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A Q & A With Senate Education Committee Chairman John Legg

Florida Senate

Port Richey Republican Sen. John Legg has founded a charter school and is chairman of the Senate Education committee.

So people listened when Legg raised some of the first warnings about whether Florida would be ready for new English, literacy and math standards -- and the accompanying tests -- by the start of the 2014 school year. Legg recently sat down with StateImpact Florida to discuss state progress on the new standards.

Florida is one of 45 states which have fully adopted the Common Core State Standards. The standards require students know fewer topics, but have a deeper understanding. The new standards will also come with new standardized tests.

Legg said schools have a long way to go to have the Internet networks and computing devices needed for the new online tests. He helped push through a law which delays the new online tests until schools prove they have the capacity to administer the exams.

Lawmakers still have much work to do as well. Legg said schools will need hundreds of millions over the next two years in order to be ready for the new standards and testing.

And Legg said he prefers that schools not have the option of pencil and paper testing as a backup. Testing should go digital as soon as possible, he said.

Listen to the interview by StateImpact Florida's John O'Connor.

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