Georgia adopts Common Core Standards. Today’s vote met with standing ovation

Second ago, the Georgia Performance Standards became the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards with the unanimous passage of the new standards by the state Board of Education. The vote met with a standing ovation from the audience of educators, teachers and PTA members.

In a general love fest, multiple speakers, including high-achieving teachers, said the standards would increase the rigor and improve the education of Georgia students.  (Most impressive was a Catoosa County special ed math teacher Tammy Gibson who had 89 percent of students pass the Math I End of Course Test, outpacing the passage rate of the non special-ed test takers.)

Gibson said she was leery of the new math standards, but eventually realized they worked better for her students, and believes that more teachers will eventually come to value them when they see the improved performance of their students.

The faculty of Georgia colleges have reviewed the Common Core standards and gave them high marks, said Board of Regents chair Willis J. Potts. ”

“I commend you for what you are doing here,”  said Potts.”It is a major step helping the state of Georgia graduate not only students from your institutions but from mine.”

In his first official board meeting, interim school Superintendent Brad Bryant talked about the fact that Georgia is already well aligned with the core standards. (A chart showed that 90 percent of Georgia’s math standards are contained within the Common Core.) As a result, Georgia will not have to gut its standards as will be the case in some states.

Instead, Georgia will undergo “precision” review to align the standards.

One of the first tasks will be working with teachers, according to the DOE leaders, to refine what Georgia already has, but to also give them a choice of instructional resources to deliver the standards. “We are going to define the what; they are going to define the how,” said Deputy Superintendent Martha Reichrath.

83 comments Add your comment

Attentive Parent

July 8th, 2010
12:05 pm

Well now that we know it got a standing ovation we needn’t worry about the specifics criticisms.

We apparently are at the point in American education that rhetoric expressing desirable goals is all we need to sign on.

I hope parents remember this PTA sellout to their Gates Foundation grant when you are asked to join next school year.

Prediction

July 8th, 2010
12:08 pm

5 years from now, Georgia will rank in the bottom ten of educational rankings in the nation. Then there will be another love fest to celebrate another solution.

Prediction

July 8th, 2010
12:10 pm

Maybe Maureen will humor us with some quotes from when the Georgia Performance Standards were adopted, about how they will help Georgia become a leader in education in the nation.

Or would Maureen consider that to be impolite to call people on their own words?

Prediction

July 8th, 2010
12:20 pm

Remember this one from Kathy Cox, when the Georgia Performance Standards were introduced?

“We will lead the nation in improving student achievement.”

Teacher Reader

July 8th, 2010
12:27 pm

A sad day in Georgia.

Prediction

July 8th, 2010
12:30 pm

The one standard that wasn’t adopted, that will ensure the continued dysfunction of Georgia’s educational efforts?

Integrity.

Prediction

July 8th, 2010
12:36 pm

Integrity for example, would be someone from the AJC acknowledging that, for over two hours yesterday, an AJC headline writer lead off their website with a factually incorrect statement that teachers, and teachers alone faced sanctions for cheating on the CRCT.

Quietly fixing it, while pretending it never happened, is one thing. Being willing to acknowledge it happened, and taking responsibility for the bias it portrayed, would be an example of true integrity.

lucy brown

July 8th, 2010
12:36 pm

just what are these standards? is recess still a no-no?

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Bobby T

July 8th, 2010
12:49 pm

So if 90% of our current standards are already in these new common core standards which are being adopted by other states and we’re already kinda at the bottom of the barrel when compared to most other states as it is with regard to performance, then what exactly are we achieving/doing here? Are we dumbing down en masse to make us look better before the tougher NCLB pass rates hit?

Attentive Parent

July 8th, 2010
1:10 pm

We are setting ourselves up to be measured by subjective, open ended national assessments.

This will not bring Georgia up. Common Core will nationalize most of the bad ideas in education for which rhetoric, wishful thinking, and perhaps a sprinkling of fairy dust will change the nature of reality and make all children equal in skills and knowledge. Peer reviewed research into what is and has been shown to be effective must be avoided at all costs.

You see effective instruction doesn’t grow the funding blob or allow all that lucrative transfer of our tax money to those preferred vendors who have get togethers at the nicest hotels and restaurants.

Can you say gravy train?

I kid who can read anything and uses a hardcover math textbook where he learns to think logically and analyze information is not only not as lucrative a market for education services going forward, there’s also the concern that he or she might not be the right kind of citizen for our democracy.

Attentive Parent

July 8th, 2010
1:22 pm

Hopefully Maureen will rescue me from the filter.

If the comment about being a good citizen and democracy sounds a bit snarky, you haven’t been reading the literature out there from the likes of Linda Darling-Hammond, who is in charge of these new national Common Core assessments (per EdWeek and the NGA conference).

Also Kathy Cox’s new boss, Sir Michael Barber, has written quite a bit on how to create a generation of children who will be “agents for social change” when he instituted something similar to Common Core in Britain.

It was supposed to increase literacy and numeracy but instead pushed sustainability concepts and being engaged citizens. No that did not mean learning about Parliament.

Feeling better about Common Core yet?

Attentive Parent

July 8th, 2010
1:28 pm

If anyone is interested I have links to the above articles by LDH (2008) and Barber (2009).

We are in for an interesting time given their espoused views and the level of influence and power they have and the deliberately ambiguous language of Common Core.

Wait until you see the actual implementation of such ambiguous national standards.

EnoughAlready

July 8th, 2010
1:37 pm

You can’t DUMB Down standards that are already for the DUMB. The new common core standards can only be an improvement. However, you get out of them, what you put into them. And from the responses, I can see most plan to NOT put much into it.

Michael Moore

July 8th, 2010
1:51 pm

For such a conservative state to invite national control over education leaves me befuddled. Lest anyone be fooled, the real race now is on for the national test(s) and the companies like McGraw Hill and Pearson who are lining campaign war chests will take the standards issue in their own direction. The stakes are high. Instead of squabbling over individual states, whoever gets the national contract wins the lottery. The GPS highly value speaking and listening especially in K-8 education. The common standards value the same. Ever see a test measure either of these? The tests have always determined what gets taught and what gets ignored. Nothing will be different. The days of state and local control of schools is over.

[...] They also report on the state adopting the Common Core standards. Share and Enjoy: [...]

little knowledge is worse than ignorance???

July 8th, 2010
2:06 pm

Comments here are clear evidence that how poor the schooling in GA has been – perhaps some are evidence that education in this country as a whole has been mediocre, at most.

Tony

July 8th, 2010
2:29 pm

Michael Moore and Attentive Parent have hit two nails on the head – big money wants control of public education. The fact that Gates Foundation funded the application for Race to the Top for Georgia and is pushing Common Core should scare everyone. Add to that the money-grubbing test companies who push the testing agenda (please not they also publish the POOR QUALITY textbooks we are already forced to purchase) and we have a recipe for disaster in our schools.

I have said many times from this forum that the real issues that are degrading student achievement have little to do with schools and more to do with the societal ills plaguing our nation. While there are enclaves of families and students who want to do well and take full advantage of the educational opportunities in front of them, there are too many who bog down our classrooms and fight the schools on every effort they make to improve quality. Discipline in classrooms and valuing education are two important components that promote excellence.

I’m not as worried about Common Core as I am about our students’ general lack of desire to work hard and learn as much as possible. The entitlement attitudes that I see from families are on the increase. This means that more families are expecting schools to do everything for their children. They want easy assignments, no homework, and 90th percentile test scores. Does anyone else see the problem here besides me?

quit whining

July 8th, 2010
2:47 pm

(1) standards are always determined by politicians, not educators – they are never in line with what students need to know;
(2) good educators attend the meetings, nod their heads in agreement, and go to their classroom and teach whatever we are told;
(3) teachers who complain about lack of student motivation or poor discipline need to rethink what they are doing in the classroom in the first place.
(4) parents cannot be held accountable for what their children do or fail to do in class: it is the teacher who sets the bar and holds students to whatever standard is set.
There is no perfect system or curriculum. No one is going to agree to let teachers write the standards. We are workers and need to get back to doing our jobs and let the politicians do their work.

Time to Move

July 8th, 2010
3:01 pm

Sadly this will probably mean another set of testing for our children and more teaching to this new test for our teachers.

justbrowsing

July 8th, 2010
3:04 pm

Well said Tony!

Teacher

July 8th, 2010
3:04 pm

Tony you should run for governor. You are the only one that knows what is going on.

Lisa B.

July 8th, 2010
3:09 pm

Tony, I completely agree with your 2:29 post! Few people are going to work when when their needs are met without any effort. That’s a whole other topic.

The switch from GPS to Common Core does not seem to drastic to me. Some of the math shifts from one grade to another, but the changes do not appear major. I am more interested in the change in tests. I assume that the states with Common Core Standards will take the same test. I will not be sorry to get rid of the CRCT, but am curious if whatever test replaces the CRCT will be better or worse.

Really?

July 8th, 2010
3:16 pm

3) teachers who complain about lack of student motivation or poor discipline need to rethink what they are doing in the classroom in the first place.

Really? So Janice Fair, who was respected enough to be a trainer of other teachers, needs to go back and rethink why it’s her fault she was physically assaulted by a student?

4) parents cannot be held accountable for what their children do or fail to do in class: it is the teacher who sets the bar and holds students to whatever standard is set.

So the parent of a child who physically assaults a teacher should have no accountability at all?

Really?

July 8th, 2010
3:22 pm

(4) parents cannot be held accountable for what their children do or fail to do in class: it is the teacher who sets the bar and holds students to whatever standard is set.

So when a child misses an excessive number of days, we should look to the teacher to see how they can be more effective and naturally make the child come to school, rather than ask the parent to have any sort of accountability?

Makes sense to me with the current mindset we have.

Lisa B.

July 8th, 2010
3:29 pm

On occassion, my son needs more motivation than the teachers can provide. As his parent, I can do things his teachers cannot, such as take away the car keys :-) That usually motivates my son when other methods fail.

quit whining

July 8th, 2010
3:35 pm

@really: assault is assault, plain and simple, and the justice system handles that, not teachers. likewise, attendance is covered under mandatory compulsory attendance laws. what is done in the classroom is what i refer to; naturally, a teacher cannot (or should not) be held accountable for material missed when a student misses class. teachers are (or should) only be responsible for what occurs inside their classrooms regarding curriculum delivery. again, the whining about what is to be taught is outside of the teachers’ realm – politicians determine that.

David S

July 8th, 2010
4:00 pm

Yes, the one size fits all, centrally-planned approach is always the best. Just ask the former Soviet Union about their success in central planning.

Apparently an approach that puts the consumer and the service provider together in a free competitive market is just never part of any discussion. Having a consumer and provider agree on the best methods and standards by which to judge educational performance is just not acceptable in a culture that values the “expertise” of government officials over the will of the citizenry.

Good luck with this new set of standards. How many tries will this make? I’m sure this time government will get it right. They have such a great track record after all.

Sarcasm intended.

David S

July 8th, 2010
4:06 pm

Tony, all great comments, but you fail to realize that everything you want cannot be had with the government in charge of education. The kinds of things you want can only be delivered by a free and competitive marketplace that puts the parents directly with the responsibility of paying for and caring about the educational services that are delivered to their children. You talk about entitlement mentality, but unless you are paying for 100% of your child’s expenses (or you or they have done the necessary things to be granted scholarships or other charity), the entitlement mentality will prevail. For after all, if you are sending your child to a government run, taypayer funded school, you are of the belief that you and your child are ENTITLED to an education at the expense of everyone else who must pay, whether they have children or not.

Just saying.

HS Teacher

July 8th, 2010
4:13 pm

Changing ’standards’ means nothing. Any semi-educated person can explain what children need to learn.

When will GA understand this?

Mikey D

July 8th, 2010
4:18 pm

David S- Read the constitution of the state of Georgia. A free and appropriate public education is the responsibility of the state. Most adults attended public schools as children, and those schools were funded by many tax payers who didn’t necessarily have children. But when those school children grew up, they all started whining about having to pay school taxes when they don’t have kids. Sounds a little hypocritical to me…

Just saying.

quit whining

July 8th, 2010
4:23 pm

@HS Teacher: bravo! You made my point much more succinctly than I did!

East Cobb Parent

July 8th, 2010
4:59 pm

I would like to know the teachers that stood up and cheered for CCS, the ones I know did not want them. They feel that once again the childrens’ needs will not be met instead it’s more of a one size fits all approach. Maureen with GA at the bottom, or near bottom, how can you support something that so closely mirrors what we already have? Another reason my children will not return to public school.

Maureen Downey

July 8th, 2010
5:05 pm

@East Cobb, Three teachers spoke at the meeting today in favor of the standards, including the new state Teacher of the Year, and I would be delighted to have any of the three teach my kids. One of the problems with universal condemnation of public schools is that it overlooks the parents for whom public education works. As I have said before, there are many Georgia graduates doing quite well at Ivy League colleges.
The state’s new performance standards have met with fairly widespread support from outside groups. I don’t think the issue is the standards. I think the next hurdle is raising teacher quality.
Maureen

= amounts

July 8th, 2010
5:11 pm

does this mean we get back Alg I, II, etc…

those courses are listed in the CCS and it seperates STEM from career ready??

teacher quality

July 8th, 2010
5:16 pm

yes, i’m sure people are lining up to become teachers: low pay; public scrutiny (most often of the negative variety); and constant political whims that affect the job in myriad ways sounds like a recipe for attracting high-quality applicants. c’mon, Maureen, you mean quality of instruction, right? do you seriously expect to see an influx of talent & brains to the profession without providing more incentives that we have now?

Attentive Parent

July 8th, 2010
5:40 pm

The federal Board that Beverly Hall has been nominated for has announced a new agenda for its research dollars.

Anyone interested in what they are up to should check out this article and accompanying links.

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2010/07/the_institute_of_education_sci_3.html

Maureen Downey

July 8th, 2010
5:44 pm

@Teacher quality, I mean both. We have to improve how we train teachers. And we have to attract the brighest people to teaching.
I think this recession will help with that. Although education is now being hard hit, many kids saw their parents’ jobs disappear in the fields of real estate and construction early in this mess. They have also seen their siblings coming out of law schools with no jobs.
I think the stability of teaching – which remains greater than most fields – will become a bigger draw.

DeKalb Parent

July 8th, 2010
5:53 pm

Maureen, I see that one of the teachers bragged about her students EOCT Math 1 results. Where can the EOCT Math 1 and Math 2 results be found? And what are the cut score levels?

On another note, I agree that teacher quality, especially in math and science is a big challenge, at least in DeKalb county. It seems like the Common Core “standards” are similar to the Georgia GPS. The question to me is whether the Common Core standards come with strings attached, i.e. will the educators be required to teach the standards in certain ways. We will never be able to attract good, creative teachers if the Core standards will be implemented with rigid, scripted teaching protocols.

SSTeacher

July 8th, 2010
6:28 pm

One problem that education has is that we too frequently change the standards. Just about the time teachers get an idea of what the state is looking for (since the state determines the curriculum standards) and are able to present the material in a way that the testing companies interpret the standards (they are the judges of what is reliable and valid) standards are changed (or revised), and teachers have to start the process over again. Rolling out the GPS standards took two+ years, and some of the standards were approved as recently as November of 2008.

I know that we have arrived at a place where only Reading/ELA and Math are valued, but ask yourself why those are the ones that count. Why is science and social studies devalued? Is it because these are the classes where students could actually apply their math and reading skills to learn to develop higher level thinking skills, and be able to recall things from the past so the same mistakes are not continually repeated?

Yes, our world changes and advancements are made, but “standards” are not so frequently shifting…that is why they are called “standards.” In my 15 years of teaching in Georgia, we are on the third set of standards, and third or fourth set of assessment measurements (tests).

I think it is fair to say, from reading the comments here, that not everyone is behind the changing standards, nor is everyone in favor of Race to the Top competitions. It is no longer about our kids, it is about an untapped financial goldmine for the likes of Gates, Broad, Walton, Pearson, and McGraw Hill. These billionaire individuals are not doing this out the goodness of the heart to “give back.” There is a financial gain that the common person has not investigated. We are being used…again…to assist politicians get into and stay in office, make corporations richer, and they are willing to sacrifice public school kids to do it. It’s sad what we allow our “leaders” to do to us.

= amounts

July 8th, 2010
6:43 pm

going back to the SPED teacher whose students scored well; you have to be very careful there.

more than likely the test was read to them.

extended time

and in some cases all they have to do is POINT to the answer; where the test admin then fills in the bubble on the answer sheet.

Mike Honcho

July 8th, 2010
7:40 pm

Is there a website that explains when (what grade) and what order the standards will be taught? I’m a little confused on the differences between or current standards and these common core standards. They are very similar, but a big concern is the ordering of the topics.

Maureen Downey

July 8th, 2010
7:45 pm

Nothing We Can Do

July 8th, 2010
7:50 pm

Arguably the two hardest subjects for most on the graduation test are Science and Social studies, neither of which are covered under the new Common Core Standards.

South Ga Teacher180

July 8th, 2010
7:53 pm

Now Georgia education is no more…and we now see the collapse of public education at the sound of thunderous applause. This will allow the federal government to control preexisting dollars as well as a small hand out of dollars from the feds…local BOE’s will now suck even more tit from the State BOE in lieu from the meddling of the feds…it is amazing to me that each system will probably receive about 5-7% of their budget from federal dollars and forfeit an entire curricula at the expense of our children….so goes Georgia, so goes the rest of the nation!!! The fight now will shift to law suits with the disparity of equalization being sucked to the Atlanta Metro area. My friends in rural GA: I will use a statement from Ross Perot….the sucking sound will move to the NW central portion of the state and the event horizon will suck us all in and now what little control local BOE’s have left is gone…Gov. Pee-yew will not leave a legacy along with Cox and destroying the education of Georgia… thieves. This has all been planned for decades…read http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com
every teacher in Georgia and in the nation needs to get their hands on this…it is hard not to believe what is in this book, but everything is coming to fruition.

South Ga Teacher180

July 8th, 2010
8:20 pm

Michael Moore…YOU ARE RIGHT ON!!! This conservative teacher is pissed and makes me want to vote for Mickey Mouse….he would do a better job! Like I said in my previous post….if you are tired of getting blinded sided…look at the rest of the plan ( which I did not believe for about 2 years) is coming to pass.

Bobby T…right on!

East Cobb Parent

July 8th, 2010
10:11 pm

Maureen, I have many teachers (some former teachers of the year) as friends. They have told me they are marched out for the dog and pony show at times. I’m not saying the three teachers you mention were told to endorse but I am saying it is a possibility. Surely you are not referring to the Fordham Foundation as a supporter for the current standards. If so you are not disclosing all. We do not have students attending Ivey league schools under the new standards. For math, 10th grade is the test class. Our cut rates for the CRCT are extremely low, giving parents and students false hopes as to how students are doing. While the state admits that the train the trainer approach did not work well with the new math, that is not the only issue. And as mentioned earlier the PTA support of Common Core was bought. The PTA gave their support without having read the standards.

Mike Honcho

July 8th, 2010
10:17 pm

So the standards have been accepted, but the courses still have to be developed? As far as math goes I just hope the courses align from state to state. I teach high school math and a friend of mine who has a high school student just moved to another state and they had to work hard to convince the school to allow them credit for Algebra One (the student took and passed accelerated math I in 8th grade).

In looking at the state website I see that the 2010-2011 school year will consist of resource alignment and training. The new curriculum is to be implemented 2011-2012 school year.

Mike Honcho

July 8th, 2010
10:21 pm

Tony – Great post at 2:29. I agree.

South GA Teacher180

July 8th, 2010
11:09 pm

Tony….word up from the swamp-land of Ga.
by the end of 2012, we will have a new President and another agenda wacking us in the head.