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Bill would remove Georgia from national curriculum agreement

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 5:49 PM
Last updated 10:02 PM
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ATLANTA – Georgia would break its ties to an agreement to abide by national standards for schools under legislation that got its first reading Tuesday.

Education groups oppose it.

Senate Bill 167 seeks to restore the state’s independence in designing goals for what schools should be teaching young people, and it would end all connections to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, the multistate organization that drafted what’s known as the Common Core State Standards.

The partnership is controlled and funded by companies that publish textbooks and education software wanting to market the same version nationally rather than having to tailor their materials to the requirements of individual states, according to the bill’s sponsor, Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick.

“This is where our standards for testing, education and basic control of curriculum would be set by interests in Washington, D.C., outside of Georgia, and not by people in Georgia who are accountable to Georgians,” he said.

According to Ligon, the national standards are untried and costly. For example, the required exams would be six times higher than what the state already budgets for each student’s tests today.

One of the arguments for adopting a nationwide set of standards is so that students who move from one state to another would be able to easily fit into the new school’s lessons. Ligon said the percentage of Georgia students who move is too small to be worth the problems of having out-of-state groups say what local students should be learning.

State Superintendent of Schools John Barge has no problem with the national standards because he said much was based on Georgia’s previous curriculum and Georgia experts helped in the drafting, so teachers here need little adjustment to switch to them.

“These standards are clearer and more focused and help students get the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in college and careers,” he said. “They also give consistent expectations across states so they are portable, and they give us the ability to compare student performance in Georgia to that of students in other states.”

Plus, they will allow teachers to share ideas with colleagues in other states, and standardized textbooks could wind up being cheaper, he said.

Objections like Ligon’s to the standards are based on misconceptions, said Steve Dolinger, president of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, a spinoff of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

“Our concern is around the high level of inaccurate information circulating about the Common Core,” he said. “They are not a national curriculum, and these are not standards decided on by the federal government.”

Calvine Rollins, president of the Georgia Association of Educators, sees good and bad in the national standards.

“It is always good for state curriculums to be aligned with the national curriculum standards, but it would mean that each state will forfeit an opportunity to provide the flexibility necessary for its state and students,” she said.

Ligon expects to get a public hearing for his bill in a Senate committee but has no assurances the committee will ever vote on it. He’s talked to Gov. Nathan Deal about it, too, but hasn’t gotten any promises from him either.

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thauch12
6842
Points
thauch12 02/19/13 - 07:52 pm
2
1
Please...

Senator Ligon's comments highlight the problem with politicians and government. People who have no expertise in education/educational policy seem to think they have the knowledge to craft legislation that will ultimately only hurt our children.

The facts are clear: public education in the state of Georgia is not great (case in point: every public high school in Richmond County except Davidson, AR Johnson, and ARC IB). There is no reason why the state should be given leeway to craft its own "standards." This isn't colonial times. We live in a global culture where children must compete with their counterparts not only in this state, or this country, but the whole world. I don't see any way in which this bill would make the quality of your child's education any better...

Fools_and_sages
360
Points
Fools_and_sages 02/19/13 - 08:55 pm
0
0
Higher ed is in the same boat as K-12
Unpublished

Higher ed (meaning the University System of GA) also has to suffer the ignorance of the State Legislature AND the Board of Regents, which consists of political appointees to whom the governor owed favors. Many members of the BOR do not even hold a bachelor's degree, so they have absolutely no experience with higher ed or the needs of colleges and universities. The problem with education all levels in GA has to do with the fact that so many of our leaders are under-educated and they have no idea what educating teachers or children really entails or requires in terms of resources, facilities, and personnel. If you want bad education policy, poor schools, and hoards of unskilled drop-outs (all of which are widespread in the state), then GA has found the right recipe-- put people who aren't educated enough in control of educational policy so they run K-12 and higher ed like businesses instead of like investments in the future of the state.

db16
95
Points
db16 02/19/13 - 09:46 pm
2
2
Get the Facts...

@ thauch12...click on the link below...
Georgia is #7 on the list according to current standards and rubrics by Education Week! Georgia is making progress...unfortunately you are confined to the CSRA and you see Richmond County and associate the state of Education in Georgia with their scores. Remember, Richmond County is only a little blip on the map of Georgia. There are plenty of good school systems across this state! If you want to put it into perspective, take a look at the state of affairs in Richmond County Law Enforcement!! Talk about corruption and lack of leadership! How can these kids in Richmond County learn responsibility, work ethic and leave the entitlement mentality behind when we just witnessed Roundtree ask for a raise after being in office less than a month! Talk about a pathetic example of Leadership! Richmond County is hopeless in all facets with this corruption going on...

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/01/10/16sos.h32.html?tkn=RLRF%2B4...

thauch12
6842
Points
thauch12 02/19/13 - 10:04 pm
2
0
Facts?

@db16, aside from the fact that you seem to know my "confines," the real irony is that you've overlooked actual facts! What you're touting is all well and good, but it is a pie-in-the-sky tracking of "policy efforts and outcomes." There is nothing tangible in such a "ranking" and ultimately it does not say much about the sorry state of affairs that is public education in the state of Georgia.

If you're looking for an objective ranking, why not compare something like SAT scores? In doing so, you are comparing apples to apples. After all, it is the same exact test that is administered all across the country and numbers are numbers. Here, you see that our fine state ranks 48 out of 50.
(http://www.commonwealthfoundation.org/policyblog/detail/sat-scores-by-st...)

So much for being #7...

db16
95
Points
db16 02/19/13 - 10:47 pm
0
0
Outdated and Skewed

thauch12...that is a great website...as a matter of fact, it is from my 'alma mater.' Understand this, those numbers are from 2011. Those numbers also show a true indicator of how bad scores can be skewed. Take a look at it again. Georgia reports 80% of their students take the SAT. That is why they are so far down the list! Kind of a large sample, wouldn't you say? Look at the numbers all the way down the chart again. You notice the trend? Trust me, I have been there and done that. I know where you are going with this, but that is a dead end road. This battle has been fought for a long time. Also, this article and the Politicians (which you made great comments about) are what screw up the system from the word 'go.' Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should someone outside of the War make the rules of engagement for those of us in the WAR. That is what policy makers have done to Educators for years! It is tragic...

thauch12
6842
Points
thauch12 02/20/13 - 12:09 am
0
0
Interesting, the point about

Interesting, the point about about 80% of Georgians taking the SAT is true BUT if anything it's a side note. Congratulations, you've noted a correlation. To say that this CAUSES our state's low achievement is fundamentally wrong (with your apparent vast knowledge of this issue, you should know better than to imply such nonsense).

If you want to use another objective metric, let's look at ACT scores. Again, this is the OTHER standardized test that is administered throughout the country.
http://www.act.org/newsroom/data/2011/states.html

No need to "trust me," the facts DON'T change. Georgia still is not competitive, regardless of which test you look at. Objectively, the state of Georgia is FAILING at educating our children. Feel free to refer to your pie-in-the-sky metrics and believe that we're #7 in the nation in education if that's what helps you sleep at night but the objective facts paint a very different picture.

Riverman1
86668
Points
Riverman1 02/20/13 - 06:59 am
3
0
I'll Be the Realist Here

Georgia and the other southern states have much different demographics than the other states. Richmond County different than Columbia County, etc. But if only the students who take the SAT and actually go to college were counted the state would be ranked much higher. The fact is we have students who take the SAT, but have no hopes of paying for or succeeding in college. Fault us for that if you must, but realize the demographics. A student who actually intends to go to college can get a good public school education in Georgia.

db16
95
Points
db16 02/20/13 - 08:39 am
4
0
Thanks Riverman...

You are exactly correct in your statement...I have no idea what the ACT score has to do with this argument. Again, thauch12, have you ever taken a statistics course? Do you understand how easy it is to manipulate numbers with 'selective sampling' versus 'whole samples?' Georgia has 80% TEST...that is like saying that the 10 employees who work at the Circle K get a paycheck each week...the Owner makes $200K per year and the other 9 employees make $30K per year...You tell me what the 'Average' salary for Circle K is? $47K is the answer...Now take away two employees salaries because they get paid under the table...now what is the average salary? $51.25K. You know darn right well that you wouldn't want to be 'labeled' as an employee making $51.25K per year when you are only making 30K. That is what these statistics do! I am behind the walls of the institutions you are fussing about...unless you are in the trenches with us, please don't act like you know what you are talking about. And please don't underestimate the Education and Knowledge of the People in the System...if your children's educational needs are not being met, Canoe across the River.

Little Lamb
46802
Points
Little Lamb 02/20/13 - 09:28 am
3
0
When Pigs Fly

From the story:

State Superintendent of Schools John Barge [said]. . . national standards . . . will allow teachers to share ideas with colleagues in other states, and standardized textbooks could wind up being cheaper.

Does anybody here on this forum believe John Barge? When elected officials start talking about things that "could wind up being cheaper," watch out. Their lips are moving, so you know they are lying.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 02/20/13 - 10:07 am
0
1
State Gov should be in the

State Gov should be in the business of running the State affairs. Feds can deal with broader regulations. Educating youths should be personalized and concise. There are not enough resources to teach culture specific curriculum much less a universal "lesson plan". Focus on the obvious, Georgia kids should have options to learn agriculture, natural resource management, as well as business development, alt-energy and medical research. Develop programs that can expose students to technical disciplines that are unique to Georgia industries. Ideas like this make sense no?

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 02/20/13 - 10:26 am
0
1
Obama
Unpublished

....is pushing for Charter Schools......good idea?

Little Lamb
46802
Points
Little Lamb 02/20/13 - 10:42 am
4
0
Too Broad

"Charter Schools" are neither a good idea nor a bad idea. There are plenty of good charter schools, and there are plenty of bad ones. But I would say that the federal government’s getting into promoting and regulating charter schools is a very bad idea. It's at least as bad an idea as the federal government’s getting into universal pre-K programs.

Obama’s "getting into" charter schools and pre-K programs is akin to Nero’s fiddling while Rome was burning. Obama has enough on his plate with the upcoming financial meltdown caused by the massive stimulus fiat money being pumped into the money supply by the Federal Reserve. Runaway inflation is coming and Obama is trying to whip up more spending — precisely the wrong thing to do.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 02/20/13 - 11:42 am
1
0
^ I agree.
Unpublished

^ I agree.

burninater
9680
Points
burninater 02/20/13 - 05:58 pm
0
1
Runaway inflation and

Runaway inflation and trickle-down economics are two myths that hinge on the same false premise: concentrated wealth eventually permeates throughout the economy. Nonsense. Fed Reserve money supply growth has come in the form of reacquired sovereign debt, and debt holdings are concentrated in a minority of economic agents. Simply put, most Americans have seen little to no personal monetary growth from Fed policy. This "excess" of money is not in the hands of the very individuals whose purchase decisions would be the inflationary force. It's not cash in a vault that drives inflation, it's availability of that cash to those making purchase decisions.

maandpa
446
Points
maandpa 02/20/13 - 09:12 pm
0
0
Common Core English Standards do not raise the bar...

The English standards for Common Core Standards lower the academic bar. Reading literature will not be a greater part of the curriculum...the focus will be reading informational text. Writing a literary analysis is far more challenging than writing a critique from some newspaper article. Additionally, English courses at the college level will be reading literature. How are students prepared for college level English courses? Informational text is already read in science, social studies, health, vocational, music, and art classes.

Secondly, just 5 years ago, the state changed the math curriculum to integrated math. Now the curriculm changed again this year to the common core standards. The students are turning into guinea pigs for the constant changing. The last change was never given the time to work before the state changed again. How have the math scores changed since the math curriculum changed? Don't know. Not enough time was even provided before changing again. Additionally, Michelle Malkin hits a homerun with her evaluation of the common core standards:

http://michellemalkin.com/2013/01/25/rotten-to-the-core-part-2-readin-wr...

That's part 2 of her evaluation. After reading, you then may be interested in part 1 of her evaluation.

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