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Changes coming to Common Core Standards
State administrators weigh in on revisions
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Common Core Georgia Performance Standards

View a draft of the revisions to the English Language Arts and Mathematics standards (Click on "CI - Curriculum - English Language Arts and Mathematics Standards")

To provide feedback on the revisions, contact:

Pam Smith, director of Curriculum and Instruction, pamsmith@doe.k12.ga.us

Sandi Woodall, program manager for Mathematics, swoodall@doe.k12.ga.us

Carolyn Waters, program manager for English Language Arts, cwaters@doe.k12.ga.us

Martha Reichrath, deputy state superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, mreichrath@doe.k12.ga.us

The state seems to want to please the public when it comes to the controversial Common Core education standards.

The state Board of Education has posted revisions to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards for the public to review over a 60-day period. The revisions were made following an executive order from Gov. Nathan Deal for a formal evaluation.

The evaluation included surveys, public hearings and multiple listening opportunities, according to Helen Odom Rice with the Department of Education’s 3rd Congressional District, who spoke Thursday at a House study committee meeting.

“Teachers in every grade level, K — 12, had an opportunity to comment on those standards,” Rice said.

Now the public is invited to view the proposed changes to the standards and to contact state administrators with their opinions.

The responses, particularly from teachers, include requests for clarity of the standards themselves and the expectations they carry. Most specific concerns so far are about math, specifically whether to teach subjects including algebra, geometry and trigonometry separately or in integrated courses.

In the survey of teachers across the state, Rice said 80 percent responded that they prefer separate, or “discrete courses.”

She said parents have complained, “I can’t help my child with math anymore.”

The issue will be discussed and information provided at the board’s December meeting, Rice said.

“I can tell you this: Discrete (courses) will be on the table,” she said, though board members want to consider how to offer integrated courses as well because, “It’s not fair, we don’t think as a state board, to not respect those that want to teach integrated math.”

Expectations about a student’s ability to solve problems also were listed as revisions to the standards, according to Meghan Frick, communications specialist with the education department.

Parents and some teachers have asked “why we have 10 different ways to teach addition,” according to Rice, to which she replied, “We don’t.”

Rice said the question arises from confusion over methods teachers may use if a student can’t learn material a certain way.

Such specific concerns in some cases simply require clarification. Revisions to the state standards include rewriting and removing some redundant items.

Rice said many teachers requested a clearer explanation of standards and the expectations that accompany them.

“We want a realignment of standards as opposed to a complete overhaul of those standards,” Rice said.

The revisions and the responses to them will show the state board what exactly is needed to make the standards easier to understand. Rice said it is clear teachers want more time to learn and teach the standards and more preparation for them.

“The standards review process gave the board and department a chance to hear from education stakeholders all over the state — educators, parents, members of the community — about the standards and how they are working in the classroom,” Frick said. “These revisions are a result of that feedback and a refinement to ensure that we have clear standards that are best for Georgia’s students.”

Clarifying misconceptions is another necessary goal for the board. Rice said members are hoping the public responses will help them do so.

“The state board wants to listen,” Rice said. “We want to listen to our districts, we want to listen to our stakeholders and we want to listen to our parents.”

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