Governor Deal Needs to Learn a Good Deal More About the Common Core

nathan-dealGovernor Nathan Deal (R-GA) is not sure why the Republican National Committee passed a resolution against the Common Core State Standards.  He believes they are a state-led effort and they make sense.

The Marietta Daily Journal reported Friday that Governor Deal was asked about the Common Core State Standards at a bill signing in Cobb County.  His remarks:

I think the misconception is that this was federally imposed on the state of Georgia and on the other states, and I think all but maybe one or two actually have subscribed to the Common Core…

The federal government did not mandate it, they did not control it, they did not dictate its content.  I think there is also a misunderstanding between the Common Core standards, which simply says these are the things that a student needs to know or be able to do at certain grade levels in their school progress, as opposed to a Common Core curriculum, whereby you dictate what is taught. That is not the case here, so I think there is a lot of misunderstanding about what the Common Core does.

And we have been somewhat the victim I think in the past of our textbooks, and our material has generally all been dictated by the three large states that had the most student population, the New York, and the Texas and the Californians, and each of those states had standards that were different than the state of Georgia.  So what we are currently doing with (Criterion Referenced Competency Tests) is testing them to a standard, and many times the material that has been available to the teachers and to the students is material that is written to the standards of another state. So this is an effort to try to get it all on the same track. I think that’s the effort that we should continue to follow.

Until somebody can show me a reason for deviating from it, and I think anytime you take major action like that, you have to have a good justification for it.

I think Governor Deal needs to learn a great deal more (pun intended) about the Common Core instead of the NGA talking points.  First off if Georgia wanted Race to the Top money or a NCLB waiver they did have to adopt them.  Secondly they were pushing the Common Core above any other standards as you can see below from this excerpt in the Race to the Top application:

Reviewer Guidance Specific to (B)(1)(i)(b) – Significant Number of States:
. “High” points for significant number of States are earned if the consortium includes a majority of the States in the country.

If there were other consortiums that fit the bill then Governor Deal would have a point, but that wasn’t the case.  Also I find it interesting that Governor Deal made no mention about the PARCC consortium that Georgia is a part of which is funded by the Feds.  They’ve also set up a review committee for the assessments.

That’s not federal control?  Yes we recognize that standards are not curriculum, but assessments and standards drive curriculum.  He complains about other states dictating to Georgia what text books are available.  The ironic thing is he is complicit in helping to create a text book monopoly which will make if difficult for states that do not implement the Common Core, private schools and even homeschoolers to find materials not aligned to the Common Core.

As far as having a good justification – what, the fact they were never field tested isn’t enough?  The fact it will cost Georgia an additional $30 million per year to implement the PARCC assessments isn’t justification enough?  Concern about the quality of the standards themselves isn’t enough?  Then there’s the simple fact his legislature was bypassed in the decision-making process or does he not believe in the constitutional system of checks and balances?

What will convince him?  A generation of students who graduate with a subpar education all in the name of “common standards”?

Photo credit: Richard Lacey via Flickr (CC-By-NC-ND 2.0)

One thought on “Governor Deal Needs to Learn a Good Deal More About the Common Core

  1. it seems that many of the governors are of a certain demographic, no young kids in school to see common core first hand, and lots of whispering lobbyists in their ears that they are not really cognizant of what is occuring. also perhaps they partook of the hors d’oerves tray a few years back if ya know what I mean.

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