TALLAHASSEE, FL â€“ 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."
State Board of Education Members Applaud Governor's Leadership in Support of High Standards
Gary Chartrand, Chair, Florida State Board of Education said, "Governor Scott is once again setting the bar high for our education system, and has listened to Florida educators in the decision process for Florida's standards. I look forward to working with the Governor, Commissioner Stewart and educators around the state to craft the best plan for Florida."
John R. Padgett, Vice Chair, Florida State Board of Education said, "There are too many federal mandates and I applaud Governor Scott for his commitment to making sure Florida students succeed. He realizes that our students must have the highest level standards in order to compete with their peers around the world."
Sally Bradshaw, Florida State Board of Education said, "I was pleased to see the Governor take a strong stand in favor of Florida's existing high standards today, standards that should be focused on Florida's students and not on process or politics. We can and will continue to push for even higher standards and a system that ensures that Florida's students continue to excel."
John A. ColÃ³n, Florida State Board of Education said, "Businesses need highly-skilled and talented employees. The Governor's announcement today will ensure Florida has the best standards to prepare our students to be competitive in a global marketplace."
Dr. Ada Armas, Florida State Board of Education said, "I look forward to working with Governor Scott in creating a pathway for Florida students. Together we can create the best path for Florida's students."
Barbara Feingold, Florida State Board of Education said, "Our future job force are in our classrooms today. It is imperative we have the highest level of standards for our students to be prepared to compete in the global marketplace. Governor Scott's number one concern and goal is achieving the best quality of education for Florida's students measured against national and international standards."