Putting Education Reform To The Test

Common Core Protesters Take Their Fight To The Florida Capitol


Floridians Against Common Core Education says Common Core was developed by a "regime" using stimulus money from the Obama administration and "pushed by the duped Republican governors and business groups."

Dozens of protesters fanned out at the Capitol yesterday, trying to convince lawmakers to put the brakes on Common Core State Standards.

A coalition of groups working under the moniker Floridians Against Common Core Education is organizing rallies opposing the new teaching standards that are being phased in nationwide.

Florida is on schedule to complete its roll out of Common Core by the fall of 2014.

Dr. Karen Effrem is a pediatrician and president of Education Liberty Watch, a Minnesota-based limited government group that supports parents as the final authority over their child’s education.

“Common Core was adopted by the appointed State Board of Education. There wasn’t a single elected legislator or county school board member that had a voice,” Effrem said. “It is extraordinarily dangerous.”

Effrem said academic quality will suffer under the new standards.

“Do we want our children to graduate from high school with English and math skills at the 7th grade level? Do we want psychological manipulation via the curriculum and testing?” Effrem asked. “Do we want the ensnarement of private and home school students that will basically have no alternative to public education?”

Effrem thinks the new standards will lead to huge unfunded mandates for taxpayers and local districts.

She said the State Board of Education asked for $400 million to implement Common Core in one year. (The Florida Department of Education recently said it now believes $100 million is needed for the budget year beginning July 1, with additional money next year.)

“That is the same amount that was spent on the FCAT from 1996 to 2008,” Effrem said, adding that lawmakers so far have agreed to fund less than half of the amount requested.

Lawmakers “need to stop listening to well-funded, but unaccountable private interests, foundations and corporations,” Effrem said. Common Core is being promoted by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his two education foundations.

Opponents want an 18-month moratorium on Common Core and a financial analysis of its costs.

Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett said he fears the anti-Common Core movement is being fueled in part by political ideology.

“The development of Common Core was an initiative by the National Governors Association,” Bennett said. “It wasn’t a national initiative. It was an initiative driven by state leaders, and it actually predates the current presidential administration.

“The Obama administration — their constant rhetoric around Common Core has galvanized the other side of the political aisle that this is all about federal takeover,” Bennett said, “but those of us that have been working on this since 2009 and before would tell you that simply isn’t the case.

“Common Core will give the local teacher and the local district more flexibility than what we’ve had under the old standards.”

Tomorrow, we’ll hear from a central Florida mom who’s trying to stop Common Core.


  • Marblemania

    Tony Bennett fails to mention the National Governors Association is a private invitation only group and again, no one invited educators or parents on the 60 person panel that devised these standards in secret led by David Coleman, another non educator and jerk who has some serious issues with children and literature. Now Mr.Bush has been bucking for the privatization of public schools since he was governor and the idiots in Tallahassee act like his lap dogs. We can vote all these idiots out because MOMs and teachers, left, right and center see the fraud that is common core and we are angry. Tell me how we vote Jeb off the peninsula as our state would be much better off.

  • Libertydockaren

    Thank you for the balanced and accurate reporting on the rally. Please be aware that the National Governor’s Association also receives 80% of its funding from the federal government and none of its deliberations on Common Core were open to the public. Commissioner Bennett’s description of Common Core as “state-led” is innaccurate at best and misleading at worst. Given that his estimate of what is needed to implement Common Core was off by $362 million also leads one to question the accuracy and credibility of his pronouncements.

  • Sean O’Neill

    Mr. Bennett: Would you so kind as to explain to the taxpayers and parents of the State of Florida why this is being put upon the children of this state?
    2. If it is state-led the governor who ever he was at the time and the appointed State School board had an obligation to everyone of this state to explain what this is to not only us but the legislators – they don’t know
    3. Explain why our legislators refuse to listen to the people – if we are so wrong wbout CCS than explain it to us – no you choose to ignore us.

    4. Since you are now sitting in a state where you are appointed I guess you fell that your orders come not from the people – I wouldn’t count my pigs too soon since the CCS is nothing but a bunch of Communist Hog Wash and you know it.
    5. Are your children and children going to be educated under this Communist “school to work” boondoggle?

  • Sean O’Neill

    Why were the Common Core Standards (of which were agreed to before they were written), never put as a whole to the state legislature but now they are trying to cover their back sides for mandating something that has no legislative approval. You know – the old “cart before the horse” or maybe just do it and then you will know what it is!

    Governor Scott what do you know about the CCS??????? Again signing on for this state after you took office and the standards still were not wirtten.

    What a bunch of lame duck hog wash – you act like you are living on a farm!!!!!

    Jeb take your whole mob and go live in Maine!

    Bennett we don’t care where you go as long as you leave Florida and take that half backed State School Board with you!

    We don’t need anymore Chief’s in FL.

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »