Angelucci holds cross-county meeting to reject Common Core principles
by Hannah Morgan
October 05, 2013 11:58 PM | 5358 views | 14 14 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Three members of the boards of education for Cobb County, Cherokee County and Fayette County conducted a public forum to discuss Common Core in Georgia schools. Above: Cobb school board member Kathleen Angelucci answers questions about the new curriculum from guests at Monday’s forum.
Three members of the boards of education for Cobb County, Cherokee County and Fayette County conducted a public forum to discuss Common Core in Georgia schools. Above: Cobb school board member Kathleen Angelucci answers questions about the new curriculum from guests at Monday’s forum.
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MARIETTA — Cobb school board member Kathleen Angelucci met this week with cross-county colleagues Mary Kay Bacallao of Fayette County and Kelly Marlow of Cherokee County to discuss the potential ramifications Common Core could have on local schools.

They met at Cherokee Cattle Co. off of Canton Road in east Cobb with about 50 people in attendance. The three school board members described the history, implementation and future of Common Core in their school districts.

The forum was held by a local chapter of the Northwest Georgia 9/12 project. The conservative, nonpartisan group says on its website that it “strives to uphold America’s Founding Principles through education, service and political action. We promote states’ rights, the Constitution, limited government and the rule of law.”

The group strongly opposes the continued implementation of Common Core in Georgia.

“Teaching and learning will become the by-products of Common Core,” Angelucci said.

Angelucci said she is concerned Common Core standards are “sub-standard, developmentally inappropriate standards” that hold teachers to impossible evaluation standards and over-tests students and teachers alike.

She is worried that the total cost of Common Core reaches far beyond the $7.5 million math textbooks the Cobb Board of Education voted not to order this school year. Angelucci said teachers were tired of having their curriculums changed every few years.

“Teachers are tired of the rug getting pulled out from under them. I know our teachers are tired, and it’s not fair to evaluate them based on these standards,” she said.

Marlow called Common Core “the largest unfunded federal mandate in the history of the United States.”

Many present at the forum, including all three speakers, said the standards represent an overreach of the federal government, and a loss of local control.

Implemented at the state level in 2010

In 2010, the state Board of Education voted to adopt Common Core, which attempts to create a consistent set of baseline standards across the country, according to the Common Core State Standards Initiative website, corestandards.org.

Then Gov. Sonny Perdue was one of the leading advocates for the initiative, said Matt Cardoza, Georgia Department of Education spokesman.

Georgia is one of 48 states that initially adopted the Common Core Standards. Five states –– Alaska, Texas, Virginia, Nebraska and Minnesota –– chose not to participate in Common Core, according corestandards.org.

States such as Indiana and Alabama have been considering withdrawing from the program.

In the fall of 2012, the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards for math and English language arts were implemented in Georgia classrooms, Cardoza said.

In June, the State Committee of the Georgia Republican Party unanimously adopted a resolution that requested the state withdraw from participating in the Common Core Standards and the national tests associated with them.

Many felt the system lacked the proof that it was an effective set of standards that would enable Georgia to compare itself nationally and internationally, said Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-west Cobb), chairman of the Senate Education and Youth Committee.

Lawmakers also said they thought Common Core shifted control of schools from the local and state level to the federal government.

“Whoever owns the test owns the curriculum,” Tippins said. “If the federal government owns the test, they will own the curriculum. There has to be some call for proof before we adopt Common Core.”

Gov. Nathan Deal and State School Superintendent John Barge formally pulled out of the Common Core testing mechanism in July, Cardoza said.

In August, Deal requested that the state Board of Education do an evaluation to compare the new Common Core Standards in math and English to the former Georgia Performance Standards, which were in place before Common Core was implemented in 2012.

The state Board of Education met last week to organize how they will follow Deal’s requests, Cardoza said.

Until these studies are complete, there is disagreement as to how well the new Common Core Standards stand up to the old Georgia Performance Standards.

Whose standards are the best?

Angelucci said teachers are tired of the state constantly changing their curriculum. She worried that the new standards would discourage teachers to teach beyond what the test requires they teach.

She also said that a study done by the Fordham Institute in 2010 evaluated the Georgia Performance Standards, and “gave Georgia’s Performance Standards an A minus in math and a B plus in English language arts. These grades ranked Georgia sixth best in the nation in math and seventh in English.”

Angelucci said she wants to find a curriculum that would ensure college and career readiness and make Georgia students competitive nationally and internationally, long after graduating from public schools.

State Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick), who filed legislation earlier this year to cut Georgia’s ties with Common Core, has the same wishes.

“We need to have absolute control as a state,” Ligon said. “Our voice is diluted in national standards. … We truly want to have top-notch standards in the state of Georgia.”

Parents weigh in

Cobb County parent Cindy Lawrence, who has two children in high school, attended the forum with Angelucci on Monday out of curiosity. She wanted to learn more about the Common Core Standards, she said.

At the end of the forum, she said, “I am convinced it’s the extension of the progressive agenda. You know it’s going on, but how do you combat it?” she asked, breaking into tears. Lawrence said she knew it was, “hugely bad,” and was overwhelmed by the scope of the government’s reach.

Another parent, Trish Hay, who has one child in Cobb County Schools, said that Common Core Standards are, “On the road to federal control.”

Angelucci urged those in attendance to contact their local legislators to let them know how they felt. She also advised the audience to become involved, and connected with others in their community, and communities across the country who were opposed to Common Core Standards.

But before doing any work, Angelucci advised everyone to, “do their own research and decide for themselves,” where they stand on the issue.

See Monday’s MDJ for coverage of a Common Core town hall conducted by state Rep. David Wilkerson (D-Austell), a supporter of the standards.
Comments
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Funny Stuff !
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October 07, 2013
Angelucci pairs with Cherokee's Marlow found by her peers to be in violation of board ethics, sanctioned to the tune of $3,600, and who faces a pending felony indictment for providing false information to police when suggesting that the Cherokee school superintendent tried to run her over.

Ms. Angelucci; count me among many who are deeply disturbed that you along with Scamihorn, Wheeler and Stultz failed to provide math textbooks to Cobb students when you had the budget to do so.

Heard that at least one local elementary school's foundation, presumably in East Cobb, has purchased math textbooks for their students since the board did not. So, the parents there are taxed through SPLOST which has a budget for textbooks and then also get to pay for books through their foundation whose funds could be used in other important ways... maybe adding a STEM teacher or two for instance.

Folks, if you think the math textbook issue was a debacle, just wait until the English Language Arts textbook adoption comes up next spring. The textbook adoption committee is probably wondering - why bother putting any effort into this?
cobb mom of 2
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October 07, 2013
The fact that a party planner/Angelucci and a Cherokee board member who was just censured by her own board and still facing charges/Marlow were leading the program speaks volumes for the tea party.
Tired of tea party
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October 06, 2013
Next the will want to shut down the government if we don't get rid of common core.
Puzzling
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October 06, 2013
So Angelucci suggests "teachers are tired of getting the rug pulled out from under them," yet favors doing it again to suit her fancy????

Notice that there are no suggestions offered as to what standards should be used or that standards and curriculum are not one and the same.

Note to Tippins - The train has left the station - Georgia's State Board of Education adopted Common Core July 8, 2010.
guinea pigs
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October 06, 2013
And our kids are the guinea pigs!
Church Lady
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October 06, 2013
Preachers meet choir... What's the point?

Three board member "common core opponents" speaking with a "group strongly [opposed to] the continued implementation of Common Core in Georgia."
Grama jan
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October 06, 2013
People just do not understand Common Core!!!! It was created by teachers and administrators from many states, to get a grip on the lack of quality education between states. If you want Georgia to be one of the dumb states, then go back to easy teaching and easier tests. If you want our children to be well educated, as we were in the 50s and 60s, then go for the Common Core. If you want to move to another state and find out your 6th grader is really on a 4th or 5th grade level, keep complaining.

One would think parents would support education. this nation is so dumbed down right now that we cannot compete globally.
LorenBagby
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October 07, 2013
Actually, Common Core is a huge step backward in quality of education for Georgia. In fact, only in a couple of states is CC a harder standard. For most states it is an easier standard. Certainly far from the 50s and 60s as you wrongly claim.

But that's not the bad part. CC requires that information be collected about students. Such as what church they go to, how often they go, if they pray at home, and so on.
@ LorenBagby
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October 07, 2013
Your assertions are ridiculous - point us all to the the resource(s) you are using that says common core demands that students reveal what church they go to, how often they go, if they pray at home, and so on!

You can't because it's not part of the standards.

Stop drinking the Kool-Aid or whatever spiked concoction you're sippin'.
pols and ed
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October 06, 2013
Every time politicians start making changes to education, the public, and more specifically, the student, loses. This is just another expensive example. Until parents begin to get involved in what their children are being taught, things will not change. The curriculum has already been dumbed-down to the point that the testing scores are low. What next?
I Teach
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October 06, 2013
As a middle school teacher, I think the Common Core has improved what happens in the classroom. The rigor has increased as well as the quality of my students' work and thinking. I agree that we are tied to closely to test scores; however, this happened long before Common Core was adopted. Actually, it started two sets of standards ago. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water just because it is bad.
4th grader
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October 06, 2013
I have a 4th grader who is learning a math so foreign to her that her head spins and a 2nd grader whose vocabulary words are "exasperated" "affinity".. give me a break! Their brains are not equipped to retain such things and use them in their vocabulary! They are trying to turn little kids into adults which will in turn, cause stress and in turn drugs for ADD or behavioral issues!
special ed teacher
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October 07, 2013
I teach students who are at least two years behind due to learning disabilities/processing disorders. The methods of Common Core have increased their ability to understand and retain information. The parents don't understand the multiple methods used but could educate themselves if they chose. The old algorithym is the only way is long gone.
momoffivefedup
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October 07, 2013
No way! I had no idea about CCSS until I began noticing how easy, and dumb-downed my 7th grader's math homework/classwork had become. Students are still on multiplying fractions after almost 8 weeks of school. Students spend most time in group discussions drawing and explaining their reasoning process, instead of actually doing math. Prof. James Milgram, on CCSS validation committee, refused to sign off on the standards saying they put kids 2 years behind other countries! Jason Zimba, main writer of CC math, said in 2010 that these standards will best prepare kids for non-specific schools (community colleges). CCSS must go!!
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