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Scott Says Public, Private Schools Should Face Same Standards

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(Source: AP/Brian Bohannon)

(Source: AP/Brian Bohannon)

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – On education, Gov. Rick Scott made it clear he supports the notion that all schools – public and private – funded by taxpayers should be held to similar standards.

This would bring about the possibility of state tests for private school students.

The News Service Of Florida reports Scott’s vision for private schools that accept students receiving taxpayer-funded scholarships wasn’t clear from his remarks at a press conference following Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.

But the remarks seemed to square with complaints from some critics of the state’s voucher system who note that students in those schools don’t have to take the state’s Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

“I believe anybody that gets state dollars ought to be under the same standards,” Scott said.

Currently, students who receive vouchers to go to private schools don’t take the FCAT, which is used at the state’s public schools. They do, however, take other tests like the Stanford Achievement Test, a national test. The results can then be adjusted to estimate how well a student would do on the FCAT.

Jon East, a spokesman for Step Up for Students — the administrator of the state’s voucher program — said the discussion that Scott seemed to have embarked upon was an important one for the state.

And he noted that students could begin taking the same test when the education system begins to transition to the “common core standards,” a national model for curriculum.

“I think common core could be the kind of solution that will cross all sorts of boundaries,” East said.

However, it’s not clear what role private schools will have in the common core, East said.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service Of Florida contributed to this report.)

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