‘Countering the Common Core’ coming to Cobb
by Leo Hohmann
June 07, 2013 12:17 AM | 4381 views | 34 34 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — The grassroots pushback against the controversial Common Core education standards adopted by Georgia and 44 other states is showing no signs of letting up — and Cobb County continues to be at the forefront of the fight.

State Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) will be coming to Marietta June 22 to speak at a Common Core panelist discussion organized by Concerned Women for America of Georgia and the American Principles Project.

The event, dubbed “Countering Common Core: You’ve heard the spin — now get the truth,” will include Ligon and several other speakers with expertise on the subject, organizers said.

Besides Ligon, other speakers in the lineup are Jamie Gass of the Pioneer Institute; Bill Evers of the conservative Hoover Institute; and Emmett McGroarty and Jane Robbins, both from the American Principles Project.

“We’re flying in national experts on this. We’re actually having the event Friday in Gwinnett and then repeating it in Cobb for obvious reasons,” said Tanya Ditty, a Marietta resident with Concerned Women for America.

“This is our first major event,” she said. “We’re holding it first in Gwinnett because there is a lot of sway in that area, and in Cobb we’ve got a lot of leadership as well, and we’ve got a little issue with the Cobb School Board.”

The Cobb Board of Education voted recently to nix the acquisition of $7.5 million in Common Core-compliant math textbooks. The board chairman, Randy Scamihorn, has said he may bring the issue back up for another vote later.

Ligon has led the opposition to Common Core in the state Legislature.

“Both Jane (Robbins) and I worked with Sen. Ligon on his two pieces of legislation that would withdraw Georgia out of the Common Core,” Ditty said. “The whole idea is to withdraw Georgia out of the Common Core and out of the national tests.”

She said one of Ligon’s bills would require the Georgia Board of Education to set up hearings in all of the state’s congressional districts before new standards are adopted.

“There would be none of this coming in under the cloak of darkness and saying ‘Here you go,’” Ditty said. “We feel the only voices we have as citizens is through the Legislature. So the whole impetus for this is to educate people with the facts.”

Meanwhile, Ditty said she is teaming up with Cobb school board member Kathleen Angelucci to push the fight against Common Core into other counties.

“Myself, Jane and Kathy are going to a Fayette County Tea Party panel to speak on Monday,” she said. They’ll be trading points and counter points with Dr. John Barge, head of the state Board of Education and a supporter of Common Core.

“Jane (Robbins) and Emmett (McGroarty) are the ones who have written all the white papers on the topic. They are the leading experts in the country on this,” Ditty said. “Jane lives in Stone Mountain and is a Harvard-trained attorney.”

The group has also created a website, stopcommoncore.com, and is sending out DVDs that point out the flaws of Common Core.

“I feel like the momentum is really picking up at the grassroots level. The governor is hearing us,” Ditty said. “We really want to sway him to our side.”
Comments
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Linda Carr
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June 05, 2014
DO NOT!!!!! adopt Common Core!!!!! There is absolutely NOTHING good about it, in my research.
Grassroots?
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June 24, 2013
Grassroots? Controversy? You must be smoking some serious grass.

"Grassroots" must mean "orchestrated by the Texas textbook association"

"Controversy" must mean "Controversy" in the same way it's used in "the controversy about climate change." 99.9% of scientists agree, 0.1% of scientists disagree.

All I know is if it's something to do with Education, the rest of the country thinks it's good, the South thinks it's bad, based on the track records of success for the South versus the rest of the country, there is a 99.9% probability that Common Core is good.

Can't we just admit we are miserable failures at education here in The South and go with what seems to work in parts of the country that have some understanding of how to produce smart, educated graduates?
cobbmomof2
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June 08, 2013
All these people demanding the federal government get out of education, where do you think the funding comes from if you decline the federal dollars? Your property taxes and sales tax will skyrocket. You already complain about paying too much in taxes, please get an understanding of government and funding before posting your demands, your ingnorance is showing. You claim you want the best education for your children but you aren't willing to pay for it. You're willing to vote uneducated persons to your school board, Angelucci, who panders to the lowest form of fear and who openly states in a Board meeting that she doesn't understand Core Curriculum and you wonder why Georgia/Cobb County are behind other states/nations. Try asking classroom teachers what works for the children instead of these self proclaimed "experts" who haven't set a foot into a classroom in twenty years or have never actually taught a class.
Dr. Teresa Plenge
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June 09, 2013
In the CCSD current budget less than 1% is from the feds. However, if we did not do the unfunded federal mandates we would spend millions in court defending lawsuits.
Get over it
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June 10, 2013
Demonizing a good person like Kathy Angelucci just because she was for or against something you wanted is typical of people like you, who obviously believe in tax and spend statism. Kathy understands the issues and she understands the Core Curriculum scheme. If you think Core was developed by classroom teachers, you are incredibly naïve and trusting of the shadow group that has developed this power grab. But then you are probably a yankee Obama supporter too. Don't you ever question why it's not good enough for HIS children?
@freaks
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June 07, 2013
I'm an atheist so I don't know what you're talking about.

Why don't you try to get some education on the common core standards plus some etiquette training, then get back to the rest of us who would like to have a civil debate.
Dr. Teresa Plenge
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June 07, 2013
While you have the legislators' attention regarding Common Core, talk to them about Gwinnett spending 3 times the amount of money per child that Cobb is able to spend. They can do this because they have $65 million of Cobb taxpayers money to do it with. Cobb legislators LOVE giving your money to other counties through QBE Fair Share and to the general fund for them to play with at will through austerity cuts. They laugh themselves silly watching the Cobb School Board try to present a balanced budget that includes all the federal and state unfunded but mandated line items. While you are in Gwinnett talk to the parents there about the university level science equipment their students get to use. Cobb can only dream of this because we do not even have enough money to buy books!!!!!
anonymous
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June 07, 2013
Gwinnett received $681,151,973 in state funding for 2013 with a count of 164,349 students. The average state funding per Gwinnett student is $4,145.

Cobb received $388,906,702 in state funding for 2013 with a count of 108,319 students. The average state funding per Cobb County School District student is $3,590.

Marietta received $30,201,781 in state funding for 2013 with a count of 8,450 students. The average state funding per Marietta City School system student is $3,574.

That means that Gwinnett receives 15.5% more dollars in state funding per student than each Cobb student.

If this doesn't bother you, remain idle.

If this bothers you, and it should... get busy alerting your legislators.
@ Dr. P.
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June 07, 2013
Another item that is important to note is that the Georgia Department of Education shows the most recent demographic data for students eligible for Free/Reduced Meals for the 2010-2011 school year.

Gwinnett = 43%

Cobb = 43%

This is just one example of how/why the school funding formula isn't working.
Dr. Teresa Plenge
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June 08, 2013
Thanks for the updated info. I meant to say that Gwinnett spends 3 times the amount per student in central office spending than we do in Cobb. Cobb school boards over the years have listened to the tax payers concerns and created a lean central office. However, Gwinnett can spend our money any wasteful way they want and we have no say. Our legislators prefer to be bullies to Cobb's school board while Gwinnett's helps them to OUR money.
Gini M
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June 09, 2013
In the mean time how about negotiating with the unions for higher retirement ages for teachers and administrators, say 40 years instead of 30. Not allowing administrators and teachers to be re-hired for five years once they have retired and losing retirement benefits based on how much they earn. Maybe then some of the 4,000 plus dollars that are spent per pupil per year could actually be used to educate our students and not pay retirement benefits. It would also reduce some of the tax burden on the local communities and the taxpayers.
@ Gini M
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June 10, 2013
Georgia is a right to work state.

Collective bargaining is not legal in Georgia.

There are no teacher unions in Georgia.
@southhumanist
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June 07, 2013
Can someone articulate the problem with Common Core? (By the way, the fact that it spans state boundaries does not make it bad).
Cobbmomof2
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June 08, 2013
Sorry @southhumanist, they can't articulate the problem because they don't know the difference between standards and curriculum. They also, most likely, have never read the Common Core and don't know what they are complaining about or why they are complaining. They only know that some talking head right wing media persona said it's a liberal plan and they believe it. The fact that state to state common core was devised by state governors is completely lost on them. Someone alleged that "people say" friends of Obama were involved so it must be bad. The right wing media has done a wonderful job of brainwashing their minions into believing everything they say is true, their minions never bother to check actual fact because their media has told them fact checkers are biased. All Fox News has to say is "people say" and their little sheep believe it, never realizing the only "people saying" it are Fox News and their followers such as Limbaugh and Beck. When national Republicans are distancing themselves and publicly stating Fox is a problem you would think people would notice, but they only want to be angry about something and depend on Fox and MSNBC on the left side to keep the anger stoked.
Sandy Williamson
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June 08, 2013
Aside from the fact it is unconstitutional, it has come into the states with virtually no local approval. Moreover, the standards proposed have not been tested anywhere. So there is no evidence that any improvement would result by their adoption. And, the cost of initial adoption, training, testing, and added technology will be borne by the individual states and school districts. These costs were not considered as part of the adoption. And, perhaps most important is the required massive student and parent data collection that is part of Common Core. I would suggest you invest about a half watching several informative video presentations at: http://truthinamericaneducation.com/common-core-state-standards/stop-common-core-video-series/ The videos will give you a good starting point for further research.
HarperReed
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June 09, 2013
He who designs the assessment controls the curriculum. Sure the states can design their own curriculum, and it will have to teach what will be tested which is designed by Common Core, a non-governmental organization run by non-elected officials.

Cobbmomof2 says it came from the governors, but where did they get the idea? Read the Bill Gates speech to the governors at the National High School Summit in 2005 and you'll see a blueprint for what we are doing today. http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Speeches/2005/02/Bill-Gates-2005-National-Education-Summit

Kevin Jennings, former head of the DOE's Safe and Drug-Free Schools, wanted to see School Climate added to the Sommon Core Curriculum Standards. True, it's only a standard, but once "school climate" is defined and money is tied to state programs, what do you think the state curriculum will look like?

http://www.joannejacobs.com/2010/02/common-climate-standards/

@southhumanist
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June 11, 2013
Thanks Sandy but two things. First, what makes it unconstitutional? Second, I don't expect an unbiased assessment from something called, "stop-common-core-video-series." Is there another source with empirical data from which we can draw our opinions?
C. Karcher
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June 07, 2013
How appropriate this article appeared in the same issue as Kevin Foley's "An epidemic of epistemic closure." Rather than have a meeting equally balanced between specialists pro and con, the Countering Common Core event is arranged for an anti-common core set of speakers who will preach primarily to an anti-common core audience. Why isn't there a balanced presentation challenging a diverse audience and creating a real critical thinking experience. I would be pleased and I expect Mr. Foley would be as well.
Legal Eagle
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June 07, 2013
It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.

Here's the long shot... If the legislature took action and if the governor signed the legislation, it seems that there would be potential for a GA Supreme Court to ultimately weigh in. Here's why:

Sen. Ligon sponsored a bill (i.e. SB 167) that would have effectively cancelled Georgia's adoption of Common Core State Standards from the beginning.

His bill failed to get out of committee. However, IF it was ultimately approved by both houses and signed by the governor, the bill would usurp the authority granted to the state board of education whose curriculum directive is contained in the Official Georgia Code Annotated (OCGA) 20-2-140:

"...the state board shall adopt a uniformly sequenced core curriculum for grades kindergarten through 12."

The word "core" used here should not be confused with "Common Core."

On another note, According to the Concerned Women for America website, it cites that “…under the Common Core, Georgia can no longer control what is taught in its schools in English/language arts and math.”

Contrast that statement with then State Board of Education chair Wanda Barrs who answered the following question;

Will implementing the Common Core State Standards in Georgia reverse or shut down the implementation of our Georgia Performance Standards (GPS)? Is this is a federal mandate to “take over” education?

Her answer to these questions was a resounding “NO.”

Someone is not being truthful here or at a minimum is distorting facts.

Bottom line... be careful of what you hear and believe. Do your own investigation and be certain to look at both sides of the issue.
Sandy Williamson
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June 08, 2013
Wanda is simply wrong. While the Standards theoretically don't mandate curricula, they do require standardized testing and certain methodologies that will essentially force the curricula to match, or testing outcomes will not be satisfactory. those that have compared the current GA standards to Common Core determined that the GA standards are already equal to or better than Common Core. So why are Georgians being sold a bill of goods to create upheaval in the public school system for questionable benefit. Like "Deep Throat" said: "Follow the money."
Just Wait
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June 07, 2013
The paranoia about the federal government "taking over" education is both false and ridiculous. The boogie man is not hiding behind every door.
Cobb Supporter
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June 07, 2013
That's what they thought in Nazi Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union, China, the Arab world, and more! There is a reason to be concerned!!! Also, ANYTHING coming out of D.C. comes with financial strings attached.
Laura Armstrong
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June 07, 2013
At best, it's incompetence. At worst, it is a conspiracy of a combination of Marxists/Communists/Alinskyites and other enemies of our country who realize they have not been able to "organize" a large number of traditional Americans in their lifetimes, so they will give up on that and go for our children and grandchildren. As B. Obama's mentor William Ayers (domestic bomber and the inexplicable influencer of modern education) said in a speech to Marxist followers of Hugo Chavez, "Education IS REVOLUTION!"

As the mother of four and an American patriot whose family has been in this country since the beginning and fought all major wars, FOR LIBERTY and FREEDOM, I don't believe in revolution gained by forces who want to undermine capitalism, weaken our country and enslave us in their fantasy (and proven a failure) utopia. I like our way of life and trust in the American people, not those who have lost their way in Washington and those behind the scenes who created both Obamacare and the Common Core "standards" as a tactic to further their larger agenda. The federal government IS the boogeyman, dude. It's big, corrupt and doesn't care at all about you. Put me on your list, Obama. I'm just a mom who cares about my freedom.
no computers
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June 07, 2013
No computers, no Internet, no iPads, just like the 1950's which you want us to go back too. I'm sorry but I want my kids to be able to compete in the real work with a solid well rounded education, not one that covers the civil war as if the South was correct, or that Joe McCarthy was right or any of that other nonsense you want to propogandize about.
Kennesaw Resident
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June 07, 2013
@Cobb Supporter, don't forget Cambodia!
Cobbmomof2
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June 08, 2013
@Just Wait, as you can see by the comments of Cobb Supporter and Laura Armstong paranoia is alive and well in Cobb County. George W Bush's No Child Left Behind put more federal restraints on education than any other legislation, it required that ALL students must pass standardized tests. I didn't see Ms. Armstrong complaining then about government interference which was during the time she had her little column. Common Core wasn't developed by the federal government, it was developed by STATES. It is simply a tool that was adopted as part of the Race to the Top incentive because it makes sense. Common Core standards simply give a guideline as to what a child should know at certain grade levels. It doesn't tell what should be used to teach the standards. Georgia's state dept. of education has developed sample lesson plans that specify books, websites etc. to be used in the curriculum. Do teachers have to use the state lesson plans? No, they don't if they have a board/administration that is confident in their ability to teach the children. Unfortunately the Cobb County School Board has shown zero confidence in their teachers so it won't be surprising if teachers must teach the state lessons.
CCSD Supporter
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June 08, 2013
What do you mean paranoia? The Federal Government already HAS taken over public education. This is just one more unacceptable layer. The Feds contribute less than 1% of the money in the CCSD budget, but the unfunded mandates dominate the life of every teacher.
Sandy Williamson
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June 08, 2013
Really. Can you be more specific? Can you tell us what makes Common Core superior to current standards in GA or elsewhere? Can you explain how much it will cost? do you know it is illegal for the Federal government to direct education in the states? Rather than being an know-it-all, do some homework before you speak about paranoia. This Common Core idea is being presented by the same folks that are tapping your phone and reading your e-mail.
Scared for Children
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June 10, 2013
I am so very disappointed in the emphasis on politics and NOT children. CCGPS has the potential to be the greatest thing that we have ever done for our children. Please put politics aside and support rigor in our classrooms! I have seen a change in the work of my own child. I will NOT vote for or support anyone who puts elections/politics above the well-being of our children.
freaks
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June 07, 2013
Wow the local Jesus/Mohammed/Whatever freaks sure are all whooped up about kids possibly learning something.

Learning must be stopped at any cost!!!

If you want to LEARN, you are obviously an INFIDEL!

You women folk put your high heels and face paints back on, and you boys stop looking at them!
EastCobbVoter
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June 07, 2013
Nice straw man you've built there. Painting your opponents as religious whack-jobs rather than openly debate the issue is the sign of a coward.

Answer me this, we've had 30 years of federal intrusion into what used to be strictly a local issue. No child left behind, race to the top, Clinton's initiative to hire more teachers, federal money out the wazoo, etc.

And yet we continue to fall behind other countries in every objective measure of the effectiveness of our educational system.

So what makes you think the latest flavor of the month is going to make any difference?

In my opinion common core is just another cop-out for local schools to not have to do their jobs. They would rather take a bunch of federal money and not have to think or work on a curriculum.

Putting a kid in front of a computer and clicking "play" on a video is NOT education. That's baby-sitting.

I'd like to see Cobb do an experiment. Open a charter school and remove all the fancy shiny toys, no computers, no Internet, no iPads. Rip out the cat5 cable. Put in blackboards. Teach the old fashioned way. Make attendance at the school voluntary, i.e. only parents and kids that want to try it have to go.

I bet those kids would run laps around the other kids in our regular dumbed-down schools with their "common core" nonsense, in terms of test scores.

We have school boards for a reason. They are supposed to supervise the curriculum and be accountable to local voters, not be a rubber stamp for some bureaucrat in DC.
@freaks
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June 07, 2013
Look in the mirror.
Papermill gal
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June 07, 2013
You mock as a way of marginalizing people who are informed on this issue.

I want to learn and oh yeah, I AM an infidel. But this infidel believes in education without the interference of the federal government. Local school budgets should have nothing to do with federal dollars, lest they be corrupted the way all of Washington is.

Your nexus of "infidels" and education makes absolutely no sense, likewise your references to high heels and "face paints." You're just weird.

CCSD Supporter
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June 08, 2013
What makes you think we are uneducated. I know a GREAT DEAL about Common Core and am highly educated. Have YOU ever picked up at text book on Foundations of American Education? They all lay out the way public schools are the change agents for changes in our society's thinking. Awareness of environmental pollution, recycling, integration, acceptance of persons with disabilities, etc. Many good things have come from using the public schools as change agents, but the potential for bad is always there just like it has been in the Arab world. We need to be pro-active about this, not ignorant like you.
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