Legislators Dumbing Down the Kids and the State

There are people who hate public education and don’t care much about any kind of education. Some are legislators. Some have positions of influence in states like Georgia.

Here Maureen Downey writes about the latest legislative assault, which started as an attack on Common Core and grew into something far worse.

As one who has been critical of Common Core in its current form, I want to disassociate myself from this extremism. I think the Common Core should be revised by every state’s best teachers and improved. I think the early grades must be made developmentally appropriate. I don’t believe any set of standards is beyond improvement. I also hope they will be decoupled from high-stakes testing. What is happening in Georgia is legislative meddling at its worst.

Downey writes:

“In capitulating to extremists who consider Common Core the work of the devil and/or Barack Obama, the state Senate passed a bill last week that isolates Georgia from the rest of the nation, sets our students up for failure and reverses the progress schools have made over the last eight years.

“The main intent of Senate Bill 167 bill was to ban the Common Core State Standards in Georgia.

“It no longer does that, which is good considering Georgia has already invested years into putting the standards into practice, training teachers and rewriting curriculum. In a compromise with the governor who didn’t want a Common Core battle in an election year, the bill was changed so it doesn’t ban Common Core, but sets up a review of the standards.

“That compromise explains why the bill passed the Senate so easily last week and with little debate. But senators should have read the 18-page bill a little more closely as it still contains plenty of bad stuff, including a prohibition on embracing any new content or tests that even smack of national standards. Let’s hope that wiser minds prevail in the House and put the brakes on this bill, either killing it completely or rewriting it to get rid of all the mandates.

“The bill still states: On and after the effective date of this Code section, the state shall not adopt any federally prescribed content standards or any national content standards established by a consortium of states or a third party, including, but not limited to, the Next Generation Science Standards, the National Curriculum for Social Studies, the National Health Education Standards, or the National Sexuality Standards.”

“Imagine telling Georgia doctors they couldn’t use any cancer treatments developed by medical teams or labs outside the state. Patients would riot in the streets. So should parents over this piece of legislation.”

By Diane Ravitch

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