Education

State Board to Take Closer Look at Common Core Comments, PARCC

By: Allison Nielsen | Posted: November 19, 2013 12:50 PM
Pam Stewart

Pam Stewart

The State Board of Education met in Gainesville on Tuesday to discuss Common Core State Standards and the future assessment test that will be used to measure academic performance in Florida’s schools.

The meeting came after Gov. Rick Scott demanded the board hold public hearings to discuss the controversial Common Core standards.

The board spent 13 hours hearing public input about the state’s math, English language and literacy standards during public hearings held across the state in October. Parents, teachers, and members of the public gathered at the hearings held in Tampa, Davie and Tallahassee to voice their opinions on the future direction of Florida’s schools.

In addition to the public hearings, the Florida Department of Education received over 19,000 comments on the department’s website about the education standards.


Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart said the department had hired a research team to take a closer look at the comments. The team will then summarize the suggestions and present their findings to the state board.

Afterward, a group of K-12 and higher education experts will review the suggestions for improving Florida’s education standards.

Stewart said any proposed changes to the standards would be brought not only before the State Board of Education, but the public as well, and could happen as early as February.

Board member Kathleen Shanahan urged Stewart to put priority on comments from teachers with actual classroom experience, rather than parents. Shanahan noted parents would be “subjective” while teachers would be “objective” in their critique of the Common Core standards.

Another hot topic at the meeting was the selection of an assessment test to measure student achievement under the new standards. Stewart said the department was taking a deeper look at the top performing states across the country and seeing what test each was using for the 2014-2015 school year.

“There is no one assessment that is consistent across those states that are performing at a higher level than Florida,” said Stewart after reviewing the assessment tests that the top five performing states on the NAEP assessment have chosen for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Some states, like Massachusetts and Maryland, are opting for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test, while others, like New Hampshire, are opting for the Smarter Balanced assessment test.

Although Florida severed its financial ties with PARCC, the test still remains an option for Florida’s students.

Applications for test options are due Dec. 12.

 

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


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