Following the Governor's Education Summit in Tampa a few weeks ago, Governor Rick Scott sent a letter to State Board of Education Chairman Gary Chartrand today, outlining six steps for the board to:
1) Maintain high education standards; and,
2) Remove the state from federal intrusion in education policy.
To protect Florida from the federal government's overreach in education policy, Governor Scott also sent a letter today to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, announcing the state's decision to withdraw from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Lastly, the Governor also released an Executive Order today announcing policy improvements that were discussed in the Governor's Education Summit.
Governor Scott said, "We listened to many people who are passionate about making Florida's education system the best in the world during our Education Summit in Tampa a few weeks ago. The summit's discussions were so robust and diverse that they have led to three actions today. First, I sent a letter to Chairman Chartrand outlining a six-step course forward for Florida to ensure we continue to hold our students to high education standards. Excellence in education begins with high expectations for our students. Second, I told the federal government we are rejecting their overreach into our state education system by withdrawing from PARCC. Last, I issued an executive order to address state assessments, ensure student data security and support a transparent and understandable school accountability system.
"While the debate surrounding Common Core Standards has become polarized into a "yes' or "no' discussion, we heard during the Education Summit that most education leaders agreed on two things. We agree that we should say "yes' to high standards for Florida students and "no' to the federal government's overreach into our education system. Therefore, I notified the federal government that Florida would be withdrawing from PARCC, and at the same time we will hold public comment sessions to receive input on any alterations that should be made to the current Common Core Standards. We are committed to maintaining high standards for our students. Period. The six steps outlined to the Board of Education will help Florida move forward in maintaining exceptionally high standards while removing federal intrusion into our education system."