When Governor Scott released his statement praising Florida’s participation in the PARCC testing program – which is based on the Common Core Standards in math and English language arts – I wrote to him pointing out that a national science standards program is available and that Florida had chosen not to take the sort of leadership role in that program that it had in the Common Core and PARCC programs. Yesterday, I received a response from the Bureau Chief of Curriculum and Instruction at the Florida Department of Education. It is a surprisingly clear statement of the priority it places on science. Here it is:
Dear Mr. Cottle:
Governor Rick Scott has asked our office to respond to your correspondence regarding Common Core Standards and testing. On behalf of the Governor, we would like to thank you and assure you that he appreciates your interest and commitment to educational excellence.
Florida has shown a strong commitment to standards-based learning through its adoption of the Common Core State Standards, and in its position as a governing state in the PARCC Assessment Consortium. Florida’s current science standards were adopted in 2008, and while thorough, updating them to match current knowledge is a responsibility that is taken seriously.
The FLDOE Office of Mathematics and Science is actively monitoring the development of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In addition to Florida teachers and district science specialists reviewing the first draft of the NGSS, a FLDOE committee reviewed the first draft and provided feedback. With the release of the second draft of the NGSS, scheduled for fall, 2012, the FLDOE Team will once again participate in the review process. Stakeholders, such as yourself, are encouraged to participate in the review process as well. We welcome your thoughts related to Florida’s possible adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards.
Teresa Sweet, Chief
Bureau of Curriculum & Instruction
Just for the record, I am participating in the NGSS review process – at the national level. My opinion on NGSS has not been sought by the FLDOE.