Running Interference for Common Core in Georgia

There’s a lot of media narratives and boogie men being created by state and national media during the fight over Common Core being waged in Georgia.   One of the tactics being used by the media is isolating the critics of Common Core by demonizing the fringe elements of the Anti-Common Core Movement.   It’s serves as a great distraction from addressing the real concerns over Common Core.  The Media gleefully joins the Pharisees on the left who have arrogantly cornered Georgia Representative William Ligon when the House Education Committee held a hearing over Senate Bill 167.   Representative Amy Carter kept asking him to name 3 Common Core Standards that he had a problem with in particular?  As if the problem has to do with a just a standard here and there that are bad instead of the entire framework, organization, lack of research, and philosophy behind the standards being bad. 

There are myths being trumpeted with Common Core as it relates to Georgia. 

One Myth that’s being perpetrated.  Governor Purdue and Kathy Cox helped lift Georgia out of the bottom of the barrel of education rankings by adopting Common Core as an alternative to federal intrusion and is now recognized as having the best curriculum in the country.

The truth is, there is zero evidence of any direct involvement that Gov. Perdue had or did not have in the creation of the standards.   Achieve, Inc. through their American Diploma Network had been advancing the idea of nationalized standards since 2003 (and the idea has been around longer than that).  The Common Core State Standards Initiative was an initiative of the National Governors Association, Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve, Inc. 

The thing to remember is that NGA and CCSSO are trade organizations, not governmental entities.  Achieve,  Inc  is a Washington, DC based contractor.  NGA & CCSSO have received millions of dollars from the Feds, as well as, from the Gates Foundation.  So if there is any praise coming from these organizations aimed at Governor Purdue it’s completely based on cronyism.   

The argument that Common Core advocates put forward that these are “state led standards” is completely bogus.  These are special interest led.  Emmett McGroarty and Jane Robbins of American Principles Project provide a pretty good timeline of how these were created.

There’s no empirical evidence that suggests centralizing education around a set of common standards will raise student achievement.  So the Common Core as a reform is data-less and barking up the wrong tree.

Georgia actually had better standards than the Common Core.  Governor Purdue has only made things worse not better.  Georgia  took a step backwards which is demonstrated by this study from Truth In American Education. 

So regardless of the origins of these standards there is problems with the content.  Advocates claim that the standards are international benchmarked, but they ignore what leading countries of math are doing. 

For instance the Common Core doesn’t introduce Algebra I until 9th grade when leading nations introduce it in 8th. 

James Milgram, professor emeritus of mathematics from Stanford University, served on the Common Core validation committee.  He stated that American students under Common Core will be one year behind their international peers by the time they reach 5th grade and two years behind by the time they hit 7th grade.  Jason Zimba, who was the lead writer of the Common Core Math Standards, confessed that students seeking STEM fields will not be prepared.

One notable quote from The Advocate

“If you want to take calculus your freshman year in college, you will need to take more mathematics than is in the Common Core.” 

The fact is the Common Core only takes kids to Algebra II.

Then there is the problem with the ELA standards focusing on informational text at the expense of kids reading classical literature.  This completely contradicts studies that show reading classical literature helps advance literacy.  Informational  text, not so much.  These are the real issues with Common Core the more you peel back the layers the worse it looks.