Putting Education Reform To The Test

Bush: Florida Standards “Not Substantially Different” From Common Core

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Gov. Rick Scott at a campaign stop in Homestead.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Gov. Rick Scott at a campaign stop in Homestead.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush hit the campaign trail with current Gov. Rick Scott on Friday.

Bush has been one of the nation’s most prominent supporters of the Common Core math and language arts standards adopted by dozens of states, including Florida.

Scott? Not so much.

After initially supporting the standards, Scott withdrew support for the federally-funded exams designed by multi-state coalitions. Last fall, under pressure from conservative and liberal Common Core critics, Scott asked the state Department of Education to hold public meetings and tweak the standards.

Eventually, the state added calculus, tweaked a few other things and renamed them the Florida Standards. But, the changes left Common Core largely untouched.

Scott now says Common Core is out of Florida.

So how does that jibe with Bush’s support of Scott?

As he has in the past, Bush said Friday he supports the alterations. But Bush conceded not much changed about the standards besides the name.

“They’re not substantially different, but they’re Florida-based,” Bush said, “after listening to a whole lot of people express concerns and support.

“I think he was correct to do the review and I think the review ended up with really good results…I’m all in on what his efforts were on that.”

Common Core critics aren’t buying it.

Another interesting tidbit: One of the changes maintained the teaching of cursive in elementary school. Bush said leaving cursive out of Common Core was an “oversight.”


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