The debate over whether Georgia’s schools should follow a common curriculum devised by states continues.
Some Georgia Republicans say the federal government has taken over the job of deciding what materials teachers use in the classrooms. The program is called Common Core.
But Gov. Nathan Deal and state school Superintendent John Barge dismiss the claim.
Deal told the Marietta Daily Journal that there are many misconceptions about the Common Core.
“The federal government did not mandate it, they did not control it, they did not dictate its content,” Deal told the newspaper. “I think there is also a misunderstanding between the Common Core standards, which simply says these are the things that a student needs to know or be able to do at certain grade levels in their school progress, as opposed to a Common Core curriculum, whereby you dictate what is taught. That is not the case here, so I think there is a lot of misunderstanding about what the Common Core does.”
Department of Education spokesman Matt Cardoza says no one tells Georgia educators how to teach. Instead the program lays out core principles a student must master.
“It’s simply saying, ‘These are the standards. How you want to address them, how you think it best to get your students to show proficiency, is up to you. We’re just saying it would be good for students to know this before they leave [school]',” he said.
Educators devised the curriculum after states voluntarily decided that all American students should know certain concepts by their high school graduation. Cardoza says the system makes it easier when families move and students find themselves in a new school in a different state.