Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Critics Back Bill to Postpone Common Core

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Critics Back Bill to Postpone Common Core

Article excerpt

TALLAHASSEE

While praising Gov. Rick Scott's decision to re-evaluate new education standards, Common Core opponents on Wednesday said they are backing a House bill that would delay implementation of the academic measures.

Groups opposed to the standards, including Tea Party activists, were in Tallahassee Wednesday to meet with lawmakers and Scott's aides. Their ultimate goal is to dismantle the standards, which are scheduled to go into effect next fall.

But short of that, they are backing Rep. Debbie Mayfield's bill (HB 25), which could delay the standards by requiring more extensive public hearings and a cost analysis of implementation.

On Monday, Scott issued an executive order calling for Florida to pull out of a national testing consortium for the Common Core standards and solicit bids for a new test. He also asked state education officials to hold three public hearings to allow the public to comment in on the new standards for math and reading.

Laura Zorc, a co-founder of Florida Parents Against Common Core from Vero Beach, said the opponents "appreciate Governor Scott for recognizing our concerns." But she and other critics said they see Scott's action as the first step in eliminating the standards, which they say would lead to an increased federal role in Florida's school system.

"We are not going to stop. We are going to continue to bring our concerns to the forefront," said Debbie Higginbotham, a Jacksonville mother of six and another co-founder of Florida Parents Against Common Core.

Randy Osborne, a lobbyist for the Florida Eagle Forum who is coordinating the opponents' legislative efforts, said the groups support standards and testing but outlined more than a half-dozen concerns with the Common Core, ranging from "federalization of our education system" to data mining to the impact on private schools and home schoolers. …

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