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Lee County School Board reverses historic vote to abandon Common Core

Under pressure from Superintendent Nancy Graham and other outside forces, the Lee County School Board defied the will of the parents and reversed its historic vote to abandon Common Core.
Under pressure from Superintendent Nancy Graham and other outside forces, the Lee County School Board defied the will of the parents and reversed its historic vote to abandon Common Core.
Jared Jones

On Tuesday Morning, Sept. 2, the Lee County (Florida) School Board convened for a special meeting. The school board chose 8:30 a.m., an unusual and inconvenient time for the parents of students in the school district. The meeting's sole purpose was reverse its decision to eliminate Common Core Education in Lee County, rejecting its vote on Aug. 27 supported by a significant majority of parents of children in the Lee County School System.

Original vote eliminated Common Core due to overwhelming opposition

Due to the overwhelming opposition to the Common Core Standards, the Lee County School Board honored the voice of the people, and voted three to two to do away with standardized testing in the school district. Lee County Superintendent Nancy Graham, in shock and anger, chased down media reporters across southwest Florida, spreading fear mongering political propaganda to the public over the airwaves of the local television news.

One small piece of good news to come out of her pro-Common Core propaganda is that very few of the residents and parents believed her. Despite her assertion that only a handful of attendees opposed Common Core at the meeting and County wide, the local News Press Website Poll shows 82 percent of the population living in Lee County oppose having the standards forced upon the district from education officials in Tallahassee and Washington D.C.

Graham changed the vote that mattered most

Unfortunately for the people in the Lee County School District, Superintendent Graham was able to influence the vote that mattered the most. On Friday, Aug. 29, Mary Fisher, the Lee County School Board's newest member and tie-breaking vote, sent out a notice she planned to rescind her vote. Unlike most school board meetings, which are held in the evening to allow concerned parents and other residents to attend, the time for this meeting was set for 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 2, the day after Labor Day.

Common Core opponents insist this time change was made to minimize attendance and participation from the dissenters who influenced the outcome the week before. Nevertheless, Common Core opponents, when provided with notice of the meeting maximized their efforts to get as many people to attend the impromptu session as possible. Despite overwhelming opposition from attendees at the meeting, the Lee County School Board reinstated Common Core standards by a vote of three to two, with Mary Fisher once again breaking the tie, but this time for the other side.

What is ahead for Common Core opponents in Lee County

Don Armstrong has emerged as the leader of the Common Core opponents as they continue to fight with the school board in an attempt to end standardized testing in Lee County. He plans to put forth another proposal at the school board meeting on Sept. 9. In addition to this meeting, voters will decide who sits Lee County School Board on Election Day in November, which could lead to the ouster of Common Core supporters currently sitting on the school board.

While those opposed to Common Core greatly outnumber the supporters, the supporters have much more money available as the battle proceeds. Armstrong's friends have started a money bomb, trying to raise $5,000 over the next five days. Anyone who would like to donate to the fund and help deliver a defeat to Common Core here in the state of Florida can click on this link.

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