One Republican organization and the Executive Committee of the Republican Party in St Johns County reported to Historic City News that proposed resolutions were reached among their representatives expressing rejection of what they see as federal use of Race to the Top program funding to coerce implantation of the Common Core Standards in Florida’s education system.
Sixteen members of the St Johns County Republican Assembly, as well as members of the St Johns County Republican Executive Committee, comprised of precinct committeemen and women from every voting precinct in the county, each agreed to file separate, but similar, protests; including criticism of elected school board members Beverly Ann Slough, Thomas J Allen, Jr., and William P Mignon, Sr., as well as appointed Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Joseph G. Joyner — all of whom are registered Republican voters.
Ponte Vedra Beach attorney, Sean L. Mulhall, who serves as Chairman of the St Johns County Republican Party, the designated local organization of the Republican Party of Florida, told Historic City News reporters that the Republican National Committee had passed a similar resolution last year.
“The St Johns County Republican Executive Committee felt strongly enough about the issue to pass a local resolution, too,” Mulhall said. “The resolution asks elected officials to reject Common Core and its failed federal program Race to the Top.”
Jim Arpaia, President of the St Johns County Republican Assembly, conceded to local reporters that the idea of “common standards”, developed in the open, by the real stakeholders — meaning parents and local educators, to be used in an informative manner by states and local school boards to govern educational matters, at the school district level, has value. In the same breath, he cautions that “this”, referring to the Race to the Top program and standardized PARCC assessments taken from a federally mandated curriculum, is not the same thing.
“In this instance, the Common Core State Standards were developed in secret, at the financing of large foundations and corporations with a huge financial stake outside the oversight of the parents and state legislatures,” Arpaia points out. “Despite the claims that the standards were developed by the National Governors Association, no one has ever been able to document the meetings at which the process occurred. The names of the participants involved and the process for vetting and providing evidence as to the efficacy of what is now, essentially, an experiment of grand proportions on our children’s and nation’s future, also remains undocumented.”
School District Superintendent Joe Joyner has written extensively in support of Common Core and the three-of-five School Board members who voted in favor of adopting the Common Core Standards, essentially three years ago, seem unlikely to change their minds; so, it is unknown how much traction the resolutions will actually accomplish.