It's a waiting game to see if the decision by the new governor of Florida to do away with Common Core in his state will actually better prepare K-12 students for success – or if it will be merely a cosmetic improvement.
Florida's Republican governor, Richard DeSantis, has put an end to the Common Core standards in his state at the end of January, issuing Executive Order 19-32. Among the recommendations are a "return to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic" and a reference to ensuring that those who graduate from high school know of the principles of the U.S. Constitution and the responsibilities associated with American citizenship.
State leaders made some changes to Common Core when it was first adopted under former Governor Rick Scott (R). But for the most part those changes were superficial, according to Fox News. Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute says conservatives are concerned that may happen again.
"And that's always going to be, I think, the first concern," he shares. "[We might wonder] is this really different? – or are we just moving a few things around, putting a new coat of paint on it saying, 'See, it's totally different'?"
DeSantis said he agreed with parents that it was time to end Common Core and commit to preparing the state's K-12 students "for the real world through an increased focus on civic education."
Though the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, passed in 2015, allows for more state and local control of education, McCluskey says the replacement plan will still need to be approved by the feds.
"It will definitely have to go through an approval process," he explains. "The question is, how stringently will the U.S. Department of Education scrutinize these things?"
McCluskey doubts the approval process will be overly burdensome under the Trump administration.