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Letter: New Georgia school standards are just Common Core with a new name
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A school bus leaves Mundy Mill Academy to drop off students at the end of the school day in Gainesville, on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. - photo by David Barnes

After much research on the downfalls of Common Core, I was pleased to discover that, according to the Georgia Department of Education, as of 2015 Common Core was no longer a mandate in Georgia.

In 2015, Georgia renamed Common Core; the new name was the Georgia Standards of Excellence. I kept thinking what they meant by “renamed.” I was told that we do not have Common Core as of 2015. 

To my dismay, I came up with two articles that now explain why the Georgia schools are still using Common Core curriculum. I just could not understand why the local school systems would defy Georgia law and continue with such an abusive program for children, as well as their parents, who are forced to try to help their children on skills that are totally unsolvable.

I thought maybe the school systems spent so much money on Common Core materials that they did not want to change to new materials for the Georgia Standards of Excellence.

Then I came across an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution entitled “State ed. board tweaks Common Core. Will the critics be satisfied?”

Tweaks? What tweaks? As I continued investigating, I realized these minor tweaks were all the difference between Common Core and the Georgia Standards of Excellence. According to the Department of Education website, local schools can pick their materials. Of course, a list of materials are given (all Common Core). There’s the tweak.

To make it clearer, Common Core and the Georgia Standards of Excellence are the same. Only the name has changed. Our students and parents are still suffering under the same program.

According to an article in the Washington Post titled “The ‘seven deadly sins’ of Common Core by an English teacher,” the author states that several states have changed the name of Common Core to stop the continual complaints and “to appease the public, placate politicians and voters, but no real change occurred.”

The state the author referred to was her home state of Georgia. The author considers this “a direct lie to Georgia voters and a true misappropriation of our tax dollars.” Many school districts and teachers were even made to reprint materials and buy new textbooks that did not contain the words “Common Core.”

Of course, when asked what programs are being used in the schools, most teachers and principals proudly say the Georgia Standards of Excellence, because they realize how unfavorable it would be to admit to such a failing program.

One real concern is that not only is math and Language Arts being affected by Common Core, but now the Georgia Department of Education is planning to change our Social Studies and science to Common Core (Georgia Standards of Excellence).

Talking to school officials will not stop this program. Only a direct repeal of Common Core through the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives will work. Please contact them now.

Phyllis Marshall


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