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CRAFT: Most Republicans support withdrawal from Common Core

Judy Craft

Judy Craft

On May 17-18, Republican delegates descended on Athens, Ga. like a herd of elephants. More than 1,600 voting delegates and several hundred guests came to meet candidates, to hear from elected officials, to vote on party leaders, and to do the work of the party concerning rules and resolutions. I had the honor of serving on the State Resolutions Committee for the 7th Congressional District. The purpose of resolutions is to offer elected officials guidance on the policy priorities of the Republican party from the grass-roots level.

The latest education topic in the country these days is Common Core. It was sold quickly, much like Obamacare, in that states had to commit to the national education program before they found out what was in it.

The hottest resolution for the Georgia Republican Party was, likewise, Common Core. Eight of 14 Congressional districts passed resolutions on to the state convention opposing Common Core, and two other districts passed resolutions opposing this nationalization of education in principle. Sen. William Ligon introduced legislation this year, SB 167, to withdraw Georgia from Common Core and the national PARCC testing.

Here are some of the highlights of the "hottest" Republican resolution sent forward to the state convention.

The resolution described how the Common Core agenda to nationalize educational standards, testing and data collection violates the constitutional principle that the control of education is left to the states and the people. Participation in the Race to the Top grant required Georgia to adopt common standards in K-12 English language arts and math and to commit to implementing the aligned assessments developed by a consortium of states with federal money, all without the consent of the people exercised through their legislative branch.

With respect to the alleged "rigor" of the Common Core standards, the resolution recognized that "the Common Core standards have been evaluated by educational experts and were determined to be no better than Georgia's previous performance standards and according to key members of the Validation Committee, the standards were even inferior."

The resolution addressed privacy concerns, stating that "the Race to the Top grant conditions also require the collection and sharing of massive amounts of student-level data through the PARCC agreement, which violates student privacy."

The resolution further recognized that "the push to nationalize standards will inevitably lead to more centralization of education in violation of federalism and local control and violates the spirit of three federal laws" and "will create new tax burdens to pay for enormous unfunded mandates on our state and local school districts."

Given all these problems, the resolution urged withdrawal from Common Core and the PARCC testing, a more open and transparent process for adopting curriculum standards, and strict limits on collecting and sharing student data.

The resolution concluded by stating appreciation for Gov. Nathan Deal's executive order on May 15 that took a step in this direction.

In the Resolutions Committee, the resolution passed overwhelmingly. Unfortunately, no resolutions were considered on the convention floor.

While the resolution did not receive the time it deserved at the convention, a strong message was sent in Athens. A battle is brewing as the backlash against Common Core grows. Citizens are realizing that Common Core standards will ultimately control the curriculum of public schools, charter schools, private schools, religious schools, Catholic schools, and home schools.

There is one thing we all care about and that is our kids. This is the very reason that Common Core was the resolution that needed to be discussed when our party came to do business. This conversation is the one that should have happened in the legislature before any executive branch official signed the Race to the Top grant back in 2010. Bypassing the consent of the governed is always a bad idea because the people will eventually be heard.

Judy Craft is a Gwinnett County resident and served on the State Resolutions Committee at the state GOP convention, representing the 7th Congressional District.

Comments

JHogan 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I don't think dumbing down the requirements for graduation is a very bright thing to do. That's the obvious outcome of rejecting Common Core standards.How could anyone object to this curriculua?

If you really care for your kids then you want them to have the best education possible.

There are presently in Gwinnett County at least 2 so-called "academies" whose credits are not accepted by the NCAA or by the U. S Armed Forces, yet the county is required to accept their "credits" by state edict. This is wrong. These so-called "credits" are a sham, because the student learns nearly nothing during the course.

The purpose of education is to pass on to the succeeding generation the knowledge that the preceeding generation has acquired, to the best of our ablility.

If Dekalb County schools can be shut down by SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools), then shouldn't every school have to meet that standard of rigor? Seems to me like they should. But that isn't happening here.

Instead, we have a political approach to try to make it possible for some certain well-connected enterprises to collect money and generate a diploma. It's a fraud, plain and simple. And the ultimate losers are the students. They have to pay for this "education" again when they get to college and are forced to take a remedial course.

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R 10 months, 3 weeks ago

First let’s take a look at 2 counties in the metro that recently ran afoul of accreditation, they did so NOT based on anything related to “educational content” as the majority of non-educator families would rightly assume to be the case, but due to school board governance…

(You’d think the APS cheating would have impact on its accreditation, but I have seen nothing to indicate that it has – not even a warning or a blip)

Second, educational standards won’t be lowered by the rejection of the Common Core policies, since many of those that favor the proposal constantly indicate that the program is based on a somewhat looser interpretation of what GA currently has implemented…

So one could walk away believing (and rightly so) that if you SUPPORT Common Core you are for dumbing things down even more to some extent…

Plus it’s NOT curriculum or so we keep hearing anyway.

But the issue is who sets the standard? It is said to be Private but the FEDS offer finances and if you take them, you are bound to fulfill the contract or face the consequences. GA has already seen the impact of this in the race to wherever – we have to accept it to find out what the tests are…

No if the program is valid, GA and other states could voluntarily adopt it all or in part as yet another form of equivalency standard across nation, that may be what some Republicans might support.

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