Miami Herald reporter Kathleen McGrory has this for the Times/Herald Tallahasee Bureau
TALLAHASSEE — Hoping to incorporate public input and assuage criticism, state education officials on Monday released 98 proposed changes to the controversial Common Core State Standards.
The suggestions represent additions and minor tweaks to the national benchmarks, which have been adopted in more than 45 states and outline what students should know at each grade level.
Among state Education Commissioner Pam Stewart’s recommendations: adding 52 new calculus standards, requiring students to master cursive writing (a skill not included in the original Common Core standards), and introducing money concepts in the first grade, instead of the second grade.
Stewart said the proposed changes would strengthen the benchmarks and make them unique to Florida.
“With your input, we have strengthened our standards to ensure they are the best and highest standards, so that all of Florida students graduate from high school prepared for success in college, career and in life,” she wrote in a statement Monday.
Changes? Apparently opponents feel that these ain’t no stinkin’ changes.
“Adding (standards) does not make these Florida’s own standards by any means,” said Laura Zorc, a Vero Beach mom and co-founder of Florida Parents Against Common Core.
John O’Connor in StateImpact has more:
Karen Effrem is with the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition and Education Liberty Watch. Effrem had yet to study the recommended changes, but said Stewart had already said the changes were “minor.”
“It’s really not going to change much,” she said. “From the way it sounds, I’m skeptical.”
Effrem’s group wants the state to repeal the standards. They’re concerned the standards don’t set high enough goals in math, limit local control over curriculum and are tied to federally-funded standardized tests.
The inclusion of calculus standards – after the Algebra II walk-back over the last few years is indeed curious. There isn’t agreement among Core supporters on this issue, so we can expect to see some real back-and-forth.
It’s hard to imagine what’s obviously little more than cosmetic changes to Core will fly very far with opponents. Stewart didn’t make enough changes that would prompt any need to rethink testing. She probably wanted to make sure she didn’t.