Susan Smith reminded senate republicans of something they don’t want to be reminded of during yesterday’s Senate Education Committee hearing on Parent Trigger. Florida’s implementation of Common Core Standards (CCS) has consequences which will come into play in the bill they say is just about “giving parents a seat at the table.”
Referring to a presentation at a recent Florida Council of 100 summit, Smith, the president of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida, testified to the reality that CCS will increase the number of failing schools in Florida. Sponsor Kelli Stargel’s tsk-tsk that only 25 public schools would be affected by Parent Trigger is one of the half-truths she and proponents have been using. University of Illinois at Chicago professor Timothy Shannahan predicts that the PARCC tests which go with CCS implementation will have as much as a 75 percent failure rate, a number sure to produce countless more failing schools in Florida.
Stargel is either unaware of clear potential for future school failures or she purposefully is omitting the danger. Only a few days after the February Council of 100 summit, she wrote this in support of her bill in the Lakeland Ledger :
First, only schools that receive an “F” for two consecutive years would be affected by this law. It is important to note that this is an uncommon occurrence. When a school receives a “D” or an “F,” intense school-improvement measures are activated by the local school district and the Florida Department of Education. A school would need to be seriously deficient to make two “F” grades in a row, especially in the face of the many current efforts.
At the Council of 100 summit, charter school lobbyist Jim Horne warned, “don’t disappear into the bushes when the bullets start flying.” StateImpact’s John O’Connor wrote that one intention of the summit was to “prepare the business community to stand up to the outcry that might follow the new standards.”
Horne, who testified at yesterday’s hearing in support of parent trigger, may regret using “when the bullets start flying” in the event parent “trigger” causes a public “outcry” after numerous new school failures.
So Horne – and probably Stargel, too – know that CCS will markedly increase the number of failing schools in Florida. Yet neither want to admit as much when talking about parent trigger.