Common Core: Good or Bad for Georgia Students?

Those opposed to the national education initiative claim it constitutes a federal takeover of local school systems.

Will Common Core lead to better educated U.S. students? Credit: Morguefile
Will Common Core lead to better educated U.S. students? Credit: Morguefile
In 2014, students across the United States are scheduled to begin taking tests designed to measure proficiency in a nationalized set of educational standards.

Called Common Core, the initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Its purpose, according to the Common Core website, is to create standards that are consistent across states which "provide teachers, parents, and students with a set of clear expectations that are aligned to the expectations in college and careers."

To date, 45 states plus the District of Columbia have adopted Common Core standards. However, as the deadline for implementation approaches, many state leaders are having second thoughts.

Bloomberg reports six states have delayed or halted implementation of Common Core and 26 bills across 11 states related to the standards are pending. In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal has ordered a "sweeping review" of the Common Core guidelines and, according to the AJC, has asked the State Board of Education to "formally un-adopt" a part of the program that particularly riled parents.

Common Core focuses on math and language arts. Critics claim math standards do not cover key topics and that classics are "all but ignored" in the language arts curriculum, a Fox News article stated.

“The math standard focuses on investigative math, which has been shown to be a disaster,” Glyn Wright, executive director of Eagle Forum, told FoxNews.com. “With the new math standard in the Common Core, there are no longer absolute truths. So 3 times 4 can now equal 11 so long as a student can effectively explain how they reached that answer.”

Similar criticisms have raised concerns the new standards will be a step backwards for some states.

“For some states, it’s a step up,” Jim Stergios, executive director of the Pioneer Institute, told Bloomberg.  “For some states, it’s a wash. And for some states, it’s a step down. It’s codifying mediocre standards across the country.”

A local opposition group  -- Stop Common Core in Georgia -- maintains implementation of Common Core will ultimately "lead to a national curriculum and silence curriculum input from local parents, taxpayers, and educators" and has vowed to restore local and state control over the curriculum.

Do you believe Common Core will be a positive or negative for Georgia students? Do you think a national set of standards will improve educational quality in the United States or codify mediocre standards? Let us know in the comments.
Tammy McAbee Jay September 06, 2013 at 01:14 PM
What is worse than common core itself is the database that goes with it. It tracks your child (and you) from preschool through their career. Big brother is getting too big for his britches, if you ask me. To learn far more about common core, see the website below. http://stopcommoncore.com/georgia-grassroots-movement/
Grayson IP September 06, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Where is the discussion and commentary in this article from Common Core advocates? It's difficult to assess the merits of the program without a balances approach.


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