Military Veterans Throw Support Behind Florida Standards

By: Allison Nielsen | Posted: March 8, 2014 3:55 AM

A group of retired military generals and admirals is putting its weight behind Florida’s new education standards, claiming they will better prepare students for the military, should they choose to serve.

On Thursday, retired military leaders Maj. Gen. Donald Infante, U.S. Army (Ret.) and Brig. Gen. Roger Rowe, U.S. Army (Ret.) of Mission: Readiness, a national security organization of senior retired military leaders calling for smart investments in America’s children, spoke on a new report showing how the Florida Standards will help students acquire and develop the skills needed to succeed in the military.

The organization’s report found 75 percent of Americans aren’t able to serve in the military because they are either physically unfit, have a criminal record, or are poorly educated.

The bigger problem -- the education portion -- the generals said, needs to be fixed.

Infante noted that one in five high school graduates can’t enlist in the armed forces because they can’t pass the entrance test.

“You have to ask yourself, ‘What kind of standards do we have that causes that in the state of Florida?’” asked Infante at a press conference Thursday. “As a former … Army man, what happens in our classroom today has a direct bearing on the future of our military readiness.”

Comparing military entrance standards and the new Florida Standards has given the generals hope. They say that’s because the two sets of standards overlap significantly, making them very comparable to one another. The standards require critical thinking, problem solving, being able to comprehend and communicate complex text -- essential skills for the military and many other jobs.

The Florida Standards, Infante continued, will help students in the Sunshine State “develop their full potential” and help them get on track to a better life.

Florida adopted the Common Core State Standards as part of a national initiative to reform the way children learn in school. In January, Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart proposed nearly 100 changes to the Common Core standards -- and also proposed a name change to associate them closer to home. In February, the State Board of Education unanimously approved the changes, and the Florida Standards officially became the next step in education for Florida’s students.

The standards, however, have brought significant backlash from teachers, parents and members of the public over concerns about issues of federal overreach, psychological manipulation and data mining.

But to David Pinter, principal of Fort Caroline Elementary School in Jacksonville, the criticisms just aren’t true.

“There seems to be some misunderstanding about [the standards’] origins,” he said. “This was not a federal mandate.”

Brig. Gen. Rowe again stressed that the standards would put Florida on the right track for success not only in the classroom, but beyond

“Florida is moving in the right direction by implementing the Florida Standards, and must continue on this course by implementing assessments aligned with these standards,” he said. “This will ensure that students will be better prepared for postsecondary education, the workforce, and the military if they choose to serve.”

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

Comments (11)

Bill Bledsoe
8:23PM APR 16TH 2014
You need to ask the "general' just exactly WHAT high schools and
WHERE they are located.... just saying that one out of five 'graduates'
can't pass the entrance test doesn't prove a thing unless you name
the high schools and give their location! As in real estate, it is 'location, location, location!' Those one-out-of-five could all be from the worst school district in the nation: Chicago.
Bill Bledsoe
1:14PM MAR 16TH 2014
Understand clearly that these few 'military' persons do not speak for anyone but themselves!
Bill Bledsoe
7:21AM MAR 13TH 2014
Education (as a major problem) is third place! Without a cohesive,
traditional family unit (mother, father, children) and the Founding values
and principles upon which this nation was built, education takes third
place. USMC - 51-62.....
CC is Obamacare for Education
3:41PM MAR 10TH 2014
And will be a national disaster. Once our state educational systems are destroyed it will be impossible to restructure them and these globalists know that. Grant practically every state education system in the union leaves a lot to be desired, but anything beats allowing the globalists to turn them over to Washington and turn them into more monopolies for them to control with their dangles of cash grants and rewards!

Indications are that Common Core was initially created by a “DC Progressive Trade Association” without any states involvement until much later. Common Core was also said to have had international comparisons for uniform compatibility. Was this actually done? If so, then where is the data? Word is that only one country was given a relatively small test for compatibility with Common Core.

Nothing indicates that Common Core has ever been field tested in the United States — kinda like The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Many states already have curriculum standards that are as good or better than Common Core. Some say this is not a “Race to the Top” but rather a “Race to the Middle.”

The federal government is collecting a database on America’s children including students healthcare histories, family income information, voting status, blood types and religious affiliations. Through the stimulus, American’s privacy has been increasingly compromised. Permission has been given to release students’ personal records — permissions that once had to be granted by parents. This right to privacy was taken away in January 2012 by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, which now allows all information collected by schools since 2009 to be shared among federal agencies without parental consent.

Reference Books associated with the first satellite put in orbit by Russia are recommended and yet nothing about the first moon walk by the US. The Gettysburg address is taught out of context, with no association to the Civil War and its true meaning.

A panel of unelected bureaucrats will be determining school curriculum. Your child’s education will be predetermined by the needs of the marketplace and the invasive data that defines the individual. In other words, your child will be educated to fill the projected needs of the common good despite what the parent’s or child’s preferences are.

The US Dept. Of Education was created by President Carter’s administration in 1979 and became law in 1980. Other than writing block grants for failing school systems, many say its abolishment would not have any effect on our countries school systems whatsoever. The opinion of many educators is that they are in favor of returning control of our school systems to the state, and local governments as it is written in our Constitution.

For Florida it is very obvious the powers to be intend to go ‘forward’ with ‘no changes’ to the CCS as Commissioner Stewart has stated. I just wish she would be an ethical person and remove herself from the Jeb Bush Foundation or let him pay her salary since most of us feel that is where she gets her instructions from.

In other words, Florida’s Governor Scott, Commissioner, Legislators, State School Board and District Superintendents are dancing to the tune of Jeb Bush, Chester Finn (Fordham), George Soros, Sen. Lamar Alexander (cradle to grave control), Craig Barrett (Intel), Rex Tillerson (ExxonMobil) Achieve , Edward Rust (State Farm), Condoleezza Rice, Carnegie Foundation, GE, Bill Ayers, Barak Obama and far too many to list. Oh, and let’s not forget David Coleman and Arne Duncan along with the president of the CFR Richard Haass.

Time to clean up our state – to start supporting officials by actions not party, or being lead around by a leash. Floridians Against Common Core Education (F.A.C.C.E.) has ask the Gov. Scott on more than one occasion to take a further step in cleaning up the CCS legislative apparatus in Tallahassee to include insisting that Pam Stewart, Mary Ellen Elia (Hillsborough Superintendent of Schools), and Fl. legislators John Thrasher, John Legg, Joe Negron, Erik Fresen, Anitere Flores, Don Gaetz, Kelli Stargel, and Will Weatherford remove themselves immediately from serving on the Jeb Bush Foundation for Excellence in Education. Never, ever a response from his office.
One last thing! For you to read and ponder The Republican Party of Florida ‘Oath of Party Loyalty and Ethical Conduct’ statement! I believe they are basically the same in all states. Do you believe our elected officials show you the same respect they do to the PARTY?

Share this with anyone who cares about the future of our youth, the State of Florida and the United States of America: “Yes, Common Core is a federal takeover of education
Bill Bledsoe
7:25AM MAR 13TH 2014
And should be outright 'abandoned' by the State of Florida. But tell that to the politicians and leftists (in Florida) who talk out of both sides of their mouth. Changing the name from "Common Core" to "Florida Standards" is the Marxist MO of "Distract- Decieve - Destroy"....
From Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960
8:34AM MAR 10TH 2014
Excerpts from Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960, p. 1035- 1040
My fellow Americans: I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor.

We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of stress and threat. But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. I mention two only.
Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Those who know the truth know that COMMON CORE is nothing more than NEW WORLD ORDER PROGRAMMING for the Youth of America! While politicians like Rick Scott fear the public becoming educated and realizing what their schemes really entail they try to change the names and claim they are making changes like Obama has made in his Obamacare – changes without the consent of Congress – Common Core is the product of Jeb Bush of the CIA - New World Order - Bush family dynasty! Common Core is copywrited! Any changes are nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Why didn’t Jeb Bush get their Iran-Contra co-conspirator Col. Oliver North to endorse this Bush push for Common Core? That would be too obvious!

Instead they drag out two old “military industrial complex” officers – probably the only two they could find not working for Dick Cheney’s Halliburton or the Bush Family Carlisle Group to endorse these “standards.”

Lets see, their main man Barack Obama just announced he is cutting the US Military to the lowest head count since pre- WW2. So why does these two old bones think these standards “will help students in the Sunshine State “develop their full potential” and help them get on track to a better life.”

SM&A (Nasdaq:WINS) announced the addition of retired U.S. Army Major General Don Infante, a former high-ranking executive with Hughes Electronics (NYSE:GMH) and later Raytheon (NYSE:RTN), to its ranks of high-value win strategists.

SM&A Chairman, President and CEO Steven Myers said: "We successfully supported Don Infante for many years as our client at Hughes and Raytheon. Don is a strategic thinker. But more importantly, he's a leader. He knows how to get things done. Bringing Don on board is a major coup for SM&A and adds significant capabilities for our clients."
Maj. Gen. Infante said: "I'm proud to join ranks with an outfit of SM&A's stature and reputation in the industry. I share SM&A's values and look forward to providing results oriented performance to our clients."

Maj. Gen. Infante retired from the U.S. Army in 1989. In his last assignment, he was the Chief of Army Air Defense. He retired from Raytheon in September 2002 as the Vice President for the Patriot International program. Maj. Gen. Infante joined Hughes in 1989 as the Assistant Manager of the Command and Control Systems Division.

From 1992 though 1997, Maj. Gen. Infante was associated with the Defense Systems Business Unit of Hughes Aircraft Co., which had as its primary responsibility, the management of large-scale system programs that required company focus and integration. He was a Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the business unit until December 1997. Maj. Gen. Infante is Chairman, Armed Services YMCA National board of directors. He is also a member of the Association of the United States Army.

Roger Rowe - Chief Financial Officer at Agilyx- Portland, Oregon Area - Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing

Chief Financial Officer at Agilyx
Director of Financial Planning and Analysis at TriQuint Semiconductor
Chief Financial Officer at Merchandising Technologies, Inc.
Chief Financial Officer at InFocus Corporation
Chief Financial Officer at Preview Systems
Chief Operating Officer at North Pacific Group
Various financial and operational at Mentor Graphics
Audit staff/senior/manager at KPMG
University of Idaho

Would someone please tell us why “two old bags of bones” like these are lowering their importance to make statements in support of the NOW Common Core movement?

Probably just another one of those pay backs to the Bush Machine for all those millions of dollars they have made while promoting wars, wars, and rumors of wars for their “military industrial complex.”
COL (Ret) Chuck Winn
5:14PM MAR 8TH 2014
"Mission: Readiness" is a non-partisan committee whose membership is comprised of an impressive array of more than 200 well-respected retired military general officers. It appears that this article is misrepresenting MG Infante and BG Rowe, who are speaking as individual members of this committee, as if they were conveying a collective endorsement of the entire "Mission: Readiness" organization. These two officers are merely expressing their opinions that Florida Standards are consistent with the objective improving educational achievement levels within the enlistment-age population. It's really a stretch however, for the author to represent these opinions as a collective endorsement of Common Core.
Bill Bledsoe
7:27AM MAR 13TH 2014
Thanks for this enlightenment....You nailed it.
COL (Ret) Chuck Winn
4:01PM MAR 8TH 2014
These two general officers have formed a political action committee or PAC known as "Mission Readiness". It is not a Congressionally-chartered National veterans organizations. Neither does it speak for a significant number of retired military officers or veterans.
9:50AM MAR 8TH 2014
No mention is the responsibility of the parents/parent/babydaddy/grandparents/guardian mentioned.
Bill Bledsoe
7:29AM MAR 13TH 2014
Why would a Socialist-bent person give any consideration to the traditional family unit, the moral fiber of the nation or the fact that the federal DOE is unConstitutional?

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