Florida Governor Wants to Drop Common Core Tests

On Monday, Gov. Scott directed State Board of Education Chairman Gary Chartrand to withdraw the state from the testing system, at least financially. At one time, 45 states were expected to participate, although several others have dropped out as well.
September 24, 2013
 

n a major about-face, Florida may scrap its plan to administer a national high-stakes test, opting instead to devise one that is more Florida-centric.

The potential move, announced Monday through an executive order by Gov. Rick Scott, could affect everything from teacher evaluations to merit pay to school grades.

All were expected to use the results of a testing system known as Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers, or PARCC. The PARCC exams are to test student mastery of Common Core standards, which are benchmarks for what students should learn in language arts and math classes

That test was expected to replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test starting in 2014-15.

"The big question is what will happen in 2014-15. How will this impact school grades?" asked Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie. "That hasn't been fully thought out. I haven't heard of any solutions."

On Monday, Scott directed State Board of Education Chairman Gary Chartrand to withdraw the state from the testing system, at least financially. At one time, 45 states were expected to participate, although several others have dropped out as well.

Florida has been a leader in the PARCC group. Scott's action Monday stopped short of cutting off PARCC as a testing option completely. But given the opposition from leaders in the Florida Legislature, that would seem the likely result.

In issuing his executive order, Scott waded into the controversy surrounding Common Core and its affiliated tests, seeming to side, at least partially, with Tea Party activists who've complained the standards represent "federal intrusion" in local schools.

The standards, however, were devised by state leaders, not the federal government. But the Obama administration has been a strong supporter and encouraged states to adopt them.

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