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Education panel to speak in Duluth

A state senator and other officials will participate in a panel Friday in Gwinnett about the effort to stop the state's participation in a new standards model for education.

The "Confronting the Common Core" event will be held from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Sonesta Gwinnett Place (formerly Marriott) on Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth, with a second event scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in Marietta.

State Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, who has sponsored legislation to withdraw Georgia from its participation in the Common Core State Standards Initiative and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing consortium, gathered a group of experts to serve on a panel. The participants include Bill Evers, Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education for policy; Jamie Gass, Director of the Center for School Reform at the Pioneer Institute; Emmett McGroarty, Esq., Executive Director of the Preserve Innocence Initiative at the American Principles Project; and Jane Robbins, Esq., Senior Fellow at the American Principles Project.

"I am honored to participate in this panel with these national experts," Ligon said. "It is rare that citizens have a firsthand opportunity to ask their questions directly to such an esteemed group of panelists. It is critical that citizens, and especially parents, understand why this effort to nationalize educational standards and testing present dangerous precedents in education that will continue to erode parental rights, local control and the quality of education."

"Though I am sure the previous administration had the best of intentions when deciding to apply for Race to the Top, the lack of accountability to the parents and taxpayers of this state is stunning," Ligon continued. "There has been no thorough cost analysis of what the unfunded mandates will cost Georgia's taxpayers"

"Secondly, allowing a consortium of states to work with non-profits and other unaccountable parties to develop our standards without open public oversight is untenable in a country of free people, especially considering that Georgia's taxpayers support K-12 education with $13 billion of hard-earned dollars every year. Georgia needs to have a transparent, democratic process of developing curriculum standards and a means to ensure more direct accountability at the local level."

A suggested donation of $10 is requested for attendance.

To pre-register, go to www.stopcommoncore.com or call 770-617-1987.