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Georgia legislature-appointed advisory council to review Common Core
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2014 13:43 PM

While districts across the country continue to successfully integrate the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in schools, some states still face opposition from Tea Party activists. State representatives in Georgia have passed a bill that will review the effectiveness of the CCSS due to overwhelming political pressure from Tea Party members. According to members of the movement, the Standards are not only a veiled attempt of the federal government to wrest control over public education from the state, but also ineffective. Advocates of the bill believe that recommendations and adjustments to the Standards will improve implementation in state schools and promote more cooperation from the public.

Components of the legislation
State governors and American education experts created the Common Core to establish a new level of academic achievement in the U.S. They hoped that by focusing on critical thinking skills, problem-solving activities, and a deeper understanding of English/language arts and complex mathematics concepts, they would create a generation of highly educated, skilled workers. Business leaders across the country lauded the application of deeper thinking and believe that the CCSS will help the U.S. economy by producing leaders in technology, communications and other forward-thinking industries.

All of these factors were explained thoroughly by Common Core representatives across the country, however, the Georgia legislature still required a review of the essential characteristics of the Standards. Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, headed the bill and proposed that Georgia's Board of Education revise and adjust the content of the Standards every five years.

The process will include recommendations on who can serve on the advisory boards, protocol for public review and feedback, and the inclusion of higher education experts in consulting roles. For now, an advisory council made of 18 university professors, elementary and high school teachers, private sector representatives and parents will participate in the review. The council will then offer suggestions to the Board of Education. According to Ligon, this process will truly help the students of Georgia.

"There's a desire to have first class standards within the state of Georgia and to have assessments that are aligned to those standards; the best way for Georgia to do that is to have control over this process," Ligon told WSB Radio.

Underlying issues addressed by the bill
In addition to setting the standards for the review of the CCSS, the bill also states specific protective measures for student privacy. Data on students, including test scores, progress and subject efficiency, will likely be off-limits to the federal government unless parents and guardians of students give their expressed consent.