On the Wednesday after Mother's Day, Governor Nathan Deal (GA-R) seemed to offer mothers, caregivers, and parents of students a belated gift. Deal signed an executive orders statement on Georgia education and Common Core.
The Governor appeared to affirm state and local BoE controls over Georgia school standards and curriculum. His May 15th executive order wording seemed a slap down of the notion that his state would offer "personally identifiable data' on students and their families "to be collected, tracked, housed, reported or shared" with the federal government, or for any commercial enterprise.
Amidst revelations of IRS data malfeasance, the political left, right, and middle are incensed by private data collected and shared for political means. For caregivers and parents of children it is especially onerous.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the data tracking system is not even in place in Georgia. Common Core standards, however, have been operational for two years, ever since the previous Governor, Sonny Perdue, accepted "The Race to the Top" federal mandates and funds for a state educational system that was both broken and broke.
“We are concerned about the future of education in the state of Georgia,” Deal said at a Capitol news conference. “Curriculum has been and will remain a local decision."
Author of the tabled anti-Common Core bill, GA State Sen. William Ligon (R) offered the Southern hospitality, "bless your heart" response to both Governors' actions. However Ligon urged and added,
"Common Core continues to erode student’s education, removes control of educational standards from state and local authorities and causes significant privacy concerns.
“Our students deserve better. If Georgia continues to participate in Common Core, it must accept 100 percent of the standards word-for-word and we would only be allowed to adopt 15 percent our own standards – this is only after the 100 percent Common Core requirement is fulfilled. Even with the issuing of this Executive Order, educational standards will still be set and controlled by private interests outside of the state."
In the executive order the public is given a 60-day period for review and comments upon proposed educational state standards. CC critics may not see this as a viable means to input creative direction into their local schools. Indeed, Truth in American Education (TAE), a national, non-profit group of citizen and parents deemed the Governor's order, "Meaningless."
Governor Deal again declared that Common Core standards do not undermine Georgia's curriculum decisions.Via Todd Rehm's GAPundit.com site, is Governor Deal's divergent stance even after signing the order:
“Common Core standards do not require information sharing with the federal government and they do not impose a federal curriculum. This executive order aims to send a clear and unambiguous message that, in Georgia, we will maintain local control over curriculum while working diligently to achieve high educational standards.”
To the jaded, perhaps IRS-audited, tea-tired activists, the royal "we" in their Governor's executive order is troubling. They believe the Department of Education is the noun behind the pronoun, after all it holds the purse and prints the mandated reams of regulations deemed "educational standards."
As for that sixty-day review, Georgia school districts have actively promulgated Common Core approved materials and teaching guides for several years. Only recently did one state district, Cobb County, reject the purchase of new math curriculum. Meanwhile, almost three years of Local PTO meetings on Common Core may have already lulled many into group acquiescence to a progressive fiat.
Still, there lingers Ligon's Education Senate Bill 167 under the Atlanta State Gold Dome. After the next legislature session opens, and should state representatives of both houses pass it, it will land on Governor Deal's desk. Will weary activists rally enough constituents to persuade Governor Nathan Deal to seal a great deal for each Georgia child?
It doesn't matter which school each child attends--public, charter, parochial, or at a kitchen table. Federal CC standards will be in place for all, ready to be measured by national tests, tests that may not reflect what Red State parents want their kids to learn.