Gov. Rick Scott today made a surprise decision to try to remove Florida from a consortium of states working to create unified tests benchmarked to what are known as Common Core standards (background here).
In between Scott's letters and an executive order (below), it's see some of this as helpful to former Gov. Jeb Bush, whose education foundation has made Common Core a top issue and who has gone out of his way to knock back suspicions that the standards amount to federal overreach.
Conservative activists fear, among other things, that the national consortium of 45 Common Core states and the involvement of the U.S. Department of Education amounts to potential federal control. And Scott echoes the concern at the top of his executive order, which begins:
"WHEREAS, the Federal government has no constitutional authority to unilaterally set academic standards for Florida, nor any authority to unilaterally direct local school board decisions on curriculum and instruction; and
"WHEREAS, Floridians will not accept government intrusion into the academic standards that are taught to our students in our classrooms and will not tolerate the Federal government using such standards to coerce policy decisions at the state or local level on the issues of assessments, curriculum, and instructional materials, which are within the Constitutional purview of Florida's state and local governments...."