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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Was representative Janet Adkins misinformed or deceptive?

From the Tampa Times grade book:  During debate over new rules (HB 7117) for Florida's school accountability system, state Rep. Janet Adkins remarked this week that schools have had since 2010 to implement the Common Core standards.

It was part of the rationale against giving schools a three-year transition period to new school grading and accountability measures, which superintendents and others have requested.

Florida Education Association president Andy Ford found the statement so misleading that he sent a letter to all House members on Thursday to rebut the claim. "Just because an elected official believes and says the Florida standards have been fully implemented since 2010, does not make it so," Ford wrote.

He noted that the State Board of Education adopted the Common Core in 2010, but that the state implementation plan didn't come out until 2011. (See it here, reiterated for the State Board on page 28 of its February 2013 meeting materials.) That plan made clear that in 2013-14 -- the current school year -- the full Common Core rollout would be in kindergarten through second grade. The rest of the grade levels would be included in 2014-15 -- that's next year.

Ford then pointed out that many teachers have yet to receive training to make the transition to the new standards and tests.

"As you can clearly see, full implementation of the Florida standards from K-12 has not yet occurred," Ford wrote. "Professional development and aligned resources are not yet fully available to Florida teachers. Our teachers need more time, more resources and more training to prepare themselves and their students for the deep learning required by these new standards."

HB 7117 has received its first reading on the House floor. Its Senate counterpart remains in the committee process.

It is my personal opinion that she will say anything to get what she wants.

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