Florida Standards

Common Core, also referred to in Florida as Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Florida Standards, or Sunshine State Standards, are standards that dictate the knowledge, skills and abilities that students must possess after completing each grade level. The standards were originally created by a select group of people seeming to have little K-12 classroom experience (none of whom had K-2 experience).  This group was commissioned in 2009 by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to create the Common Core State Standards.

In 2009, 48 states applied for federal Race to the Top grants. Along with their application, they agreed to adopt a national set of standards sight unseen, yet to be written.  The only national standards in the works were the Common Core State Standards.  The CCSS were completed by June of 2010 and Florida fully implemented them in the 2013-14 school year.
In 2014, Florida added .08% to the CCSS and rebranded them the Florida Standards. At that time, the copyright on the CCSS permited participating states to add only up to 15% to the standards, and states were prohibited from altering the existing standards.
In 2015, No Child Left Behind was reauthorized and titled the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). While many promoted this act as providing a much-needed relief to states who no longer want to use Common Core Standards, the wording in the act is confusing even to the expert reader. Many education advocates maintain that the act still ensures states will use Common Core by requiring them to adopt standards that are “college and career-ready.” Even if the new act permits states to stray from Common Core, the State of Florida has shown no plans to significantly revise the current Standards.

Common Core is a set of standards, not curriculum. But, what drives curriculum is the high stakes tests that accompany the Standards. The Standards also involve extensive monitoring of student achievement and other data by the government and ultimately private corporations who profit from the data. The Florida Standards were not well tested prior to implementation, and teachers were not properly trained. Experts have invalidated most claims about common core, such as that they are rigorous and internationally benchmarked. The Standards leave out important learning components such as the arts. Many educators and child development experts have concluded that the standards are not developmentally appropriate, particularly at the elementary school level.

Additional Resources:
Common Core is Not Getting Kids Ready for College
Developmentally Appropriate Practice and the Florida Standards, by Wendy Bradshaw, former Polk County teacher
Research pointing to why Florida Standards are not developmentally appropriate, by Karen Effrem, MD, and other experts
History of National Standards and Common Core
Research Materials about Common Core
Why Common Core is Harmful to Children
Why I Cannot Support the Common Core, by Diane Ravitch, educational historian and research professor
Joint Statement of Early Childhood Health and Education Professionals on the Common Core Standards Initiative
Building the Machine – the Common Core Documentary
Why Common Core is Harmful, by David Barton
Walking the Labyrinth of the Corporate Owned Common Core, by Morna McDermott
Toxic Culture of Education, by Joshua Katz, high school student
Common Core, Dangers and Threats to American Liberty and Education, by Dr. Duke Pesta
8 Problems with Common Core Standards
Common Core, why it’s Illiberal and Unconstitutional, by Dr. Danial Coupland

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