DORAL, FL – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a new framework for setting academic standards in the state called ‘BEST Standards’ or Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking.
If the measure gets approved by the State Board of Education, it would replace Common Core by 2020. The changes were criticized by Miami’s teacher union.
“It really goes beyond common core to embrace common sense, something that’s long been necessary,” the governor said at a press conference on Friday.
The new framework will incorporate cursive, civics, classic literature, and foundations for literacy and math.
Also, math tests under the new framework would encourage students to focus on the correct answer rather than the method used to get there, which is the strategy Common Core implements today.
In addition to this, ‘BEST Standards’ would include financial literacy classes in the curriculum aimed at teaching students important life skills such as balancing a checkbook or applying for a loan, and less testing.
Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the standards and testing were “something that parents and some teachers have complained for a long period of time.”
“When new standards are adopted, we need to understand that we need to re-train our teachers. It is possible that we may need to acquire new instructional resources like textbooks or digital content,” said Carvalho.
But despite all this, Miami’s teacher union is not yet convinced of this measure’s benefits as stated by Karla Hernández-Mats, president of United Teachers of Dade.
“Today’s announcement from the governor seems like a solution in search of a problem. Instead of “Year of the Teacher,” it looks more like year of the textbook publisher and the standardized test maker,” Hernández-Matz wrote in a press release.
“Furthermore, parents, students and teachers did not deem these new standards necessary… These recommendations only serve to invest millions of dollars into the pockets of textbook companies instead of investing in moving this state from 46th in the nation for educational spending.”
The proposed new standards were generated after a year of input from teachers and parents and still needs approval from the State Board of Education to be implemented.