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Florida governor announces changes to common core plan

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Updated: 9/23/2013 9:13 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Gov. Rick Scott is making big changes to Florida's education system. He just revealed Monday afternoon that he's taking steps to reevaluate the new common core state standards.

"We want Florida students to have every opportunity and to have the highest standards possible so we can ensure students are career and college-ready," said Florida's new education commissioner, Pam Stewart.

Stewart said the state is pulling out of PARCC -- the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers -- to eliminate federal overreach into Florida education system.

Education leaders will now evaluate what works and what doesn't in terms of common core to develop their own standards.

"What of those standards do we want to reaffirm and what parts do we want to tweak and make better, and so this is the opportunity to do that," she said.

Action News asked Stewart what this means in terms of the FCAT -- the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test -- a standardized test that was intended to be phased out.

"Nothing will change from what we previously outlined. This will be the last year for the FCAT 2.0," she said.

Action News also tracked down Duval County Schools Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti.

"I'm not at all surprised. The legislature had signaled a couple months ago that they were concerned with where we were with PARCC," he said.

Vitti said while he does support re-evaluating Florida's system, he wants to be sure the state implements something that lines up with other states to better assess Duval County students' growth.

"Because this is a global economy we want to be competitive, not only in Jacksonville, not only through Florida but throughout the country," Vitti said.

In all, the governor outlined six steps to the Board of Education to help the state maintain exceptionally high standards without what he calls federal intrusion.

You can read more about those six steps in the governor's letter to the state board chairman. It's attached to this story.
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