Common Core | WABE 90.1 FM

Common Core

Courtesy of Bettina Love

When you think of a classroom, you might not envision graffiti adorning the walls, with a DJ spinning Public Enemy to accompany a break dancer.

With hip-hop education, though, classroom management takes its cues from students’ real life experiences.

U.S. Department of Education/flickr / U.S. Department of Education/flickr

It may have been hard to notice Tuesday in the midst of the presidential election buzz, but the country officially got a new education secretary.

John King, the former education commissioner for the state of New York, was sworn in this week.

In this photo taken Jan. 17, 2016, a sign is seen at the entrance to a hall for a college test preparation class at Holton Arms School.
Alex Brandon / Associated Press

Georgia students took a new, more rigorous state test last year. Education officials hope raising the testing bar will eventually ensure kids are better prepared for college and careers.

But according to one national expert, it may be tough for Georgia students to know exactly how they stack up.

Seth Perlman / associated press file

A new study says the typical student in the nation's big-city public schools spends between 20 and 25 hours a school year taking standardized tests — and roughly 112 mandatory exams from preschool through high school.

The study, from the Council of the Great City Schools, comes amid a new era of Common Core-aligned testing that's been met with loud dissent from parents, teachers and others.

Georgia State Schools Superintendent Candidate Richard Woods (R)
Jason Parker / WABE

Georgia students could struggle to learn if teachers use "funny math methods." That’s according to State Schools Superintendent Richard Woods, who recently wrote a column about Georgia’s math instruction.

Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods in his office at the state Capitol, Feb. 13, 2015.
Alison Guillory / WABE

Richard Woods is Georgia's new state superintendent of schools. He took office in January 2015 after winning the election last year.  

Woods, a Republican, had been in office barely a month when Gov. Nathan Deal announced his plan for the state to take over up to 20 failing schools each year. The schools would be placed in a new statewide district of their own, with its own superintendent who would report to the governor, not to Woods.  

More than 40 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, new national academic benchmarks in reading and math. But the Common Core has become the center of a highly contentious debate nationwide.

Proponents say the Common Core was designed to ensure that children, no matter where they go to school, are prepared to succeed in college or the workplace upon graduation. Opponents argue that many of the standards are not age- or development-appropriate, and that they constrain the ability of teachers to adjust their teaching to their individual classrooms.

Govs. Nathan Deal and Bobby Jindal
Martha Dalton / WABE

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal visited Atlanta Wednesday. Jindal came to offer support for Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s re-election campaign. Both Republican governors addressed education reform.

Jindal made headlines recently when he sued the Obama administration over the Common Core education standards. Jindal initially supported the standards, which Louisiana, Georgia, and most other states adopted.

Martha Dalton / WABE News

The state board of education is conducting a review of the Common Core education standards at the request of Gov. Deal. As part of that process, board member Mary Sue Murray held a hearing in her district last night.

About two-dozen people attended Tuesday evening’s hearing at Alexander High School in Douglasville. Several attendees spoke. Educators generally expressed support for the standards, like Tara Campbell, Douglas County’s Language Arts content specialist.

Martha Dalton/WABE News

A new statewide committee made up of educators, lawmakers, parents and grandparents met for the first time Wednesday. The group is charged with investigating the federal government’s role in state education.

At issue are the Common Core standards. Developed by states to provide consistent math and English standards, 48 states initially signed on. But critics claim the federal government was really behind it all, trying to exert control.

A standing-room-only crowd awaited the start of the House Education Committee's hearing on SB 167.
Martha Dalton/WABE News

A statewide committee will meet for the first time this week. The Federal Government’s Role in Education Study Committee will examine education policy. 

One of the biggest battles in Georgia’s 2014 Legislative Session was over the Common Core education standards.

Some Republican political candidates have vehemently opposed a set of national education standards. But, according to a new report, that position on the Common Core could backfire come election time.

Georgia is one of 44 states that adopted the Common Core. State lawmakers, mostly Republicans, fought this year over whether to keep it.  Legislation aimed at opting out failed. But some Republican candidates for state superintendent have said they still oppose the Common Core.

Martha Dalton/WABE News

The Georgia House Education Committee Wednesday rejected a bill aimed at separating the state from the Common Core education standards. The original bill was sponsored by Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick. 

Senate Bill 167 had an easy time in the Senate. It sailed through the Senate education committee. Then it easily passed on the Senate floor, with little discussion.

But when it got to the House, its momentum slowed down. Lauren Fralick, of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, was just one of the bill’s opponents who spoke at a House Education Committee hearing last week.

Martha Dalton/WABE News

The House Education Committee is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill aimed at pulling Georgia away from the Common Core standards. The committee amended the bill after a hearing last week. But now, the bill’s sponsor has withdrawn his support for the legislation.

At last week's hearing, Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) explained why his bill created an advisory council to review the Common Core.

“We’re making it clear in the bill that Georgia will retain absolute control and the right to determine what our standards and assessments will be,” he said.

Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunwick)
Martha Dalton/WABE News

A bill debated in the state legislature is so controversial, 68 people spoke about it at a House Education Committee hearing Wednesday. The bill aims to separate Georgia from the Common Core education standards. The legislation triggered passionate pleas on both sides of the issue.

Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) is sponsoring the bill, which has already passed the Senate. As he’s done several times this legislative session, he explained the bill’s purpose to the committee. 

A standing-room-only crowd awaited the start of the House Education Committee's hearing on SB 167.
Martha Dalton/WABE News

Martha Dalton is down at the state Capitol covering the hearing by the House Education Comittee on Senate Bill 167.  

This controversial bill, introduced by Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick), would mandate a review of the Common Core education standards, prevent Georgia from implementing other education standards, would prevent the state from adopting certain assessments, and would severely limit data collection.

The Georgia House Education Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on a controversial bill. Senate Bill 167 mandates a review of the Common Core education standards. But there are legislation contains several other requirements.

 

Martha Dalton/WABE News

A group of retired military members gathered at the State Capitol Tuesday to show support for the Common Core education standards. Georgia has invested plenty of time and money in the standards’ implementation. But a bill that cleared the state Senate puts Georgia’s future participation in the Common Core in question.

Martha Dalton/WABE News

The state Senate passed a bill last week setting up a review of the Common Core education standards. The same bill also places heavy restrictions on how officials can use student data. That has some educators concerned about what will happen to a statewide longitudinal data system.

University of the Fraser Valley via flickr.com / http://flic.kr/p/eJ7WhA

This week, the Georgia Senate passed a bill that sets up a process to review the Common Core education standards. The legislation also prevents the state from adopting national science and social studies standards. That has caused concern among some education experts.

Martha Dalton/WABE News

The Georgia Senate Wednesday approved a bill aimed at separating the state from the Common Core education standards. 

Martha Dalton/WABE News

A bill aimed at pulling Georgia away from a set of education standards, called the Common Core, made it through a Senate committee Thursday. Senate Bill 167 establishes a council to review the standards.

The bill originally called for Georgia to “opt out” of the Common Core. But the current version calls for the state board of education to create an advisory council to help with its own review of the standards already underway. Gov. Nathan Deal requested the review last year.

Halley Belacore, a paraprofessional at College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center, helps a student with an art project.
Martha Dalton / WABE

During the past year, there has been an intense debate in Georgia over a new set of education standards called the Common Core.  

Georgia is one of 45 states which have adopted the Common Core, but now some state lawmakers have filed bills to have the state opt out.  The debate has produced some statements that are more myth than fact.  

WABE's Martha Dalton sorted it out in a conversation with Denis O'Hayer.

Martha Dalton/WABE News

A new set of education standards continues to spark controversy across the U.S. and here in Georgia. 45 states, including Georgia, have adopted the Common Core education standards.

Wednesday, a coalition gathered at the State Capitol to express support for the standards. The move came one day after opponents advocated opting out of the Common Core.  

Martha Dalton/WABE News

A group of parents, lawmakers, and activists gathered at  the State Capitol Tuesday to oppose a new set of education standards called the Common Core. Georgia is one of 45 states that have adopted the standards.  

Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) has co-sponsored two bills aimed at repealing the standards. He said the state board of education quickly adopted the Common Core, bypassing teachers, parents, and state lawmakers.

Martha Dalton/WABE News

Georgia education officials are on a tight deadline to come up with a new test for students in grades 3-12. The tests will be aligned with the Common Core education standards.  Officials have been working on a solution since withdrawing from a national test consortium last summer.

Georgia education officials are trying to figure out how to replace a national test aligned to the Common Core education standards. The state withdrew from a test consortium earlier this year, citing cost. But officials are on a tight deadline to find a replacement.

The national test would have cost Georgia about $29 per student to test two subjects. The state currently spends about $14 per student to test five subjects.

Martha Dalton/WABE News

Georgia is one of 45 states that have adopted the Common Core education standards. The issue has divided Republicans. The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education held a forum this week to address the controversy. The session was called, “Does the Common Core Make Common Sense?”

Martha Dalton/WABE News

There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding a new set of education standards called the Common Core. Georgia is one of 45 states that have adopted the standards. But some state Republican lawmakers want Georgia to opt out. Others strongly support the Common Core.

As legislators debate the standards, Georgia English/Language Arts and math teachers still have to teach them. WABE visited one DeKalb County high school to see how they’re doing that and whether the controversy has had any effect.  

Martha Dalton/WABE News

Georgia schools began rolling out a new set of education standards last year called the Common Core. Wednesday, The Thomas B. Fordham Institute released a report on how teachers are implementing the English/Language Arts standards. 

Pages