On Friday, Jan. 24, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran introduced Florida’s K-12 academic requirements for English and Mathematics. They set out to remove Common Core and provide students with Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.). Common Core is a standardized test for English and Math, where students are tested based on what they learned at the end of the year.
“I believe that high school students should have a foundation for civics, but I don’t believe standardized tests made by government officials are the best way to assess that knowledge. Students already have to take government tests in order to graduate high school and I believe teachers made tests is the best way to assess civics knowledge, Economics and Government teacher Anthony Melei said.
As of Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, Florida has passed B.E.S.T standards. The standards include a different way of learning math and English and also give out less testing for students. It gives a basic approach and makes it comprehensible for students, teachers, and parents.
“I’m really glad that they finally made some changes to the education system. We as students become overwhelmed with the amount of testing and the difficulty of it. It sucks that the seniors won’t be able to experience it, but I am hopeful that this will make a difference,” senior Kaley Morabito said.
These new standards also include students to be taught civics and tested on it throughout each grade level. Some benefits include less standardized testing so students can focus on SAT and ACT and the state will give every high school junior the chance to test with no fee until 2022.
“As an upcoming junior, I was really worried about the amount of testing that was going to be given but now that they have made changes, I really hope that it will be helpful. Many students have other activities and it creates more stress, so knowing that there won’t be a lot of testing gives me a lot of relief,” sophomore Giovanna Cardoso said.
The requirements include a reading list to give students the ability to understand and improve their reading skills. They will be learning specific math topics to increase their problem-solving strategies. Students will also be introduced to the U.S Constitution and study American history to help them use their reading skills to become more aware.
“I am very hopeful this will help all of us, especially math. I really hope that it will become more understandable and easier to learn. All the testing made me stressed out and with all the homework and clubs, it made it very difficult for me to study. I want to be able to pass and get into a good college without feeling an enormous amount of pressure,” junior Olivia Triggs said.
Its goal is to lead students on the right path to college and prepare them for future jobs, it will give parents a better understanding of what they are learning in the classrooms. With the new standards, they hope to keep students on the right track and make things clearer for students who aren’t on the reading level or math skills as expected.