Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Announces New Academic Standards for Florida, Rejects Common Core

The changes were criticized by Miami's teacher union, and still need to be approved by a board to get implemented

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced the creation of new academic standards for Florida students at a press conference Friday.

Common Core could become a thing of the past come 2022: if the measure gets approved, the framework for academic standards that was developed by officials from 48 states will be replaced by new "BEST" standards, or Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking.

Ron DeSantis has long been campaigning to "eliminate the vestiges of Common Core."

Today he unveiled proposed new standards he says were generated after a year of input from teachers and parents.

"It really goes beyond common core to embrace common sense, something that's long been necessary," the governor said at a press conference.

The new framework will incorporate cursive, civics, classic literature, and foundations for literacy and math. The new math testing will be designed to end "confusing" questions and encourage students focus on the correct answer, rather than the method used to get there (which is the strategy Common Core implements).

There will also be financial literacy classes, which teach students skills like balancing a checkbook or applying for a loan.

DeSantis maintained that "BEST Standards" would additionally include less testing.

Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the standards and testing were "something that parents and some teachers have complained for a long period of time."

Carvalho also noted that "when new standards are adopted, we need to understand that we need to re-train our teachers. It is possible that we may need to acquire new instructional resources like textbooks or digital content."

Karla Hernández-Mats, president of United Teachers of Dade, posited that the money used to implement on a new curriculum could be better spent on resources for teachers.

"Today’s announcement from the governor seems like a solution in search of a problem. Instead of “Year of the Teacher,” it looks more like year of the textbook publisher and the standardized test maker," Hernández-Matz wrote in a press release.

"Furthermore, parents, students and teachers did not deem these new standards necessary... These recommendations only serve to invest millions of dollars into the pockets of textbook companies instead of investing in moving this state from 46th in the nation for educational spending."

Before being implemented, the standards will need approval from the State Board of Education.

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