the civics initiative is focused on analyzing the current state end-of-course exam and the textbooks in use.
You can comment on those, too. Learn about the latest steps in that process on the state’s Civics Review website.