Common Core challenged at meeting
by CELIA SHORTT
The Common Core Standards were a topic of discussion at Tuesday night’s Coweta County Board of Education meeting.
A group of six citizens, consisting of parents, grandparents and former students, presented their concerns about the Common Core Standards being implemented in Coweta County schools.
“We are here because of the Common Core Standards,” said Linda Menk.
Menk and the others each shared their thoughts about how these standards would affect different elements of the children’s education.
Bryan Galante voiced his concerns about federal control over the curriculum for local children.
“The Constitution says nothing about education,” Galante stated. “It was relinquished to states through the 10th Amendment.”
The 10th Amendment states that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people, he said.
“If Coweta County accepts the Common Core Standards, we lose local flexibility and control,” continued Galante. “Parents should set the tone for what is taught to our children. I believe our children’s future should be in our hands, not the federal government.”
Newnan resident Nancy Olson believes that the Common Core Standards will train students for entry level jobs and not educate them for life.
“There is no evidence that Common Core is up to standards to enter college,” said Olson.
According to its website, the Common Core State Standards Initiative says that these upcoming standards “are aligned with college and work expectations.”
“Georgia has lost control of children’s education. It has simply paid for the cost,” concluded Olson.
Brant Frost V shared his concern about the implications Common Core Standards have for families who home-school their children. He believes Common Core will create a one-size-fits-all approach to education and take away freedom of choice for parents in how they educate their children.
“Freedom of choice should not be removed for homeschoolers when we pay taxes for services we don’t use and score higher on tests than others do,” said Frost.
Other areas of concern included what the speakers said was the financial cost of Common Core and the collection of students’ personal information.
Menk concluded the group’s comments by making a formal request to Coweta County School Superintendant Dr. Steve Barker, Georgia School Superintendent John Barge and Gov. Nathan Deal to remove Coweta County from the Common Core Standards until a balanced review of the standards can be done.
Dorie Turner Nolt, assistant director of communications for the Georgia Department of Education, says that the state of Georgia has been very involved with the Common Core Standards from the beginning.
“The Georgia Performance Standards, the state’s education standards were used to help write Common Core,” Nolt said, “In fact, when the state education worked to merge the Common Core with the Georgia Performance Standards, they really aligned 90 to 95 percent already, with Common Core.”
The state of Georgia adopted the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards on July 8, 2010. These include standards in English, language arts and mathematics.