Rep. Ray Pilon on Common Core: “I’m not buying that”

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As a critic of the Common Core teaching standards, Sarasota State Rep. Ray Pilon knows he is at odds with the GOP, state leaders and former Gov. Jeb Bush. That hasn’t stopped him.

“There is nothing wrong with a delegation having different viewpoints,” Pilon said in an interview with Jeremy Wallace of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Even though he has seen the pro-Common Core arguments of Bush and Sen. John Thrasher from St. Augustine, he still doesn’t agree with them. In a long letter to Republicans, Thrasher explained the need for conservative education reforms.

“We implore our fellow Republicans to judge the Common Core State Standards by what they are: academic standards, not curriculum and not a national mandate” was the message from Thrasher and four other state GOP legislators.

“I’m not buying that either,” Pilon responded.

Pilon feels that with Common Core the state relies too heavily on standardized tests, and wants to develop other ways of evaluating the student’s progress.

Gov. Rick Scott will discuss state academic standards, including Common Core, in a three-day conference on education next week in Clearwater. The summit begins at 1 p.m. Monday at the St. Petersburg College EpiCenter Collaborative Labs, 13805 58 Street North.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.