Governor Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran last Friday announced that the Florida Department of Education has completed the review of Florida’s K-12 academic standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics and made recommendations for revisions.
The proposed Florida Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) Standards will provide the foundation for teaching and learning and will be unveiled before February.
“When I took office, I made a pledge to the citizens of Florida to overhaul our educational standards to remove all vestiges of Common Core and return to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic,” said Governor DeSantis. “I am pleased that this historic task has been completed and we are well on our way to making Florida the best state in the nation for education. My deepest thanks to Commissioner Corcoran and Department of Education staff, Florida teachers, parents, subject matter experts and stakeholders for their participation in this transparent, in-depth and comprehensive process.”
“Governor DeSantis has proven once again that he is the Education Governor,” said Commissioner Corcoran. “Under his bold leadership, these new standards represent the highest quality knowledge-based standards in the nation. They not only incorporate civics throughout every grade, a first of their kind in the nation, ensuring that our students are well versed in the United States Constitution and the responsibilities of citizenship, they also provide educators with clear and concise standards. I am confident our students will thrive academically and be well prepared for success.”
Local Anti-Common Core Activist Debbie Gunnoe expressed hope things will be improved as the new standards are developed, but she’s taking a “wait and see approach.”
“There are still many issues I see need to be addressed,” Gunnoe said, pointing out new textbooks and training may be necessary. “I’m ok with that expense to get rid of Common Core. The high stakes end-of-year testing will still occur, so it just may be a continuance of ‘teaching to the test’…I’m not holding my breath than things will be significantly better. But it is a big step in the correct direction. And any correction will take years to see positive results as almost a generation has been negatively impacted.”
On January 31, 2019, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 19-32, outlining a path for Florida to improve its education system by eliminating Common Core and paving the way for Florida students to receive a world-class education to prepare them for jobs of the future.