FACT: The Common Core State Standards were developed by a coalition of 47 states led by Georgia. Neither the Bush nor Obama administrations played any role in their development. And no state has been penalized by the federal government for deciding not to implement them.
FACT: Student achievement in Georgia’s K-12 schools – test scores, graduation rates, etc. – has been near the bottom of the nation for years. As a result, too many students struggle in college, and our employers can’t find enough graduates with the skills needed for today’s jobs, much less tomorrow’s. The new standards prepare students for college and the workplace from the day they enter kindergarten. That’s why Georgia led the charge in developing them.
FACT: The new standards build on Georgia’s prior standards by adding the best practices of competing states and nations. They emphasize key skills like critical thinking and problem-solving instead of rote memorization – skills that are essential for every career, from the trades to the sciences to the professions. And since nearly every state has adopted them, we’ll get a better picture of how our students are doing versus the nation, and what we can do to improve.
FACT: These are standards, not a curriculum. Standards are simply benchmarks for what students should know in each grade. For example, we expect students to know that 2+2=4, and why. The curriculum is the lesson plan, activities, reading materials and other resources we use to teach students that 2+2=4, and why. And those will always be up to Georgia schools and teachers.
FACT: No personal or identifiable information about individual students is shared with the federal government. This data is protected by both state and federal privacy laws.
FACT: Thousands of Georgia parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, school boards, employers and others support the standards, including:
100 Black Men of America
100 Black Men of Atlanta
Carl Vinson Memorial Chapter 296 of the Air Force Assn., Warner Robins
Communities in Schools – Georgia
Georgia Association of Curriculum and Instructional Supervisors
Georgia Association of Educators
Georgia Association of Educational Leaders
Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals
Georgia Association of Middle School Principals
Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals
Georgia Association of School Personnel Administrators
Georgia BioEd Institute
Georgia Chamber of Commerce
Georgia Council on Economic Education
Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education
Georgia School Boards Association
Georgia School Superintendents Association
Metro Atlanta Chamber
Technical College System of Georgia
United Way of Greater Atlanta
University System of Georgia
Urban League of Greater Atlanta
GE, IBM, Microsoft, Siemens, State Farm and Verizon are among the many Georgia employers supporting the standards.
FACT: Georgia schools have been phasing in the standards since Georgia leaders approved them four years ago. That means Georgia teachers have been teaching – and Georgia students have been learning – based on the new standards for quite a while. Changing the standards or pulling out of them now would be disruptive and damaging to our educators and our children.
Here’s another good resource from the Collaborative for Student Success: The Common Core Fact Checker.