Florida lawmakers question merits of 'Common Core' - FOX 35 News Orlando

Florida lawmakers question merits of 'Common Core' education standards

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Florida teachers and students will soon be facing a new challenge in what is known as Common Core.  It's a standardized test for math and English, taken once a year in grades 3 through 8, and then once again in high school. 

Common Core is scheduled to be implemented in next school year, in place of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT.  Proponents say it is a way to set uniform standards in schools around the country.

"I think it's a set of standards that does make sense, and I think you've got a lot of people excited about it," said Orange County School Board member Rick Roach.  However, he added that it's also frustrating to deal with the change.

"Watching them tell us what we've done for the last 15 years is not good for kids, yet we did exactly what we were told to do.  It's gonna cost a lot more money than anyone thought about, and we don't have the money."

State Rep. Debbie Mayfield, R-Vero Beach, filed a bill (HB 25) which would stop the state from implementing Common Core until certain requirements are met.  State Senator David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, shares concerns that there needs to be more research before 2.6 million Florida students fall under the new standards.

Simmons said he has already asked the Florida Department of Education for information about the cost and how it would be implemented.

"I asked for it last spring, and I still don't have it," he said.  "I don't believe we should be implementing something, until we are assured it is in fact a good investment."

Forty-five states have signed on to Common Core. 

"I think we're in a hurry," said Roach, "and I don't know why we're in a hurry.  So, I would like to see it slow down a little bit. Give it more thought.

Mayfield's bill will be heard during the legislative session next year.

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