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GOP official: Party should have taken up Common Core but…

May 21, 2013 by

By Maureen Downey

Judy Craft is a Gwinnett County resident who served on the State Resolutions Committee at the state GOP convention in Athens this past weekend representing the 7th Congressional District.

She wrote this piece in response to the failure of the GOP convention to take up a resolution opposing the Common Core State Standards. A standoff on the standards, which have the support of Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and state Superintendent John Barge, was deflected, according to my AJC colleague Jim Galloway, because of a political maneuverCommonCore205x300

By Judy Craft

On Friday and Saturday, Republican delegates descended on Athens like a herd of elephants. More than 1,600 voting delegates and several hundred guests came to meet candidates, to hear from elected officials, to vote on party leaders, and to do the work of the party concerning rules and resolutions. I had the honor of serving on the State Resolutions Committee for the 7th Congressional District. The purpose of a resolution is to send messages to elected officials as to what the grassroots wants to be addressed or dealt with.

The latest education topic in the country these days is Common Core. It was sold quickly, much like Obamacare, in that states had to commit to the national education program before they found out what was in it.

The hottest resolution for the Georgia Republican Party was likewise, Common Core. Eight of 14 Congressional Districts passed resolutions on to the state convention opposing Common Core. Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, introduced legislation this year, SB 167, to withdraw Georgia from Common Core and the national PAARC testing.

Here are some of the highlights of the “hottest” Republican resolution sent forward to the state convention.

The resolution described how the Common Core scheme violates the constitutional principle that the control of education is left to the states and the people. Participation required Georgia to adopt common standards in K-12 English language arts and math and to commit to implementing the aligned assessments developed by a consortium of states with federal money, all without the consent of the people exercised through their legislative branch.

With respect to the alleged “rigor” of the Common Core standards, the resolution recognized that “the Common Core Standards have been evaluated by educational experts and were determined to be no better than Georgia’s previous performance standards and according to key members of the Validation Committee, the standards were even inferior.”

The resolution addressed privacy concerns, stating that “The Race to the Top grant conditions also require the collection and sharing of massive amounts of student-level data through the PARCC agreement which violates student privacy.”

The resolution further recognized that “the push to nationalize standards will inevitably lead to more centralization of education in violation of federalism and local control and violates the spirit of three federal laws” and “will create new tax burdens to pay for enormous unfunded mandates on our state and local school districts.”

Given all these problems, the resolution urged withdrawal from Common Core and the PAARC testing, a more open and transparent process for adopting curriculum standards, and strict limits on collecting and sharing student data.

The resolution concluded by stating appreciation for Gov. Deal’s executive order on May 15th that took a step in this direction.

In the Resolutions Committee, the resolution passed overwhelmingly. Unfortunately, no resolutions were considered on the convention floor.

While the resolution did not receive the time it deserved at the convention, a strong message was sent in Athens. A battle is brewing as the backlash against Common Core grows. Citizens are realizing that Common Core will ultimately control the curriculum of public schools, charter schools, private schools, religious schools, Catholic schools and home schools. There is one thing we all care about and that is our kids. This is the very reason that Common Core was the resolution that needed to be discussed when our party came to do business.

via GOP official: Party should have taken up Common Core but… | Get Schooled | www.ajc.com.

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