Georgia Governor Nathan Deal issued an executive order to address concerns with the Common Core State Standards. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sees it as an attempt to stave off a GOP mutiny. Based on pushback I’m seeing and hearing about, it could very well be headed toward a repeal and that has to make Governor Deal nervous as he is on the wrong side of this. You can read his executive order below:
This executive order does relatively nothing. Sixty days of public comment is good, but still having the State Board of Education decide these things is not whether it is public or not. He says they won’t share certain data, but they have a signed memorandum of understanding saying they will.
State Senator William Ligon (R-Brunswick) who authored Georgia’s anti-Common Core bill (that was killed behind the scenes thanks in large part, I am told, by Governor Deal) responded to Governor Deal’s executive order:
I am pleased by Governor Nathan Deal’s decision to sign an Executive Order that recognizes the serious issues surrounding Georgia’s Common Core Performance Standards. While this is a step in the right direction and we appreciate the Governor’s efforts, this does not ultimately move Georgia out of the Common Core Program. The Executive Order issued today does however make a good faith effort towards preventing the disclosure of our student’s private information.
Governor Nathan Deal inherited the federal Race to the Top Mandates from the previous administration, and although I’m sure Governor Sonny Purdue had the best intentions at heart, Common Core continues to erode student’s education, removes control of educational standards from state and local authorities and causes significant privacy concerns.
Our students deserve better. If Georgia continues to participate in Common Core, it must accept 100 percent of the standards word-for-word and we would only be allowed to adopt 15 percent our own standards – this is only after the 100 percent Common Core requirement is fulfilled. Even with the issuing of this Executive Order, educational standards will still be set and controlled by private interests outside of the state.
Now it’s up to the Georgia Legislature to pick-up where the Governor left off. The Georgia State Legislature represents the will of the people and they are asking us to pass legislation to withdraw Georgia from the Common Core, the national assessments, and the intrusive tracking of student data.
Georgia must reassert its constitutional autonomy over education, and I intend to work tirelessly with my colleagues in the General Assembly to move our state towards a more transparent, democratic process of developing statewide curriculum standards.
Based on his recent comments I don’t have confidence that Governor Deal really wants to have a conversation about the Common Core. He merely wants to save political face. I’m thankful that State Senator Ligon wants to continue to fight for its repeal, and I hope Georgians will join him.