TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — The Florida Department of Education has unveiled a list of recommended changes to the state’s learning standards, the next step in an effort to tamp down criticism of the state’s participation in a national set of benchmarks known as Common Core.

The agency’s list, which followed three public hearings across the state last year, included 98 changes to the voluminous standards.

Many of the changes are technical, would clarify existing standards or would shift some concepts from one grade to another. But others are more substantive, including amendments that emphasize financial issues in math and specify that Florida students must still learn cursive writing.

“With your input, we have strengthened our standards to ensure they are the best and highest standards, so that all Florida students graduate from high school prepared for success in college, career and in life,” Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said in a statement issued by her department.

The new standards will be further outlined Tuesday in a pair of online workshops, and the agency is launching a web page to allow the public to submit comments.

Stewart’s recommendations are expected to go before the State Board of Education on Feb. 18.

The changes are part of an effort by Gov. Rick Scott and his administration to calm concerns on the political right about Common Core.

The national benchmarks started out as a joint project by officials in about four dozen states, but some conservatives have grown worried that the benchmarks will instead lead to unprecedented federal intrusion in local schools.

“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”


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