Common Core is not ‘federal intrusion’


The results of last year’s international Programme for International Student Assessment exam, which tested the 15-year-olds of 60 of the world’s industrialized nations, show that education in the U.S. has flat-lined.

PISA reports from last month indicate the U.S. fell to No. 17, in the world in reading, No. 21 in science and No. 26 in math, falling behind China, Canada, Germany and other countries.

On a national level, Florida ranks near the bottom of those sinking scores.

Since 2010, the federal government has been pushing for states to adopt the Common Core State Standards, a set of national standards designed to ensure that students graduating from high school meet a basic level of competency.

But recently, Gov. Rick Scott was quoted as telling the state GOP members “We’re not going to have the federal government telling us how to do our education system.”

But if any state should argue about federal intrusion in education, it shouldn’t be the state with scores lower than the country’s national average.

Clearly someone needs to tell Florida how to fix its education system, and if Scott refuses to listen to the federal government, he better start asking the European and Asian nations who seem to be doing something better than us.

The Common Core shouldn’t be considered as a “federal intrusion,” but more as a national benchmark in which all states should work toward.

The purpose of Common Core is to at least ensure a common ground for children in every state, ideally boosting those in lower performing states — and Florida definitely ranks as one of those.

While curriculum should be considered a local responsibility, much the same way as academic freedom and curriculum are the responsibility of individual professors at universities, having a basic set of standards to meet and set by a body that can hold feet to fire is something that is essential for the success of future Floridians.

Though educational reforms by the federal government are always been far from perfect, the governing bodies of Florida have never done education right either.