The Common Core Reality that Florida Republican Senators Want to Ignore in Parent Trigger Fight

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.

How come?


About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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5 Responses to The Common Core Reality that Florida Republican Senators Want to Ignore in Parent Trigger Fight

  1. Jupiter Mom says:

    As usual, a very good commentary on this mess with Parent Trigger. It dawned on me though that we are really ought to be a bit more careful with our words. When we talk about schools, I think it’s not really good to say “when bullets start flying”. Parent “trigger” is bad enough. And now we are taking that to the next level with the “bullets flying”. Hmm… poor choice of words.

  2. Bob — 3 articles from today- all three from conservatives with a lot of reach — Enough reach to scare the stuffing’s out of the Tally GOP Establishment.. They’re pretend they don’t know about them, until they’re shoved in their faces.. I’m going to paste in the titles- not sure if they’ll link or not..

    Only parents can set their children free from Common Core indoctrination


    Academia hearts the Weather Underground: Kathy Boudin at Columbia and NYU

    Doesn’t like they linked- They’ll pop right up in a search–

    Other countries execute people for treason, terrorism and murder — here we make them educators and let them help write national education policy..

  3. Mark Halpert says:

    Even former Governor Bush said that as many as 2/3 of Florida students may fail the Common Core assessments the first year. We must be very careful. The Parent Trigger is a time bomb waiting to go off. The need to shift the focus from the Privatization Express to Improving Public Schools should be our goal. 2014 might be the year to vote those out who have abandoned public schools and our kids

  4. tom james says:

    I doubt very seriously there will be any “outcry”. Most taxpayers citizens, parents, students and many teachers could care less.
    That’s why they call it FloriDUH!

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