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Friday, January 4, 2013

What has Florida gotten into with Tony Bennett

From Scathing Purple Musings by Bob Sykes

From Education Week reporter Andrew Ujifusa:

Ever since the defeat of a resolution opposing the Common Core State Standards at the American Legislative Exchange Council, a Washington-based conservative think tank which ideologically might have been sympathetic with common standards foes, the question for those foes has been where they would go from there. Without the stamp of ALEC’s influential approval, what would be their strategy?

Indiana Sen. Scott Schneider, a Republican, has one straightforward strategy—he has proposed legislation that would require Indiana to withdraw from the common standards in English/language arts and math, the Associated Press has reported. “I am worried that common core was pushed on Indiana without proper review of what it will mean for students and teachers,” Schneider said in a press statement Wednesday. His bill is scheduled for a committee hearing Jan. 16.

The legislation, if approved, would mean that Indiana would become the first state to withdraw from the common standards altogether, and a move that would sting for common core proponents and those working on the assessments. It would also represent a stinging rebuke for Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, a Republican and common standards champion who is transitioning to Florida’s top education position after getting the boot in Indiana’s Nov. 6 election in favor of Democrat Glenda Ritz, now the superintendent-elect. (Ritz herself has questioned the common standards and the core’s new battery of tests.) After he lost, Bennett warned that the common core could be in jeopardy for Hoosiers, and this at least represents one lawmaker’s attempt to make Bennett’s prophecy closer to reality.

Emphasis mine. Florida takes no such caution on education policy either. Not if it’s something Jeb Bush wants. And Bush’s unchallenged influence is no better demonstrated than by the fact that it was he whom put the stop’s on ALEC’s desire to oppose Common Core last year in New Orleans.

Bennett was a tool for anything that Bush wanted in Indiana and can be expected to operate similarly in Florida. Schneider is obviously aware of scholarly voices that call on Indiana to use more forethought on Common Core. No such hesitation can found anywhere near Tallahassee and no such republican like Schneider can be found in Florida’s legislature whom would dare oppose anything Bush wants on education policy.

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