To the core

At this time in 1967, the country was embarking on what became known as the "summer of love," in which the baby boom youth culture began transforming the political and cultural landscape. Will 2013 be remembered as the "summer of Common Core"?

Florida students are supposed to face one more year of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. Then the state will ditch FCAT as part of its switch to teaching Common Core State Standards. In 2010, the National Governor's Association and Council of Chief State School Officers reached agreement on Common Core. This set of voluntary standards is supposed to ensure that all young people who earn high school diplomas have the basic language and math skills needed to succeed in the modern global work place.

This week, the Florida Department of Education is kicking off its 2013 Common Core State Standards Summer Institutes at Gulf Breeze High School, in Santa Rosa County. The institutes will then shift to Pinellas County's Boca Ciega High School the week of June 25, and then move on to Palm Beach and Duval counties in mid- and late July.

The institutes are part of what the Department of Education has dubbed the "Countdown to Common Core." According to the memo the department sent out announcing the institutes, "Participants will have an increased knowledge of the CCSS and shifts in instruction to enhance learning opportunities and instructional delivery to support student success."

Common Core is supposed to be more flexible than FCAT. We just hope it doesn't quickly take a spot on the list of failed education initiatives over the last three or four decades.
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