UPDATES SENATE REPORT
UPDATES SENATE REPORT
Sen. Ligon Holds Press Conference to Discuss
Removal of Common Core Curriculum Standards
ATLANTA (February 28, 2013) - Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) held a press conference today to discuss Senate Bill 167. Sen. Ligon sponsored this legislation to withdraw Georgia from its participation in the Common Core State Standards Initiative and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).
The Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) were adopted on July 8, 2010 under Governor Sonny Perdue’s administration as part of the state’s efforts to comply with the Federal Race to the Top (RTTT) grant. The Common Core represents the first attempt at nationalized curriculum standards in math and English language arts (ELA) for grades K - 12. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is responsible for the development of assessments that will be aligned to the Common Core.
“Though I am sure the previous administration had the best of intentions when deciding to apply for Race to the Top, the lack of accountability to the parents and taxpayers of this state is stunning,” said Sen. Ligon. "First of all, there has been no thorough cost analysis of what the unfunded mandates will cost Georgia's taxpayers at either the state or the local level to implement and maintain the terms of the grant."
"Secondly, allowing a consortium of states to work with non-profits and other unaccountable parties to develop our standards without open public oversight is untenable in a country of free people, especially considering that Georgia's taxpayers support K-12 education with $13 billion of hard-earned dollars every year," Sen. Ligon explained. "Georgia needs to have a transparent, democratic process of developing curriculum standards and a means to ensure more direct accountability at the local level. Our educational system should not be accountable to Washington bureaucrats, but to the people of this state who pay the taxes and to the parents who have children in our public schools."
Lending his voice of support to the effort, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle stated, "The most important task we face each Legislative Session is finding ways to strengthen and reform the education of Georgia's children. I believe that Georgians know best how to educate our children - not Washington, D.C. bureaucrats. I look forward to working with Sen. Ligon on this important issue to ensure that we’re able to continue making decisions about the education of our children right here in Georgia rather than having curriculum standards enforced from Washington, D.C.”
Sen. Ligon’s proposed legislation, Senate Bill 167, addresses withdrawal from the current implementation of the national math and English language arts standards, and prevents the Department of Education from adopting future standards without input from the citizens of Georgia. In addition, the legislation ensures that Georgia does not forfeit control of curriculum standards to outside entities.
Another provision of the bill addresses privacy concerns. SB 167 prohibits the Department of Education from sharing personally identifiable student and teacher information with the federal government except in well-defined circumstances, some of which would require notification to parents and to teachers. In addition, the bill forbids the Department of Education from sharing any personally identifiable information with entities outside the state, such as non-profits, and limits what can be shared inside the state to educational entities only. Further, no educational institution can use the data to develop commercial products or services or transfer that information to other entities, such as the labor department for workforce planning.
“Unfortunately, measures to protect the privacy of Georgia's citizens require additional vigilance due to the fact that the U.S. Department of Education has gutted federal student-privacy law through regulations implemented a year ago,” said Sen. Ligon. “Here in Georgia, I believe it is our legislative duty to protect the privacy of our citizens, especially our children, according to the original spirit of the law passed by Congress.”
During the press conference, Sen. Ligon was joined by several key education policymakers and stakeholders including, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, who served on the Common Core Validation Committee and as senior associate commissioner in the Massachusetts Department of Education; Ze’ev Wurman, a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution and former Senior Adviser at the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development in the U.S. Department of Education; Jane Robbins, a Harvard-trained attorney and Senior Fellow with the American Principles Project; and Dr. Jim Arnold, Superintendent of Pelham City Schools, GA.
July 1, 2013
Sen. Ligon to Participate in Panel Discussion Confronting Common Core Curriculum Standards
Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick), the sponsor of legislation to withdraw Georgia from its participation in the Common Core and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing consortium, will participate in a panel discussion, "Confronting the Common Core," open to the public Tuesday, July 16, 7:00 to 9:00 PM, at the Quality Inn in Waycross.
"It is critical that citizens, and especially parents, understand why this effort to nationalize educational standards and testing present dangerous precedents in education that will continue to erode parental rights, local control, state sovereignty, and the quality of education," stated Sen. Ligon. "We have just celebrated Independence Day, but the growing tendency to centralize more and more control in our national government is divesting our citizens of their constitutional authority over education."
“Though I am sure the previous administration had the best of intentions when deciding to apply for the Race to the Top grant, the fact is that this decision bypassed the consent of the governed. The lack of accountability to the parents and taxpayers of this state has been stunning. The legislature and local school districts still have no idea how much the unfunded mandates will cost Georgia's taxpayers."
"Secondly, allowing a consortium of states to work with non-profits and other unaccountable parties to develop our standards without open public oversight is untenable in a country of free people, especially considering that Georgia's taxpayers support K-12 education with approximately $13 billion of hard-earned dollars every year," Sen. Ligon said. "Georgia needs to have a transparent process of developing curriculum standards and a means to ensure more direct accountability at the local level, not to Washington, D.C."
Other panelists for the event include Jane Robbins, Esq., Senior Fellow at the American Principles Project, the national organization at the forefront of the battle against Common Core; Dr. Mary Kay Bacallao, mathematics professor at Mercer University's Tift College of Education, who has compared the Common Core math standards with Georgia's previous standards and found Common Core to be inferior; and Sherena Arrington, who presented the resolution to withdraw Georgia from the Common Core to the State GOP Committee and has twice appeared as a guest on the Glenn Beck television show to discuss the many concerns associated with the Race to the Top grant.
The event is sponsored by Concerned Women for America of Georgia, Georgia Conservatives in Action, American Principles Project, and the Ware County Republican Party. The Quality Inn is located at the intersection of Highway 82 and U.S. 1 in Waycross. For further information, contact Kay Godwin at 912-282-2524. Visit www.stopcommoncore.com for additional resources.
Sen. Ligon Releases Comparisons Between Common Core Curriculum Standards and Previous Georgia Performance Standards
ATLANTA (August 5, 2013) - Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) released two reports today, one regarding math and the other on English language arts, which compare the Common Core Standards to Georgia's previous Performance Standards. The independent analysis on the math standards was provided by Dr. Mary Kay Bacallao, a 25-year veteran of math instruction who teaches mathematics and science education at Mercer University's Tift College. Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Professor Emerita of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas and a former member of the Common Core Validation Committee, provided the analysis on the English language arts standards.
To read more and to download the reports, visit the Issues page.
GEORGIA STATE SENATOR