Gov. Nathan Deal has ordered a sweeping review of the Common Core national guidelines and asked the State Board of Education to “formally un-adopt” a part of the program that includes sample English test selections that infuriated some parents.
Deal also asked the board to develop a new social studies curriculum that emphasizes, among other aspects, civic and fiscal responsibility; and urged members to come up with a model reading list for school boards across the state.
The governor’s order signals his flagging support for Common Core amid criticism that the guidelines are a federal takeover of education policy. A target of tea-party infused opposition, the voluntary set of reading and math standards has become one of the most divisive issues in state politics.
No state is forced to adhere to the Common Core standards. Georgia could get out of Common Core in a couple of ways: The state board could vote to pull Georgia out or Deal could sign legislation pulling the state out of Common Core.
Georgia’s political establishment voluntarily embraced Common Core in July 2010 as a way to help ensure that Georgia students learn the same concepts as children in other states. But a groundswell of opposition forced its GOP patrons to take the defensive.
The national guidelines are hotly debated at school boards across Georgia and are at the center of budding political campaigns. The leaders of Georgia’s Republican Party in June voted unanimously to urge state leaders to withdraw from the program on grounds that it “obliterates Georgia’s constitutional autonomy.”
Common Core also poses unique challenges to Deal as he mounts a re-election campaign. Dalton Mayor David Pennington, who counts on tea party backing for his primary challenge to Deal, said it would have taken him but “three seconds to reject Common Core in its entirety.”
The letter Deal sent, which was obtained Wednesday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, said the review was prompted by concerns from several lawmakers and the results of several recent studies.
Deal said he wants a full-blown comparison between Common Core and a state educational guidelines that were previously in place.
This was pressure from the Tea Party right on a Republican.
Given the rising opposition to the Common Core in Georgia and the possibility Deal may face a Tea Partier challenger in a primary who will use Common Core as a bludgeon against Deal, I'm going to go out on a limb and say Common Core is is in serious trouble in Georgia.
Okay, not really going out on a limb.
Tea Party challengers are forcing mainstream Republicans all over the place to move to the right on issues.
Common Core is just one of those issues.
Now we have serious opposition to Common Core in Michigan, Indiana, Maine, Ohio, Florida and Georgia.
Doesn't look like those pro-Core NY Times opinion columns and blog posts from Charles Blow, Bill Keller and Paul Krugman is saving the CCSS just yet.