The Florida State Board of Education unanimously voted on Feb. 18 to alter the Common Core State Standards in the Sunshine State. The suggested alterations to the way the standards will play out in classrooms were presented to the state board by the Florida education department last month, and all of those suggestions were adopted by the state board. The department reviewed proposed revisions and public comments on the common core before making its own list of suggested tweaks.
As my colleague Catherine Gewertz wrote last month, the revisions include additional math standards related to calculus. That latter change, one which was highlighted during public discussion earlier this year, isn’t an alteration of the standards per se—it’s the addition of new standards. The revisions also include a requirement that students demonstrate beginner’s skills in cursive writing, a divisive issue surounding the common core.
Other changes include requiring the use of money when teaching certain concepts related to decimals, and scaling back expectations in terms of students’ ability to explain the way ideas are transmitted through texts and illustrations.
You can see this example of a new standard on page 5 of this document detailing the changes to the math standards; use this link to see the changes made to the English/language arts standards. It’s unclear if these changes will quell fears about the standards in Florida, including the belief that the common core, which was developed at the direction of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, are an attempt by the federal government to claim more power over education. (Gewertz also touched in this issue last month when the proposed revisions were made public).
Notably, Florida Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart said she is “on track” to select a new common-core aligned assessment for Florida, after the state officially distanced itself from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers last year. Last month, Stewart told lawmakers that Florida will select a new assessment in March.
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.