From Carly Sharec in the Gainesville Times:
Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, released independent study results Aug. 5 that showed the previous Georgia Performance Standards were more rigorous and detailed than Common Core.
“This is a study that’s not just pulled out of the air,” said Gainesville Superintendent Merrianne Dyer. “(These are) reputable people that have done the study. I would think we would welcome a study like that to be done.”
The studies were independently conducted by Mary Kay Bacallao, a mathematics professor at Mercer University’s Tift College, and Sandra Stotsky, the professor emerita of education reform at the University of Arkansas. Stotsky is also a former member of the Common Core Validation Committee.
Dyer pointed out that there are studies that show the other side of the issue, as well.
“I think it’s been surprising how politicized it’s become,” Dyer said. She suggested that some of the concern may stem from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation being one of the main sources of funding for the development of the standards.
Hall County Superintendent Will Schofield said that he has heard various concerns, but nothing “overwhelming” at the local level.
“I think the issue is people have a legitimate concern for there being too much Washington in their lives,” he said.
Adoption of Common Core was essential in attaining federal funding from the Race to the Top grant.
Ligon, who has been outspoken against the standards since being elected in 2010, said his concern is that Georgia is no longer in control of education.
“What we’ve done by entering into the consortium of states and participating in the Common Core, the state has lost its autonomy in having absolute control of the standards of what would be taught in the state of Georgia,” Ligon said.
Georgia has already dropped out of Common Core’s testing consortium, PARCC. The Georgia episode is just another example that the battle against the corporate-federal control model of schools is taking place in state capitals.