We’ve got national standards. Now here come the national tests. Georgia will be among states to pilot new generation of tests.

Dean Rohrer, NewsArt

Dean Rohrer, NewsArt

We already have national standards. National tests aren’t far behind. Grants were awarded today to two groups to develop national tests.

Having already adopted the Common Core State Standards, Georgia is a partner state in the group that will develop and pilot a series of assessments throughout the year that will be averaged into one score for accountability purposes, a move away from a single high-stakes test administered on a single day. I would assume that these tests would replace the CRCT in Georgia once they were piloted and accepted.

According to the US DOE:

In an effort to provide ongoing feedback to teachers during the course of the school year, measure annual student growth, and move beyond narrowly-focused bubble tests, the U.S. Department of Education has awarded two groups of states grants to develop a new generation of tests. The new tests will be aligned to the higher standards that were recently developed by governors and chief state school officers and have been adopted by 36 states. The tests will assess students’ knowledge of mathematics and English language arts from third grade through high school.

The grant requests, totaling approximately $330 million, are part of the Race to the Top competition and will be awarded to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) in the amounts of approximately $170 and $160 million respectively.

“As I travel around the country the number one complaint I hear from teachers is that state bubble tests pressure teachers to teach to a test that doesn’t measure what really matters,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Both of these winning applicants are planning to develop assessments that will move us far beyond this and measure real student knowledge and skills.”

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers is a coalition of 26 states including Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee. The SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium is a coalition of 31 states including Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.  The assessments will be ready for use by the 2014-15 school year.

“Given that these assessment proposals, designed and developed by the states, were voluntary, it was impressive to see a vast majority of states choose to participate,” said Duncan.

The PARCC coalition will test students’ ability to read complex text, complete research projects, excel at classroom speaking and listening assignments, and work with digital media. PARCC will also replace the one end-of-year high stakes accountability test with a series of assessments throughout the year that will be averaged into one score for accountability purposes, reducing the weight given to a single test administered on a single day, and providing valuable information to students and teachers throughout the year.

The SMARTER coalition will test students using computer adaptive technology that will ask students tailored questions based on their previous answers. SMARTER will continue to use one test at the end of the year for accountability purposes, but will create a series of interim tests used to inform students, parents, and teachers about whether students are on track.

For both consortia, these periodic assessments could replace already existing tests, such as interim assessments that are in common use in many classrooms today. Moreover, both consortia are designing their assessment systems with the substantial involvement of experts and teachers of English learners and students with disabilities to ensure that these students are appropriately assessed.

The parameters of the competition were informed by 10 public and expert input meetings that the Department hosted across the country last winter.  Forty-two invited assessment experts joined nearly 1,000 members of the public and officials from 37 states plus Washington D.C. for over 50 hours of public and expert input on critical questions about assessment and assessment design.

The winning applicants were selected by a panel of peer reviewers. Due to the highly technical nature of the Race to the Top Assessment Competition, the Department sent invitations to two groups of individuals to serve as peer reviewers:  1) experts who served as panelists for the Race to the Top Assessment public meetings (these were nominated by the director of the National Academies of Sciences’ Board on Testing and Assessment, by the U. S. Department of Education’s National Technical Advisory Council chair, and/or by Department experts); and 2) persons experienced as peer reviewers in the Title I review of State assessment systems (all recruited on the basis of assessment expertise).  The Department specifically solicited individuals with experience and expertise in K-12 assessment design, development, implementation, and use for instructional improvement, and those with expertise in complex organizational and project leadership and management.

120 comments Add your comment

[...] Times Race to the Top assessment program grant to benefit Tennessee Business Clarksville Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Education Week News -DesMoinesRegister.com (blog) all 7 news articles » [...]

[...] TimesRace to the Top assessment program grant to benefit TennesseeBusiness ClarksvilleAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Education Week News -DesMoinesRegister.com (blog)all 8 news [...]

HS Teacher, Too

September 2nd, 2010
12:12 pm

Is this really a shock to anyone?

Of course, “they” will say that the national test is all that is needed. But, “they” will still keep the CRCT, the EOCT, and the GHSGT in Georgia.

All we need is another test. All we need is more instruction time taken away to test more.

What idiots!

Below the City

September 2nd, 2010
12:43 pm

Job Title: Teacher
Job Description:
Go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning.
Check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs, sexually transmitted and other diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride.
Teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job.
Check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the final exams, CRCT, National Exams, and others.
Provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Spanish or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card.
And do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few computers, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies a family of four for food stamps.

john konop

September 2nd, 2010
12:44 pm

Maureen Downey,

How do you have a national test on math 123 since it does not track to what the other states teach?

Maureen Downey

September 2nd, 2010
12:46 pm

@John Konop, I suspect our math 1,2, 3 and will start looking like traditional math under the new DOE management.

David Granger

September 2nd, 2010
12:51 pm

And when African-American and Hispanic students score significantly lower on the tests than Caucasian and Asian students do, then here come the accusations that the tests are racist.
No one is ever willing to acknowledge that socio-economic factors…over which a school has no control…factor heavily into education success or failure.

Lisa B.

September 2nd, 2010
1:09 pm

I agree with you Maureen, about how math 1, 2, and 3 will likely change, but it won’t help my 11th grade son! Most of our 11th graders are in both math 3 and math 3 support to help them prepare for a new math section of the graduation test that none of us has any idea about! New curriculum, new test, year after year. My son used to love math, but now hates it. At least he still loves Science.

We need to get rid of the high school graduation test. That was promised years ago when it was decided we’d have end-of-course tests instead.

Education is never dull.


September 2nd, 2010
1:19 pm

National testing may help solve some of our educational problems in Georgia. 1) grade inflation 2) Math 123 3) more votech high schools

Metro Coach

September 2nd, 2010
1:20 pm

Yay, more federal involvement in education. That’s exactly what it needs, more government, just like everything else.

Attentive Parent

September 2nd, 2010
1:36 pm

Where to start on this most confusing story.

1) Will Georgia be piloting for SBAC or PARCC as it is a member of both consortia?

2) A critical aspect of both, but especially SBAC, is the move towards performance-based assessments embedded in the curriculum and subjectively graded by the teacher based on rubrics. Why no mention of this critical component in the story?

Yes- this would be an excellent way to eliminate any more uncomfortable cheating standards.

3) Math 1,2,3 can continue on pursuant to the integrated pathways described in a CCSSO appendix on implementing the math Common Core.

Or Georgia can use the traditional course names but Common Core envisages a new experiential, group effort approach to math whatever the course name.

These new assessments are to put a premium on “modeling” various math concepts and must reflect the Standards for Mathematical Practice as much as content. The Math Practice Standards are remarkably similar to our good friends- the learning tasks of the Georgia Instructional Frameworks.

Yes it really does appear that Georgia was piloting Math 1, 2, 3 so it can now be rolled out nationally.

drew (former teacher)

September 2nd, 2010
1:44 pm

Thank God! National standards! National tests! Folks, we are well on our way to fixing the education problem in this country. But we cannot rest on our laurels.

There are a lot of test makers out there…and lots of things to test. I would suggest maybe eliminating some elective courses and using that time for testing. Or maybe Tuesdays can devoted entirely to testing (Testing Tuesdays!)…after all, the more time teachers spend teaching, the less time we”ll have for testing.

Remember, testing gives us data, and data is GOOD. Given enough data, we can turn this thing around. Once we have enough tests in place, along with all of the critical data that they provide, the US will once be #1 in education.


September 2nd, 2010
2:40 pm

So let me get this straight — Georgia is piloting Math 123, so the rest of the Nation can follow?? We were well on our way to fixing the educational system and now National standards is going to stop the progress???? WHAT
Can we just get rid of the Georgia tests and use National testing? No we don’t need every Tuesday for testing.


September 2nd, 2010
3:06 pm

I think AP is correct about HS math. The common core does not specify how the standards are organized as courses. Unless they decide to test students every year, I don’t see how these tests will force any state to conform to a particular type of course offering.

I don’t understand why AP says “a new experiential, group effort approach to math” as the CCSS simply states what students must understand. Math is math.

I suspect AP perfectly well understand what “modeling” means in mathematics. We “model” how a ball thrown from a point that is 50 feet above the ground level travels, for example. Modeling is very much central to the use of mathematics in solving problems we encounter. If students can’t “model,” then they really don’t know mathematics.

Mathematical practices such as paying attention to precision is extremely important in mathematics. I don’t know why she ties them with the Frameworks. They are TOTALLY different creatures.

Teachers College Student/Former GA Teacher

September 2nd, 2010
3:13 pm

Hi Parent,

Yes the GA Math 1,2,3 standards are VERY similar to the National Common Core Standards. You woul d not believe how different the “TESTS” are state to state. The Algebra “EOCT”(regents) in NY is SO MUCH easier than the former ALgebra EOCT test here in GA. NY scores were higher but only because the test was watered down. We need a test that ALL students take so we can actually COMPARE state to state and maybe FINALLY see some of the problems.

Attentive Parent

September 2nd, 2010
3:25 pm

Oh Stevie. So disdainful.

Here’s the CCSSO appendix on how math is to be taught http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_Mathematics_Appendix_A.pdf

I say these things because I’ve read this document.

Every course described has the following requirement that is quite contrary to the idea that no one would dictate how these courses were to be taught.

“Mathematical Practice Standards (similar to our frameworks) apply throughout each course and, together with the content standards, prescribe that students (plural, not singular always) experience mathematics as a coherent, useful, and logical subject that makes sense of problem situations”.

Does that sound like traditional Algebra whatever the course name?

It also defines modeling as critical to the instructional programs. It expressly defines it as both “a conceptual category (which it italicizes) for high school mathematics and a mathematical practice (again italicized).

Modeling is said to be an important avenue for motivating students to study mathematics.

Is it now a bit clearer why I made those mysterious statements?

Attentive Parent

September 2nd, 2010
3:34 pm

There has been an idea in education for a while that math and science need to be reimagined and changed to allow “democratic access to powerful ideas”.

Modeling is at the heart of now to do that. It may not be math and science as understood by the rest of the world or particularly useful but the ignorance will at least be more equitably distributed.


September 2nd, 2010
3:41 pm

First principle in education: We ADD TO the workload, we NEVER subtract. This is why we still have the EOCT AND the graduation tests. And the CRCTs will live on, because SOMEONE makes a mint off writing, printing, and grading them.



September 2nd, 2010
4:33 pm

catlady: just like everything else in the govt.

Great – haven’t we proved in the last 30 or 40 years what a terrible mess having the federal government create standards is? they do a lousy job, but we just keep letting them get deeper and deeper into our local issues.
They suck. they will only make things worse. has a teacher even been involved with any of this?


September 2nd, 2010
4:36 pm

Another workbook approach to teaching…let’s screw that nut on to the bolt!

America is known for innovation, creativity, and invention.

Here’s an idea…We could just model our system of education like the those used in China since most of our goods are made there.

The lowest level of thinking in Bloom’s “idea” of learning is the regurgitation of knowledge…memorization. Don’t we have enough cookie cutter learners out there in our schools?

Get real…testing companies are created to make money. It’s a business! Just like the text book business and the contracting businesses that build our schools.

Think about this …What happened to the time when there was no standardized testing used?

A test is just one indication of what someone can do…

After all if Thomas Edison was thrown out of a public school…then don’t you think we can do away with all of the standardized testing and get back to the basics…

I say just say “no” to all testing…
Save the billions of dollars spent on standardized testing.

Think of all the money that could be spent on more assistance in the classroom and meeting the needs of individual students in smaller groups.

Find some “real” administrators that have some ethics, spending the money on materials and teachers that make a difference.

IF your only idea is to replace a test with a test…just…fill the classroom with a minimum of 100 children…pass out the workbooks…and stand in front of the overhead and repeat “now turn the page”

Isn’t that called online education?…or was that home schooling? I am confused!!!

The real taxing issue is…What would all these parents do without this daycare from 8am to 3pm?

South Ga Teacher180

September 2nd, 2010
4:50 pm

@drew (former teacher)

September 2nd, 2010
1:44 pm
Thank God! National standards! National tests! Folks, we are well on our way to fixing the education problem in this country. But we cannot rest on our laurels.

There are a lot of test makers out there…and lots of things to test. I would suggest maybe eliminating some elective courses and using that time for testing. Or maybe Tuesdays can devoted entirely to testing (Testing Tuesdays!)…after all, the more time teachers spend teaching, the less time we”ll have for testing.

Remember, testing gives us data, and data is GOOD. Given enough data, we can turn this thing around. Once we have enough tests in place, along with all of the critical data that they provide, the US will once be #1 in education.


I hope to hell this is sarcasm!


September 2nd, 2010
4:52 pm

Federal government: And we want you to pick up dead, squashed snails from a hot asphalt road with your tongue for $200M.

Sonny Purdue: Yes, Yes! THE TEACHERS will do it! And the $200M will go for coaches and administrators to oversee the licking of the decaying snails!!!

Attentive Parent

September 2nd, 2010
5:01 pm


Are you trying to check into whether Georgia is piloting SMARTER Balanced (SBAC) or PARCC?

Will explain why it matters so much once we know.

Catlady- You forgot to add Sonny rejoicing that their were no strings attached to get the $200 million.


September 2nd, 2010
5:07 pm

AP, I believe the article said SBAC.

high school teacher

September 2nd, 2010
5:13 pm

It is interesting to hear that someone thinks the algebra test in NY is easier than the old algebra EOCT. Is it possible that with national standards and tests, GA might not be 49th in education anymore?


September 2nd, 2010
5:16 pm

@ AP

The appendix suggests two, and these two aren’t the only ways to adopt the content standards, course organization schemes. I see a “pathway” that is the traditional algebra-geometry sequence, and there is an “integrated” one. I also understand that the appendix is not finalized, either. Quite frankly, I think most states will go with whatever they are currently doing – why would they change? It would be helpful for Georgia if more states did so that publishers will consider creating more textbooks for such an organization.

As for mathematical practice, I don’t see why you keep bringing up the Frameworks. The eight standards for the mathematical practice are:
1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively
3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
4. Model with mathematics
5. Use appropriate tools strategically
6. Attend to precision
7. Look for and make use of structure
8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning

I don’t know of any mathematics teachers (at any level) who will disagree that these are important ideas when students are learning – and using – mathematics.

I still don’t see why you don’t like modeling. Modeling mathematically is what we do when we use mathematics to solve problems.


September 2nd, 2010
5:23 pm

Its clear that teachers are overworked. The mention of another test or administrator giving them anymore work or regulations is certainly not welcome. Its a big problem that teachers are this stressed on the job.

Attentive Parent

September 2nd, 2010
6:36 pm


I see why you said SBAC as that is the one that averages over the year. It’s also the one that’s the most subjective. It was led by that paragon of solid academics:Linda Darling-Hammond.

SBAC puts the emphasis on performance based assessments that will be embedded in the curriculum and graded by the teacher. It also plans to give anywhere from 2 to 6 longer “performance events” (approximately 1 to 2 class periods in length) in each content area in Grades 3-8 and high school in order to provide multiple ways of measuring learning.

Test questions when given are to be open-ended items such as essays and problems for which there could be a myriad of answers.

PBAs would be research projects, science investigations, development of products, and presentations about these efforts.

So how would we know how Georgia students are actually doing? This type of PBA system works poorly where it has been tried evn in rich states where well educated parents are the norm like Connecticut.

Stevie-I see you went to the CCSSO math standards but you forgot to include the part where those 8 practices are to be based on the controversial NCTM Standards of 1989 as well as “Adding It Up”.
Those are expressly incorporated by reference and constitute the CCSSI Standards for Mathematical Practice.

If CCSSO considers them to be a proper noun and something distinct to be capitalized I think that is telling. I keep referring to the frameworks because the approach they advocate is based on those same NCTM process standards.

LIke CCSSO’s Math Practice Standards, the process skills are being held out as separate and frequently more important than the content. I know CCSSO only talked about content to win political support and always intended a bait and switch when it was time for the actual implementation. We know all about that here in Georgia.

Stevie likes to use modeling in its scientific sense to make these changes seem innocuous even though she strikes me as either an administrator or an ed prof so I’ll assume she’s familiar with Richard Lesh and Lauren Resnick’s work.

The idea is that to make math and science more accessible you simply come up with a broader range of problem solving situations. This then allows you to recognize a broader range of knowledge and abilities and declare them to be mathematical and scientific.

The idea behind modeling as used by Lesh, Resnick, and CCSSI is that it becomes whatever it takes to define enough students as STEM capable. They do not have to know anymore. We figure out where they are and declare that enough.

See how PBAs will come in handy?


September 2nd, 2010
7:31 pm

NCTM standards may be controversial, but that does not make it wrong. Adding It Up was written by a committee that involved people from both sides of the “math war,” too. Just to be clear, *I* don’t see any issue with the 5 process standards of the NCTM nor the 5 strands of mathematical proficiency the NRC discusses in Adding It Up. I do realize that there are people like AP who seem to have issues with those ideas, and we can agree to disagree. But, I’m just curious why do you (AP) think the ideas like “reason abstractly and quantitatively” or “attend to precision” are so problematic. Is it simply that those ideas seem to be in alignment with the NCTM standards? Actually, I know of some NCTM supporters who do not think too highly of the CCSS, too. They think these mathematical practices are just catering to the other side of the “math war.”

Education, unfortunately or fortunately depending of your perspective, is a political process. The adoption of the CCSS doesn’t necessarily mean much by itself. How each state will try to enact its curriculum is what to be decided by each state. Maybe you don’t have much faith in the political process – and I can certainly understand that skepticism. However, based on the recent history, I have the feeling that those who oppose the NCTM and its reform ideas tend to be much more politically savvy, and if I were betting, I think they will come ahead.

As for Lesh and Resnick, I know of their work, but I haven’t read much, either. I think they are very good cognitive scientists, and somehow I feel that they are much more sophisticated than “to make math and science more accessible you simply come up with a broader range of problem solving situations.” On the other hand, mathematics as a discipline developed as mankind tried to solve many different problems. Moreover, the idea of making math and science accessible seems to be a good objective, and I hope AP doesn’t have an issue with that goal.

trying hard to be patient

September 2nd, 2010
7:36 pm

Thank God my kids are out of Georgia Public Schools!!!!!!

Attentive Parent

September 2nd, 2010
7:59 pm


I’ve said this before. I have a problem if it’s not math and science anymore. If doing a lab experiment that you do not really understand as a group and writing up the results makes you doing science and no one steps in to clarify, that’s not science.

If the process standards were merely about alternative ways to learn content and make it meaningful, that’s a good way to make it accessible.

That is not the meaning being used in any of these documents though.

LDH herself has repeatedly decried what I call academic, foundational knowledge and she dismisses as an archaic “transmission curriculum”. Recall and recognition of facts is not a be all and end all but it is a prerequisite to the type of open-ended assessments used in the countries LDH cites.

I think she’s wrong that the type of thinking and performance skills people need has changed dramatically. Sometimes I think all this 21st century nonsense is mostly an excuse to give Microsoft, Cisco, and Intel new lucrative and captive markets as technology becomes the new Holy Grail.

It’s just a tool.

Lesh and Resnick were far more forthcoming on their intentions in redefining math and science in the early 1990s before the “math wars” kicked into high gear. Interesting, forthright stuff.


September 2nd, 2010
8:05 pm

Oh goody goody gumdrops! Another test. Lucky us! I’ve given six “summative assessments” to my first grade class already, and it’s only the fifth week of school. All of this assessment is making it hard for me to meet with guided reading groups, which is what first grade is all about.

Newsflash: You have to actually learn something before a test can be given.


September 2nd, 2010
8:36 pm

OMG, whoa talk about someone full of themselves. Blah, Blah, Blah, cognitive BS BS BS. Lets bring it back to freakin reality; Some kids cant do the “new math” hell they couldnt do the “old math”. Guess what Einstein, the kids that couldnt handle Pre-Algebra are still the type of kids going through the system and we have saddled teachers with covering “higher” math with’em. “Higher” math some of the junk in these guidelines are so obsure that the average person will never hear or see them in their lifetime. Now if you want to make STEM classes; we can talk. But, 80% of the students are getting a disservice from the Math 1234 that Kathy Cox put on them and then waves bye as the whole dam field burns. Crawl back up into your Ivory tower and the people that really keep things running, building things, and guarding you from harm fix the problems you have created.


September 2nd, 2010
8:38 pm

Why not just use NWEA’s MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) tests? They are nationally normed, computer graded and only take about a hour of student time three times a year. We are very happy with them. They tell everyone a lot more than the CRCT ever could about a student. I’m just ticked that our kids are still forced to waste their time on the CRCT. MAP is all we need.


September 2nd, 2010
8:51 pm

Seems as though no one likes tests and while they should not be the only indicator of performance national test do have a place. Let there be one standard and one standarized nationaly normed test. Actually I have reached the conclusion that we should abolish the public school system. Parents who want their children to have an education will figure how to make it happen. The gap betwwen haves and have not will widen and the children of responsible engaged parent(s) will get educated.

Educational Change ?

September 2nd, 2010
9:00 pm

Will national credentialing be the next experiment to
try and regulate ,or mandate a national teacher
curriculum for the teacher professional schools to follow ?
Will the data from the national tests be used to determine
if academic growth in higher scores leads to a corresponding
growth in students graduating high school and
attending a university, or trade school ?


September 2nd, 2010
9:14 pm

@ AP

Poor teaching is poor teaching – no matter what the label it is under. I am also aware of some poor teaching done under the name of some “reform” ideas. Poorly implemented “reform” teaching is just as bad as poorly implemented “traditional” teaching. I think we need to be much more forthcoming about poorly implemented “reform” teaching. There are some teachers who do well by incorporating “experiments” in a math lesson to teach students a new idea. There are also some teachers who teach “traditionally” by simply having students memorize procedures and tell students “don’t worry about why, just do as I tell you to do.” Neither makes one way of teaching good or bad.

kathy gump

September 2nd, 2010
9:17 pm

MwaHaHaHa!! This is so sublime! ( “well-meaning ineptitude that rises to awe inspring absurdity”

kathy gump

September 2nd, 2010
9:18 pm

…inspiring ^_^


September 2nd, 2010
10:09 pm

Since we don’t seem to be able to keep away from the Math 1,2,3 controversy, I’ll offer a bulletin from the front lines. My high school junior, a slightly-bloodied (*) veteran of Accelerated Math 1,2,3 is now in AP Calculus B/C. At the school Open House recently, the Calc B/C teacher reported to parents that his students this year are about half juniors emerging from Accel Math III, and half seniors who’ve come through the old curriculum. He stated that he’d been concerned about possible disparities in preparation between these two groups, but so far he’s been very happy to find that he can’t really discern any noticeable differences. The students all seem to have about the same knowledge and skills.

I’m sure this won’t affect the thinking of those who believe Math 1,2,3 is “new math”, that the class of 2012 won’t be able to gain admission to any colleges (because they haven’t studied algebra or geometry) and that the sky is falling. Carry right on, folks.

(*) “slightly bloodied” is intended as an acknowledgment that the introduction of the new curriculum has been rough on the class of 2012. I’m not saying it’s been painless. However, it’s just math, not some voodoo substitute.


September 2nd, 2010
10:31 pm

From the Dr. John Barge website:

What needs to be done regarding our curriculum, particularly the Math I, II, III, and IV curriculum?

1.Return to traditional teaching of math through a traditional curriculum

Regarding the math curriculum, if elected I will work toward the elimination of Math I, Math II, Math III, and Math IV and the restoration of Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, Calculus, etc. to distinct courses. Our core standards are very well done in Georgia, but we need to find a more effective way to teach our students so that they can achieve a level of proficiency at math and other subjects.


September 2nd, 2010
10:32 pm

Corcerning testing from Dr. John Barge:

What will you do regarding testing in Georgia’s public schools?

1.Decrease the amount of standardized testing;
2.Work to eliminate the Georgia High School Graduation test immediately

I will work to reduce the amount of testing or assessment we require in the State of Georgia. First, I will work to end the requirement of Georgia’s High School Graduation Test in the 11th grade. We should only rely on the End-of-Course Tests to measure a student’s achievement in our core curriculum. Under No Child Left Behind each state must measure every public school student’s progress in reading and math in each of grades 3 through 8 and at least once during grades 10 through 12. Additionally, schools must test students in science at least once in elementary, middle, and high school. In Georgia, we test all students in 1st through 8th grades with the CRCT and in 9th – 12th grades with End-of-Course Tests, the Georgia High School Graduation Test, and the Georgia High School Writing Test. 3rd, 5th, and 8th graders also take a state writing assessment. In addition to this litany of tests, we administer multiple tests for gifted students, English language learners, and students with special needs. When we throw in the multiple benchmark tests that schools give each year to prepare for these high stakes tests, it is surprising that teachers have any time to teach the actual curriculum!

South Ga Teacher180

September 2nd, 2010
11:09 pm

September 2nd, 2010
9:14 pm

I have said this before on other blogs…it is the politicians and their rhetoric about how bad teachers are that get reported along with the so called “experts” like the cognitive scientists that keep bashing teachers for not being able to handle the change that comes before them…anytime teachers are critical of a “new” way of doing things, they are lumped in as being a “bad” teacher. National testing will be a waste of f_ing time and money. I will predict due to this bend-over-and-take maneuver that Ga will be in the nation’s NEW top 10…again, this is a race to the bottom not the top.

Drewnell Thomas

September 2nd, 2010
11:30 pm

Please do not confuse me with the other Drew that supports more testing. We cannot continue to test our students to the extinction of learning and education. Repeatedly testing students on information they do not know will not provide students information that teachers need to teach in a holistic educational process. Drewnell Thomas

Attentive Parent

September 3rd, 2010
4:38 am

I’m truly still in shock that we are to be piloting for SBAC. How many failed educational ideas will Georgia agree to implement for federal dollars long after they became notorious in other states?

Massachusetts and Florida-they’re piloting for the PARCC consortia.

We’re piloting with Washington State whose educational agenda drove away Boeing and has Microsoft hiring elsewhere.

Will there be any objective, nationally normed tests required of Georgia students anymore prior to the ACT, SAT, and PSAT?

Stevie-there are lots of schools and districts in Georgia where the teachers and principals have been told that they are no longer allowed to offer worked examples of material to be learned.

We know a lot about what is effective in education and why. The question is whether individual teachers are going to be free to implement what is effective in their classrooms or whether they will be hobbled by inflexible mandates from the district, state, or the feds.

Without objective testing it’s hard to know what is effective until you discover your child or employee cannot read well, writes poorly, and knows little.


September 3rd, 2010
5:12 am

@decaturparent: My school system used MAP until last year. The majority of teachers liked it, at least at first, because it provided immediate feedback. (That is, until the students figured out that the test didn’t “count”, so they began to Christmas tree their answers.) Being a computer-based test, it adjusts to the current knowledge level of each student (i.e., the test become more challenging as the student continues to answer correctly.) Sadly, the austerity cuts caused the system to drop MAP and replace it with a locally created test that theoretically supplies the same information. The current test is about half the cost of MAP, but it’s garbage. The first administration of this year’s test was given two weeks ago. The tests contained numerous errors (one elementary grade received the reading test for a grade level two years higher), and some teachers received answer documents intended for other grade levels. Oh, and the system scheduled a teacher inservice for two of the three testing days, so that teachers were not at school to administer the test to their students.

But it’s supposed to be a GREAT test!


September 3rd, 2010
7:07 am

What WON’T Sonny sign us up for with the promise of money? I stand by my dead snail licking analogy.


September 3rd, 2010
7:14 am

AJinCobb – So the Calculus teacher doesn’t notice any difference in the students from traditional Math and Math 123 – So why did we spend all that money and “bloody” pain to change a math program?


September 3rd, 2010
7:55 am


That’s a good question. I’m just a parent, not any kind of school system insider. My exposure to the new curriculum is just through one member of the class of 2012, a gifted-designated student who was on the accelerated math track. I suspect that the kinds of students who would be taking AP Calc B/C in high school are the kinds of students who’d do all right under any curriculum.

It’s my impression that the new curriculum is intended to raise math performance for on-level students. Whether it’s accomplishing that, I don’t know. What I do know, because I remember a reasonable amount of high school and college math, is that Math 1,2,3 covers the same content that high school math has covered for decades if not centuries, in countries around the world. Oh, it does add some content on statistics. That’s pretty useful for interpreting the news, in the present day.

What really gets me about the chorus of criticism of Math 1,2,3 is that so much of it consists of complaints that the math is “new”. People even literally say and write that the students are no longer learning algebra and geometry. This kind of criticism is just so ignorant and incorrect that it really makes me despair for this country. How are we going to make reasonable decisions together when people don’t understand the facts and, I fear, don’t want to?


September 3rd, 2010
8:37 am

@ AP

If any administrator (school, district, or state) is telling anyone how to teach, that is wrong – no matter how courses are organized (unless the suggestion/mandate is at a very general level, like, “listen carefully to what students are saying and figure out how they came to their conclusions). There are appropriate times and not so appropriate times to include worked out examples – I think you can say that to teachers, in my opinion. I also think it is just as wrong for an administrator to tell teachers to always show students worked out example when students are introduced a new topic.

If the issue is how to teach math, then how courses are organized really makes no difference. Because mathematics is a network of knowledge, you can always make connections. You can teach Algebra I topics using experiments and group work – just as easily as teaching Math I, II, III, and IV by teacher lecturing.

As for GA being a part of both cosortia, I don’t see anything particularly wrong with the approach. We can then choose at a later point to officially adopt the final product. In a way, this is a very typical politician’s move – they are avoiding a commitment at this stage. Piloting won’t probably include a huge number of students or schools.