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Local parent, teacher react to Gov. DeSantis' order to eliminate Common Core in Florida schools

Posted at 4:24 AM, Feb 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-01 06:55:56-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The way students learn in Florida classrooms is about to change, and most parents are saying they are relieved.

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order to eliminate Common Core standards Thursday and both teachers and parents say they are excited to see what replaces it.

It's not just about the hours and hours of testing students as young as 6 or 7 years old are going through with Common Core. Kerri Paizzi also says some of the homework her first grade student in Martin County has brought home is difficult for even her to understand.

"A couple months ago he brought home math homework, and it was asking how to equate to 10 and a simple solution that he was coming up with was 6 plus 4 and that was not correct, and I just don't understand how that makes sense," said Paizzi.

Common Core standards are used in math, arts and literacy to outline what students should know at the end of each grade. Students take several diagnostic tests to evaluate how much they are learning.

"I think we burn them out of learning in general. Even the accelerated learning, when we are trying to cram all of the knowledge into a shortened period because they have to have it done before the actual test instead of the end of the school year," said Dr. Eric Jourgensen, a high school English teacher in Palm Beach County.

Jourgensen said when the state tied Common Core test results to teacher pay, it impacted what is taught in the classroom.

"At that point, when you have the schools trying to make sure they had the best grades and the teachers wanted to get their bonuses, everything is focused on teaching the kids how to take the test and how to do the best on the test and not necessarily how to be well-rounded students," added Jourgensen.

Paizzi said she would like to see classroom teaching return to a standard where parents can be helpful to their kids again.

"Right now it just needs to kind of scale back and go back to basics, where we learned," added Paizzi.

DeSantis said the change would not be effective immediately, instead it's going to take the rest of the year and next legislative session to come up with a new standard, and he wants input from parents.