No Sunshine In Anti-Common Core Groups’ Inaccurate Claims


Florida Stop Common Core Coalition (FSCC), a coalition of groups opposed to higher academic standards, is warning Florida lawmakers that it’s time “to put up or shut up and get onboard to end Common Core for good.”

Florida adopted their new standards in 2010 but revised them in 2014; these same groups still remained opposed.

FSCC wants the state to “start with a clean slate” and return to pre-2010 academic standards. “Besides being academically inferior, developmentally inappropriate and psychologically manipulative, they have not improved education outcomes in Florida or the nation,” said FSCC Executive Director Karen Effrem.

Contrary to their false claims, the benchmarks adopted by Florida in 2010 are higher quality and more rigorous than what they replaced.

Oklahoma, the only state to revert back to inferior learning goals, experienced first-hand the negative impact of a go-it-alone approach. Last year, an analysis by the Collaborative for Student Success concluded, “While other states are working to provide parents and teachers with better tools to measure student development,” Oklahoma officials set their schools on a “rocky path of disruption, uncertainty and internal turmoil.” Moreover, an independent review of the criteria stated that the state’s new standards bear no resemblance to the 2010 ones and found that they would “disadvantage Oklahoma students compared to their peers in other states; students in Oklahoma will be less prepared to successfully enter college and careers.”

A report from Achieve found that state assessments for the 2013-14 school year in Florida were 22 points higher in fourth-grade reading and 16 points higher in eighth-grade math than the National Assessment of Educational Progress reported. What’s more, of the 54 percent of Florida community college students who need remedial classes, less than 10 percent graduate with a degree in three years. Remedial education costs in the Sunshine State cost students and schools $168 million in 2011.

Although Florida hasn’t released its 2015 assessment results, students have shown improvements by an average of more than four points. Those states adopted higher standards and have stayed the course to the benefit of their students.

Mike Petrilli of the Fordham Institute has explained that it would be “impossible” to create education that prepare students for college and careers and that look nothing like the Common Core State Standards. “That’s because Common Core, though not perfect, represents a good-faith effort to incorporate the current evidence of what students need to know and do to succeed in credit-bearing courses in college or to land a good-paying job.”

FSCC should learn from others’ mistakes: reverting back to inferior learning standards will cause severe disruption in classrooms and will set back academic progress.