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Governor calls for review of Common Core
Hall schools continue look at social studies curriculum
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The Hall County school system will continue plans to review its social studies curriculum, in addition to Gov. Nathan Deal calling for social studies curriculum to be revised for the entire state.

“I think it was almost eerie reading the report (Thursday) morning,” said Hall Superintendent Will Schofield. “It was very similar in what our local board is interested in, and has asked us to do.”

Deal has ordered an overall review of the Common Core standards. Additionally he has asked the state board of education to develop a new social studies curriculum and a new model reading list for school boards.

In regard to the statewide social studies curriculum, Deal has asked for it to include teaching civic and fiscal responsibility to students.

The county school system is developing a committee to review the current social studies curriculum, as well as an overall plan of how it would like to proceed. Based on the committee’s findings, a team would be assembled to present a plan to the county board of education.

“We’re going to move forward, and I suspect our efforts will be very similar to what happens in the state,” Schofield said.

“As a dad, I’m excited that the governor thinks the state ought to be looking at what we’re teaching in social studies,” he added. “But here in Hall County, I continue to believe that local boards need to be taking a look at what’s taught in their classrooms and making those decisions.”

Gainesville Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said she sees those lessons’ having been incorporated all along.

“It would be a matter of just emphasizing it, maybe customizing it for Georgia, but the teachers can certainly do that now,” Dyer said.

“I just see us doing that,” she added. “I don’t see that as a gap that we have.”

Both Schofield and Dyer have advised teachers to refrain from worrying over the recent mentions of Common Core in the news.

Dyer sent an email to the city school system Thursday morning in response to Deal’s announcement, detailing the “strategy” the system will take over the next few months.

“It is highly likely that in the next legislative session, the Legislature will ‘repeal’ Common Core,” she wrote.

Dyer also suggested teachers maintain any notes or suggestions they come up with while teaching to the standards.

“As you teach the standards, document any changes that you find in the sequence of standards and/or strategies for delivery that would improve them,” Dyer continued. “It is possible, and I think probable, that the standards decision will come down to local control.”

She said she expects teachers are already keeping notes.

“The reason I want them to be sure to do so is if we do make decisions on a local level,” she said.

Dyer said figuring out how students will be assessed is critical in the debate, so if it does come down to local control, instructors and school leaders will be able to develop curriculum to help students succeed.

Adherence to Common Core standards was tied to funds in the Race to the Top federal grant, but is not mandatory for any state. According to the Common Core website, corestandards.org, only five states and Puerto Rico have not adopted the standards.

Schofield said he thinks, for the most part, the debate over the standards boils down to “nomenclature,” and pointed out there are many similarities between Common Core and the prior Georgia Performance Standards.

He addressed the issue in a video he posted for teachers at the beginning of the school year on the county website, hallco.org.

“I just want to assure our teachers that regardless of whether we call it Common Core or if we call it GPS, or if we call it something entirely different, I’m not envisioning a whole lot of change for our teachers,” Schofield said.

Dyer agreed.

“I don’t see the standards themselves changing drastically,” she said.

The Hall County school system will continue plans to review its social studies curriculum, in addition to Gov. Nathan Deal calling for social studies curriculum to be revised for the entire state.

“I think it was almost eerie reading the report (Thursday) morning,” said Hall Superintendent Will Schofield. “It was very similar in what our local board is interested in, and has asked us to do.”

Deal has ordered an overall review of the Common Core standards. Additionally he has asked the state board of education to develop a new social studies curriculum and a new model reading list for school boards.

In regard to the statewide social studies curriculum, Deal has asked for it to include teaching civic and fiscal responsibility to students.

The county school system is developing a committee to review the current social studies curriculum, as well as an overall plan of how it would like to proceed. Based on the committee’s findings, a team would be assembled to present a plan to the county board of education.

“We’re going to move forward, and I suspect our efforts will be very similar to what happens in the state,” Schofield said.

“As a dad, I’m excited that the governor thinks the state ought to be looking at what we’re teaching in social studies,” he added. “But here in Hall County, I continue to believe that local boards need to be taking a look at what’s taught in their classrooms and making those decisions.”

Gainesville Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said she sees those lessons’ having been incorporated all along.

“It would be a matter of just emphasizing it, maybe customizing it for Georgia, but the teachers can certainly do that now,” Dyer said.

“I just see us doing that,” she added. “I don’t see that as a gap that we have.”

Both Schofield and Dyer have advised teachers to refrain from worrying over the recent mentions of Common Core in the news.

Dyer sent an email to the city school system Thursday morning in response to Deal’s announcement, detailing the “strategy” the system will take over the next few months.

“It is highly likely that in the next legislative session, the Legislature will ‘repeal’ Common Core,” she wrote.

Dyer also suggested teachers maintain any notes or suggestions they come up with while teaching to the standards.

“As you teach the standards, document any changes that you find in the sequence of standards and/or strategies for delivery that would improve them,” Dyer continued. “It is possible, and I think probable, that the standards decision will come down to local control.”

She said she expects teachers are already keeping notes.

“The reason I want them to be sure to do so is if we do make decisions on a local level,” she said.

Dyer said figuring out how students will be assessed is critical in the debate, so if it does come down to local control, instructors and school leaders will be able to develop curriculum to help students succeed.

Adherence to Common Core standards was tied to funds in the Race to the Top federal grant, but is not mandatory for any state. According to the Common Core website, corestandards.org, only five states and Puerto Rico have not adopted the standards.

Schofield said he thinks, for the most part, the debate over the standards boils down to “nomenclature,” and pointed out there are many similarities between Common Core and the prior Georgia Performance Standards.

He addressed the issue in a video he posted for teachers at the beginning of the school year on the county website, hallco.org.

“I just want to assure our teachers that regardless of whether we call it Common Core or if we call it GPS, or if we call it something entirely different, I’m not envisioning a whole lot of change for our teachers,” Schofield said.

Dyer agreed.

“I don’t see the standards themselves changing drastically,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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