I read Jessica’s post on Common Core and that got me thinking about the perceptions of Common Core, especially here in Georgia.
Some of the concerns of common core are legitimate and are based in fact. Others, however, are based in an alternate reality that is not the one we currently occupy.
As a product of public education (grade school through graduate school) and the son of a public school teacher, I think it’s important that we get this right. We can’t have schools fail our kids and then expect those same kids to be able to succeed. You can’t build a skyscraper without the proper foundation.
The really strange thing to me about the outrage against Common Core is that it was a Republican governor’s lead initiative as a response to No Child Left Behind. Our own Sonny Perdue was pivotal in the design. Consequently, Common Core is based off of Georgia’s own educational standards.
To say Georgia isn’t a trailblazer in education is disingenuous. Common Core is the result of what other states (starting with Republican Governors) wanted to do in response to failing education at the state level. It was modeled on Georgia’s aggressive curriculum re-write undertaken to address our perpetual bottom of the barrel rankings. In short, we started this.
To say that Common Core doesn’t reflect Georgia’s values is equally disingenuous. Georgia may not perform as well as we would like or as well as other states (I’m not arguing the contrary) but Common Core is what it is because of Georgia and our values.
Local control. I’m not sure how addressing the concerns of some lawmakers is not indicative of local control. Are those lawmakers not elected to represent their districts? Did we abandon the principles of elected representation in the last couple years and I missed something?
Local control is a great and wonderful thing, up until the students can’t write a proper sentence, or do simple mathematics. At that point local the local school or school board has has failed those children and the next level needs to pick up the ball.
Jessica brought up John Barge and his public “support” of Common Core. Though he is the only politician I have ever seen start a talk with one opinion and by the end of the talk, he had convinced himself that he should be opposed to the policy he started advocating. I don’t mean start with an opinion one day and change his mind in a few weeks or months time, but over the course of about 35 minutes as he did before the Cobb GOP in May.
Because of our slipping placement in comparison to other states, we should be looking at the bigger picture and we should be concerned. If our students are not properly prepared then they will fail. I saw many students struggle over three semesters as a Supplemental Instructor at Georgia State. Common Core is one way to ensure that our students are properly prepared.