Putting Education Reform To The Test

What To Expect At This Week’s Hearings On Florida’s Common Education Standards

A sign from a California protest against Common Core State Standards.

Steve Rhodes / Flickr

A sign from a California protest against Common Core State Standards.

The Florida Department of Education is holding three public hearings this week to gather criticisms and support of Florida’s new math and English standards known as Common Core.

Florida is one of 45 states to fully adopt the standards, which outline what students should know at the end of each grade. Designers say the standards emphasize critical thinking skills, asking students what they know and to prove how they know it.

But as Florida schools prepare to use the standards in every grade starting next school year, critics are pushing back. They worry Common Core will increase time spent testing, will be costly, will reduce local control over educational content and will not be as challenging as Florida’s current standards.

Those criticisms are partly why Gov. Rick Scott asked the Florida Department of Education to hold the three public meetings this week. Supporters and critics will be allowed to talk about the specific standards and their general thoughts on Common Core.

Florida is three years in to implementing Common Core. The standards are fully in use in kindergarten through second grade, while other grade are using a combination of Common Core and Florida’s previous standards.

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart has said she does not expect to make major changes to the standards, but the state could address some specific concerns.

StateImpact Florida’s John O’Connor discussed what to expect at the hearings with WUSF’s Craig Kopp.


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