Embroiled in uncertainty about the common core, the Florida education department is proposing dozens of changes to the standards for its schools, including adding more than 50 in math focused on calculus.
Although some states have enacted legislation putting limits, or “pauses,” on the new expectations or on tests designed for them, Florida appears to be the first to dive into a deep review of the standards and to come up with proposed revisions.
Among the proposed changes in mathematics are the addition of 52 calculus standards, noteworthy in a state that recently backed away from requiring Algebra 2 for all students.
In English/language arts, among the changes are standards that introduce cursive writing and develop it during elementary school.
The department also seems to have concluded that several of the expectations for the youngest students were too much of a stretch. Proposed changes ask that kindergartners, for instance, name the author and illustrators of a text and explain how each helps present ideas “with prompting and support” from their teacher, rather than independently.
Members of the public also sought changes to the standards during public hearings. An analysis of the public comments shows that about half of those expressing views didn’t take positions for or against the standards; the other half was roughly divided between those who supported the standards and those who opposed them.
The standards review was undertaken in part to quell concerns in some quarters that embrace of the standards meant that Florida was capitulating to the priorities of the federal government, which has made no secret of its hope that states use them as their educational north stars. But according to the Miami Herald, the proposed changes to the standards haven’t done much to change the worry about federal overreach.
A version of this article appeared in the January 22, 2014 edition of Education Week as Florida Officials Propose Changes to Common Core