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Governor DeSantis Touts New Education Standards, as Unemployment Decreases

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced new education standards last week, a year after vowing to eliminate the remainder of the controversial Common Core standards.

“The new plan is done. It is going through the final editing process,” the governor said during a news conference in Naples.

He did not offer details about the new plan, which will be called the BEST Standards. However, according to a summary document released by the Florida Department of Education, the standards include changes to the way in which students will learn math and American history moving forward. It also reduces the amount of testing.

In addition, the standards will eliminate “crazy math” that DeSantis says is currently an obstacle for parents who wanted to help students with homework. Civics will be “embedded” into language-arts lessons at all grade levels, and the document says a “civics book list” will be used across all grades.

“I wanted to make sure we had a renewed emphasis on American civics and understanding the principles that make America great,” DeSantis added.

The Common Core standards, which were developed by officials in 48 states, have been criticized by Republican voters.

Six years ago, the State Board of Education adopted the “Florida Standards,” which involved making changes to Common Core.

DeSantis’ BEST Standards, which stands for Benchmark for Excellent Student Thinking, still needs approval from the State Board of Education. When it is adopted, the language-arts curriculum is expected to be updated for the 2021-2022 year, while the math curriculum would be updated for the 2022-2023 year, according to the Department of Education.

Meanwhile, DeSantis also announced on Friday that the Sunshine State’s unemployment rate is as at a record low, decreasing to 3 percent in December.

In addition, 220,000 Floridians have entered the workforce over the past year, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

The West Palm Beach area’s unemployment rate is even lower, at 2.7 percent.

About 198,200 private-sector jobs were created in the state over the year, according to the governor’s office. The state’s annual private-sector job growth rate of 2.5 percent also continues to exceed the national average at 1.5 percent.