Georgia Legislature Having Difficulty Opting Out or In of Common Core

Last week, the Georgia legislature passed a bill in the Senate (SB 167) that will essentially opt the state out of the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English language arts and other projects, ideas, technologies that have any glimmer of association with the federal government.   This version of the bill is an anti-common core bill, and is supported by a number of anti-common core groups.

The bill then went over to the Georgia House.  Last week, the house committee listened to 68 speakers, most of whom opposed the bill, but those who support the bill will probably prevail in the end.  At this meeting, one of the speakers was State Superintendent of Education, Dr. John Barge.  He vigorously opposes the bill, and for reasons that are important to the teachers in the state and their students.

The Governor has been a proponent of the Common Core.  However he signed an executive order supporting the common core, but making sure that Georgia will not collect certain information on students and their families.  Then in August, he ordered a seeping review of the Common Core and asked the State Board of Education to “formally un-adopt” some parts of the program.

Today, Sen. William Ligon withdrew his support for SB 167, the bill he introduced into the Georgia Senate.  He’s stated that the revised version of the bill (revised in the House) does not stop Georgia from continuing involvement in the national standards movement.  Ligon has introduced this bill in past sessions, but it never made it out of committee.

Today, the House Education Committee voted against the common core bill, 13 – 7.  If the bill fails, then Georgia’s approach to standards will be the same as it was before the legislators voted on Sen. Ligon’s bill.

So, the Georgia legislature has had a difficult time deciding whether to opt out or stay with the common core.  Right now, the common core is alive and but not well in Georgia.

I support the Education Committee decision to vote against this legislation.  It was not only a bad piece of legislation, but it was so complicated you wondered what Sen. Ligon’s rationale for the bill was in the first place.  But it is clear what his intention was.  He wants Georgia to dump the common core.  But his bill set in motion an everlasting series of committees and public hearings that in the end leave you gasping for breath.

Not Just in Georgia

The Common Core State Standards is not an issue that is being debated just in Georgia.  Here are links to a few headlines to give you an idea of the consequences of the Common Core.

What do you think about the common core?  Do you think Georgia should opt out or stay with the common core?

About Jack Hassard

Jack Hassard is a writer, a former high school teacher, and Professor Emeritus of Science Education, Georgia State University