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GOP Rep. Debbie Mayfield Files Bill to Limit or End Common Core in Florida

| August 30, 2013

Debbie Mayfield, the Vero Beach Republican, wants to end Common Core in Florida. (Facebook)

Debbie Mayfield, the Vero Beach Republican, wants to end Common Core in Florida. (Facebook)

In the wake of conservative complaints that the nationwide “common core” standards could be the first step toward a federal takeover of schools, a Republican lawmaker has filed a bill meant to stop the initiative in Florida.

Rep. Debbie Mayfield, R-Vero Beach, filed House Bill 25 late Wednesday. The measure would require the State Board of Education to meet certain requirements before moving forward with the English and math portions of the standards and specifically bar it from implementing common core in any other subject areas.

Mayfield’s bill would also require the state to pull out of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, which is developing tests lined up with common core, and says the board “may not enter into or renew an agreement that cedes to an outside entity control over curricular standards or assessments.”

In an interview Thursday, Mayfield said the intent of the bill was to halt the new standards in Florida.

“We need to stop common core going through,” she said. “We don’t need to be giving up state’s rights.”

The standards, heavily promoted by former Gov. Jeb Bush, have divided the conservative movement about the way forward in education. Bush’s allies say common core will continue the accountability movement that swept the nation in the late 1990s and early 2000s, often pushed by conservative governors.

But opponents say the standards, developed by a partnership of governors and state school officials and promoted by the Obama administration, could eventually lead to federal control of the state’s classrooms. The standards are not a curriculum, as they are sometimes described, but do lay out what students will be expected to know at each grade level.

“We need standards, but we need to be the ones to set them ourselves,” Mayfield said.

House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, and Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, have already pushed for the state to jettison PARCC and instead develop its own tests for common core. But they have not gone as far as Mayfield’s bill, which would be considered during the 2014 legislative session.

Gov. Rick Scott had interim Education Commissioner Pam Stewart convene a summit this week in Clearwater to consider several issues, including common core and PARCC. Scott was set to meet Thursday evening in Miami with Bush, State Board of Education Chairman Gary Chartrand and Sen. John Thrasher, a St. Augustine Republican who is close to Bush.

Meanwhile, the League of Women Voters issued a statement Thursday calling for the state to implement common core. It was a rare foray into education policy for the voting-rights organization.

“Let’s ensure Florida joins the ranks of states who say ‘yes’ to higher expectations and an internationally recognized curriculum,” league President Deirdre Macnab said in a news release. “Our children’s futures depend on being a part of this national step forward.”

–Brandon Larrabee, News Service of Florida

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16 Responses for “GOP Rep. Debbie Mayfield Files Bill to Limit or End Common Core in Florida”

  1. Shocked, I tell you... says:

    I agree with Rep. Mayfield on this one. We don’t need to be giving up state’s rights.

  2. A.S.F. says:

    Because, of course, we don’t care about the importance of consistency in education. “States Rights”=another Tea Party code phrase for “The governments trying to kill the American Dream and cheat me out of what I deserve (who cares about future generations?) –Quick, elect any self-serving/crazy person who will pander to us and get out your guns!”

    • Shocked, I tell you... says:

      @A.S.F. – So anybody who disagrees with you is Tea Party and heartless? I happen to believe that the states might do a better job of this than the federal government. The needs in each state are going to be different and so are the finances. This is nothing but more unfunded mandates from the federal government being imposed on the states without the permission of the voters.

      Call me old fashioned, but I happen to have more faith in the Constitution than Washington politicians.

      • A.S.F. says:

        @Shocked, I tell you…says–Well, if it quacks like a duck and waddles lke a duck… Seriously, you and I have traded posts before. A lot of your views seem identical to what the talking heads on FOX news, and the Tea Party propoganda, repeat, over and over. Maybe you consider yourself to be an “Independent” thinker. You certainly would make a strange kind of Democrat! I will say that a lot of the views that you represent seem to indicate a great deal of distrust of the government, as though you feel that both their means AND Their end is to somehow “get you” and take away your rights, freedoms, and way of life. Neo-conservative groups, like the Tea Party, seem to find the whole idea of a more equal and progressive society to be a threat and somehow sinful. Change is not always (or automatically) bad. Today’s youth will have to operate in a world that changes rapidly and, if we insist that they be educated in the constricted vacuum that SOME states, entrenched in that kind of backwardskind of thinking, would have them exist, they will find themselves at a disadvantage as adults… And, yes, I have heard the term “states rights” thrown about, ad nauseum, by people who seem to be constitutionally unable to glance beyond the ends of their own noses. That’s your prerogative, if you want to live that way. You don’t necessarily get to negatively impact the lives of others (especially groups of people that cannot easily defend themselves, like children, the disabled, the sick and the poor) so you can project your prejudices without restraint and unfairly pamper your own interests.

        • Shocked, I tell you... says:

          @ A.S.F. – Thank you very much for the lecture! I believe I will keep my politics to myself, thank you. What I was trying to say is don’t be so quick to paint people with a broad brush. Sorry I don’t measure up. I’ll try harder to please you.

          • A.S.F. says:

            Shocked, I tell you…says–I do not have a problem with you having your own beliefs and political views. That is what our country is all about. My problem is with people who would use their politics in a way that might oppress, or otherwise cause harm (whether intentionally or not) , to other people who they don’t believe meet THEIR standards To do so, in the name of their own fears, prejudices and self-interests (all the while proclaiming themselves as great patriots and Christians) is kind of hard to take. You don’t have to live up to any standard of mine and you certainly don’t need to please me. Let’s just give other people a chance in this country, that’s all I’m saying. As for keeping your politics to yourself, you are a regular commentor on this forum, as am I. No one would want to see you deny yourself that freedom or that satisfaction.

  3. Obama 2013 says:

    More GOP crap. Keep the middle class dumb unless W or Jeb implement it. Go to a classroom or do some research and learn how this will make our kids stronger.

  4. Obama 2013 says:

    Here are some great links to show the facts vs myths of common core

    Also a great blog from someone who was on the fence that found it it actually a good thing

    Here is some good points
    I have been doing a ton of research on Common Core lately. That’s the fairly new initiative on educational standards that has a lot of people upset. To be honest, I must admit that I went into my research looking for reasons to hate Common Core. I was under the impression that the federal government was making a back door attempt to take over education which, constitutionally, should be run by the states and local school boards.

    I expected to find passages in text books stating the founding fathers were a bunch of racist, sexist, homophobes. I expected to find brainwashing material telling our kids the Constitution is too antiquated to be relevant.

    What I found is there are no textbooks at all. There’s no propaganda material. Common Core is not a curriculum at all, rather it’s a set of basic standards each graduating senior needs to have mastered by graduation. It’s not something that was mandated by President Obama. It was commissioned by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Doesn’t sound very federal to me.

    I know Obama likes this initiative and is pushing it but he also likes golf. That doesn’t make golf bad. We have to drop this notion that just because Obama supports something it must be sinister. He’s been killing terrorists, including bin Laden. There are times when the man actually gets things right.

    I’ve been hard-pressed to find any specific objections to Common Core from its opponents other than the fear of a federal takeover of our schools. That’s a legitimate fear, mind you, but I see no evidence of it. One of the rare specifics cited is they claim Common Core will de-emphasize classic literature like To Kill a Mockingbird. First of all, there’s no evidence of that but we’ll cover that in a moment. But I want to make a point here and this is central to the whole argument.

    Everyone remembers reading To Kill a Mockingbird and The Grapes of Wrath way back in the day in high school, right? Everybody read those, all across the country. There was no federal mandate to read them so how did we all end up reading the same books? Government conspiracy? No, there was a set of literature standards that school boards all across the country adopted. There has to be some commonality in order for students to do well on tests like the ACT and SAT. Plus, agreements on what constitutes classic literature simply emerge as common knowledge. That doesn’t mean Harper Lee was forced on local school boards as part of some federal government conspiracy.

    What’s ironic is Common Core supposedly puts more emphasis on The Federalist Papers than it does on the so-called literary classics. I can’t believe people are actually complaining about that one. If I had to choose I’d much rather my kids study Madison than Steinbeck but Common Core doesn’t force such choices. In the words of Common Core itself the standards include “classic myths and stories from around the world, foundational U.S. documents, seminal works of American literature, and the writings of Shakespeare. The standards appropriately defer the many remaining decisions about what and how to teach to states, districts, and schools.”

    I don’t know about you but it seems the study of our foundational documents has been woefully lacking. Common Core fixes that. Another thing Common Core is designed to do is to narrow the shotgun approach to education a bit and concentrate on taking a deeper look into the more important things kids need to know. It also encourages critical thinking. That’s something else that’s been lacking.

  5. Sherry Epley says:

    So the real issue here is NOT about creating a “world class” educational system that will make our future generations competitive in the “global” employment market place. Why in the world would we want to have excellence in education on a “national” scale?

    (With tongue firmly in cheek) NO. . . let’s continue to be entrenched in the PAST! Let’s politize absolutely everything and protect those “state’s rights”. After all, we can push our little darlings out there to go “toe to toe” with those very highly educated, English speaking Asian and European engineers, scientists, doctors, technicians who will be happy to create our future. We can protect our state’s rights to turn out the best darned “home schooled/religious educated” kids in the state of Florida. They can always get a job at Walmart and PaPa John’s. We should be so proud that we are doing our part to “stomp” on everything that Obama touches!

  6. Teacher and parent says:

    Yeah, let’s keep them Florida kids dumb, … we can’t teach US kids the same material? kids move here and it messes up their education….kids that grow up here should have the right it equal education so they can leave here and still be successful. I am so SICK of politics in our children’s lives.

    Ugh….. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the crazy state of Florida?

  7. confidential says:

    For some are more important “barely remaining red” states rights, than our children education. What a charade! George Carlin was correct and I hope we can change his premonition, in 2014 and 2016. &ilc=12&type=800236&p=george+carlin+and+education

  8. Out of Curiosity says:

    I wonder how many people who are complaining about the common core have actually read all of the standards? I can only speak to social studies, but I can tell you that there is nothing in those standards about content only how it’s delivered (I.e. how the lessons should be taught, not what you should teach).

  9. Ayn Rand's Spleen says:

    I reiterate to future college students: leave the united states and find a country that gives a crap about having an educated populance.

  10. farmer says: been to several tea parties meetings and have seen only courtesy .no vile and hated signs nothing but respect and patriotism and respect for keeping areas clean.Any others are the outsiders that try to make them seem bad. So to the TEA PARTY Thanks for your help on our slim hold of any govt.

    • A.S.F. says:

      @farmer–As another article on this very forum will attest (re: Diane Kepus and her scourging of “Common Core”), the Flagler Tea Party has a habit of disseminating false information to try to sway the general public into doing their bidding. That is pretty objectionable, even when it is done in a seemingly polite fashion. You say they operate in a respectful, clean and patriotic way. Let them also do so in a truthful manner and they will have a lot more credibility. By the way, the Government is not our enemy and it is not out to destroy us . You talk about it as though it is Godzilla, come to trapple the populace. That’s just more bulls**t from people who don’t seem to mind taking the low road in order to protect what they perceive to be their own little slice of the pie.

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