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DeSantis Promises to ‘Eliminate’ Common Core

Ron DeSantis at CPAC 2016 (Gage Skidmore)

Florida governor Ron DeSantis said Thursday that he plans to issue an executive order setting new curriculum standards and eliminating “the vestiges of Common Core” from the state’s public schools.

“We stuck with Common Core. Then we re-branded it. . . . It’s all the same. It all needs to be looked at, it all needs to be scrutinized,” DeSantis said at an event at Ida S. Baker High School in Cape Coral.

Fulfilling one of his campaign promises, the Republican governor announced that he will ask Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, who also attended Thursday’s event, to “come up with a roadmap” for new curriculum standards over the next year, working alongside the state Board of Education.

Common Core, which sets required proficiency levels for students from kindergarten to twelfth grade in language-arts and math classes, has been adopted by 45 states. It is controversial among conservatives, some of whom call it an uncalled for and illegal encroachment into classrooms that mandates high-stakes tests and lessons that don’t work for some students. Florida first adopted its standards in 2010, and modified them slightly in 2014.

“You would have situations where the parents did not like some of the curriculum, I mean they had trouble even doing basic math to help their kids,” DeSantis said. “With Common Core a lot of people just didn’t feel like anyone was listening to them, and I think that’s a big, big problem.” Corcoran agreed, saying that the state’s public schools are currently “stuck with Common Core,” and the program “needs to be scrutinized.”

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