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Common Core May Be No More

Rachel Iacovone
Gov. Ron DeSantis enters a classroom at Ida S. Baker High School in Cape Coral.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced yet another executive order on Thursday. 

In his second visit to Southwest Florida in as many days, DeSantis came to Ida S. Baker High School in Cape Coral to make his announcement.

“Today," DeSantis said, "we are doing an executive order that is going to instruct (Education) Commissioner (Richard) Corcoran to get to work and come up with good standards for the State of Florida, which will include eliminating Common Core and the vestiges of Common Core.”

The crowd cheered, but DeSantis wasn’t done.

“And, then," DeSantis said, "something that’s really important to me is identifying ways so that we can really make civics education a priority in Florida.”

First Lady Casey DeSantis agreed.

“So, Ron talked about the civics education," Casey DeSantis said. "That is so important that they need to understand the unique principles on which this nation was founded, and you know, if they want to live the American dream, they need to understand the American dream.”

That American dream has been kept out of reach for so many by standardized testing and Common Core standards, says Bob Schaeffer of testing watchdog Fair Test.

“Common Core has become a symbol for the complaints of many parents, educators and students about the many flaws of Florida's top-down, test-and-punish system,” Schaeffer said.

He says an end to Common Core would be a good thing — if it actually happens.

“It remains to be seen what the tangible next steps are — whether they are really substantively moving away from a system of Tallahassee trying to dictate curriculum and testing in every classroom in the state," Schaeffer said, "or whether it's just going to be another symbolic rearranging of the testing deck chairs on the Titanic.”

Gov. DeSantis says the next steps will take place during next year’s legislative session, so there’s time to wait and see.

"This is going to be a process that is going to take the balance of this year, ans then, we will go to the legislature next session and want to get that done," DeSantis said. "We don't want to dilly dally, but at the same time, we want to do it right."

Rachel Iacovone is a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast Live for WGCU News. Rachel came to WGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.Rachel was first contacted by WGCU when she was managing editor of FGCU's student-run media group, Eagle News. She helped take Eagle News from a weekly newspaper to a daily online publication with TV and radio branches within two years, winning the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for Best Use of Multimedia in a cross-platform series she led for National Coming Out Day. She also won the Mark of Excellence Award for Feature Writing for her five-month coverage of an FGCU student's transition from male to female.As a WGCU reporter, she produced the first radio story in WGCU's Curious Gulf Coast project, which answered the question: Does SWFL Have More Cases of Pediatric Cancer?Rachel graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.