Friends, we must STOP this CC bill in the Georgia House. House education hearings will begin next week after the GOP led Senate passes SB 167 this week.
As Georgia Senator William Ligon admits, his bill DOES NOT give Georgia anything resembling a CLEAN BREAK from the Common Core standards but, it instead gives all local school districts the authority to choose to continue using CC math and/or English and Language Arts (ELA) standards or return to using the previous Georgia Performance Standards (GPS). Local school boards can choose to do this starting with the 2014-15 school year.
While I SUPPORT the goal of local control, I am very afraid that giving local control in this manner, given that many districts have already invested millions in Common Core materials, will only accelerate the integration of CC throughout our state. While state officials maintain authority over the development of statewide testing and standards to be developed/implemented during the next two to three years, currently proposed legislation WILL cause mass chaos, confusion, and division as school boards across our state engage in the difficult process of trying to please everyone in their school district.
Informed parents want to COMPLETELY REMOVE Common Core from their schools! Experienced teachers know CC is wrong. Only a very small minority of school board members, at this point, are siding with the clear wishes of parents.
Who wants to KEEP Common Core? According to Rep. Brooks Coleman, during the statewide listening tours, 100% of our district school superintendents raised their hands, indicating that they like Common Core. Also, according to Brooks Coleman, the majority of school board members across the state also like the CC testing standards. The local and state Chamber of Commerce is demanding adoption of CC standards. And our younger teachers who ONLY know how to teach curriculum that aligns with Common Core because this is what our universities have been teaching them.
WITHOUT A STATE LAW THAT REQUIRES ALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO STOP TEACHING COMMON CORE, I believe very few school boards will choose to do so…. at least not by the start of this coming school year. Therefore, any GOP legislation that gives our school boards a “green light” to race forward with Common Core, is a bill that is de-facto, pro Common Core.
Additionally, without STATE LAW preventing any alignment to Common Core, our public universities will continue to teach our teachers the “global citizen” vs. “American individual” ideology imbedded throughout these UN inspired CC standards.
As I see it, these are the challenges of making the change that school districts will face:
What kind of teacher retraining will have to be done, yet AGAIN?
Do they have textbooks to use if they switch back this summer?
How long will it take to get textbooks and teaching materials?
Will they be teaching enough content for their students to pass the state developed criterion reference tests?
Will there be CRTs developed by the state that align to a NON-Common Core curriculum?
What about their school performance rates based on the scores of their students taking the CRTs?
Do they have to be concerned about accreditation if they make the wrong decision?
Do they need to worry about scoring low and face the “turn around” model laid out in the Race to the Top federal grant funding agreement?
Is it logical to think that a local school district will go through all the work required to make this 180 degree turn, away from Common Core, before the start of the 2014-15 school year WITHOUT a state mandate?
I’m afraid this bill is going to be a HUGE MESS when parents realize that their local school boards won’t be willing to jump the Common Core ship right away.
Governor Nathan Deal could, with one simple signature, protect every child in our state by eliminating Georgia from our Common Core relationship. He has the executive authority to do this, yet he refuses.
Yes, I stand for complete local school control, but this current bill doesn’t go far enough, quickly enough, and guarantees a chaotic curriculum adoption process and wide spread anxiety across our state. This bill, as written, is a betrayal to all the grass roots activists that worked tirelessly to rid Common Core from our state.
When all the anti-Common Core parents realize this truth…. there will be a few more who make the decision to home school or send their children to a private school. As a result, our state’s schools will see an even greater loss of federal dollars and our local school districts will see even more schools closing. THIS IS THE BEST CASE SCENARIO.
The WORST CASE SCENARIO? Many schools will fail, parents will cry even louder for charter schools (not realizing that the state charter schools REQUIRE the Common Core curriculum), our state will get federal dollars (already budgeted in the ESEA) to shut down “failing schools” run by a local school board, then re-established as state-run charter schools run by UNELECTED and UNACCOUNTABLE school board councils using our tax dollars.
I would have preferred the original anti-Common Core bill filed last year with a clean break from teaching CC anywhere in our state. NO GRAY AREA! And, I think this is what informed parents have wanted all along.
WHO WILL BENEFIT THE MOST FROM THE PASSAGE OF THIS CURRENT BILL? Governor Nathan Deal! This will be one of his MAJOR talking point on the campaign trail between now and his May primary. Voters who haven’t read the bill, or know little about Common Core, won’t realize that neither his campaign rhetoric, nor this new legislation, will end Common Core in our state.
The exact opposite will occur.
Are your neighbors, PTAs, communities and churches awake yet? Please fight this GOP led effort to bring a permanent Common Core presence into our schools. Time is of the essence. Please share this information with all you can.
For more detailed information on why Georgia’s proposed Common Core legislation is terrible for students, please watch Dr. Mary Kay Bacallao’s EXCEPTIONAL 6 minute video that precisely analyzes this terrible legislation.