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Common Core To Get Public Hearings In Florida, But Will Your Voice Be Heard?

Robert Small
Florida Governor Rick Scott has announced that the state will pull out of a national Common Core test and called for public hearings and possible changes to the Common Core State Standards.

This is good news for Florida’s students, parents and taxpayers.

Scott's decision to revisit the standards drew praise from opponents seeking to stall and ultimately displace the new standards.

Randy Osborne, who works with the group Florida Parents Against Common Core, said according to reporting by The Lakeland Ledger, "I am encouraged that he is starting to look and listen to the citizens of Florida, specifically the parents.”

Common Core advocates in Florida, who are mostly allies of former Governor Jeb Bush, one of Common Core’s original instigators, were cautious not to oppose public hearings in their comments.

Sally Bradshaw, a former chief of staff for Bush and current state board of education member, said she had no problem hearing from the public.

And why not, given that the board upon which Bradshaw serves has already adopted Common Core and is moving ahead with its implementation?

The appointed board on which Bradshaw serves adopted the new standards and elementary schools already are using the standards and the plan is to fully implement them during the 2014-15 school year, so public hearings would have to result in the board reversing course for there to be any real impact from them.

And as Robert Small of Howard County, Maryland learned, public hearings on Common Core aren’t likely to be very friendly places for opponents of the federal takeover of our public schools.

Small showed up at a public forum in Towson, Maryland, but when he began asking questions about Common Core, a police officer, who was providing security at the meeting, shut him down.

The forum was hosted by the Maryland State Department of Education to explain the new K-12 standards and in typical bureaucratic fashion audience members had been told to submit their questions first in writing, no doubt so the education bureaucrats could avoid answering any questions that were unfriendly to Common Core. 

When Mr. Small went off script and started asking questions, the police officer moved in. He was forcibly dragged out of the room, while exhorting the crowd to join his cause.

Small was arrested and in an act of blatant police intimidation charged with disturbing school operations and second degree assault. According to FOX News each charge carries a $2,500 fine, but Small faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of assaulting a police officer.

You can watch the video of the incident here and decide for yourself if Small “assaulted” the police officer.

Apparently the Baltimore County state's attorney's office decided there was no assault, since according to The Baltimore Sun they dropped the charges against Small, saying "It was clear that Mr. Small violated the rules of the meeting and disrupted the meeting. It was also clear that the officer acted appropriately and did have probable cause to make an arrest on both charges," however the state's attorney's office said in a statement. "In the interest of justice, further prosecution will not accomplish anything more. Therefore, the charges have been dismissed."

Advocates for more demanding education standards and opponents of Common Core’s corporate corruption and secrecy be forewarned, when the public hearings finally start in Florida – as Robert Small discovered in Maryland – opposing Common Core can and will get you arrested unless you play by the education establishment’s rules.

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