WASHINGTON, D.C. (WFLA) — Just months after Gov. Ron DeSantis’ announcement of plans to replace Common Core in Florida with new standards called Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking, or BEST, an analysis is calling the updated academic standards “disappointing.”
Removing Common Core from Florida schools was a campaign promise made by DeSantis. He got rid of it through an executive order in February.
“Florida has officially eliminated Common Core. I truly think this is a great next step for students, teachers and parents,” DeSantis said at the time. “We’ve developed clear and concise expectations for students at every grade level and allow teachers the opportunity to do what they love most – inspire young Floridians to achieve their greatest potential.”
An analysis by the think tank Thomas B. Fordham Institute reviewed states that made substantial changes to Common Core or those that don’t utilize the Common Core standards.
“The results are disappointing,” the analysis said.
The analysis explained that English language arts and math standards within BEST were both rated as “weak.” Analysts recommenced “significant and immediate revisions” after concluding that Florida’s “standards are not suitable until and unless these revisions occur.”
The analysis argued the quick development of BEST left glaring holes, like a lack of instruction for reading in specific subjects such as history and science, or the interpretation of multimedia information.
The report also notes “multiple technical errors” throughout the math standards.
Florida parents and students had criticized Common Core standards since its implementation by a bipartisan collection of various state education leaders and governors. The standards were called confusing and out of touch.
WFLA reached out to the Florida Education Association to get its take on the analysis and will update this story is we get a response.
The Florida Department of Education, however, is defending itself against the analysis.
“If you look at NAEP scores 10 years ago to the present, you’ll see that Common Core has produced stagnant results. Unless we raise expectations, we will continue to see stagnant growth,” FDOE spokeswoman Taryn Fenske said in a statement. “How dare they protect their own pocketbooks when the results are clear – after 10 years of constraining students and educators to the confines of Common Core, Florida students deserve better.”