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Today, Florida Governor Rick Scott fought for children in his state and for the 10th Amendment in one fell swoop. He did this by removing Florida from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARC), the consortium creating Common Core tests, of which Florida was the fiscal agent.
Scott’s executive order began:
“WHEREAS, the Federal government has no constitutional authority to unilaterally set academic standards for Florida, nor any authority to unilaterally direct local school board decisions on curriculum and instruction; and
"WHEREAS, Floridians will not accept government intrusion into the academic standards that are taught to our students in our classrooms and will not tolerate the Federal government using such standards to coerce policy decisions at the state or local level on the issues of assessments, curriculum, and instructional materials, which are within the Constitutional purview of Florida's state and local governments....""
Scott is not suggesting that Florida leave Common Core entirely, just PARCC. Now that Florida is out of this group that makes the tests, Scott has called for the free market to take over the bidding process for testing. PARCC will still be allowed to bid on those tests, but they will have to earn the business. Fans of Common Core Standards will have to wait and see if their standards can live up to the debate and scrutiny to be waged as Scott plans to hold hearings openly to discuss whether or not Florida will move forward with those as well.
Many wonder if some of this is a direct affront on former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who is a staunch supporter of Common Core Standards. Jaryn Emhof, spokeswoman of his Foundation for Florida’s Future pushed back, saying “Common Core is not federal. It’s national. It’s states coming together. It’s 45 states.” Since Common Core adoption is tied to federal funding, this is a hazy distinction at best.
House Speaker Will Weatherford said "taking decisive and bold action to affirm Florida’s constitutional role in education....In the Common Core debate, Governor Scott’s actions today strike the perfect balance between states' rights and states' responsibilities.” We agree, and praise Scott’s decisive action.