July 30, 2021

Governor Rick Scott of Florida Disappointed Activists Opposed to Common Core

scottFlorida’s Governor Rick Scott surprisingly failed to show up at the three-day educational summit that he had organized at Clearwater, Florida starting on August 26, 2013. He had invited 32 educators, including three superintendents of school districts, parents, and business leaders from different parts of Florida to address Florida’s school grading system and the controversial Common Core curriculum and standards. At least three activists opposed to the illegal and unconstitutional federal takeover of education were present at this educational summit. They were hoping to explain to Governor Scott how a federal imposed curriculum with an intrusive data mining component violated the 4th and the 10th Amendments to our Constitution. Additionally, these activists also wanted to tell Governor Scott that the federal standards developed in mathematics and English were not rigorous enough and were much weaker that those standards in countries such as Japan and Singapore.

Furthermore, Governor Scott met secretly in Miami on August 29, 2013 with three individuals who favor the federal imposed Common Core curriculum standards. The governor´s short guest list included former Governor Jeb Bush, State Senator John Thrasher, and State Board of Education Chairman Gary Chartrand. The most vocal supporter of President Barack Obama´s federal takeover of education in this small group was Jeb Bush, who is pushing Common Core among his friends in the Florida Legislature and at the national level.

Jeb Bush is out of step with the National Republican Party. In many cities and counties in Florida many local Republican Party members have approved resolutions opposing Common Core. U.S. Senator Marco marco rubioRubio, who is a close friend of former Governor Bush, is opposed to Common Core. It is surprising that Jeb Bush is so strongly defending President Barack Obama´s takeover of the educational system in our country in violation of the Constitution. This writer believes that Jeb Bush´s support for Common Core will not help him, if he were interested in seeking the Republican Party nomination as  candidate for president in 2016. There is a strong backlash against Common Core throughout the nation by libertarians and conservative and liberal individuals.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) recently passed a resolution opposing Common Core. The RNC resolution states, in part, the following:

Resolved, the Republican National Committee recognizes the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for what it is an inappropriate overreach to standardize and control the education of our children so they will conform to a preconceived “normal,” and, be it further

Resolved, that the Republican National Committee rejects the collection of personal student data for any non-educational purposes without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student´s parent and that it rejects the sharing of such personal data, without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student´s parent, with any person or entity other than schools of education agencies within the state.

Kathleen McCrory and Steve Bousquet wrote on August 30, 2013 an article in The Miami Herald entitled “Scott skips schools summit for Bush.” The reporters explained that Governor Scott´s skipping his own educational summit meeting in Clearwater to meet with former Governor Jeb Bush and others infuriated parent activists, who stated that the governor should not have called three dozen education leaders to Clearwater “if he intended to make decision with a small group of advisers out of the public eye.” Rita Solnet, founder of the advocacy group Parents Across America, stated the following: “This is how education reform gets done in Florida. The summit was a façade. The real decisions always been made by Jeb Bush.”

COMMON COREThe fight in Florida over the controversial Common Core is just getting started and it will heat up during the Sunshine state gubernatorial race of 2014. Although powerful Republicans, including Bush and Thrasher, are strong supporters of Common Core, Tea party, patriot and conservative groups, as well as some liberal Democrats and progressive groups consider Common Core a federal overreach. The anti-Common Core supporters are now advocating for Florida to establish its own standards, tests, and curriculum.

On August 29, 2013, state representative Debbie Mayfield, Republican from Vero Beach, filed a bill that would stop Florida from using Common Core standards until the public can study the implications of this national imposed curriculum and standards by the Obama administration. The Sarasota Republican Party, as well as Republican Party from other cities and counties, have also started online petitions aimed at killing Common Core in Florida.

The Miami Herald reporters pointed out that Senator Dwight Bullard, Democrat from Miami, who is a member of the Senate Education Committee, said that Governor Scott would have been better off making the trip to Clearwater instead of getting a summary of what happened in Clearwater and then “going behind closed doors” in Miami. Senator Bullard added “that doesn’t smell right.” Senator Bullard has gone on record opposing Common Core. The Florida Democratic Party called the backroom meeting “pure election chicanery.”

The two teacher unions in Florida are also having second thoughts about their previous support for Common Core. This writer, who has been involved in education at the school district level as well as the university level for 46 years, has yet to meet  classroom teachers who are willing to place their tenure and salary solely on the basis of a national test prepared by a small group of unknown individuals and administered to their students, as contemplated by Common Core.

stop-common-core-sign-pettitionOn August 30, 2013, Governor Rick Scott spoke in Orlando at the Americans for Prosperity conference attended by 1500 conservatives. Governor Scott promised to cut taxes during his second term as he had done during his first term. In the middle of his speech, Governor Scott was interrupted three times by a woman shouting “Stop Common Core,” the governor smiled and kept on with his speech. If Governor Scott were to make a final decision and support Common Core, he would no longer be smiling, as there is no question that he would lose the support of Tea party and conservative organizations that could hurt seriously his reelection.

 

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