PETITION CONCERNING COMMON CORE EDUCATION STANDARDS
WHEREAS, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of academic standards, promoted and supported by two private membership organizations, the National Governor’s Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) as a method for conforming American students to uniform (“one size fits all”) achievement goals to make them more competitive in a global marketplace; and
WHEREAS, the NGA and the CCSSO received tens of millions of dollars from private third parties and the federal government to advocate for and develop the CCSS strategy, subsequently created the CCSS through a process that was not subject to any freedom of information acts or other sunshine laws, and never piloted the CCSS; and
WHEREAS, Common Core violated constitutional and statutory prohibitions on federal control of education by pressuring states to adopt the standards with federal financial incentives tied to President Obama’s Race to the Top, and if not adopted, imposing penalties including loss of funds; and
WHEREAS, Florida Executive Branch officials in 2010 committed our state to adoption of the Common Core State Standards along with other Race to the Top grant requirements while the legislature was not in session; and
WHEREAS, Common Core binds us to established copyrighted standards, from which we cannot subtract, replace or amend – beyond adding 15%; and
WHEREAS, the General Educational Provisions Act prohibits federal authority over curriculum and testing, yet the U.S. Department of Education’s “Cooperative Agreements” confirm Common Core’s test-building and data collection is federally managed; and
WHEREAS, the Race to the Top grant conditions require changes in Florida privacy law to allow the collection, storage and sharing of private student and family data without consent, using a pre-school through post-graduate (P-20) tracking system and a federally-funded State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS), creating surveillance capability between states and federal agencies in accordance with funding mandates; and
WHEREAS, there is no proof or demonstration that CCSS raise student achievement, and that, lacking empirical data to support them, CCSS are removing traditional math, replacing classic literature with increased technical reading, and employing dramatically different teaching methodologies; and
WHEREAS, this top-down process and the principles behind Common Core undermine the teacher’s role and do not support American ideals of local control, parental choice in education, standards, and testing.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the undersigned calls on the Governor and the Florida State Board of Education to withdraw from all participation in, implementation of, and connection with the Common Core State Standards Initiative to be replaced by uniquely Floridian “copyrighted” standards that embrace high achievement, are carefully vetted to exclude experimental teaching methods and psychosocial manipulation of students, and have the widespread approval of the citizens of Florida. We specifically reject the “renaming” or “rebranding” of the Common Core standards in an effort to appease the concerned citizens of the state; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call on the Governor and the Florida State Board of Education to withdraw from all participation and connection with PARCC, not merely as fiscal agent; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we ask the Florida State Legislature to repeal all legislation implementing and funding the Common Core State Standards Initiative in Florida, the PARCC consortium and any other entity that promotes, implements or tests for common, nationalized standards; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we ask the Florida legislature to set in statute a protective process establishing that all data collection on students, teachers and families be completely transparent, that there be appropriate “opt out” provisos, and that all data points collected be approved by the legislature and listed in state statute; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we ask the Florida legislature to set in statute legislation that forbids the transfer of personally identifiable Florida student data to the federal Department of Education and identifies precisely what aggregate data may be shared; and
NOW, BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a copy of this petition shall be delivered to the Governor and the State legislature for executive and legislative action.