The effects of Common Core in Florida are mixed to date, and really the opinion changes with each person that you ask. While this attempt to implement a common set of educational standards in all 50 states was adopted in Florida in 2010, it still remains somewhat controversial.
Ultra-conservatives have viewed Common Core as another assault on State’s Rights and another forced reach by the Federal government to set all States under its thumb. However, not all conservatives feel this way.
Moderate conservatives and even left-leaning liberals have voiced agreement with the overall stated goals of Common Core, in that it tries to bring a level standard of education across all 50 States. The goal seems innocent and honorable enough on first glance, but some voters on both sides of the aisle balk at any attempt to thwart the rights of the individual states by the federal leaders.
While most states have adopted Common Core, two have already repealed the law, due to public pressure. In Florida, there is talk of having the law amended to become a more Florida-friendly standard, and thus keeping our own identity. Ultra-Conservatives are crying foul at this attempt, claiming that it is still the same plan underneath.
Some liberal voters claim that the standards were not enough, and were holding back the creativity of our Florida educators. However, it seems that they are also concerned about the standardized testing in the Common Core program. They claim there is already too much testing in Florida schools. They say that too much is tied to the outcome of a test; things like school rankings, teachers pay raises and promotions, and even student graduations, for example.
The Common Core testing is still in development, and thus critics are asking that it be fully completed before hanging so much on the results.
Parents are becoming increasingly frustrated with Common Core, and the future of the program in Florida is still in doubt as of this writing. As their voices become louder, the program may have to be altered from its present state to something that is more Florida-friendly. At this time, no one is certain what that would look like, either.
Opting-out is a choice that has been championed for those parents that are extremely opposed to the Common Core program, but even that solution presents its own problem: teaching to a mixed classroom of program-learning students. Is home-schooling the only option for those students then?
Hopefully the dust will settle within the next legislative session, but no one is willing to bet on that right now.