In today’s brave new world, teacher responsibilities seemingly grow by the hour. With classroom responsibilities that now include nutrition, character development, parenting, sex education and family counseling, the very last thing teachers need is ignorant, anti-scholarship, disrespectful politicians stripping them of their ability to exercise their professional judgement. Teachers, just as other performing artists, need certain freedoms to create, improvise and respond to the needs of students, just as musicians need flexibility to play to their unique audiences.
Teacher union’s have long argued that a smaller class sizes offers a better learning environment. And they rightfully hope to be respected for their creativity and professionalism in dealing with the diverse needs of unique students. The GOP-DNC-Dept. of Education-Corporate Publishing-Student Testing syndicate seems to believe teachers are factory line workers assembling widgets, and their “fix” for our education system will come from constant teacher evaluations, never ending student testing and 500 points of data collection on every student and family.
Enter the Republicans
For some absurd reason, as if beamed down from Planet Moron, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and GOP politicians serving on the House and Senate Education Committees, have aligned with Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Students First and Pearson Education, to form a global alliance of power-hungry control freaks. So much for the Republican talking points about conservatism and their fondness for small, limited, local government control.
“The break-up of the education system in this country, like the dismantling of the National Health Service, reflects no widespread public demand. It is imposed, through threats, bribes and fake consultations, from on high. All over England, schools are being obliged to become academies: supposedly autonomous bodies which are often “sponsored” (the government’s euphemism for controlled) by foundations established by exceedingly rich men.”
These March 2013 quotes were taken from the UK’s Guardian newspaper, and eerily mirror what’s occurring under Common Core, today.
Georgia teachers, meet your new best friend, the Tea Party. No throwing sand, please.
On the issue of Common Core, teachers across Georgia should realize who most strongly supports them. Yes, politics does make strange bedfellows. The one principle held most steadfastly by tea party minded conservatives is this; local control and limited government is most effective, efficient and appropriate. Both teachers and tea party citizens have a strong dislike for intrusive, meddling, and distant federal bureaucracies that over regulate, over test and under serve. These two groups are perfect allies in the war against Common Core. Most agree that teachers serve closest to students and should therefore have the best insights and ability to instruct students. Many teachers unions, liberals, progressives, libertarians and virtually all conservatives oppose the mandated Common Core Standards. Undoubtedly for different reasons, but united they stand.
6 reasons Georgia teachers and voters should oppose Governor Deal’s reelection:
1. Parents will face an uphill battle in lobbying their local school boards to reject the Common Core standards, largely because Nathan Deal directly supports the Common Core standards. Governor Deal refuses to speak out against widely held, false perceptions believed by local school board members that Georgia law mandates the implementation of the Common Core standards. It does not. Every single school board in all 159 Georgia counties are perfectly within their rights to reject the Common Core standards, today.
2. Statewide testing is still mandated. Teacher evaluations are STILL tied to the statewide testing. High school graduation requirements are tied to CCGPS, so school accreditation concerns are real if school boards elect to return to GPS.
3. Without a state mandate to stop teaching the Common Core, which Deal refuses to support, our institutions of higher education will continue their training of teachers in the Common Core methods. Every year, thousands of teachers graduate, knowing only “the Common Core way” and have no idea how to deliver classical education. And each year, largely due to the Common Core standards, thousands of great, experienced teachers are leaving the profession. What will remain after two or three more years of the Common Core curriculum being enmeshed into every subject area of our schools?
4. Without a full withdrawal, Georgia’s K-12 cyber academy (online learning) will still be teaching the Common Core curriculum.
5. If Common Core continues, Georgia’s home school students will still be subject to the statewide norm referenced testing aligned to Common Core standards.
6. There are no data privacy protections in place for Georgians. The federal government mandates on data collection are still in place for students who are under federal programs such as free/reduced lunch, special ed, individualized education programs (IEDs), drop out prevention programs, etc. ALL students are subject to 500 points of data collection and sharing under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (S 1094), should it be reauthorized by congress. Once our Georgia legislature agrees that federal laws on education usurp our state laws, the data of ALL students and will become vulnerable.
Teachers, please know that tea party conservatives are fighting hard to help you retain local control over your students and classrooms, to end the “one size fits all” attitude of regulators, and prevent you and your students from becoming test zombies. If only the Democrat and Republican parties cared enough to do the same.
In case you’d like to leave Governor Deal a voice message, here you go: 770-656-1776.
You might ask Governor Deal why Georgia suddenly switched from a full Common Core repeal bill in 2013, to a full Common Core implementation bill in 2014. The citizens did not become more enchanted with Common Core, so why the complete reversal?
Georgia Legislature Suddenly Switches from Full Repeal of Common Core to its Implementation
Curious what happens to Georgia parents who wish to opt their kids out of testing?
Police Meet Georgia Parents Outside Public Elementary School in Marietta, Threatened with Trespassing, Told They Cannot Opt Children Out of State Test
As of this posting, Governor Nathan Deal has been as quiet as a church mouse regarding this latest incident in Marietta. It’s quite difficult for him to express moral outrage when the police are used to intimidate parents into compliance of education rules he supports.
Georgia Republicans for Carter and Common Core?
If Georgia’s Republican Party continues to endorse and support Governor Deal in the upcoming May 20th GOP primary election, they might well be guilty of handing the Governor’s Mansion over to the Democrat Party. Former President Jimmy Carter’s son, Jason Carter, is the Democratic nominee for Governor this November. Nathan Deal has many serious ethics scandals simmering below the surface of public awareness, from ongoing FBI investigations to “funny money” business dealings. It’s simply a matter of time before all this “stench” becomes public. Insiders from both political parties are fully aware that Nathan Deal’s truckload of scandals will become public if he wins the GOP primary election on May 2oth. And Democrats are masters at driving flawed candidate’s negative ratings into the toilet. If the Georgia GOP serves up Nathan Deal to the Democrat Party on a silver platter, they are in essence asking for electoral defeat this November. Regardless of the outcome of a Deal vs. Carter general election in November, both men will surely keep the Common Core Standards in Georgia. And so, if Governor Nathan Deal wins the GOP primary race on May 20th, every single Georgia teacher, student and family, loses.
The Tea Party and conservatives are fighting along side many educators and liberal progressives to restore teacher rights, while the establishment Republican Party seems determined to elect Democrat Jason Carter as Georgia’s next Governor.
Strange bedfellows, indeed.