Does education win in today’s election? If so, how?

It’s showtime. Will today’s election impact education?

It's showtime. Will today's election impact education?

It’s showtime. Will today’s election impact education?

Any predictions on what today’s election results might mean for education in Georgia?

I don’t think much will change on the federal level regardless of shifts in Congress. We haven’t seen much progress as other issues – the economy, terrorism and now Ebola – have eclipsed education.

However, election results at the state level could generate changes. Certainly, education has dominated the governor’s race.

And, by the close of the day, Georgia will have a new state school superintendent since Republican incumbent John Barge chose to run for governor rather than seek a second term.

So there will be changes in the Department of Education whether Democrat Valarie Wilson or Republican Richard Woods carries the day. New leaders bring new agendas and staffs.

We will also likely see a renewed effort to displace Common Core when the General Assembly resumes in January. Common Core opponents may get help from Woods if he’s elected, but it will still be a tough battle to undo the standards.  Schools in Georgia are reporting good results, and districts have already invested heavily in training.

By the way, anyone read former Gov. Sonny Perdue’s passionate defense of Common Core on Fox.com a few weeks back?

Here is a brief excerpt. You can read the full piece here.

By Sonny Perdue

In 2009, I wholeheartedly endorsed the concept of the Common Core State Standards, as I do now. I participated in their formation because they marked a strong and even step up from the patchwork of standards states were using. Even opponents agreed the Standards are more demanding than 39 states’ math standards, and 37 states’ English standards. I support them because they give teachers and schools the ability to compare and measure what is working with others across the country. And they help close achievement gaps by setting high expectations for all students.

Conservatives owe it to the men, women and children in our classrooms to see through the work we began. Now is no time to give up on the Common Core State Standards.  Our students can and will rise to the challenge, if we but give them a chance.

 

Reader Comments 0

48 comments
Carlos_Castillo
Carlos_Castillo

If Common Core is as good as Governor Perdue says it is, and I suspect that it is, then Common Core's replacement is going to be Common Core under another name.  To a degree, Common Core was born in GA with Governor Perdue as a parent.  No raving liberal, there.


A couple of years ago, I noticed the wind changing.  My suspicion was -- and remains -- that Common Core had been identified by out-of-state political apparatchiks as a possible "wedge issue" for purposes of motivating conservative voters -- of which I am one -- to the polls. 


Wedge issues can be useful, but their overuse tends to cause atrophy of the ability to state clearly, positively and persuasively what you're for and, as a consequence, rob election winners of any positive platform from from which to govern and, eventually, to win future elections.  Ask Senator "Vagina" Udall in Colorado.  The same happened by 2006 to Republicans, generally, who were in my opinion, too influenced by Carl Rove in their use of wedge social issues. 




Beyond implementation of a deeper school curriculum, far more  community adult involvement, particularly in disciplinary processes having to do with children who are not one's own, may be necessary to convince kids and their parents that the whole enterprise is done in their behalf, rather than dropped from another planet and not to be embraced.


What I've been wondering is whether parental participation in school governance, beyond electing a school board or attending parents nights is even legal under current federal and state privacy laws.  My guess is that the creation of, say, community boards to review or participate in the discipline of particular students is prohibited


My hunch is that pulling more of the African American and Latino community -- including clergy -- who are interested in education directly into individual schools would do much to boost the perception that the disciplinary system and educational standards prevailing within a given predominantly African American/Latino school are legitimate and, in turn, help boost student achievement and retention.  

class80olddog
class80olddog

If this election is to improve education, it must be at the local BOE level - THAT is where REAL changes could be made. 

liberal4life
liberal4life

The only way education wins is to make the governor's (and all legislatures') term 1-year so that every year is the election year.

Astropig
Astropig

@liberal4life


I think that an engaged, informed electorate is the answer.The teachers unions have given Valarie Wilson about a half mil in spendy-spendy for todays election.Do you think that they are doing for any reason other than a political payback?


I think that the two year term for the legislature is about right.Not sure if I like term limits (I can see both sides of that argument),but nothing is a substitute for an informed voter.

liberal4life
liberal4life

@Astropig @liberal4life 

Well, you will be waiting for a long time.  Of course, education is an important key for informed electorate - people who can actually discern the validity of all the claims made by politicians (and their supporters).  That's probably the reason that the current party in power does not want education in GA to be improved.

An American Patriot
An American Patriot

I’ll keep saying it until it happens, and folks believe me, it will happen.The way to improve education in our Great Country is to Number 1, fire Arne Duncan and do away with the FED DOE, Number 2, abolish common core, it is totally confusing and is not helping anyone, and Number 3, RETURN CONTROL OF OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO THE STATES, WHERE IS BELONGS.


Folks, I’m a Republican and Funny Sonny Purdue said he was; however, I, nor anyone I know would listen to anything FUNNY SONNY said.


Now, I’m not going to be a RACIST and just urge blacks to vote, like MO.No, I’m going to urge everyone to go to the polls today and vote your conscience……please.Our country is in a lot of doodoo and it’s going to take a lot of hard work by a hard working Congress to get us back on the right track.Let’s give them the people to do it.


dcdcdc
dcdcdc

@An American Patriot Honestly, the only way to permanently fix our schools is to give students the ability to choose.  That's what causes Apple, Wallmart, and any other service provider to strive each day to do their best.  And it's the only thing that will exert constant, never ending, never "lose focus" pressure on the eduacracy to do the same.


As I've said before, when my daughter had a math teacher in middle school who didn't know math, and couldn't teach, the response from the principal to a large number of parents was.....crickets.  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing done.


If we had been able to take our kids, and the money paying for them, then she would have had to actually do something.,  But as it is, there is almost no incentive to do the hard work by principals and admin.  It's way easier just to "go along"...and without any financial penalty, that's exactly what they've proven they will do.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@An American Patriot 

What's "racist" about urging black people to vote?? ("Racism: The notion that one's own ethnic stock is superior"--American Heritage Dictionary.)

liberal4life
liberal4life

@dcdcdc

Well, the choice may have been either an unqualified teacher or no teacher.  Even an unqualified teacher can at least babysit a group of students.

Education isn't business and therefore trying to apply a principle that works in business may or may not work - the fact that it worked in business is not an evidence it would work in non-business environment.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@OriginalProf @An American Patriot  So by your (dictionary) definition, I would not be a racist if I said black people commit more crimes or have more out-of-wedlock babies, since that refers to their behavior and not the superiority of "ethnic stock"?

class80olddog
class80olddog

@liberal4life @class80olddog @An American Patriot  And you know my stance that back in the sixties (when those three things existed) we produced better graduates with one-fourth the expenditure.  How did the Feds improve education - require the schools to pay for medical treatments for students? 

class80olddog
class80olddog

@liberal4life @class80olddog @An American Patriot  I only have anecdotal evidence because they didn't test graduates in the 1960's to see if they could read, write, and do simple arithmetic - it was assumed if you made passing grades in your subjects and were able to graduate that you could do those things.  The rest dropped out.  Where is your evidence that high school graduates of the sixties could NOT read, write and do simple arithmetic?


I do know that some percentage of those who have diplomas today have "variances" from the GHSGT that allows them to possess a diploma even though they could not pass a test that my kids have described as "ridiculously easy", even after multiple tries.

EdUktr
EdUktr

Maureen quoting a conservative on election day. How Democrat of her.

living-in-outdated-ed
living-in-outdated-ed

What Deal has going for him, whether we agree or not, is that graduation rates are increasing - slowly, but increasing. It would be disastrous to change current policy in Georgia.   Improve implementation - yes, but don't change policy direction.

oh Pleese
oh Pleese

@Wascatlady @living-in-outdated-ed Absolutely right - and add to that those of us who are under orders from our Superintendent to allow all students to "retest" until they achieve a passing grade.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@living-in-outdated-ed Grad rates are increasing due to manipulation, not achievement.  Credit recovery, no zeroes, etc account for too many passing grades, and the EOCT or GHSGT cut scores can be changed.  To know if the kids graduating really have achieved, we need to look deeper.

Starik
Starik

If the State elects Richard Woods we're signalling that we share Irwin County educational values, and Astropig's. This would not be surprising, but it would be unfortunate.

Astropig
Astropig

Common Core only has one problem: everybody that learns anything about it is turning against it. New York(New York!) recently slowed and reversed the headlong rush to go all in on CC. The lib governor there (Andrew Cuomo) is like a lot of other politicians-he can read and understand that CC is a loser.In fact, the last election poll contains a warning for politicians in Georgia that they ignore at their peril-almost double (37%-20%) the respondents oppose CC and right at 40% don't know.All across the country,those don't knows are breaking sharply against its implementation.There are a few absolutes in politics-but one of those absolutes is that when only 20% of the people support something,it's toxic.


Now cue the usuals that somehow think that because they want this really,really badly,its somehow "above mere politics". Sorry, but when the public schools are funded by public money,the public (through their elected representatives) gets the final say.


Richard Woods has already signaled his opposition to CC.If nothing else, his election can put the brakes on its further expansion in Georgia.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@Astropig Is the opposition to CC education-driven (i.e., inappropriate standards) or is it politically driven (no body in Washington is going to tell us what to teach) ?  What I seem to hear is political opposition.

robertbyrd
robertbyrd

@GobBluth @Astropig  2 plus 2 does not equal 5 no matter how much logic the student used to come up with that incorrect answer.

liberal4life
liberal4life

@GobBluth @Astropig 

I would be very surprised if anyone can give you an example.  The best anyone can do is probably question the grade-level placement of a particular idea.

Most people's non-political opposition is more about the testing and how the standards are introduced - I suppose those can be considered "political," too.

Astropig
Astropig

@GobBluth @Astropig


My objections ARE general in nature.The way this was incentivized at the federal level will cause BOTH sides of the debate to regret its implementation.The model for this was obviously the school lunch program-"you take our money,we tell you what to do" and look where that has led.I can assure you that the very people that are rabid supporters of CC today will flip 180 degrees when a Republican flavored "reform' is imposed in the future, as it most surely will be when the political winds shift again (as they have been doing for over 200 years).Education should be controlled at the local level-not in a faraway office of an unaccountable bureaucrat.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@liberal4life @GobBluth @Astropig  My objections to CC is that these standards may be "what ought to be taught", but they are not enforced (neither were previous standards).  In the pursuit of "rigor" (hate that word), they increase the amount that students " should"  learn.  The problem is that some students are not even learning the minimum from before and now you want to make them learn MORE?  RIGOR is achieved voluntarily by tracking and AP courses.  You don't need CC.  The other objection is the cost.  Nothing will change with CC, so why spend megabucks on it?

class80olddog
class80olddog

@Wascatlady  The SUPPORT of CC is also politically driven.  Educators that normally would be criticizing it are now flocking to its defense.

liberal4life
liberal4life

@class80olddog @liberal4life @GobBluth @Astropig 

Removing CC will cost more since we will have to repeat the whole process all over again - in all states.

Your complaint has nothing to do with CC - you will be complaining about the same thing when we have a new set of standards.

GobBluth
GobBluth

@Astropig 


We do our kids and students a major disservice with the constant "reforms" that are forced on schools every 2-3 years. At some point, we need to stick with a program long enough to actually see if it is working. There is no possible way to accurately pass judgement on programs that have been in place for only a few years, yet that is the path we have been on, and seemingly refuse to get off of.


There have certainly been issues with the implementation of CC, but to scrap it and start over helps no one except for the testing companies and the guy who knows a guy on the local BOE and gets his company to be the next "new thing."


So, we know you oppose CC, but what would you put in place to guide the school curriculum? 

stonepony
stonepony

@GobBluth @Astropig I absolutely disagree that the 9th and 10th grade standards are vague.  They focus on a critical examination on how textual evidence supports a students discussion of the material.  They also ask students to think about meaningful word choices and how those choices affects the author's message.  In addition, yes the standards are the same, with the directive that 9th grade standards should scaffold to the teaching in 10th grade.  @astropig, unless you're teaching it, stop talking about it.  Clearly, you demonstrated that you have no firsthand knowledge of the standards.  In addition, the standards have slight similarities to GPS standards, but really, those are common English/Language Arts analysis standards.  

class80olddog
class80olddog

@GobBluth @stonepony  I will turn that around and say - if the new standards are pretty much the same as the old ones - why are we spending this money to CHANGE them?

GobBluth
GobBluth

@stonepony 


Perhaps vague wasn't the best word choice, but those standards are asking teachers to do the exact same thing that has been done for years, and under the previous versions of the state standards. The question is, why is there an uproar about them now, if the reason is something other than political. 



class80olddog
class80olddog

@GobBluth @class80olddog  Haven't I been saying exactly that for years?  My trinity includes SOCIAL PROMOTION.  You are right, though - I could accept CC as a way of bringing standardization across the country, but they don't have to increase RIGOR to do that.  Before you INCREASE rigor, you should make sure that all students are up to par on your existing system - and that has not happened.  You could have implemented CC without the increase in rigor.  I also had a real issue with buying books imprinted with the words "Aligned with Common Core Standards" - an additional expense.  If the standards are pretty much the same, could we not just use the old textbooks?

class80olddog
class80olddog

@taylor48  (Disclaimer: I do not know the CC standards!)


You know, one way of adding 36 +45 is to get toothpicks and count out 36 toothpicks, then count out another 45 toothpicks, then count the total.  Is that acceptable?  Sure, it gives you the right answer, but it would be too cumbersome and slow for general use.  Why not teach standard addition technique?

GobBluth
GobBluth

@Astropig 


I have taught under the last three iterations of standards in GA and there are  almost no discernible differences between the three, at least at the high school English level. The current CC English standards are extremely vague (not to mention that the 9th and 10th grade standards are EXACTLY the same), but so were their predecessors. That makes me question the real motives, as there was nothing like the kind of outrage against the standards in years past. 


Can you cite any standards in CC that you think should not be taught to students, or are your objections more general in nature?

taylor48
taylor48

Which standard, exactly, accepts the answer of 5 to the question of 2+2? In math, students are required to defend and explain their answer, but wrong answers are still wrong. For example, yesterday, my 2nd graders and I worked through the problem of 36 + 45 orally. Four different students explained their answers to the class. They all came up with the answer of 81, but they all had different ways to get there (none of which were mathematically incorrect). When I have had a student try to defend an incorrect answer, usually they find their own mistake and correct right there. That's so much more powerful than having me tell them the answer is wrong and moving on. I don't accept incorrect answers, but instead of telling a student, I'm letting them figure it out with my guidance. It puts the cognitive load on the student, not the teacher. I think, that if we stick with CC, we're going to see our students become much better problem solvers than they used to be, plus they'll be willing to wrestle with problems rather than wait for the teacher to spoon feed them.

GobBluth
GobBluth

@class80olddog


Your objections aren't about CC in any way, according you what you've written. If your concern is students being unprepared, you would be much better served spending your time and energy implementing policies that require mastery in lower grade levels. 


As it currently stands, students have virtually no accountability until they reach high school. They are passed from grade to grade even with clear evidence that they are not prepared (if a student has to take the CRCT multiple times to get a passing grade, they are not ready to move on), but when they get to high school. they actually have to pass a class in order to move on and graduate.


If we had taken a high level, long term strategic plan, CC would have been implemented one grade level at a time, starting with Kindergarten, and moving up to 12th grade, taking 13 years to fully implement. That would be the proper way to up rigor across the board.

Astropig
Astropig

@Wascatlady


The opposition is BOTH. Career educators are just as opposed to it as Tea Party activists.Diane Ravitch is nobody's conservative,but she is on a jihad against CC that would make Phyllis Sclafley proud. (Sharp readers will note that Ravitch hasn't been quoted or covered in this space in a long time.I'm sure they can discern why)


20% Let that number sink in.If one person in 5 wants something done in public policy,they usually lose.Politicians go to where the voters are,not verse vicea.Look for more legislators (and legislatures) to run away from CC as it becomes more well known.