The governor of Florida, Rick Scott, directed the state Education Board on Monday to pull out of a consortium of states that is creating new standardized tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards, and he has spelled out a path on which the standards themselves may be changed.
Scott sent a letter (see below) to Education Secretary Arne Duncan explaining that Florida was pulling out of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, one of two consortia of states designing high-stakes standardized tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards with some $350 million in support from the federal government. Florida had been serving as PARCC’s “fiscal agent” and was a leading state in the consortium. In his letter, Scott accused Duncan of meddling in state education affairs.
The governor also sent a letter to the chairman of the state Board of Education, with a six-point plan for ensuring that the state has high education standards. Scott proposed a series of public hearings in which testimony could be given about possible changes to the Common Core standards, which Florida adopted in 2010.
Some 45 states and the District of Columbia approved the Common Core standards in recent years, but some are now reconsidering. The Obama administration has been a big supporter of the Core.
In July, Florida’s top Republican lawmakers asked the state’s education commissioner to pull out of PARCC, and said they did not want those assessments to be used as a replacement for the state’s current exams. Scott has now done what they asked.