Resolution Opposing “Nationalized” Common Core Standards; Opposing PARCC Testing; Protecting Student Privacy; and Commending the Governor’s Executive Order

Resolution Opposing “Nationalized” Common Core Standards; Opposing PARCC Testing; Protecting Student Privacy; and Commending the Governor’s Executive Order

WHEREAS, the control of education is left to the States and the people and is not anenumerated power of Article I, Section 8 ofthe U.S. Constitution; and

WHEREAS, in 2010 Georgia Executive Branch officials committed this state to adopting common standards with aconsortium of states through the Race to the Top grant created by the federal Executive Branch; and

WHEREAS, this participation required Georgia to adopt common standards in K-12 English language arts and mathematics(now known as the Common Core State Standards Initiative) 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 despite the fact that the people fund K-12 education with over $13 billion in state and local taxes each year; and

WHEREAS, 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; and

WHEREAS, adoption of Common Core obliterates Georgia’s constitutional autonomy over the educational  standards for Georgia’s children in English languagearts and mathematics because 100 percentof the Common Core standards must be delivered through Georgia’s curriculum, yet the standards belong to unaccountable private interests in Washington, D.C. which have copyright authority and do not allow any standards to be deleted or changed, but only allow Georgia to add 15 percent to those standards; and

WHEREAS, this push to nationalize standards will inevitably lead to more centralization of education in violation of federalism and local control and violates the spirit, if not the letter, of three federal laws; and

WHEREAS, both the Common Core standards and the PARCC tests will create new tax burdens to pay for enormous unfunded mandates on our state and our local school districts; and WHEREAS, the Race to the Top grant conditions require the collection and sharing of massive amounts of student-level data through the PARCC agreement which violates student privacy;

THEREFORE the Georgia Republican Party delegates to the 2013 Convention resolve that state leaders should:

 

  • Withdraw Georgia from the Common Core State Standards Initiative;
  • Withdraw Georgia from the PARCC consortium and its planned assessments for Georgia’s students, and any other testing aligned with the Common Core standards;
  • Prohibit all state officials from entering into any agreements that cede any measure of control over Georgia education to entities outside the state and ensure that all content standards as well as curriculum decisions supporting those standards are adopted through a transparent statewide and/or local process fully accountable to the citizens in every school district of Georgia; and
  • Prohibit the collection, tracking, and sharing of personally identifiable student and teacher data except with schools or educational agencies within the state.

 

Be it further resolved that we appreciate Governor Nathan Deal’s principled Executive Order issued on May 15th which strongly recognized the need to honor the constitutional sovereignty of the people of Georgia over education and the urgent need to protect student privacy.

23 comments

  1. reinvent_ed says:

    This resolution is DOA. If it truly represents the wishes of the Georgia Republican Party, then Republicans can be held accountable for destroying any hope of successfully reforming its public education system. I encourage folks who are being swayed by paranoia and gross misrepresentation of the Common Core to read Kathleen Porter Magee’s testimony here: http://www.edexcellence.net/commentary/education-gadfly-daily/common-core-watch/2013/a-testimony-on-the-common-core-standards.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A%20flypaper%20%28The%20Education%20Gadfly%20Daily%3A%20Ideas%20that%20stick%20from%20the%20Fordham%20Institute%29

  2. rlrobb123 says:

    The Common Core cheerleaders should find a more objective source than an organization given
    $6 million by the Gates Foundation to support the national standards. For analyses not funded by Gates, see the wealth of research on http://stopcommoncore.com/. The Common Core initiative violates fundamental principles Republicans are supposed to believe in: local control, parental rights, excellent education, individual privacy. Why are we relinquishing our sovereignty for the mediocrity of Common Core?

  3. laib says:

    The expressed concerns on Common Core are obviously more than the Republican Party. It has been accepted in Georgia by a Republican Governor. The growing grass roots opposition arose from many concerned parents. As they learn more about Common Core, they have significant reservations. The testimony by Ms. Porter-Magee is very compelling on a stand-alone basis but conflicts with other testimony and writings by similar august people, including testimony to the GA Senate this year by writers of the English and Math Standards that said that the final version by “committee” had deficiencies and they would not sign off on them. Other points by Ms. Porter-Magee are also heavily debatable including that the Common Core Standards are “state-led” (they are not), States retain full control over curriculum (heavily debatable as Common Core nationalized Testing kicks in next year), ditto control by local level, teachers and parents) and there are very discrepant stories regarding relationship of common Core Standards to those of other countries including those who are not following prescribed international Standards. Common core is geared to “an educated workforce” with increased emphasis on general education for those not going to college. Regarding her 4 “common critiques”, many articles address that reading will include about 40-50% “manuals or informational texts.” Regarding the math, I’ve heard arguments from educated parents who find the current Math very poor and confusing. Again, Common Core may have come out of a Governor’s conference, but it is a Federal DOE led effort with heavy incentives or grants for the States to accept it. There is even challenge from the House of Representatives that DOE has overstepped its bounds in some provisions which are changes to laws which are Congress’s not the Executive Branch’s responsibility per the Constitution. As indicated earlier, there are serious concerns regarding State and local control on curriculum and instruction, especially when the testing phase begins next year. As a retired engineer, I read the new Science Standards and found them very questionable due to their mixing of Science and Socio-Political Concepts with a clear message to the latter which was even more evident when reading the background of the drafter of this standard. Science Standards are the direct result of a movement initiated by Dr. Robert Yeager from Unit of Iowa and his published works circa 1996, “Science, Technology, and Society” (STS) and are clearly an intersection with Socioscientific Issues (SSI) ideas. In summary, there is a great deal of controversy regarding Common Core that becomes clearer to concerned parents as Common Core rolls out. Education is a State, not a Federal responsibility and this needs to be preserved. The proposed Legislation and Resolutions in Georgia address this concern.

    • reinvent_ed says:

      No Laib, education is not a solely a state responsibility. If you feel that way, then you won’t mind if I eliminate all of the federal dollars invested in Georgia public schools and reallocate them to other priorities.

      • laib says:

        Of course Washington has “involvement” of “Law” making where appropriate. In the case of Common Core, there was no involvement of Congress so therefore there was no “Law.” DOE’s database in fact violates past privacy laws for parents/students. DOE’s grants are certainly very welcomed and helpful, but they have a “price.” “Free” sometimes has a “Cost” and involves “Choice” by the State.

      • mpierce says:

        Georgia and all other states.
        No reallocation necessary, just don’t borrow/steal as much.

  4. reinvent_ed says:

    The grass roots opposition came from folks who do not understand what the Common Core is and have been brainwashed by a surge of gross misrepresentation. Believe what you all want to believe, but I can assure you it is quite foolish to try and block this before it has been given a full opportunity to be implemented.

    Like I said, if you want to be a part of the complete destruction of public education in Georgia, then continue down this foolhardy path.

    • mpierce says:

      Perhaps it is better to wait, see how it is fully implemented elsewhere, implement what works and avoid what doesn’t.

  5. reinvent_ed says:

    And every time I hear the word “sovereignty,” I think you mean secession from the Union. Have at it. I call this the path of destruction and I know that we need to be part of a coalition of states that support the standards rather than be an outlier.

    And please know that these are STANDARDS not a CURRICULUM!!! No one is losing control, but quite frankly, I would prefer we not leave local schools in the hands of unqualified school board members. I’d rather it be under the control of the local mayor.

    • laib says:

      “Sovereignty” does NOT mean “Secession”. Read the 9th and 10th Amendments of the Constitution. It simply means that the Federal Government was granted specific actions which include Congress’ 17 enumerated powers for which they and they alone can enact Laws which become the supreme law of the land. Any other actions, such as guidance, mandates, regulations, etc from the Executive Branch are supposed to implement Congressional Law, not enact new laws which would be unconstitutional. The 10th Amendments says “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively or to the People.” This is State Sovereignty. The States are not bound by the Federal “laws” made outside of Congress and these 17 enumerated powers and the States can ignore or nullify these unconstitutional laws. I believe regarding Common Core the jury is still out am glad that open and lively consideration of its features are still ongoing not only in Georgia but many other States, some of which have already dropped it in their school system.

  6. Charlie says:

    Side note: Part of us fostering a community here over the last 8 years or so is that those that become part of the community generally get to know each other, and even when we disagree know somewhat who we’re dealing with when we exchange comments.

    And then, there are issues like this, where others not in the community send out their bat signal and ask all their friends to fill up the pool, as if this will go unnoticed by those that have been around a while and know when there’s an effort to astroturf.

    I’m not approving any more comments/commenters who are redirecting to http://www.stopcommoncore.com. You’ll have to sell your position with those who are already here in the pool.

  7. NorthGeorgiaGirl says:

    If you study the history of and trends in education over the years, it seems to me that things declined the more centralized control of education became. Consolidation sounds nice from a financial point of view, but when you look at how everything became system-focused, you can see how costs really exploded. Add more mandates and you add more cost to the administrative side.

    The testing and data side of the Common Core equation is a financial nightmare. Somewhere in the fine print is that all the testing has to go digital somewhere in the next few years. The testing companies are becoming few in number (the bigger fish are swallowing the little fish, so to speak) and cannot handle the load. CTB-McGraw was in charge of Indiana’s ISTEP testing, the state went all digital, and the result was horrible. Server crashes caused testing delays, and if you know anything about testing “protocols,” this caused problems with test security. I have been told that while all of the testing is supposed to be computer-based in the next few years, we as a state cannot handle the technological requirements without a significant cost to upgrade all of the operating systems on the computers in our schools (a large percentage of the computers run Microsoft’s xp, the software will not work on this operating system).

    The testing is also open-ended. But only the “accepted” field tested responses for how a student got to an answer will be counted correctly. Open-ended testing is much more expensive to score than a multiple choice test.

    So without even looking at the standards themselves, this already looks like a financially bad idea.

    Add in that when the standards come with “exemplars,” or examples of literature to be covered (something like 183 pages) you have a defacto curriculum. Curriculum directors at the system and state level will guess (correctly, I am sure) that those exemplars will be on the national test. So that is all they will teach. I was reading a commentary from a college professor about one of the exemplars for 9th-10th grade being so very racy that she would not be comfortable using it with her college students. The copyright of the standards/exemplars is owned by the National Governor’s Association and the organization for State School supers, and while we can add 15% of content to what we teach here, we cannot subtract. Since the content is copyrighted by an outside organization, we control none of it.

    I can’t say I know what the whole answer is to education, but I don’t think this whole thing will turn out well.

  8. pwd105 says:

    I applaud the Georgia GOP for finally listening to the facts about the Common Core Standards and what they will mean for our state. It is a always a concern when leaders jump to make huge changes in policies before the policies are even written, which is exactly what govenors across the country did in agreeing to Common Core. I know it’s hard to turn down $400 million (over 4 years), but it was a short-sighted decision that will cost our state hundreds of millions that we don’t have. And the worrisome thing is that, according to some of the national experts who served on the Common Core review committees but then refused to sign off on the standards because of their inadequacies, we won’t even be getting an improvement in our schools’ curricula. (Yes, I know; the Common Core Standards are standards, not curricula, but once the tests come down and they’re entirely linked to Common Core, rewriting the curricula will have to follow.)

    The key to a productive discussion about this issue is for everyone to learn the facts and then acknowledge those facts. The Georgia GOP took at positive step in that direction, and I hope other leaders in our state will be willing to do the same.

    • Lea Thrace says:

      Just a clarification. Common Core came before RTTT. RTTT adopted CC as part of the program.

    • S. Arrington says:

      Wow, you quote Marc Tucker. Amazing, and you respect his views? He has been in the movement for common national standards for about 20 plus years. He is strongly aligned with the Democratic Party and was the author of the “Dear Hillary” letter where we see how he supports big government policies. He truly believes “big brother” ought to take care of us from the “cradle to grave.” He was involved in efforts back in the 1990s to produce national history standards. Those standards were so unAmerican that the U.S. Senate voted 99 to 1 to reject them. Granted, he had a small role, but the company he keeps is just as telling as the philosophy he supports. I would not trust anything coming from Marc Tucker.

      I’d say if you had a true perspective on history, you would see that education fares far better with true local control, but local control has been eroded greatly over the past 50 years.

  9. Rambler14 says:

    What do our educators think of Common Core? Or do we not consider the opinion of the professionals who are actually in charge of implementing and teaching the curriculum to our children?

    Please people. Educate yourselves. Get past your initial “OMFG IT’S FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WE MUST OPPOSE IT” freakoutery.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      I think that’s a valid point. Ask the teachers.

      We know how they feel about NCLB, though, so there might be some lingering mistrust causing the ‘omfg it’s from the fed.gov, we must oppose it’ attitude.

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