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Letter: Georgia school board applies Common Core under new name

How did Georgia get into such an educational predicament concerning the math curriculum and the language arts curriculum? Two words: Common Core. 

The question that comes next is: Who brought it into the state? Our Georgia senators and House representatives? No. The true answer is the unelected Georgia State Board of Education.

In 2012, this board changed our K-12 curriculum to Common Core without the approval of the Georgia House and Senate, our elected representatives. This group of 15 members are appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate.

I am sure the Senate did not expect a program like Common Core would be approved by this board when it gave the board authority over picking the educational standards for our school systems. 

Of course, the vast amount of money offered through the Obama Administration was an incentive that was hard to resist. The only thing is, why didn’t they have teachers look over the curriculum for age-appropriateness? If they had, our children would not be dealing with the stress, anxiety, feelings of failure, crying spells, headaches and nose bleeds associated with Common Core.

In 2014, the State Board of Education was required to re-evaluate the standards, which is an every-four-year requirement. In 2015, under an administrative order by the governor, Common Core changed its name to Georgia Standards of Excellence.

According to Georgia Department of Education website, you can scroll down to see the revisions for 2015-2016 in ELA standards K-12 and math standards K-8. You will see the original Common Core and the Georgia Standards of Excellence. Note there are just some different wordings, no real change in the requirements. 

Now the State Board of Education has a chance to right this  wrong by totally repealing Common Core standards (Georgia Standards of Excellence), but in 2017-2018 the Board is furthering our children’s misery by bringing in Common Core science and social studies. As if the children are not already bombarded with overwhelming and confusing math and language arts, now also in science and social studies under the name Georgia Standards of Excellence.

The Georgia Senate passed an excellent SB167 which would stop the state board from making this mistake, and give our rights to have a say back to our elected senators and representatives. During research, I found that some representatives have been given the wrong information; there are videos that were to be shown to them, but were not allowed. Knowing all the facts, I feel sure the House would have passed SB167.

I truly feel Common Core, under the new name Georgia Standards of Excellence, is like a virus spreading all over our state educational system. The only remedy is that the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives step up with new legislation to repeal Common Core and give our curriculum back to the citizens. The Senate and House must act now.

Phyllis Marshall


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