Rep. Dudgeon On Common Core and SB 167

April 15, 2014 12:18 pm

by Jon Richards · 40 comments

In his role as vice-chairman of the House Education Committee, Rep. Mike Dudgeon of Johns Creek was involved in the ultimate failure of Senate Bill 167, the anti-Common Core bill sponsored by Sen. William Ligon. After passing the Senate, the bill did not pass the House Education Committee.

In a recently published constituent newsletter, Rep. Dudgeon explains his opinion about Common Core and SB 167. He notes that the question “Do you support Common Core” can’t really be answered in a single word, or a single sentence, because the term means different things to different people.

So, do I “support” Common Core? Here are some short answers depending on what one means. Detailed answers follow.

  • Do I support Federal control over or involvement (Common Core) in education? Absolutely not, I firmly oppose it.
  • Do I support ongoing attempts to put liberal or politically correct content (Common Core) in our curriculum? Absolutely not, I firmly oppose it.
  • Do I support ceding binding control over Georgia education to anyone outside of Georgia (Common Core)? Absolutely not, I firmly oppose it.
  • Do I support our student data being used for commercial purposes or non-educational data being collected (Common Core)? Absolutely not, I firmly oppose it.
  • Do I support the idea of being able to effectively compare our scholastic progress with other states (Common Core)? Yes, with reservations.
  • Do I support the current Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (Common Core) as they are being taught today in Math and English in our state? Yes, with reservations.

Go ahead and read the entire newsletter for the reasoning behind his answers.

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

John Konop April 15, 2014 at 12:48 pm

In all due respect does the vice-chairman of the House Education Committee, Rep. Mike Dudgeon really underrated the details on this issue? Does he have any real solutions other than hot button talking points?

• Do I support Federal control over or involvement (Common Core) in education? Absolutely not, I firmly oppose it.

1) What is your solution for students transferring in and out of state if core class like math, science and English are not fairly standard? Do you really think algebra 1 should be different class for every county, state…..?

• Do I support ongoing attempts to put liberal or politically correct content (Common Core) in our curriculum? Absolutely not, I firmly oppose it

2) Nice for firing up the base….do you really have a lot of examples? Our kids are in the system have not really seen this? I have one at Georgia Tech who went through the system, and 1 in 7th grade, do you have kids in the system? In fact the schools in your distract are very good as well, in case you did not know.

• Do I support ceding binding control over Georgia education to anyone outside of Georgia (Common Core)? Absolutely not, I firmly oppose it

3) How do we standardize? No talking points but real solutions?

• Do I support our student data being used for commercial purposes or non-educational data being collected (Common Core)? Absolutely not, I firmly oppose it

4) The data is being used to study the effectiveness….Are you not for evaluating data to improve the system?

• Do I support the idea of being able to effectively compare our scholastic progress with other states (Common Core)? Yes, with reservations.

5) HUH? The biggest issue of comparing data is the lack of standard classes and groups being compared without factoring in aptitude. We send a lot of time comparing apples to oranges from both sides spinning results…

• Do I support the current Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (Common Core) as they are being taught today in Math and English in our state? Yes, with reservations.

6) The issue with math in Georgia as you should know, is we use integrated math ie math 123….the rest of the country with few exceptions uses algebra1, geometry, algebra 2…..not all mixed together…Can we get into details not talking points?

Jon Richards April 15, 2014 at 12:53 pm

John, in Rep. Dudgeon’s defense, read his newsletter, where he gives more nuanced responses to the quick answers I quoted. For example, he addresses the integrated math issue in the Georgia curriculum.

John Konop April 15, 2014 at 1:10 pm

My bad….about the integrated math…..He still does not address how we deal with students transferring in and out of state? Also really no details on the content having a liberal spin….honestly have not seen this…..

Sherena Arrington April 16, 2014 at 1:56 pm

John,

Why is that such a huge factor in your view? Based on 2011 census data, Georgia only experienced a 1.65 percent migration rate for people in the 5-17 age group. To determine our overall state policies, we should be more concerned with the 98.35 percent group in my view.

Sherena

John Konop April 16, 2014 at 2:15 pm

First, you have to factor students going out of state as well….Second, it does not tie into the college system well via college system, being on the old system…creating issues for joint enrollment, applying to schools out of state…..forth, it does not tie into science classes creating problems with physics…that class should be taught at the same time as algebra 2 not some mix of math classes…..if you talk to people on the ground floor dealing with this they will tell you it is a mess….It had been boom for companies or people that tutor math/science….

John Konop April 16, 2014 at 2:25 pm

BTW below is one of the many articles I wrote on this topic years ago that appeared in many newspapers, blogs……

Math 123: Failed Policy Masquerading as Progress

http://www.peachpundit.com/2011/02/21/math-123-failed-policy-masquerading-as-progress/

caroline April 15, 2014 at 4:51 pm

What annoys me about this kind of thing is where was the yelling about federal involvement when NCLB was proposed? I guess it’s okay to have the feds involved in education if it comes from a Republican president?

Harry April 15, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Do you support Common Core because it’s being promoted by the Obama Dept. of Education?

caroline April 15, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Frankly I don’t know enough about it to have an opinion. I have personal experience with NCLB and it was completely AWFUL.

caroline April 15, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Did you support NCLB because it came from George W. Bush?

John Konop April 15, 2014 at 8:13 pm

In fairness, Harry has spoken out against NCLB…..he does not support one size fit all like you….

caroline April 16, 2014 at 8:53 am

I don’t know what you are talking about when it comes to one size fits all.

caroline April 16, 2014 at 10:42 am

Here is a good critique of it. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/01/18/everything-you-need-to-know-about-common-core-ravitch/

It sounds like NCLB without some of the more crackpot stuff. Still doesn’t encourage teaching critical thinking skills and still relies to heavily on tests and rewards and punishments based on tests.

Charlie April 16, 2014 at 11:18 am

The entire (re)structure of Math that you see misrepresented throughout the internet memes of “look at this crazy common core math problem” represent lessons that are specifically designed to teach critical thinking and reason, not memorization.

It also isn’t designed to rely heavily on tests. The tests designed to give to determine if standards were met were designed to be iterative, and dig into whether a student masters beyond, or how far below, the standards given.

You’ll never find any of this info if you’re searching places that trace their opposition back to Glenn Beck or Michelle Malkin. And that’s a damn shame.

I’ll be working up a series of posts that take on various points of misinformation regarding Common Core. For now, I’ll just continue to paraphrase Reagan:

It’s not what conservatives believe about Common Core that is bad. The problem is that so much of what they believe isn’t true.

John Konop April 16, 2014 at 1:32 pm

From your article……all should read…..I agree!!

…………No other nation in the world has inflicted so many changes or imposed so many mandates on its teachers and public schools as we have in the past dozen years. No other nation tests every student every year as we do. Our students are the most over-tested in the world. No other nation—at least no high-performing nation—judges the quality of teachers by the test scores of their students. Most researchers agree that this methodology is fundamentally flawed, that it is inaccurate, unreliable, and unstable, that the highest ratings will go to teachers with the most affluent students and the lowest ratings will go to teachers of English learners, teachers of students with disabilities, and teachers in high-poverty schools. Nonetheless, the U.S. Department of Education wants every state and every district to do it. Because of these federal programs, our schools have become obsessed with standardized testing, and have turned over to the testing corporations the responsibility for rating, ranking, and labeling our students, our teachers, and our schools………..

John Konop April 16, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Below is one of the numerous articles I have written about the topic that appeared in numerous newspapers, blogs…..across the state.

Math 123: Failed Policy Masquerading as Progress

http://www.peachpundit.com/2011/02/21/math-123-failed-policy-masquerading-as-progress/

DavidTC April 15, 2014 at 7:27 pm

Do I support ongoing attempts to put liberal or politically correct content (Common Core) in our curriculum?

‘Absolutely not, I firmly oppose it. Why, look at this sentence talking about Native Americans! What happened to the good ol’ fashioned word injuns? And in my day, we had a much shorter word for the learning disabled. And African-Americans, come to think about of it.’

What a complete idiot. Oh no, what a horrible menace, ‘politically correct content’.

‘Politically correct speech’, always, when you actually ask people what they’re talking about when they complain about it, either means:

1) Avoiding derogatory language towards people. Look, feel free to be accepting of people using that if you want, but such language probably does not belong in textbooks!

2) Or it’s some imaginary phrasing that no one is actually going to find in a textbook, some sort of verbiage that only actually appears in a satirical sense, but everyone appears completely convinced liberals are trying to make everyone use.

Of course, he said ‘politically correct content‘, not politically correct speech. I don’t even know what that’s supposed to be…pointing out that Columbus didn’t actually discover this continent, because, surprise, the people living here were already fairly certain it existed? Mentioning that some world history happened outside of Europe? What exactly is he referring to here?

…wait, is this some sort of civil war dog whistle I’m not aware of?

John Konop April 15, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Yes or no do you support standardizing basic math, science and English subjects so if students transfer schools they are on the same page? If not why?

Ellynn April 15, 2014 at 9:17 pm
Anyone But Chip April 15, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Thank you for posting this link.

Sherena Arrington April 16, 2014 at 1:40 pm

And here is a link from The Washington Post that provides a letter from Catholic scholars on the topic.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/11/02/catholic-scholars-blast-common-core-in-letter-to-u-s-bishops/

Ellynn April 16, 2014 at 4:03 pm

I believe the article I posted mention the 6 month old letter and looks like it stolle wording and facts from the 5 month old post article.

This has not slowed the NCEA down, nor the 100 or so dioceses implimenting the Common Core as a TOOL. Let me state that again. The Catholic system is looking at the core as tool to intergrate their own standards in order to make sure their students have basic skills in math and grammer and to discover learning gaps. The core is not the curriculum and in the case of the Catholic church, it never will be.

I have a feeling next week will yeld some interesting press out of the National NCEA confrence.

http://www.ncea.org/sites/default/files/documents/14%20Session%20Preview.pdf

For the entertainment value, do a document search for ‘common core’ on this link and then read the course that goes with it…

Anyone But Chip April 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm

So in reading this article you have a subset of Catholic Educators from major universities suggesting that “Common Core-educated children will not be prepared to do authentic college work. Even supporters of Common Core admit that it is geared to prepare children only for community-college-level studies.” Cluck cluck

Sounds like they are concerned more about their revenue stream than understanding that Common Core is the MINIMUM standard of education that our public K-12 should provide. If you think every child that attends high school should be educated in such a manner that assumes they will attend college you are part of the problem, not the solution. Millions of students are dropping out of school every year because the educational requirements are geared towards a one size fits all graduate. They are taking Algebra II and required foreign language because these are required for college entry when they have not intent of going to college. What if they could be attending welding, culinary arts, or some other vocational training that could provide immediate benefit as they enter the workforce? What if they were working on acquiring a certification to become a network engineer rather than learning how to conjugate verbs in Spanish?

It’s ridiculous to think that because we implement a set of standards as the minimum required education level that we will suddenly begin to produce inferior students. There will always be gifted and advanced students that choose to take advanced courses, AP Placement, etc. We aren’t talking about educating the top 20%, we are talking about educating 100%.

Jon Richards April 16, 2014 at 5:32 pm

I agree with you about different types of education for different people. And you’re starting to see that. Here in Gwinnett, we have the Gwinnett School of Math Science and Technology for the givted and Maxwell School of Technology, which offers coursework in everything from auto body repair to culinary arts to cosmetology.

High schools are also picking up on career academies, where students can choose from a variety of pathways, including Health and Human Services, Business Administration, Public Service/Law and STEM.

One issue is that Gwinnett can do this because of the size of the school system. (They are also a charter school system, but that’s a different issue). Smaller districts don’t have the resources to do something like this.

John Konop April 16, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Jon,

I agree which is why I suggested we need to set up alliance with vo-tech, JC……with the high schools……Cross utilization of facilities to expand reach, combined with on line education….

Ellynn April 16, 2014 at 6:38 pm
Anyone But Chip April 17, 2014 at 8:23 am

Here is where conservative Republicans should be concentrating on the benefits of public / private partnerships. In smaller districts, the schools should identify co-op / internship style agreements with businesses that are part of the core community. The schools should work on designing a curriculum with the businesses to ensure that the skills are being transferred. This is a true win-win-win for all as the business is provided an entry level workforce that gains experience and skills pertinent to future employment, the school is providing a program at low cost that it would otherwise not be able to, and the student is learning core skills that will make him or her marketable immediately after high school.

John Konop April 17, 2014 at 9:16 am
Ellynn April 17, 2014 at 10:13 am

On some levels, this is being done.For examble; Effingham Carer has a metals and fabrication department aligned with Savannah Tech, who’s department is underwritten by Gulfstream.

John Konop April 17, 2014 at 10:29 am

I agree it just needs to be expanded and a formalized plan…..We need to coordinate the resources not just one off deals….Below was in numerous newspapers….

Sharing Resources Will Help Meet Education Challenges

……..Sharing resources across our higher education system (colleges, universities, community colleges, and vocational schools) and our high schools will substantially answer these challenges. The goal is to create clear and cohesive vocational and college prep paths starting as soon as the ninth grade.

New vocational tracks will allow high school students to attend local vocational schools to receive marketable job training and a high school diploma. The requirements for graduation/certification should be set by the current accepted vocational/community college system. Students that pass a state-approved vocational school program earn a high school diploma, regardless of whether they have or not they have met all of the high school’s other curriculum requirements.

Transferring payments between high schools and higher education schools would be straight forward, requiring only a modest expansion of Georgia’s existing college-prep joint enrollment program payment sharing framework.

We should also expand the general public’s access to higher education by letting those schools offer night classes in high school facilities. It would increase higher education enrollment by making classes more geographically convenient to attend and would slow the need for higher education schools to build more space, ultimately saving taxpayers money. Coordinating college and vocational program requirements with the chamber of commerce will help ensure that employer needs are met and would foster the creation of valuable co-op and internship opportunities………..

http://woodstock.patch.com/groups/schools/p/resident-sharing-resources-will-help-meet-education-challenges

Ellynn April 17, 2014 at 11:49 am

You’re asking GSFIC, TCSG, state DOE and local BOE’s to share their Toys?

They can’t followcurrent funding rules that are on the state books. Pitch in the local city and county government types, a state rep who wants to look good to his voters, a few ticked off parents (why do schools so and so get this but we don’t), a chamber that favor one business over another and see how functional this really is.

John Konop April 17, 2014 at 12:01 pm

First, the chamber would be used to promote the job opportunities and skills needed…..this is not picking one business over another business…

Second, We already share funds through joint enrollment….the idea of adding rent to open up classes at night via high schools with colleges, JC….is already being done in concept via payments ie high schools today rent fields, space for churches on weekends…..so they now charge colleges, JC…what is the difference?

Finally, it would lower overhead, increase tax revenue and increase quality…..The testing would be focused on real skills for jobs or further education ie win/win…..the teachers would match students aptitude better via classes…ie win/win….The school districts would attract business, which would coordinate on real world skill needs….not the schools telling business what they need ie win/win…..Like it or not the real world is all about usable skills….the closer we take education to skills needed higher success rate…

Ellynn April 17, 2014 at 1:05 pm

In response to your chamber comment, I know of 3 local chambers in this state that oush one business over the other, mainly because one will come in with a union, one will come in without.

Yes we have shared funds on the books. Are these finds shared? Not always. I know of some school systems that don’t even want the shared funds because of who wrote the bill at the state level. I heard one board member state when Cagle is nolonger running the Career grants, “we” might look for funding a career vocational program (this was a Republican by the way). I have seen a local BOE turn down chances to improve their vocation systems. I know an engine company that was told “no Thank you”, because their company used teamsters.

I’m not disagreeing taxes across the board could be lowered, or the requirements of real usable skills. What I am stating is that in some cases politics and the agendas of the different people, government agencies and even parents involved, do not allow this to happen.

Never under estimate the pettiness and bureaucratic stupidity of government agencies or the people we elect to run them.

Harry April 16, 2014 at 10:12 pm
Anyone But Chip April 17, 2014 at 9:26 am

So here’s the deal. If the opening sentence is a lie, I don’t read the rest of the article.

“The federal government has developed a new platform for American education: the Common Core Curriculum.”

If you post something that is such a blatant misstatement, you don’t get to take part in the discussion period. If you’d like me to re-state the opening sentence in something that is factual but contains the same concerns related to federal intrusion it would be:

“The Common Core State Standards initiative was developed by the states governors and each states education leaders but was quickly recognized by the federal government and it’s adoption was supported through Race to the Top grants.”

I’m not even going to discuss the difference between Curriculum and Standards, which means this is a double doozy.

Mensa Dropout April 17, 2014 at 11:05 am

Since Anyone but Chip won’t discuss the difference between standards and curriculum, I will. Heck, I’ll even throw in Instruction for y’all.
Standards: What we expect students to know.
Curriculum: What we teach to meet those expectations.
Instruction: HOW we teach the curriculum to meet the standards.

Done, and done.

Anyone But Chip April 17, 2014 at 12:30 pm
Harry April 17, 2014 at 11:12 am

Admittedly the piece was written by high school sophomore, so there may be some additional fact development, but you should read the rest. Apparently, according to his report of the facts, the school administrators were trying to game the test population. I know it’s hard to believe that such a thing can happen.

Anyone But Chip April 17, 2014 at 12:29 pm

I laud his interest and effort, and question even more your ability to distinguish factual sources of information.

Will Durant April 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm

“Facts” are a little hard to come by on a site whose administrators have stated that they are not going to be happy until the US is their brand of Theocracy and that “Darwinism has secularized everything in America, including our understanding of the Constitution”. It is very clear why they are against Common Core and they should just be up front with the fact that it is based on their desire for the teaching of myth over science.