Dear Florida: My kids want to be educated — not used as political pawns

Dear Florida,

There are a lot of things I love about you. The winter weather. The splendor of your marshes and coastlines. The diversity of culture.

But I'll be honest. When it comes to education, you pretty much blow chunks.

In our schools, the best things happen in spite of Tallahassee, not because of it.

See, I love my son's world-history teacher. I trust my daughter's algebra teacher.

I neither love nor trust you.

Not when it comes to education, anyway.

With you, kids are treated like political props.

That would be bad enough. But right now, you're not even sure which political games you want to play with them.

You love the FCAT. You hate the FCAT.

You want Common Core. You don't want Common Core.

You want tough school grades ... until you decide to inflate them.

Please. Just. Stop.

It doesn't have to be as complicated — or political — as you make it.

The latest news has Gov. Rick Scott backtracking on some of his commitment to the state's new education standards, called Common Core, specifically with regard to testing.

This was partly in response to people who believe Common Core is some sort of United Nations takeover of public schools.

And this is the problem, Florida. Too often, you listen to the folks wearing tinfoil hats. These people need therapy couches, not seats at the curriculum table.

I don't know if Common Core is a panacea. Probably not.

But I'll tell you what I do like about it: It's a nationwide endeavor, created and adopted by governors and educators in a majority of other states. And frankly, I trust other states more than I trust you.

You, Florida, have treated my kids like a punching bag.

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