Florida’s “Orwellian” Common Core Cover-Up


From Florida Current reporter James Call:

It’s not as Orwellian as making a person’s existence disappear from the public record but Winston Smith would recognize the maneuver.

A Florida House committee on Wednesday will discuss a proposed committee bill that expunges the words “Common Core” from state law. The K-12 Subcommittee is working on a bill, basically a housekeeping measure, repealing terminated programs and clarifying graduation requirements. It would delete 36 references to the Common Core State Standards in sections 1000.21 to 1008.22 of the Florida Statutes governing public education.

The proposal replaces Common Core with “Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.” The measure also removes references to Common Core in the definition of the Next Generation standards. Florida adopted Common Core academic standards in 2010 and was to implement them this fall.

How about Call playing the Orwellian card?

It seems that one of the usual tools of the Jeb Bush-led reform movement has stepped in to write policy for the Ministry of Truth:

House K-12 Subcommittee Chairwoman Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, proposed deleting Common Core from Florida Statutes because the state also has standards for other subjects in addition to math and language arts.

“We will refer to all our standards under one name,” Adkins reportedly told  The Washington Post. “We don’t need to have a different name for a subset for our standards.”

Looks like nobody is really buying this nonsense:

“That is so weak. It’s just an excuse to change the subject and to deceive people to think Florida is being independent and it is not,” (Karen) Effrem (of the Florida  Stop Common Coalition) said.  “They’re just trying to change the name to remove the political toxicity associated with Common Core.”

Name changes and cosmetic changes to standards will not pull Florida out of Common Core,” said  Effrem. “We’re still going to be in the Common Core system.”

Pam Stewart’s tweaks to Core haven’t fooled anyone. Adkins bizarre clerical efforts will be sure to bring more mocking like that which came from Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano last month.

I have never seen such bold and courageous tweaking.

Education officials heard the cries of parents and the shouts of the politically active, and they responded by changing a few words, moving several commas and pinning our children’s hopes and dreams on the rescue of cursive writing lessons.

In other words, they sorta rubber-stamped the whole shebang.

You have to admit, this was an interesting gambit. By declining to embrace Common Core — while at the same time refusing to substantially revamp it — state leaders have run the risk of ticking off everyone.

Such actions as those of Adkins and Stewart, done at the behest of Common Core’s paymasters with the Florida Chamber of Commerce, have become a political exercise in running out the clock. These are mere propaganda stunts intended to just somehow get an intact Core through the current legislative session.

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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