The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
Gov. Nathan Deal has ordered a sweeping review of the Common Core national guidelines and asked the State Board of Education to “formally un-adopt” a part of the program that includes sample English test selections that infuriated some parents.
Deal also asked the board to develop a new social studies curriculum that emphasizes, among other aspects, civic and fiscal responsibility; and urged members to come up with a model reading list for school boards across the state.
The governor’s order signals his flagging support for Common Core amid criticism that the guidelines are a federal takeover of education policy. A target of tea-party infused opposition, the voluntary set of reading and math standards has become one of the most divisive issues in state politics.
“There’s a lively debate going on in many states about whether Common Core raises or lowers the standards,” said Deal spokesman Brian Robinson. “This letter merely asks for the school board to review the Common Core standards and rate how they measure up to state standards used in the past.”
It also distances the governor from Superintendent John Barge, a potential rival in Deal’s bid for re-election next year. Barge and Deal are the two highest-profile Georgia Republicans supporting the program, though both also agreed to scrap a Common Core test deemed too costly.
Barge said Deal’s letter is an about-face.
“Just within the past few months, we had a meeting in his office to ensure that we were on the same page on the Common Core,” Barge said, adding that he believes the letter was at least in part a political move by the governor to separate himself from a potential rival.
Barge said he began seeking teacher feedback on Common Core several months ago. “He’s asking the state board to do what we’re already doing,” Barge said.
The state Board of Education held committee meetings Wednesday but did not formally discuss Deal’s letter. It is likely to be on the agenda when the board meets in September.
“I can assure you we’ll do what the governor has asked us to do,” board member Scott Johnson said.
Read the rest. On top of his own party rejecting them and the price tag for the assessments being too high; there were the reports recently released showing that the previous Georgia standards were superior to the Common Core. Why would he not want a review?