Georgia Conservatives in Action
Call To Action - Common Core

From: PTippett@aol.com [mailto:PTippett@aol.com]
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2013 12:20 PM
Subject: GCIA: Call To Action - Common Core

 

UPDATED CALL TO ACTION

First, thanks for your calls on Celebrate Freedom Week. The Senate Education Committee voted unanimously to support the bill. It now goes to the Rules Committee and then to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

Let’s Keep Working to Return REAL Local Control to Georgia Public Schools!

Let our elected leaders know that we, the people of Georgia, will not surrender our constitutional authority over educational standards and curriculum to Washington, D.C. bureaucrats or to corporations masquerading as non-profits.

YOUR calls are needed Friday, Monday, Tuesday,  Wednesday, and Thursday (Feb. 22-28) to ALL Senate Education Committee members in support of S.B. 167.

S.B. 167 will help end Georgia's participation in the Common Core. (The Common Core is the federal agenda to nationalize curriculum standards.) This legislation is assigned to the Senate Youth and Education Committee, and the committee members need to hear from you! The bill will be heard on Thursday, February 28 at 1:00 PM in room 307 CLOB. Chairman Lindsey Tippins decided to hear the bill in full committee!

Action Item
Contact all the committee members listed here. Ask them to
support Senate Bill 167.

Sen. Lindsey Tippins- Chairman

404-0657-0406 / Email  lindsey.tippins@senate.ga.gov

Sen. John Wilkinson, Subcommittee Chairman
404-463-5257 E-mail john.wilkinson@senate.ga.gov

Sen. Freddie Powell Sims- Secretary
404-463-5259 E-mail freddie.sims@senate.ga.gov

Sen. Dean Burke
404-656-0040 E-mail dean.burke@senate.ga.gov

Sen. Vincent Fort

404-656-5091 Email Vincent.fort@senate.ga.gov

 

Sen. Chuck Hufstetler

404-656-0034   Email chuck.hufstetler@senate.ga.gov

Sen. Donzella James

404-463-1379 Email donzella.james@senate.ga.gov

Sen. Fran Millar
404-463-2260 E-mail fran.millar@senate.ga.gov

Sen. Butch Miller
404-656-6578 E-mail butch.miller@senate.ga.gov

Sen. Jesse Stone
404-463-1314  Email
jesse.stone@senate.ga.gov

Sen. Horacena Tate
404-463-8053 E-mail horacena.tate.senate.ga.gov

What will SB 167 do? This would be a huge win for Georgia’s parents, children, and teachers.

·                        It will withdraw Georgia from the Common Core Standards and thus restore control of      Georgia's educational standards back into the hands Georgia's citizens.

·                        It will withdraw Georgia from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College     and Careers (PARCC) national testing consortium.

·                        It will prohibit the adoption of any future curriculum standards, such as the Next     Generation Science Standards, the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies,           the National Health Education Standards, and the National Sexuality Education Standards, unless approved by the General Assembly.

·                        It will prohibit the sharing of any personally identifiable information compiled on       students or teachers with any entity outside the State of Georgia.

 

BACKGROUND

The Principle of Freedom

Nationalized standards and centralized educational control across the nation do not honor the principles of freedom. James Madison wrote in Federalist 51, "In the compound republic of America, the power surrendered by the people is first divided between two distinct governments, and then the portion allotted to each subdivided among distinct and separate departments." He further explained that this division of power served as a "double security" to protect "the rights of the people."

Our founders understood that this division of power was the best defense against centralized power and oppression of the people and their rights. Today, we have lost the understanding that the very design of a compound republic was meant to be a better bulwark of freedom than even the Bill of Rights. In addition, we live in a time when the federal government is constantly overreaching its constitutional authority, and our states are doing very little to check its growing power. In fact, the states enjoy federal dollars so much that they are complicit in fueling the growth of the federal government.

Unless we, the people, defend our constitutional right to control the education of our own children here in Georgia, which we pay for with $13 billion of our tax money every year, how can we even claim to be a free people? Let's exercise our birthright of liberty and enjoy the local control over education that is our constitutional right.

How did Georgia Get into the Common Core?

If you’ve never heard of Common Core (relabeled the “Common Core Georgia Performance Standards” in Georgia), it’s a nationwide initiative designed to herd states into national K-12 standards and national tests – which ultimately will lead to a national curriculum and silence curriculum input from local parents, taxpayers, and educators. The Common Core standards, which were primarily developed behind closed doors by a non-profit called Achieve with millions of dollars from the Gates Foundation, are owned and copyrighted by two trade associations.

State School Superintendent Kathy Cox and Governor Sonny Perdue committed Georgia to the Common Core sight unseen upon signing the Race to the Top grant application in January 2010, without legislative oversight or any report to the General Assembly about what this scheme would cost. In July 2010, the State Board of Education officially adopted the Common Core, only one month after the content standards were released in English language arts and math, without enough time for the citizens of this state to understand or comment on the standards or even to realize that this massive transformation of Georgia education was being considered. In the fall of 2010, Georgia agreed to become a “governing state” of the PARCC assessment consortium, meaning Georgia will implement the tests for the Common Core starting in 2014-15, though they are yet unseen and their costs unknown. Again, this was done without any legislative oversight and without cost estimates being provided to the General Assembly. When the voice of the legislature is shut out of the process, the voice of the people cannot be heard.

Because Georgia applied for and received Race to the Top grant money and because Georgia received a federal waiver for No Child Left Behind (the federal statute currently governing education), school districts across the state must now begin implementing the Common Core standards for math and language arts, even though three federal laws prohibit the federal government from directing, supervising, or controlling school curriculum.

Why Georgia Conservatives in Action supports the withdrawal from Common Core

1.                     Under the Constitution, the education of every child lies primarily with parents, supported by elected local and state officials. However, under the Common Core, Georgia can no longer control what is taught in its schools in English language arts and math. Georgia parents and teachers will have no recourse if they see that the standards are not working in the classroom.

2.                     Common Core standards have not been piloted anywhere. Because Georgia adopted the standards sight unseen, Georgia students are participating in a pure experiment. The Common Core standards are mediocre at best and move students even further away from traditional content knowledge and toward process skills -- in other words the emphasis becomes how students think and what they do, rather than what they know.

3.                     The Common Core system requires the state to turn over massive amounts of private family and student information via Georgia’s State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS). The SLDS has the potential to track over 400 data points on Georgia children, preschool through college and career with the likelihood that data sharing with the federal government will occur.

4.                     Georgia taxpayers are going to be handed a multimillion-dollar tax bill over the next several years. Georgia’s Race to the Top grant totaled $400 million over four years – much less than the cost of Common Core implementation and testing. Unfunded mandates and long-term maintenance will cost Georgia taxpayers far more than the grant money received. Georgia's taxpayers already pay $13 billion in state and local taxes for K-12 education every year. A mere $400 million federal grant, over four-years, should not usurp state and local control.

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