Independent Institute Research Vindicates DeSantis Ed Reform: National Review
A recent National Review article, on education reforms implemented by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, praised original research by the Independent Institute. Independent’s report titled “Better than Common Core: Florida’s New K-12 Standards Raise the Bar” demonstrated that the state’s new English language arts and math standards are now the strongest in the country and suggested they could serve as a model for the rest of the nation.
In 2020, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis implemented significant curricular reform, replacing the controversial Common Core standards with new, high-rigor reading and math standards. Florida’s new “Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.)” standards shed the mechanistic skills-oriented approach favored by Common Core and restored, for example, classic literature to the English curriculum. These reforms made Florida likely the only state to have rid itself of Common Core after fully adopting it.
As National Review stated:
You can read about DeSantis’s replacement of the failed Common Core in a 2020 report from the Independent Institute called “Better than Common Core: Florida’s New K-12 Standards Raise the Bar.” The report says that Florida’s English language arts and math standards truly do depart from Common Core. More, it calls them “the strongest [reading and math standards] currently in use in the United States.” The report adds that with some slight tweaks, the Florida standards “can stand as a new model for the country.”
“Better than Common Core: Florida’s New K-12 Standards Raise the Bar” was commissioned by Independent Institute’s Center on Educational Excellence. The review team comprised of an all-star panel of education experts in Ze’ev Wurman, David M. Steiner, Ashley Rogers Berner, and R. James Milgram.
Wurman is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and former senior policy adviser with the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education. Steiner is the Executive Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy and a Professor at the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University. He is also a member of the Maryland State Board of Education and former Commissioner of Education in New York. Rogers Berner is the Deputy Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy and an Associate Professor at the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University. She is also a Senior Advisor at 50CAN and a Senior Fellow at Cardus, a Canadian think tank. Milgram is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Stanford University. Milgram has served on the National Board for Education Sciences and was a member of the Common Core Validation Committee that oversaw the development of the Common Core Standards; he was one of five members who refused to sign off on Common Core standards.
The mention in this article is a testament to the impact and recognition of the Institute’s research and analysis. We are proud to contribute to important conversations surrounding education policy and reform.