Are Stew’s Standards All About Keeping Florida’s Race to the Top Cash?


Fifteen percent.

That’s the number of changes allowed in Common Core Standards ambiguous loosely defined copyright and the estimated amount of largely cosmetic changes Florida education commissioner Pam Stewart made to Common Core Standards to make them “truly ours.”

The other number is $375 million. It’s how much Florida has left of the Race to the Top grant its was awarded by the Obama administration while Charlie Crist was still governor.

Many republicans like to point out that the FEA was part of the grant proposal. But FEA president Andy Ford was in tight spot. He knew that Crist has vetoed SB 6 and needed to go along with an Obama administration proposal. There isn’t a FEA delegate in the state who probably doesn’t feel that their support has been betrayed by the Obama administration’s double down on Jeb Bush’s reforms – by giving plenty of cash to a republican governor and a legislative body which sees them as a mortal enemy.

All this makes Charlie Crist’s support for Core more understandable – and cynical. He’s gets to deliciously have it both ways, doesn’t he? If Scott keeps Core after getting beat up during the legislative session, Crist has an easy “me, too” angle. If Core gets tossed, Crist will point out that Scott walked away from $375 million that would have went to makes things better for Florida’s children.

Florida’s Common Core war has become about the money and raw political leverage. Kids, teachers, schools and parents are now caught in the crossfire and as the powerful don’t seem to really care whether or not the Standards world will turn out to be collateral damage.

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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