Florida responded to “public concerns” about Mathematics Florida Standards (MAFS) and Language Arts Florida Standards (LAFS) by opening public forums in Fall, 2013. Since that time, the State has initiated the Language Arts Florida Standards (LAFS), which was the Language Arts Common Core (LACC). The interesting part about the name change is the removal of the term “Common Core.” In May, 2014, Rick Scott pronounced the Common Core “out” in Florida and replaced by the Florida State Standard. However, the Common Core and LAFS are very similar in both structure and wording. For instance, in ELA Grade 12, the Common Core, Ranges of Writing, Grade 12 asks students to “Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences,” which is repeated verbatim on the LAFS.
The two documents appear to be the same. The motivations for saying the Common Core is out are clear. The negative press regarding the initiative and the rise in public concern about the implementation certainly drove states away from adopting it. However, when the same “standards” are mandated by the government under a different title, then the Common Core is actually “in.”
The Florida Education Association has posted a resolution on testing in the state. The resolution calls for an “immediate halt to the misuse and abuse of testing” and “demands that until autonomy is returned to local school districts to decide what is best for their student population and can develop a fair and accurate system of assessing student performance, the State of Florida must provide a legitimate process for parents and students to decline participation in these educationally unsound tests.”
In regard to higher education, the only changes to ELA were those regarding the changes in Developmental Education from earlier this year. This chart shows how many students were in Developmental Education during 2012-2013 school year. The State of Florida’s response has been to remove mandatory Developmental Education and put the choice of courses in the students’ hands.