State News

September 24, 2013

Debate surrounds review of education standards

ATLANTA — As Georgia education officials prepare to set guidelines for a review of national academic standards, some worry that calls for change are being driven by politics -- not education.

The state Board of Education this week will set the parameters for the review, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported (http://bit.ly/1aicR4x). It was ordered by Gov. Nathan Deal.

The governor has asked the board to develop a social studies curriculum that teaches students the importance of American government, the country’s founding documents, citizenship, economics education and fiscal responsibility.

Some Republicans and tea partyers oppose the national standards, known as Common Core.

In Georgia, Deal and some other Republicans have expressed concern that Georgia students aren’t learning enough about the nation’s founding and fiscal responsibility.

Deal’s call for a review of the standards -- and his concerns about them -- is likely to resonate with Republicans and tea party activists. Their support will be key for the governor as he seeks re-election next year, the Journal-Constitution reported.

Others say curriculum changes, if any are warranted, should be driven by educators.

“Periodic reviews of curriculum are certainly valid, and while we don’t think it’s a good idea to dictate too prescriptively from Atlanta, any review process might well begin with a presentation on what the schools are already doing now in this subject area,” said Tim Callahan, a spokesman for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.

“Too often, legislative actions about schools are the result of anecdote and incomplete information,” he added.

There’s no scheduled date for when the state board might make changes to Georgia’s social studies curriculum.

———

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com

 

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