Three Florida GOP Congressmen Sign Letter Opposing Common Core, Data Mining

Wonder if they realize they’ve just taken a walk on the wild side to Jeb Bush’s woodshed.

Florida republican congressmen – Richard Nugent (FL 11), Trey Radel (FL 19) and Ted Yodel (FL 3) were among  a group of 34 republican representatives who signed a letter  to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan saying “states had been coerced into choosing the standards.” Topeka Capital-Journal education reporter Celia Llopis-Jepsen describes the letter as indicating  “the standards may not be overtly federal but that Duncan’s department used incentives and policy decisions to push states into them.”

The letter embedded in Llopis-Jepsen’s article states:

 Though initially promoted as state-based education standards, Common Core Standards as they have developed over the last few years, are nothing of the sort. In just one very troubling instance, Common Core Standards will replace state-based standardized testing with nationally-based standardized testing, the creation and initial implementation of which will be funded by the fed government. The long-term, annual administration of the exams, the cost of which has not been specified by the Department, is to be funded by the states.

The congressional representatives also weighed in on concerns on data-mining which torpedoed at the final hours during the March state legislative session in Tallahassee:

In addition, we understand that as a condition of applying for RTTT grant funding, states obligated themselves to implement a State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) used to track students by obtaining personally identifiable information.

Regarding these two very concerning changes to the manner in which government collects and distributes student data, we formally request a detailed description of each change to students privacy policy that has been made under your leadership, including the need and intended purpose for such changes….

The letters further illustrates the divide between republican governors, like Rick Scott, who support Common Core and Washington lawmakers of the same party who see through a different filter.

How long will the debate go on among Common Core supporters? American Enterprise scholar, Rick Hess is going as far as recommending that GOP supporters like Bush and Bobby Jindal do a mea culpa. Arne Duncan is out instructing the nation’s newspaper editors of how to report on Common Core.

Florida’s education commissioner Tony Bennett is far more invested in Common Core than any other state republican pol except for Jeb Bush. But neither have to answer to voters as do the rest. If Bush is running for the WH in 2016, he won’t want this fight right now with his own party.


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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