Zucker's Actions Support Common Core



Often politicians seeking re-election will say one thing during an election year while doing another once the election has come to an end.

This dictum came to mind while reading long-time School Board Member Caroline Zucker’s comments in a recent letter to SRQ Daily. Zucker wrote that she is “proud of the Sarasota County School Board as it continues to raise our voice against Common Core.” Interestingly enough, Zucker is president of the Florida School Board Association, a lobbying group in Tallahassee, which supports Common Core as well as Florida State Standards, Florida’s renamed version. The fact is, she was on the FSBA board when their 2015 priorities, which included the continued promotion of Common Core, were approved.

Does Zucker oppose Common Core as a whole or does she just oppose the standardized tests by which teachers and schools in Florida would be evaluated? Her record speaks for itself. She voted to support Common Core in the past and is now back-pedaling during an election year. The state’s tests as they stand are not optimal and work needs to be done. We have to maintain the concept of teacher and school accountability. This has not been a strength of Zucker’s, who has been on the School Board for 18 years.

She also states that her “commitment to critical thinking and development that has proven successful time and again in closing the achievement gap for all students, lowering dropout rates, improving graduation rates.” Again, fact are facts as the current graduation rate for our student body is down from last year at 79.2 percent, that means an average of one out of five students do not graduate in four years.

A School Board member must be proactive to tackle difficult issues in a timely manner. Sarasota County cannot afford four more years of Caroline Zucker. We must come together as a community, teachers, administration and parents to determine the best method to measure our students progress.

Teresa Mast is a candidate for Sarasota County School Board District 2.

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