Politics

How Much Trouble Will Common Core Cause for Rick Scott's Campaign?

By: Allison Nielsen | Posted: February 21, 2014 3:55 AM
Common Core protesters

Common Core protesters

Forces opposing Common Core State Standards, Florida Standards or whatever the new, national education assessment standards are called, showed Thursday they weren't blowing smoke when they promised to "sit this election out" if Gov. Rick Scott doesn't reject the standards for Florida.

Tea party groups have already begun organizing email campaigns to reach the governor en masse. "He does an about-face on Common Core or he's history," Marion Clare, a tea party activist from Citrus County told Sunshine State News. "This is very important to us. We won't vote for (Democrat Charlie) Crist, but we won't vote for Rick Scott either."

Though the furor has been building over recent months, it hit a crescendo Tuesday, when the state Board of Education voted to approve nearly 100 changes to Common Core -- none of them drastic -- yet only gave opponents two minutes each at the podium. Clearly opponents believed board members had their minds made up and the governor was in league with them. The crowd grew angrier as the meeting progressed.

At one point, a Common Core opponent turned away from the podium and toward a representative from Scott’s office, vowing that if the governor didn’t oppose the standards, thousands of Floridians wouldn’t be giving their vote to him in November.

“If [Gov. Scott] doesn't firmly stand behind this, I guarantee, the conservatives in this state will sit this election out and he won't get the support … he got last time,” he said. The email drive started from there. In an instant, or so it seemed, Common Core opponents were ready to hit politicians where it hurts: the ballot box.

Without their votes, Scott in particular could be in trouble on Election Day.

“I think a lot of people -- parents, teachers, grandparents -- are very concerned about this, and I don’t think they’re going to take this lying down,” said Karen Effrem of Florida Stop Common Core Coalition. “I think both legislators and the governor [who support Common Core] do so at their own political peril.”

Effrem confirmed there was a definite possibility of thousands of voters sitting out or voting down a ticket over Common Core.

Instead of voting for Scott, Effrem also said some may choose to vote for Libertarian Adrien Wylie, who is strongly opposed to Common Core.

“I don’t think it’ll be a huge wave,” she said. “But it could be enough with the polls already close between Gov. Scott and Charlie Crist to cause problems.”

Chris Quackenbush of Stop Common Core FL agreed.

“We will not forgive, nor will we forget, this when we go to the ballot box,” she told Sunshine State News. “I don’t believe (Gov. Scott) is going to have any support from the hardcore conservatives who are typically the stalwart supporters in getting people out to vote … [these conservatives] will not turn out to support him unless he changes his tune immediately.”

The 2010 governor’s race was a nail-biter for Scott, who won by just 61,000 votes out of almost 5.4 million cast. Many political observers feel the 2014 election may be just as close -- and with thousands of potential supporters vowing they simply won’t show up in what’s shaping up to be another close race, Scott should be nervous.

If he is, he isn't saying -- at least not in an octave above his usual talking points. When asked to comment on the possibility of political fallout over Common Core, Scott spokesman John Tupps provided the following statement to SSN:

"The State Board of Education has focused on creating the nation’s highest standards for Florida students so they can get a great job when they graduate."

But Gov. Scott has also shown he's been listening to opponents of the national standards. He used an executive order to pull Florida out of the financial portion of the PARCC assessment test, which is aligned with Common Core. On top of that, he ordered the Department of Education to hold public hearings to gather input and suggestions on how to improve the standards.

Those suggestions yielded nearly 100 proposed changes out of 11,000 total standards.

In January, Scott attempted to placate opponents’ concerns by vowing Florida wouldn’t take orders from the federal government over education, but the fact that he’s still mostly on board with the dusted-up Florida Standards does not sit well with anti-Common Core groups that want them either paused or recalled entirely.

Tuesday’s state meeting in Orlando was a tipping point. It saw an unprecedented intensity as parents, teachers and members of the public showed up and voiced their opposition to the standards loudly and forcefully. Certainly the standards have gathered significant criticism over recent months for what has been called academic inferiority, federal overreach and the possibility of data mining.

It is becoming increasingly clear, though, that these voices will not be silenced and Common Core opponents have no intention of backing down over the issue.

“It’s like Ronald Reagan said: ‘Freedom ... isn’t passed [to our children] in the bloodstream. It must be fought for,’” said Quackenbush. “We intend to do that. I’m not going to ever give up on … the fight, no matter what.”


Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at Allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen. 

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!  WILL COMMON CORE HURT RICK SCOTT? 


Comments (22)

Beverly Druskis
6:18PM SEP 29TH 2014
I hope that there will be a public T.V. debate between Crist and Scott-so we the people will have a better understanding of whom to vote for.
jeffrey payne
10:04PM FEB 25TH 2014
The Governor has a choice:
1. Support Common Core corporatists & get their money.
2. Represent the people of Florida & get their support.
Select only one.
Constance Alsip
5:58PM FEB 23RD 2014
You bet it will. Scott needs to really look at the Common Core. I'd wager he hasn't looked at the objectionable parts. Like making "Dreams from my Father", a book that Bill Ayers wrote for Obama, part of the required reading list. In Dreams of my Father, it is unequivocally stated that all white people are racist. I dislike that title, and I dislike the fact that the POTUS seems to be as racist as his AG, Eric Holder.
#HomeSchool #DefeatCommonCore #ImpeachObama
Frank
8:03PM FEB 23RD 2014
You're blasting Rick Scott for being too liberal and promoting Obama as a racist for a book that Time Magazine listed as one of the top 100 non-fiction books written in English since 1923? . . . . WOW . . . . I suppose you'd prefer The Turner Diaries, correct . . . . delusional at best, but clearly . . .

Pathetic . . . .
jeffrey payne
10:12PM FEB 25TH 2014
Frank, it seems to me that what's pathetic is your criticism, which is inaccurate (Ms Alsip didn't say Scott was Liberal, merely uninformed), misses the point (the racism in the President's book was the salient point) & irrelevant (like Time magazine).
Frank
3:09PM FEB 26TH 2014
Yes, everything's irrelevant to far right spin . . . . except when it's a partisan, rightwing (and nobody else believes it) lie . . . . . whether that's about women & rape, science, voter suppression, or in this case, a well respected book . . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
JASON BUCKWHEAT
3:57PM FEB 23RD 2014
COME ON SCOTT ARE YOU THAT DEAF AT NOT LISTENING TO THE PEOPLE ON THIS COMMON CORE, JUST MORE DUMBING DOWN OF OUR CHILDREN BY THE FEDERAL GOV.. AS YOU LOOK AT WA. D.C. YOU CAN SEE THE RESULTS OF THE FEDERAL EDUCATION SYSTEM. ALMOST EVERYTHING IS UNACCOUNTABLE, LYING, CORRUPT. AND SIR YOU MISSED YOU CHANCE TO STOP IT. WITH MONEY YOU THINK YOU WILL BE GETTING , IT COST US MORE IN THE LONG RUN.
Paul Henry
2:18PM FEB 23RD 2014
There is no need to "sit out" the Governor election. If you embrace a smaller, honest government to include a rejection of federal over-reach in education as well as other areas such as driver licensing, then your vote should be for Adrian Wyllie. wyllie for governor DOT com.
Emma Jane Miller
9:34PM FEB 22ND 2014
I was part of the protest on Tuesday, Feb. 18.--bright and early from Tampa! Florida Standards STILL= Common Core Standards Initiative!!
Follow the $$$. Not only did Florida receive $700 million with Race To The Top Stimulus $ by agreeing to accept CCSSI, but even before they were written by 5 people who were NOT educators! Also, the Florida Department of Education has received $17 million from whom?? Governor Scott COULD do something about this if he had a backbone to address the Florida Legislators to stand up for Florida's State's rights!! This FEDERAL overreach is an experiment on our children!
Nydia Velazquez
5:25PM FEB 22ND 2014
It has to hurt him. Why he doesnt see it is beyond me. I was not in Orlando but did watch the Board of Education meeting by video and very few people were there supporting Common Core. No doubt those in favor of Common Core knew that the Board had their minds already made up so there was no need for any opposition to be mounted. As I mentioned I was not there but you can tell that those there could tell the Board vote was stacked for Common Core. I was not aware there was a
Libertarian candidate in favor of Common Core so I will give him my vote if Gov. Scott continues bent on passing Jeb Bush pet project.
PamW
12:49PM FEB 22ND 2014
Scott may be pleasing huge fund raisers like Jeb Bush, but the power is in the votes and the grassroots is taking this on vehemently across the country. Massachusetts stopped it because of the imminent decrease in the quality of education. Florida should aspire to top ten standards not lowest ten standards. Putting bandaids on and renaming Common Core State Standards does not make it good for our children! Money talks but in today's political game, the grassroots and votes are yelling much louder. We want the best for our children not mediocrity!
Morgan Orlins
8:21AM FEB 22ND 2014
Common Core is an awful curriculum devised by leftists, which not only dumbs down the educational process dramatically, but also brazenly indoctrinates our young students. Here's the worst part, it comes from Washington, DC! As you might expect, the Democrats and their teacher's union taskmasters are in favor of this.

Tragically, the Republican party establishment (Jeb Bush among them) doesn't seem to have any real objection to this national DISASTER of a curriculum. Our own Florida Governor, Rick Scott, seems indifferent on the subject of Common Core. If that doesn't change, he'll be a one-term Governor. I gave on day a week for 2 months to get him elected. Not this time.

Don't you think it's time for us to put a stop to this? Contact the Governor before it's too late.
Julie
6:22PM FEB 25TH 2014
Most teachers are not in favor of CC. The union leaders are going against the rank and file. The only way to stop CC is to refuse to take the computerized tests. That's how they collect the data that can later be sold.

If the state just renames CC, but keep the computerized tests, then nothing has changed. Tests should be given on paper and written by the teacher, not some corporation.

We became number one in the world and sent a man to the moon under our old system!
CBS
3:04PM FEB 21ST 2014
Common Core is hurting Rick Scott already. It will hurt even more once people realize his executive order did not pull the entire state out of PARCC, just ask Hillsborough County schools who are in deed field testing it this spring. As reported by Stateimpact/NPR: floridas-out-but-hillsborough-schools-are-giving-parcc-a-trial-run. Parents may be pacified now with all the Townhalls, but when the testing begins they will be just as mad over this issue as they are with Obamacare. You can't lie to us for long. We will find the truth.
Ron R
2:38PM FEB 21ST 2014
Crist and Scott support the top-down management of schools - w/ the feds getting more and more involved. Wyllie believes in the bottom-up approach w/ more power to the parents and teachers. if you don't like Common Core, then your choice is Adrian Wyllie for Governor.
RW Dyer
1:16PM FEB 21ST 2014
If you dislike Rick Scott's stand on Common Core & really want a person in Tallahassee who will stand for Conservative values and against Common Core, check out Libertarian candidate for Governor, Adrian Wyllie. More about him can be found at WWW.WyllieForGovernor.com
RC
1:05PM FEB 21ST 2014
The Governor is really not to blame and does not have the power to stop it. It was passed into law by the State Legislature. in SB 2120 and SB 736 in 2011. It is entrenched into Florida Law. Charlie Crist is to blame along with Will Weatherofird and Don Gaetze and the leadership of the Florida House and Senate. Scott will probably pay the price for their actions becaus ehe foolishly tried to protray himself as the savior on this. He can do nothing becasue he must enforce the laws. The rest of the Republicans will let him twist in the wind becasue this is Jeb Bush's agenda and they fear Jeb far more than they like Scott.
Morgan Orlins
8:25AM FEB 22ND 2014
Doesn't the Governor sign bills into law? This SHOULD HAVE BEEN A NO-BRAINER VETO!!!!!!!!!!!!
Peter Richter
1:13PM FEB 21ST 2014
Really? You never heard of this thing called a VETO? Scott just loves Common Core because he's getting paid to love it. WAKE UP! You can blame whoever you want, but all it would take is a Veto. I'm not falling for the game anymore, and neither should you. Voting Wyllie for Gov and Wohlsifer for AG!
Ron R
2:39PM FEB 21ST 2014
yeah! use the veto pen for once. but scott won't stand up to the gop-led legislature. they are to blame too. but scott could have veto'ed the bill. Wyllie would have taken a stand!
JASON BUCKWHEAT
12:37PM FEB 21ST 2014
GOVERNOR SCOTT, DON'T MISS THE HEADLINES OF TODAY THE TEACHER UNION DENOUNCING COMMON CORE. Wake up and see the LIGHT ! BELIEVE THE PEOPLE , WE REALLY DON'T WANT THIS FEDERAL CRAP ANYMORE . 45 YRS. OF DUMB DOWN OUR KIDS, A WASTE OF TRILLIONS OF TAX PAYERS MONEY.
Witchdoctor
10:58AM FEB 21ST 2014
Witchdoctor say "lots of trouble for Rick Scott".

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