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PolitiFact Florida checks out Gov. Rick Scott's claims on FCAT, unemployment

Gov. Rick Scott is clearly proud of two things lately: Florida's FCAT phase-out and its declining unemployment rate.

But Scott has erred in talking about these topics, PolitiFact Florida found.

In a TV ad sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida, Scott says, "I've listened to the frustrations parents and teachers have with the FCAT. Next year we begin improving our testing system. No more teaching to the test."

Is the state's move from FCAT to a new testing system a product of Scott listening to angry parents and teachers? No. Change was already coming. Read the fact-check and ruling here.

Scott often talks up the state's significant unemployment rate drop since he took office. Its decline since December 2010 is the nation's biggest.

"We have every reason to brag about what’s going on in our state," he said last week at an Enterprise Florida board meeting. "If you look at the fastest drop in unemployment, it’s down 2.3 (percentage points) in the last 20 months."

Scott's rosy statistic ignores the biggest factor behind the lowered unemployment rate: a labor force downsized by the exit of discouraged workers. That's not a positive economic indicator, experts say. Read our fact-check and ruling here

Other recent fact-checks include Mitt Romney on Florida's housing woes, actor Kal Penn on thegrowth of Pell Grants under ObamaJohn Kerry on the US-Israel relationship under Obama, and President Barack Obama on Medicare's guaranteed benefits.


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If Gov. Scott had the charisma of Reagan, a smoke-and-mirrors approach to such claims might work.

But he doesn't, and it won't.

If he and his handlers don't figure out real soon that distorting the truth makes him no better than most of the sorry politicians we've been electing, he's going to have real trouble getting re-elected.

They may think the rural, small town, and anti-political-establishment folks who got him into the Governor's office are stupid ... but they're not.

Mel L.

So basically the necessary improvements to our existing FCAT testing system were already in the making. It just amazes me how politicians conveniently cling to popular social issues simply to serve their own political agendas.

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