Georgia Schools Roll Out Common Core Standards
All Georgia public schools this year are implementing a set of learning standards called the Common Core. Georgia is one of 45 states that have agreed to adopt the standards. [For more information, visit our Common Core FAQ page.]
One of the goals is to make sure students in all the states have enough of the same knowledge in key subjects so that they can easily transfer from one state to another without having to play catch-up.
Pam Smith, the director of curriculum and instruction for the Georgia Department of Education, says it will help schools too.
“We want to be a part of the national network," Smith says, "Resource sharing, our students to be able to cross state lines and be able to transfer their credits easier and being on the same curriculum on math, English, and Language Arts was important.”
Smith says another reason for adopting the Common Core is to better prepare students for life after high school. Sandi Woodall, the state's Common Core implementation director, says the hope is that simplifying standards will also improve instruction and learning.
“What Common Core did was to tailor the standards so that they’re do-able," Woodall says, "In other words, not so many standards that we were covering content and not really mastering content.”
For now, students will be evaluated through state’s own tests. But by two years from now, Georgia plans to switch to a standardized assessment used by at least 26 other states.