First look at Florida’s B.E.S.T education plan
Bottom Line: Friday was the day every Common Core critic has waited for in Florida. The announcement that the end is near and will be replaced with a new curriculum that’s to be known as the B.E.S.T. curriculum. Hopefully it will be the best, but it’s actually and acronym for Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking. So, what’s in it? We’ll know a lot more later this week but for now here’s what we know:
- Replaces Common Core
- Streamlines testing across grades based on subject statewide
- Emphasizes civics and literacy
And that’s clearly just the starting point for the conversation. What are some of the themes we can expect to hear more about as it’s rolled out for consideration by the state?
- Clarity/transparency for students, teachers & parents
- Flexibility in teaching the material for teachers
- Reduction in testing during the school year
- Clear state-wide standards for grade advancement/graduation
And for some specifics about the changes in curriculum...
- All grades would have standardized book lists statewide to enhance/measure literacy
- Civics education at every grade level
- Debate curriculum advanced to sixth grade from ninth
- Clear education guides for parents and teachers at every grade level so progress is monitored and clearly understood at all times
- Math education to emphasize correct answers over process
- Emphasis on “real-world” math concepts and application
- Financial literacy added in all high-school grades
There’s a bit more I could spell out but that’s the bulk of the framework for the new curriculum. Details will be key of course, however there’s a lot to like with what we know. In fact, there’s no specific item I take issue with based on what we know right now. The next big step, after the full release of the curriculum, will be for the Florida Board of Education to consider and vote on the implementation of the proposal. Should that go through - we’ll see implementation begin for the 2021-2022 school year. To be continued...