From Georgia Public Broadcasting >>
Here’s a short list of the issues addressed Tuesday at the Capitol, through legislation on the floor or in committee or through a rally or press conference:
*Convening a new Constitutional convention to introduce amendments aimed at reining in federal spending
*Barring the use of Georgia tax dollars from implementing any part of the Affordable Healthcare Act
*Officially “legalizing” the use of the phrases “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah”
*Disentangling Georgia’s schools from the Common Core curriculum standards currently in use here and in 45 other states
*Allowing small groups of regions to band together to pay for transportation projects the state won’t fund
*And, last but not least, considering state expenditures for 2015 (as in, budget subcommittees)
Is Common Core The New Obamacare?
Let’s move on to the Common Core. The curriculum has become a political hot potato with some conservative Republicans decrying it as a federal takeover of Georgia’s education system. In fact, judging from interviews and posters at a rally at the Capitol Tuesday, the new mantra is: “Common Core will do to the educational system what Obamacare is doing to the healthcare system.”
A Republican strategist even lamented recently that Pres. Obama boosted the anti-Common Core movement simply by saying something nice about the curriculum standards.
Common Core is used by nearly all of the states in the U.S. and it’s voluntary. Georgia adopted the standards in 2012, and while Gov. Deal has called for a review, he hasn’t backed opting out. But that hasn’t dissuaded people like state Sen. William Ligon of Brunswick from filing legislation to remove Georgia from the Common Core.
Who’s the face of the movement? It could be Jean Garner from Cherokee County, a retired Air Force service member who worries the Common Core tramples over each child’s individuality. She came down to the Capitol to make her voice heard.
“Everyone’s unique and different,” she said in an interview. “And these types of systems that make everyone equal and everyone the same are wrong. There are always some people who excel, and there are always those who enjoy being in the middle and there are always those who need extra help. Why do you drag everyone down or push everyone up to be the same?”
Introducing The Common Corettes
To the Republicans who back the Common Core, including Gov. Nathan Deal, Garner said, “There are a lot of reasons people back this – maybe it’s lucrative. I don’t know exactly why they do. And then there’s also that thing that people don’t like to say they made a mistake.”
Many Georgia teachers are worried the state will succumb to pressure and opt out of the standard. Georgia’s 2014 Teacher of The Year, Jemellah Coes, said as much as at an education policy conference last month. She said if Georgia abandons the Common Core, it will waste three years of training teachers have undergone to learn the standards.
Garner admits Georgia would have chalk up the money and time devoted to get up to speed on another curriculum. But she said it’s better to admit you’ve made a mistake than continue making the mistake.
Want to hear more? You will. On Wednesday, the Georgia Chamber and the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education will take the unprecedented step of announcing the formation of a new coalition in support of the Common Core State Standards. The two groups plan to put forth business, education and community leaders who will talk about the importance of improving education.
Read more here >> Of Constitutional Conventions And The Common Core
For more on the topic >>
Here are some resources for parents and teachers >>
Literacy and the Common Core: Explore interdisciplinary approaches to literacy, discover how poetry fits within the standards, and find out what the latest research says about building vocabulary.
Changing State of Assessment: Discover how formative assessments support teaching and learning and see how testing is changing in the common-core era.
Common Core Curriculum – state & county >>
Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (Georgia Dept of Education)
Cobb County’s informational web page on the subject with several good links
UPDATE June 18, 2014
Common Core and PARCC standards are transforming the face of education as we know it. Today, educators must identify new ways to empower their students with the 21st century skills needed to meet these evolving requirements. Download this infographic to learn about the solutions that are shaping the future of students and faculty alike.