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Gaetz, Weatherford: Withdraw from PARCC, create "Florida Plan" for new tests

Florida's two top lawmakers have serious reservations about the assessments being created to test the new Common Core Standards.

The concerns are so grave that Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford want Florida to back out of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, the national consortium crafting the exams.

Among their gripes: The PARCC assessments will require 20 days of testing for elementary, middle and high school students. That's more time than it takes for students to complete the current state exams.

Gaetz and Weatherford want Florida to design its own testing program, they wrote to state Education Commissioner Tony Bennett Wednesday.

Bennett said he'll give the idea some consideration.

"I want to thank President Gaetz and Speaker Weatherford for sharing their concerns about PARCC and PARCC assessments," the education commissioner wrote in a statement. "They are valued partners in our mission to help students and they raise critical issues that deserve serious consideration as I make a decision in the coming days. I want to thank them and all lawmakers as we implement Common Core State Standards and improve the future for Florida’s students and our state."

Read the letter from Gaetz and Weatherford below.

Download 7 17 13 Commissioner Bennett FL Plan