National core standards make long-awaited debut tomorrow in Georgia

The long-awaited national standards will be rolled out in Georgia on Wednesday in Suwanee with an all-star cast, including Gov. Sonny Perdue, Jack Markell, governor of Delaware, Steve Paine, West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools, Eric J. Smith, Florida Commissioner of Education, Randi Weingarten, President of American Federation of Teachers, Leah Luke, Wisconsin 2010 Teacher of the Year, Byron V. Garrett, CEO of National Parent-Teacher Association, Bob Wise, President of Alliance for Excellent Education, Lily Eskelsen, Vice President of the National Education Association, and Andres Alonso, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort to develop academic standards to prepare students for success in college and careers. The standards were drafted by teachers, content experts and researchers and garnered about 10,000 public comments in their draft form.  Because states now follow their own standards and their own testing of those standards, rigor differs state to state. The collection of standards also undermines any meaningful national and international comparisons.

Perdue co-chairs the Common Core State Standards Initiative of the National Governors Association, which is likely why this big event is taking place at Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee at 10. am. tomorrow.

The event marks the end of the development phase of the Common Core State Standards Initiative and the beginning of the adoption process in the individual states. I assume Perdue would like Georgia to be an early adopter.

A few years ago, I would have predicted a fight, but I think many more people are now in agreement that we need national standards so that all American students are held to the same expectations. (However, please note the deliberate avoidance of the tern “national standards” for the more palatable “common core state standards.”)

The principles of algebra remain the same whether taught in Powder Springs or Portland, and the chemical properties of water don’t vary across state lines. National standards — backed by testing — would also make it quite clear which states and school districts were failing their students.

“Common education standards and assessments aligned to those standards are in the best interest of both Georgia and the nation,” said Gov. Perdue.  “They will allow for an authentic, credible scoreboard that tells us how we are doing compared to students in other states.”

Georgia PTA already issued a statement on Wednesday’s release of the standards. This statement is from Sheila Cornelius, Georgia PTA President

Georgia PTA enthusiastically supports release of clear, rigorous education standards that if adopted, will help Georgia students, parents, and teachers all be on the same page and working together to ensure that young people are prepared for the demands of college and the workplace.

Developed and informed by teachers, parents, and experts in standards, the K-12 Common Core State Standards for Math and English/Language Arts represent a common sense next step to build on all of the good work already happening in Georgia.

These standards, released Wednesday by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers, define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate from high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs.

Today, some children are fortunate, engaging in rich educational experiences and graduating high school prepared to fulfill their dreams.  Then there are the unlucky ones who do everything asked and expected of them and are awarded a high school diploma, yet find themselves in college unable to do the work and sent to take remedial courses.  Not surprisingly, remedial courses lead to frustration and added expense, which often leads to abandoning a once fruitful career path.  Today, 60 percent of students beginning community college need to take at least one remedial class.

These standards build on the best of current state standards and define what students are expected to know and be able to do each year beginning in kindergarten through high school graduation. This clear and simple set of standards focuses on the fundamentals a young person needs to master in English literacy and Mathematics to develop essential reasoning, analytic, and writing skills.  The standards, which are evidence-based, provide a staircase for learning, so that students’ knowledge is built in the right sequence, one step at a time.

We now have a path forward to give every student, regardless of their zip code or income status, an education that will open the door to opportunity, mobility, career success, and good citizenship, enabling them to pursue their life aspirations.

Georgia PTA continues to urge its members and all parents and families to become involved in advocating for the adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Math and English/Language Arts.  We also encourage our Chief State School Officer and the State Board of Education to include parents, teachers and PTA representatives in the adoption and implementation process. Parents, teachers and PTA members provide valuable perspectives and can be key partners in advocating for standards adoption and implementation at the local level. Georgia PTA also offers workshop sessions at its annual Convention Leadership Training held June 25 and 26, 2010 at the Georgia International Convention Center on the benefits of Common Core State Standards.

Adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards will not only mean that our young people will be better prepared for college and a career; it will make our economy stronger over the long term.

57 comments Add your comment

Tip of the Iceberg

June 1st, 2010
1:06 pm

The common core is an idea whose time has come, but will schools get funding for the change over?

Maureen, do you have the Governor’s revised grant for the Race to the Top?

Tip of the Iceberg

June 1st, 2010
1:09 pm

An idea whose time has come. Will schools get funding for changing the curriculum?

Maureen, do you have the governor’s revised Race to the Top grant application?

EducationCEO

June 1st, 2010
1:18 pm

Were people seriously petty enough to be bothered by the term ‘national?’ Seriously? We all have enough sense to know that they are (will be) national standards so what’s the big deal? Too much time is spent on such trivial matters and they hinder true education reform. Georgia will stay right where it is for the next 10 years. This is truly indicative of what’s happening on a national level and things will be slow to change, while the kids suffer.

CCSI

June 1st, 2010
1:23 pm

America’s Choice is holding a one-day conference on the Common Core Standards. http://www.americaschoice.org/ccssouth2010

I hope the state will develop a reasonable implementation plan. The earliest the new standards can be implemented, in my opinion, will be 2012-13. It would be better if we can wait till the 2013-14 school year. In the meantime, they (state DOE?)should make a careful comparison of the current standards and the new standards and start making a transition plan. The year before the full implementation should involve some adjustments of contents so that no children will find a hole (or repetition of the same topics) in the implementation year. At minimum, development of such “transition year standards” will take the 2010-11 school year. Then, the transition standards can be implemented in 2011-12 school year, in preparation for the full implementation in the 2012-13. In the transition year(s), we need to make an adjustment to the CRCT – if some topics are to be added/removed from a grade level, those changes should be reflected in the CRCT.

go national

June 1st, 2010
1:25 pm

Let Texas and Alaska secede from the union, and we can have a national standards. Of course, that might mean that we just increased the amout of oil we import from foreign countries by quite a bit…

Maureen Downey

June 1st, 2010
1:26 pm

@TIp. I just asked the governor’s office to let us know if the revised application is online yet. Will let you know. I did post the governor’s just-released statement on the revised RTTT application.
Maureen

Maureen Downey

June 1st, 2010
1:41 pm

@TIp, Can you e-mail me at mdowney@ajc.com and I will send the RTTT application to you in PDF. It will go up later today online, but I have it now and can e-mail it. Also, anyone else who wants to see the PDF, send me your e-mail and I will send it to you.
Maureen

d2

June 1st, 2010
1:44 pm

HERE IS THE FUTURE- lets spend more money the state has taken away for Go-Fish, and pet projects(without raising taxes) to focusing on new books that will be written with lack of depth and cover broad topics so the CRCT and the EOCT can ask more specific in-depth questions, reteach a different test, retrain teachers at the cost to the cash-starved counties, allow more intrusion of Federal gov’t intervention (and extort the states by with holding money unless agreed to- a violation of the U.S. Constitution), and lets hold teachers accountable without giving them the resources to do the work.

KA

June 1st, 2010
1:47 pm

There have been national standards for various academic disciplines – or, at least commonly recognized standards for those disciplines – for many years. I worked with organizations that created lesson plans to integrate arts into core topics. For every lesson, we had to identify the GA standards that were addressed/mastered, and also map to the standards in each discipline from the national groups. It will be much easier for teachers to share effective lessons when we’re all using a consistent set of standards.

And yes, there are some very petty people in academia and politics. All that nonsense about perserving the state’s right to determine education, you now, which clearly takes precedence over actually EDUCATING children.

Teacher Reader

June 1st, 2010
2:02 pm

National Standards, aka the dumbing down of America. Another reason to homeschool.

Teresa

June 1st, 2010
2:08 pm

The cited part says 60% of community college students have to take remedial courses. Well, 30% to 40% of UGA freshman take remedial courses, but they changed the name to Academic Enhancement several years ago to disguise the fact that so many freshman could not read, write, or do simple math sufficient to make it in college. UGA went from awarding no credit for mandatory remedial classes to now giving academic credit so the large number of students needing these courses would still “make progress toward graduation.”

@ Teacher Reader

June 1st, 2010
2:25 pm

So, have you actually led the standards? Or are you just parroting someone else’s talking points?

Teacher Reader

June 1st, 2010
2:30 pm

Watch the Documentary 2 Million Minutes and you will see why many American children cannot compete with Asian students.

[...] on National Core Standards that are going to be rolled out in the state this week. Share and Enjoy: [...]

Attentive Parent

June 1st, 2010
2:47 pm

When the PTA’s revenue from parents dues drop, they can just look to the Gates Foundation to be their primary sponsor and forget the subterfuge.

Maureen- I take it you haven’t read any of the Pioneer Reports I have linked as this and the article above read more like a press release than an article based on demonstrable facts.

The AJC should be getting advertising revenue from some of these entities with its parroting rhetoric.

What a disaster and yes I ahve raed the standards and many of the comments.

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Fedup

June 1st, 2010
3:45 pm

A Nation at Risk – yes, that’s us.

More dancing around the truth

June 1st, 2010
3:45 pm

The only thing we share in common about a core in education is that we as a people are fundamentally not honest with ourselves, at the core of our beings, when it comes to addressing education in this country.

It’s the discipline, Stupid!

dbow

June 1st, 2010
4:17 pm

And what assessment will be used to compare the state results? Will it be the ITBS or will we be making a whole new test?

Garry Owen

June 1st, 2010
4:18 pm

Want to improve education nation wide? Start with the student. Make it clear to students and parents that schools will not condone any misbehavior. Give back the ability for teachers and administrators to discipline unruly students. Put parents on notice they can be jailed for their childs disruptive behavior in school. If students know they are in school to learn and disruptive behavior has quick and serious punishment our school will succed! Everyone say thanks to the courts for many of the problems in the schools today. It is hard to teach when students “know their rights”, and have no fear the students will tell you this, from “I will tell my mother” to “my daddy will call our lawyer” Abuse, no. The right for a teacher to teach in a classroom where the teacher is in control and has the backing of the parents, yes.

One tired American teacher

June 1st, 2010
4:27 pm

Its a paradox at best, and absurdity at worst that Sonny Perdue is leading this effort. He and his minions have set Georgia public education back to the days of the Great Depression. At least we can be comforted in the fact he isn’t competent enough to write any of these standards.

HS Teacher

June 1st, 2010
4:28 pm

@Gerry Owen – AMEN! Then, allow for professional teachers to do their job without interference from politicans and administrators. As a HS science teacher, my scores on all ’standardized’ tests have been excellent (in the top 90th percentile) when I am left alone to do my job. I know what to do and how to do it if I am provided with the materials and motivated students.

However, in GA the politicans seem to think that they know how to teach HS science better than I do, so they interfere with my daily lessons. Since then, my student scores have been sinking.

Cindy Lutenbacher

June 1st, 2010
4:36 pm

There’s an equation that I believe is missing from the discussion so far:
Standards = Standardized Tests
This equation has been true for quite some time, now. And there is NO reliable, unbiased evidence that standardized testing improves education AT ALL. When Sheila Cornelius throws in the phrase “evidence-based” (in an inappropriate place in her statement), she’s simply “catapulting the propaganda,” as George W. Bush once said. The “research-based” and “evidence-based” claims are among some of the most specious lies told in these wars upon education.
The massive requirements of standardized testing and the brutal force with which these requirements are applied (making it necessary to teach to the test) are the monsters that are destroying public education.

Courtney

June 1st, 2010
4:39 pm

Sonny Perdue and Education do not belong in the same sentence.

d2

June 1st, 2010
5:14 pm

@ka What nonsense are you talking about–read the U.S. Constitution–it is written that states will be responsible–People like KA can talk a good game–but the fact is standardized test limits the scope for exploring, being creative, and go in more depth than implementing broad scope standards. It entails enrichment instead of scripted lesson plans. National standards- come from who–did you notice the CEO of businesses–what experience do they have in enriching young minds? Ka sounds like another professional blogger paid for by Kathy Cox

d2

June 1st, 2010
5:19 pm

Look at the money spent on these Math 1,2,3 and 4. The books are horrible, the coach books even have some of the wrong problems–look at the eight grade formula for a slope. Look at what is the correct answer in the ninth grade coach book for lesson 2–one of the examples give the wrong answers. The book companies have a monopoly over wanting to change the standards all the time–what is next after national standards–world standards? These CEO’s think students are products and teachers are production managers.

Teacher Reader

June 1st, 2010
5:27 pm

I have read the standards and I want the children to know more. During the 90’s each professional organization created guidelines/standards for teaching the subjects. I am not sure why this was not enough.

When I earned my certification in the mid-90s, it was drilled into my head that the standards were the minimum that I was to teach my students. In Georgia, it appears that they are the end all be all. We aren’t supposed to touch on certain things, because they are not directly in the standards.

We are dumbing our students down and not providing them with enough information. We limit their learning potential when we only teach what the standards tell us to teach.

Our students are very behind those of other countries. In many math oriented PhD programs our student scores and ability are well below that of Chinese and Indian students.

The education system of America is failing its students. We are leaving our students behind and many Americans will not realize this until it is too late.

BIG NICK

June 1st, 2010
5:29 pm

Where are the minorities screaming “RACISM?” Oh yeah, dere childrens haven’t failed under this system yet…Just wait till next year.

ScienceTeacher671

June 1st, 2010
5:30 pm

Okay, I’m too lazy to go look it up, but do the core standards include Math 1-4, or do they include the traditional sequence?

d2

June 1st, 2010
5:42 pm

Who knows what the standards are-it has changed so many times and cost countless dollars–the new standards were set with a 45 day deadline. Doesn’t that make you feel good? It is suppose to be based on real world experiences–not like Math 1,2, 3 and 4. In this Georgia Math–problems ask questions like “Joe measured his yard to put in a fence. What is the perimeter of the fence if he measured the front at the square root of 45, etc….” I have never seen a square root measuring tape.

d2

June 1st, 2010
5:50 pm

Also if you look at the Math 1,2,3,4 you will notice that Calculus is introduced before Trig. and Statistics is broken up into little bits and pieces. Some answers to the questions in the etxbook has the square root as an answer to a standard deviation problem. How is that possible?

d2

June 1st, 2010
5:54 pm

I think what gripes me is the so-called experts never put reality into their study–never take in account students have discipline problems, easily distracted, don’t see the purpose for the lessons, and have different learning ability. These experts think the norm is a well-behaved-willing to learn higher intelligent being who can grasp concepts at a lighting speed. The standards are based on broad topics and a lot to cover in a short amount of time.

More dancing around the truth

June 1st, 2010
5:58 pm

Having national core standards without a national discussion on discipline makes as much sense as having a national policy on Afghanistan without having a discussion on the Taliban.

d2

June 1st, 2010
6:01 pm

Just to let everyone know–I went to the national standards website–it won’t be up until Wed. (tomorrow).

SGaDawgette

June 1st, 2010
6:29 pm

Great. We now have “core standards” but no teachers to deliver the instruction because there’s $ for artificial turf instead of payroll (and yes, I KNOW splost doesn’t cover payroll, but apparently the school board couldn’t BUDGET to pay its employees). Maybe the politicians really are trying to move education to online learning.

Lisa B.

June 1st, 2010
6:59 pm

I’ve heard that Math 1, 2, 3, and 4 align with the Core Standards, and that Georgia will not use the “other” math track proposed. From what I understand, Kathy Cox says we’re sticking with the one-size-fits-all math so all our kids will be prepared for college. Oh yeah, Cox QUIT right? Maybe there’s hope for mathematical options for those who don’t/can’t go to college.

Lisa B.

June 1st, 2010
7:00 pm

Enter your comments here

Lisa B.

June 1st, 2010
7:00 pm

Oops, the filter ate my comments.

E. Cobb Parent

June 1st, 2010
7:23 pm

My understanding is if youlove Math 1,2,3,4 you will love CCS although it may be a bit less.

@ Teacher Reader

June 1st, 2010
7:46 pm

Our (US) students have long been out numbered and out smarted (in general) by Chinese, Indians, Russians, etc. etc. for A LONG time. Most of them, if not all, were educated in the traditional algebra I, geometry, algebra II, pre-calculus, calculus sequence in HS – maybe a bit faster than the rest of their peers.

Someone says the new program actually include calculus, and that’s a lot more than the traditional math required from our students. They complain that we can’t expect all students to reach that level of mathematics. So, are we dubming down or not?

I’ve read the draft Common Core Standards, and I would probably agree that the HS GPS will not have to change much at all. Probably the only thing they have to do is to create a career-ready track – which might mean that Math III will be the last course for them – and maybe they can offer that over 2 year period. When the GPS was first developed, there were actually 3 tracks, but they eliminated the “bottom” one. Maybe they will bring that back out. K-8 require some significant changes.

The CCSS (in math) is very heavily influenced by the Singapore standards. Those who complain that the CCSS is not challenging enough haven’t really compared the current GPS and the draft CCSS (and the Singapore standards).

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Attentive Parent

June 1st, 2010
8:47 pm

Here’s the study on how one size fits all limits average to high level students.

http://www.joannejacobs.com/2010/05/college-prep-for-all-the-chicago-story/

That will close the achievement gap but who really wins?.

Neal McCluskey wrote a great piece today that all these reforms assume that the students can simply grow into adults that collaborate and somehow earn a living. No need for commercially marketable skills in this CCSSI fantasy ed world.

ST671-

The high school standards are deliberately ambiguous and weak to accomodate either a traditional or integrated track. If you read the marketing materials for some of the newest affiliated math texts they are single subject but they are not sequential.

TR-

This truly will be a national tragedy and the fact that it is known to have originated in GA will cause us so much harm.

I’m starting to fell like Cassandra on this blog.

Sonny, Kathy, the AJC. and Ga need to remember what happened when you forget to beware of the bearers of gifts.

@Attentive Parent

June 1st, 2010
10:54 pm

Give me some of examples why you think the CCS is weak – preferably something YOU think, not what other people tell us to think.

Just because HS standards are written in strands instead of courses doesn’t mean the standards are weak. The CCS simply left that choice open to states – no doubt Georgia had some influence on that decision, but the Appendix they released with the draft had both configuration as examples – and I’m sure you know that.

ScienceTeacher671

June 1st, 2010
11:15 pm

Doesn’t really matter what the standards say so long as Georgia’s “competency” tests are so ridiculously easy to “pass”.

When a student working at a 4th or 5th grade level can score “proficient” on the 8th grade CRCT, and when students can “meet expectations” by getting 45% of the questions correct on an EOCT, it’s hard to believe we’re making progress.

FLAWoodLayer

June 2nd, 2010
12:06 am

Before we start comparing US students to those around the globe just ask the question “When did India start educating all of its children?” It doesn’t. Our systems are different so I’m always suspect on those scores. I think national standards are a good first step. Nice starting with math and ELA but I’ll take it seriously when we include science and social studies. We are in a world of hurt when the politcians can’t even agree on evolution.

SallyB

June 2nd, 2010
12:47 am

It really doesn’t matter whether standards are national or neighborhood…..Standards are not the problem .

Many if not most of GA’s students will not even be able to compete with children in 3rd world countries until and unless someone finds some way to improve the quality of students to whom the standards are to be taught.
The proverbial blackberry jam metaphor….The quality of the blackberry jam on the grocery shelf is completely dependent on the quality of the blackberries the farmer provided is totally appropriate.
If the educrats and politicians and parents continue to avoid that truth ……that Handbasket is going to get to H—much sooner rather that later.

SallyB

June 2nd, 2010
12:49 am

You can send a good, firm, tasty blackberry to almost any blackberry jam factory in any state, and it will turn out beautifully….As for the ….well you know the rest.

Attentive Parent

June 2nd, 2010
6:36 am

So you’d prefer to know my personal opinion as opposed to Sandra Stotsky, the Mass Bd of Ed member who is nationally recognized for her work in turning around Mass or Jim Milgram, the Stanford math professor who was a primary author of CA’s math standards?

We know that America’s Choice is behind the drafting of the standards and that their current product is aimed at the least proficient kids with all students forced to do the same low level work. They make no exception for the more proficient Pre-AP student.

We know that the Standards are intentionally ambiguous to allow for an actual classroom implementation that is as nonacademic as possible. You look at the Mass standards and there’s no doubt as to what the minimum skills and knowledge is.

That’s not how CCSSI reads at all. Appendices are nonbinding. Their use illustrates why this is planned ambiguity.

The math standards are lifted verbatim in places from the awful Connected Math middle school text. That’s no accident. It reflects the conscious effort to combine enough specificity to win political support and enough ambiguity so that these fuzzy math texts can be touted as “fulfilling CCSSI”.

I understand that Georgia is likely to do this. We are becoming notorious nationally though and this will not help. We need those jobs that will never relocate to this state or will leave this state because we as a state seem ready to adopt whatever ed policies someone will pay us to adopt.

These grants are at best a minute percentage of this state’s annual ed expenditures but the policies required undermine the effectiveness of all that other spending. Education is no longer about the needs of the students or lifting up the next generation so that our economy can continue to grow.

You can think of CCSSI as a bunkerbusting bomb to nationalize social justice and equity as the primary goals of the K-12 US classroom or as a termite eating away all vestiges of genuine academic excellence and analytical inquiry.

funny

June 2nd, 2010
7:39 am

SallyB,

That is the funniest thing I heard. To improve education, we need better students. Maybe we need better teachers to improve education, too.

d2

June 2nd, 2010
8:24 am

@funny-want you become a teacher if you think you can improve education.